December 24, 2014

Road Trip & Precious Cargo

Rocky and I began our road trip this past Sunday.  Rocky, a nervous traveler, was in his carrier in the front passenger floor area so he could see me.

my precious cargo

Our overall trip, door to door, was 1654 miles!  According to yahoo maps the driving time is near 24 hours.  Even big rig drivers need a break after a certain amount of hours.  I've done this drive once before so I knew where good breaks would be. 

Day 1: Citrus Heights, CA to Needles, CA
Date: Sunday, Dec 21
Drive Time: 8 1/2 hours
Distance: 562 miles

I decided to rent a car for the drive.  Why add 3300 miles to my Camry that already has 171K miles on it?  The rental car is a Toyota Yaris.  Not much room, but it was enough...

Leaving the house at 10am, it was an hour later than I would have liked.  With a full day of driving ahead, every minute counted.  The day was overcast.  I actually didn't see the sun for the entire day.  Going over Tehachapi Pass there was some dense fog for a short time.  When the fog cleared a bit, I saw the huge wind mills.  The area hosts a multitude of wind farms, comprising one of California's largest wind resource areas.  The power generated is exported to other areas of California.  Other well-known wind turbine locations in California include the Altamont Pass Wind Farm, in Central California and the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, near Palm Springs.

forecast: cloudy with patches of dense fog

We arrived in Needles around 7pm.  The first hotel I stopped at wanted $99 for the night.  I wasn't willing to spend that much so I went to the cheap hotel across the street advertising rooms for $40.  Trust me, spend a few extra dollars!  I had noisy neighbors, a scared cat and a dirty shower...

Day 2: Needles, CA to Albuquerque, NM
Date: Monday, Dec 22
Drive Time: 7 1/4 hours
Distance: 530 miles

On the road by 8:15, I knew I'd have an easier driving day.  The sky was blue with wispy clouds.  Driving along highway 40 through New Mexico, the landscape changed for the better.  The desert is sparse with out croppings of colorful mountain plateaus.

gorgeous view out the side window
I had been talking with Ron on the phone during the day, using blue tooth of course.  I asked him to find a hotel for me in Albuquerque that would be better than my previous night of nearly no sleep.  We arrived at the hotel around 5:30pm.  Rocky was quite nervous so I decided to stay in and eat an earlier purchased snack as my dinner.  After the football game was over I was ready to call it a night.  Boy, did I sleep good.  The alarm rang too early...   

Day 3: Albuquerque, NM to Moore, OK
Date: Tuesday, Dec 23
Drive Time: 7 3/4 hours
Distance: 562 miles

You don't realize the elevation increase while driving through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico.  Albuquerque sits at an elevation of 5312 feet.  Another realization is that it gets quite cold at the higher altitudes.  Loading the car at 9am, the outside temperature was 30 degrees.  Brrr 

Upon leaving the town, the highway travels through the Sandia Mountains.  The highway was fairly dry but there were snow patches all around.  It was also very windy and the snow was blowing across the freeway as I drove.  This was a first for me.  It was a mostly white knuckle drive for the first half of the day.

I'm not sure if it was in New Mexico or Texas when I stopped at a highway rest area.  The building itself was quite large.  It even had two tornado shelters in it, one on each end of the building.

one of the nicest rest stops I can remember

Rocky and I arrived at Alex's house just past 6:30pm.  My precious cargo was delivered safe and sound.  Rocky is glad to be home where he can rest in front of the fire and play with his favorite toys.

Rocky enjoys the warmth of the fireplace

Date: Wednesday, Dec 24

Ron arrived in Oklahoma via airplane tonight.  We'll spend Christmas and a few days more here with Alex and Rocky before making the drive home together.        


  1. Well you two certainly qualify for road warrior status! Hope you had some good tunes to go with all the nice scenery. I know there were lots of big hugs in Oklahoma - how wonderful to have him back on home soil :-) Glad you'll be together today, enjoy all the blessings of the holiday seasons!!!

  2. LOL! Yep, almost forgot my CD's but turned around a block away. No radio out in the boonies. Ron brought along some borrowed books on CD for the drive home. Definitely lots of hugs :-)


I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment!