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Northern CA to Tucson AZ, AZ
mini location map2014-10-27
11 by photographer avatarmdfabbrini
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Northern CA to Tucson AZ, AZ 
Northern CA to Tucson AZ, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Oct 27 2014
mdfabbrini
Scenic Drive1,276.20 Miles
Scenic Drive1,276.20 Miles
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1st trip
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Days 7 to 11 of our road trip to Northern California and back.

Day 7, October 17 (305.7 miles): A leisurely morning visiting with the parents and packing, and brunch with the parents and my brother and his wife at the Hi-Lo Café in Weed. A lot of food for the price, and worth the stop if you are passing through the area.

An uneventful drive to Folsom, where after checking in at the Hilton Garden Inn just west of the historic old town, and across Folsom Blvd from the American River and the associated American River Parkway, we had a nice Italian dinner with our son.

Day 8, October 18 (33.2 miles): While my wife slept during the morning, I knocked off a couple of highpoints in the area: Carpenter Hill (the Sacramento County highpoint)http://hikearizona.com/photoset=32458, and another nearby hill, Peak 1161 http://hikearizona.com/photoset=32462. After lunch my wife and I rode the Regional Transit light rail for a bit, ending up in Old Folsom, where we walked around a bit and had a snack.

We met our son at 5, and headed up to Auburn to meet my wife's brother for dinner at Carpe Vino. This was a culinary treat. We had stuff with ingredients I've never heard of or was too embarrassed to ask how to pronounce. Dinner for the four of us was north of $300 (we had some drinks and wine), but well worth the gourmet experience. The service was outstanding.

Day 9, October 19 (405.1 miles): Folsom to Monrovia. Left Folsom at 12:30 pm, arrived in Monrovia at about 9:30 pm. Stopped in Atwater at the Foster's Freeze. Those of you unfamiliar with California drive-in cuisine, Foster's is a DQ-like chain. I had been saving my calorie budget for an extra larger chocolate malt, with extra malt. Later I found out that this Foster's Freeze was featured in Pulp Fiction(which I have not seen), where apparently Bruce Willis runs Ving Rhames over in the parking lot.

Day 10, October 20 (260.1 miles): Monrovia to Yuma. An easy day's drive with a couple of stops along the Salton Sea, where we had never been. It's an impressive body of water, dramatic with it's sea to desert interface. I would consider camping here sometime during the offseason - none of the campgrounds along any campers in them, save one or two here or there. Solitude abounded. We stopped at the North Shore Beach & Yacht Club along State Route 111, a county recreation facility that once was a marina and resort for Hollywood types. There we watched pelicans, egrets and other birds, while enjoying the pleasant autumn sun and sound o the water lapping the shore.

Day 11, October 21 (272.1 miles): Yuma to Tucson. I spent a couple hours of the morning exploring Yuma and taking picture of trains crossing the Colorado River next to Interstate 8. We hit the road about noon, stopping in Dateland to buy dates. I've always been fascinated by abandoned places, especially abandoned airfields, so I remembered that there were several old WWII training fields in the area. One was back west a couple of miles on the south side of the interstate. So we headed there, and as we crossed the adjacent railroad tracks, we came across signs proclaiming "Barry M Goldwater Firing Range : Do Not Enter : Live Fire Range, yada, yada, yada". I pondered ignoring the sign for a few moments, I mean the airfield was just another quarter mile down the road, and not an A-10 or F-35 to be seen. Well, wisdom prevailed, and I turned around - only to see a Border Patrol agent coming from the direction of the airfield 30 seconds later. An encounter with any federal agent would not have been good. But that's ok, because just on the other side of Interstate 8 is Dateland Field, another abandoned WWII training field, so I was able to stop there.

Passing Gila Bend, I got a good look at the Sand Tank Mountains. I can see why so many of you spend time there, and I can't wait to get there myself.

In summary, this was a special trip for me. Because of financial issues over the last 8 or 9 years, my wife and I had pretty much been stuck in Tucson, not able to travel or do much of anything else. So it was great to get back on the open road, and experience old haunts as well as discover new places for further exploration.
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