Redondo Beach, California
(September & October 2004)

My brother got a job in southern California so we needed to drive across the country. His company hired a moving company to take his stuff. We figured this would give us plenty of time to see the country. But the movers (Allied) came two days later than they told us. The soonest we could leave for L.A. worked out to be Wednesday afternoon. Seeing that my flight out of LAX was on Sunday early, we had to rush across the country.


We drove into western New York as the sun set.


In western Missouri we put the top down after filling up. It was sunny and 80 degrees. Also, we passed a lot of trucks.


Ah, the silly Southern signs. I haven't seen one this good since we were going to Myrtle Beach and saw "Get Your Nuts at Joe's."


Missouri's a bit dry this year. In the Northeast autumn means yellow leaves but here it meant hot and brown. The sky was clear.


This is the largest McDonald's in North America, and probably the world. It spans the highway but is otherwise same as any other fast food joint. This time we didn't eat there because of time restrictions, however we have visited it in the past. Yes, it's located on the main tollroad in Okie. So not everything's bigger in Texas.


After driving through the rest of Oklahoma, which is a little smoggy in the cities, we crossed into the Texas Panhandle. This cross near religious hotbed Amarillo is named the largest in North America. It is quite large. Other than that there's not much else in the Panhandle.


The terrain changed dramatically near the Texas-New Mexico line. Please excuse my poor photography. I was fairly tired by this point


The sunset over the desert lasted a long time. We were chasing the sun in eastern New Mexico as we watched it sink below the desert. With the failing sunlight and our ebbing energy we took no more pictures until we arrived in southern California.

I drove most of the remaining state Arizona. The eastern part is a desert, while the west is wooded and populated by elk. This slowed my average speed down because hitting an elk can't be fun. I saw a car every hour or so in Arizona. All the traffic, if you can call it that, was trucks. I did pace a Firebird for a hundred miles to keep my brain alert. By this time I had to down energy drinks (which don't cause you to crash like sugar) to stay awake.

The view of Kingman from the freeway is how I imagined a typical desert town at night. I saw the lights for at least 10 miles before we crossed the city limit. I wanted to take a picture because it was very cool, however Bob was asleep and I lacked the energy to do little more than think about holding the camera.


This map (click to enlarge) shows our journey. La Verne is shown as the end because the trip through Los Angeles to the coast was ridiculously slow. Our average speed across the country, including traffic, construction, and gas stops was 66 mph. It took us 40 hours to cross the country. Take that Burt Reynolds!


Finally the Pacific Ocean! This is a view from Redondo Beach (AKA Torrance beach). Palos Verdes Point is just visible in the left background.


Bob's apartment building has the typical southern California courtyard.


And the apartment building's on a typical street.


After a good Mexican meal in Bob's new hometown, we wandered around. I can't remember what we did because I was so tired. The next day (Saturday) we drove up to Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). I'm a fan of Incubus and their previous album was named for this street in Malibu.


After seeing mudslide-fearing Malibu, we took off north up into the foothills. Here I noticed some smog, which was blown up from the coast. Still not too bad considering how hot it was. These were some of the twistiest road that I have ever seen. At some parts there are drop offs on either side of the narrow road. Excellent.


Zig-zags in the distance. Also you can see what the land looks like.


A view of San Fernando Valley from Mulholland Drive. You can almost cut off a bit of smog and take it home. We then headed back to the hotel through Hollywood.

The best parts of the Los Angeles region are, for sure, near the coast and the driving in the foothills is unbeatable.



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