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Day 1: Phoenix, AZ to Joshua Tree National Park

Had the A/C compressor replaced and drove across I-10 in the heat of summer with cool air blasting!  Arrived at the Cottonwood campground near dusk, after having to stop for road crews while they cleared away storm damage.  Being summer, the campground was basically empty.

Upon going to bed, storm clouds were brewing and, sure enough, at about 1am, wind, lightning, and a light rain hit.


Day 2: Joshua Tree to Morro Bay

Packed up and headed out early (for us).  Stopped at Big Boy in Calimesa for, well, a Big Boy burger.  Motored onward through L.A. to the PCH to arrive at Morro Bay just before dusk.  It was a long drive and long day… I ended up with a migraine at dinner time, unfortunately.  Next year, will break the drive up!

Day 3: Morro Bay to Monterey/Laguna Seca

Another long drive!  Stopped at Safeway in Monterey  to stock up on ice and a few food items, then it was on to the famous race track where we arrived in late afternoon.  I had mentioned this trip to Dave and Vickie (Old Blue's second owners); they scored a camp spot across from us for the weekend, which was fun (got to see Old Blue's GMC replacement in person… nice rig!)

Days 4-7: Laguna Seca; Rolex Reunion (Marque: Maserati)

Foggy mornings gave way to warm, sunny afternoons.  Classic cars racing around Laguna Seca, plus free access to the paddock… can't get better than that, except maybe a personal drive around the track!  And, hey, there even a few VW's in the paddock!  Lots of photos of Porsches because, well, I love 911s!

Day 8: Laguna Seca to Julia Pfeiffer/Big Sur State Park

After the last race on Sunday, we joined the exiting traffic and began the long trip home.  Stopped at Safeway for more ice (not a cube left after 3 days… I'm officially done with ice chests!) and headed to Big Sur along the coast highway for the night.  Nice campground among pine trees… and huge!

Day 9: Big Sur to San Simeon

We decided to break the drive up and stopped in San Simeon, with the possibility of touring Hearst Castle (since I'd never been).  Upon arriving at the castle visitor center, we decided to save it for another day (late in the day, too many people, rather expensive).  So, went back to the campground and played on the beach.

Day 10:  San Simeon to Joshua Tree National Park

We left San Simeon and drove in fog over the mountains through wine country to Paso Robles.  After refueling, we pressed onward to smoggy Bakersfield where we stopped at Bob's Big Boy, for one last delectable burger (update: turns out that was our last Big Boy in Bakersfield; restaurant shut its doors).  Leaving Bakersfield, we took the long, hot ride over the mountain via Highway 58 (van performed flawlessly), stopping in Mojave for a propane refill. From Barstow, we took 247 down to Yucca Valley and spent the night at Indian Cove campground, where coyotes sauntered through and a light rain fell before sun-up.

It was getting dark by the time we arrived at Joshua Tree, so we drove straight to a camp site.  The next morning, we awoke to an official "Your Attention Please" National Park notice from Ranger Bryan requesting we pay our fee at the ranger station on our way out; ranger Bryan signed off with "Hope you had a good night!"  At the ranger station, there were no camping fees listed on the fee board and there were no fee envelopes… typical government.  So, we wrote a note to Bryan and attached the same fee paid at Cottonwood 10 days before and took a photo for proof of payment (you know, just in case).  From Joshua Tree, we headed back home.

Total miles: 1,542

Avg. MPG: 16.72

Adventure 18: Laguna Seca Historic Races; Monterey, CA                                        August 13-20, 2014