Moving to California – The Final Day

We spent a restful day at my parents house in Williams, Arizona, then made the last push to San Diego, our final destination, the end of the continent.  Arizona was our home for about a year, and when we woke up after a night there, it was as if we had never left.  I was offered a stable job at the Grand Canyon.  We thought “are we stupid to leave here?”  But those are the times when you must push forward, the times when most would take the easy road instead of doing what they really wanted.  We almost always do what we want, so found ourselves on I-40 west with Los Angeles on the highway signs, only hundreds of miles away.

Mr. Moose hates the heat.

Usually we take the old Route 66 to L.A. and then cut south to San Diego.  This time we chose to take a shorter but slower direction by turning south right after entering California.  The desert got CRAZY – super hot with dust storms as we passed through abandoned towns, dried up and shriveled remains of old dreams and desires.  We had a CouchSurfing hose in Moab tell us a story about a guy he knew that went out hiking in the desert and they never found him.  “When the desert decides to take you, there is nothing you can do about it,” he said very seriously.  The desert sure is a strange place that demands respect.

With that said, we were worried about the car, making sure we wouldn’t run out of gas, sweating and sweating and… but we got through and soon were gazing upon the beautiful palm trees near Palm Springs.

Mr. Moose near Palm Springs.

The last bit was the longest, as it always is.  We hit a mountain range that was unexpected and we again worried about our brakes smoking.  But, all of a sudden,finally, FINALLY WE MADE IT WHOOO SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA YEAH WHOO GET US TO THE OCEAN YIPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our new home, Ocean Beach!!! (or for the locals, simply OB)
Our main drag, famous Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.

Stay tuned for more from one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. of A.  Be ready to get jealous as we leave you with a picture from Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, near our new home in Ocean Beach.

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Moving to California – Day 5

We left Denver early after a fun few days around town.  The Rocky Mountains loomed before us and we patted our old car whispering “Come on, you can do it!” Up, up, up, we went, ears popping.  The aspens were just starting to turn giving the mountains beautiful touches of gold.  We headed toward Durango, where we would stop for a rest.  The car made it up and over the mountains where everything leveled into a high plateau.  We drove through some pretty hick-ish Colorado towns, including Fairplay, famous for inspiring South Park.  Thankfully, there were no delinquent children running around or political movements occurring.

Mr. Moose enjoys the aspens

Eventually we came to a “truck on triangle” sign signalling a hard downhill for the next 10 miles or so.  This was the end of the Rockies, a spot that would test our car to the limits.  We switched into a lower gear but about halfway down our breaks started smelling of burning rubber so we stopped at a scenic view point to check out the damage.  There was smoke pouring out from around the front wheels.  I threw all of our water on them, plus half a cup of coffee, and some coolant, everything instantly turning to steam.  We waited around, worrying, for about a half an hour.  There were only a few more downhill miles to go so, after testing the breaks, we set out to make it to our break spot.

At least we had an awesome view while our breaks were smoking.

After a quick stop in Durango, we were back on the road and headed through the familiar Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona.  “The res” is always an interesting place, with packs of dogs, no one speaking English, locals sitting along the road watching the cars pass.  The sun went down fast but we were still able to catch some of the cool rock formations and the painted desert.  We were pretty tired by this point and the miles left didn’t seem to be getting any fewer.  The last few hours of any long car trip are always the hardest.

Sun setting and miles to go

We got into Williams, Arizona around 9pm and went straight to bed.  We planned to rest for a day then head to the beach!