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.

Moving to California – Day 2

Sunrise in Chicago

The word was that we needed to be on the road before 7 if we wanted to miss the morning Chicago traffic.  We managed to get out of the big city with only one minor slowdown and before we knew it we were at the beginning of the world’s largest field i.e. the states that fill the space between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains.  Google approximated the drive from Chicago to Denver to be 16 hours so we decided to knock out 12 hours on the first day and spend the night Couchsurfing in North Platte, Nebraska.  We planned to entertain ourselves with music, reading, playing silly games, sleeping, talking, arguing, thinking… you get the point.

Driving through this section of the country is extremely dull.  By dull I mean the most boring drive.  But I love it because this is the section of the country that people miss when they fly.  Enduring seemingly-endless miles of those golden fields is what make you fill with joy at your first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains.

Mr. Moose crosses the Mississippi river.

Mr. Moose enters Iowa!

We ran into some rain and road construction, but made a pretty good pace.  There are a few restaurants that we always stop at, one being Hamburg Inn in Iowa City.

The Hamburg Inn in Iowa City, Iowa.

Breakfast.

Our stomachs were full of nothing but coffee and dry cereal so we stopped around 11 am for some breakfast.  The Hamburg Inn is a Hawkeye staple and has served many students along with a couple U.S. presidents.

They are famous for their pie shakes – large milk shakes with delicious pieces of pie broken into them.  Best. thing. ever.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Shake

We stuffed our faces, then were soon back on I-80.  Carrie took the wheel and we both got really sleepy from eating so much.  Lucky there was a rest stop with ice cold Mountain Dew to boost our energy levels.

Mr. Moose on I-80 west.

The sun setting in Nebraska.

Just before sunset we made it to North Platte, a small railroad town in the middle of nowhere.  We have had a lot of Couchsurfing success in the Midwest, and as usual had a great host who showed us around and took us out to a good diner, The Depot, near the rail yard.

North Platte is home to the largest railroad depot in the world.
Fox Theater in North Platte, Nebraska

There wasn’t too much excitement in North Platte on a Monday night, but that was fine with us, as we were eager to get to bed after such a long day of driving through the cornfields!