California Road Trip: Week One

The feeling when we picked up the keys to our van for the next week can only be described as that feeling you get when your first 18+ card is handed to you. FREEDOM.

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Having relied on public transport for the past two and a half months we were free.

That freedom was short lived, the moment we drove out of the depot we realised a few things..

Todd had to adapt to driving on the right hand side of the road, in a van taking up the entire lane (if not more), on a five lane wide freeway with constant lane changes and exits appearing with Americans who take speeding to a whole other level.

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Todds concentrated face after being given a false sense of freedom

It was a challenging fortnight – between caravan parks from hell, broken parking meters, too many visits to the petrol pump and strict no parking signs there were fighting matches but we made it out alive.

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We arrived at the Grand Canyon after a long drive from Vegas which nearly resulted in an Elk loosing it’s life. In the morning we discovered this amazing place. Unfortunately photos will never do it any justice. The size and depth of the canyon has to be seen once in everyone’s lifetime.

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Notice all the photos include Todd because I wasn’t getting any closer to the edge of death

Today we had another long drive passing through towns you only see on horror movies where the doors are creaking, the lights flickering and the populations are 280.

This evening we arrived at Lake Havasu where the people are crazy for water sports, the set ups inside the caravan park are insane. We saw people with a mammoth RV, car attached to the back with kayaks on top, golf buggy in the tray, Harley on the side and boat in the water.

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Meanwhile this was what our daily 7pm dinner rush looked like, using the last light of the day to steam some veg

In-between more Hills Have Eyes style towns is Joshua Tree National Park which can only be described as very Flinstone-ey.

The drive through the park was spectacular, the rock formations are insane and the Joshua Trees have so much character.

Though one point I thought I was going to be the next star in the follow up film to 127 hours.

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We drove through Palm Springs and found no RV park would take a van – you had to have a functioning toilet or shower and apparently an emergency pee bucket doesn’t count.

So we took the plunge, watched the YouTube clip for rules on sleeping at Walmart stores and drove to Palm Desert where we would spend the night peeking out the curtain to check if anyone was going to roll us.

Luckily no one did and we continued on to San Diego the next morning.

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We had made it to the one week mark at this stage and felt excited to get out of the desert and back to a place where we could feel warm sand in between our toes.

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It seems to be mandatory for every Californian beach to have a full blown carnival/theme park on the beach so naturally this is the place where we would spend Todd’s birthday eating ice cream, trying to win minions (and failing miserably), screaming on roller coasters and surfing artificial waves at the Wave House.

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And we will end it on this hilarious note

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