Monday, November 19, 2007

A change of plans

We are still in San Bernardino, along the Santa Ana River.

Yesterday, as we were catching up on back emails, cleaning up around the coach, and trying to plan out our route into Mexico, Louise got a call from her dad. They are making plans to head down to his niece's place in Santa Clarita for Thanksgiving. Since Santa Clarita is only two hours west of here, we will join them, and likely stay through the weekend.

In the meantime, we've heard back from our friends in Indio with a dentist recommendation, and now I also have one in the Santa Clarita area. So I will be trying to make an appointment this week or early next week in Santa Clarita, and, if that does not pan out, I will try for Indio, which is on our way to Calexico whenever we get heading that way.

We plan to leave here today, as we don't want to overstay our welcome now that we are no longer under the aegis of the Red Cross. The whole area was deserted over the weekend, but several businesses are open today. We'll be loading up the scooters in a little while -- we took them out Saturday after we returned the rental car, and have been using them to get to dinner and run errands.

That sort of begs the question as to where we will stay tonight. Our plan for Thanksgiving is to stay at the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge, where we stayed two years ago on a similar visit. The lodge parking there is really unappealing, though, so we don't really want to arrive any earlier than Wednesday. That leaves us three days to drive the 90 miles from here to there.

The slightly more direct route is to head west on I-10 to I-210 through the LA basin and up the San Fernando valley. However, I think we will, instead, head north on I-215 to the Cajon Pass, then cut west on California 138 into Palmdale through the Antelope Valley, picking up California 14 down to Santa Clarita. It's only a couple of miles longer, although it does mean crossing the hills twice. But it will circumvent the congested LA area with its associated traffic, and it will also be easier to find a spot to overnight along this less populated route.

It will now be at least a week before we are southbound to Mexico, which will give us time to get some errands done, including selling a pair of laptop computers, cobbling together the front end bodywork, and picking up spare filters and such for the foray across the border. As much as I hate the chaos, I am also contemplating braving the Black Friday crowds to buy a new LCD TV, as our four-year-old Zenith is on the fritz (it developed annoying vertical lines about two days after the warranty expired, and the problem has steadily worsened ever since).

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