On the Road in an 18-Wheeler….to California and back.

Greetings!  Recently, I had the opportunity to drive across country — out to California and back.  This was a wonderful learning experience.  1)  I LOVED Colorado and its incredible snow-capped mountains — which, unfortunately, I couldn’t photograph because I was driving!  At one family truck stop, however, we had a thunderstorm, and I enjoyed some small hail falling noisily around us.

2)  There are many wind turbines in our country, I’m glad to see.  Anything that uses natural sources of energy, like wind, and sun, is a big hit with me.  Interestingly, at night, they have red lights on each turbine.  If there are, let’s say 20 turbines in a row (as I saw in Kansas), they all blink on, and off, in sync.  From a distance and as you get closer, it is somewhat eerie to see them all blinking on, and off, at the same time. The wind turbines below were photographed after going through Palm Springs, California.IMG_3701

3)  Truck stops have everything you could ever want — most importantly, bathrooms!!!!

4)  MOST people are wonderful as you travel cross country, and just plain nice!

5)  I saw a German bus tour, and the ladies started taking my picture as I drove up, because I was driving my 18-wheeler, of course.  They were tickled.  Weird to know I’ll be in their photos that they take back to Germany, lol!  They had a shiny red tour bus, and were all about my age.  Many of them spoke excellent English.  I had a lovely conversation with one of the ladies and she explained that the buses stay in the states.  The people fly over from Germany and tour our country for a certain amount of time.

6)  The mid-west and western states have incredibly beautiful overpasses that are more like works of art than simple cement structures.  We should take a lesson and do that in PA!  The below picture was taken near Phoenix, Arizona.IMG_3720

7) Arizona has wonderful straight highways, great overpasses, and a lot of dessert areas.  The dry heat felt great!   — Oh and a lot of casinos, which I couldn’t stop at.IMG_3620  But as I crossed from Texas into Oklahoma in the worst storm EVER — there was this HUGE Casino on the right side of the highway that looked more like a Greek city.  Mom and Aunt Rosy would have loved it!

8)  California mountains are huge to drive over — especially the Angeles National Forest
San Gabriel Mountains!  https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/angeles/home.  I was on Route 5, heading north from Los Angeles to Sacramento.  The scenery was so new and exciting to me.  Driving an 18-wheeler over that was less than exciting, however, especially at 5,000 feet above sea level. Try going down the mountain with 43,000 pounds of weight in the trailer! Whew!  One of my favorite stops after we crossed the California border from Arizona was here: Chiriaco Summit Stop/Coffee:  IMG_3683

9)  California drivers are fast and furious!  Truly worse than our east coast drivers if you can imagine!  I know you won’t believe me until you experience this — but trust me — you WILL find out.

10)  The people in San Diego and close to the Mexico border were wonderful!  During a layover right below San Diego, I enjoyed the view of Mexico over the buildings, and the landscape around my  hotel!  Some of the people I met in the breakfast room of my San Diego hotel were crossing over to Mexico for medical care.  I found that astounding, but I think it may be due to the high cost of medical care here — maybe they didn’t have health insurance?  I didn’t want to be rude and ask….but wish them well!

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