Saturday, August 09, 2008

And the Traffic Stops for Miles

On the third day, we woke up early and got back on the road. It was another twelve hour driving day, and we were going to be camping, so we wanted to get to the KOA before it got too dark to set up the tent. We headed South toward Las Vegas and drove and drove and drove. Once we hit Arizona, things got incredibly beautiful. we were dangerously close to the Grand Canyon and the scenery was amazing. I kept trying to take it all in, without dying while driving on the treacherous mountain roads.

Not too long after that, we made it to Vegas. Coadster was crazy excited just to drive through the town. She would have loved it if I'd stopped, but we probably would have spent our entire budget, just walking down the strip, so we drove on.

After Las Vegas, we got into bad traffic. Apparently, everyone in the world drives from Vegas to L.A. on Sunday afternoon. Then we were completely stopped. At first, we thought there was an accident, but then we saw the signs. We needed to stop and get our fruit checked. Just so you know, getting one's fruit checked, isn't half as fun as it sounds. We drove up to the guy who asked, "Are you guys really from Iowa?" like it was some kind of joke. Then he asked if we were bringing in fruit, at which point, Stinky handed him our bag full of bananas, raspberries and apples. He looked them over and gave them back. Then he asked if we had plants or pets and I said,

"Only my daughters..." and he laughed while my daughter's cringed and we were on our way. Our way happened to be the Visalia KOA and if we thought the last Motel 6 was ghetto, this was a few steps below that. There was only a flimsy fence separating the tent campers from all the cars vibrating hardcore rap. There were also fire ants all over our site. We set up our tent, and grilled hotdogs over a fire. Stinky asked why we stayed at all these ghetto places, and I informed her it was because we were poor.

Here's a picture of the girls looking at a gigantic pine cone.

We were originally supposed to stay at the KOA for two nights, but I canceled our reservation for the next night and we decided to take our chances on the road.

We headed to King's Canyon and drove through some great vineyards and much to our surprise, cornfields. It was just like being at home, except for all the mountains and lack of greenery. Stinky was a little scared to drive through the mountains. She kept thinking we were going to drive off into a cliff.

But we made it to King's Canyon and did some hiking and saw some very awesome trees.

The girls weren't quite so into the hiking as I was, but they did like the cool trees and being able to say that they walked through one.

They actually got along for the most part too. Coadster kept calling Stinky Number 2, as if she were a bowel movement, but it's not like Stinky couldn't hold her own. There were only a couple of times during our trip that I made a talking moratorium and threatened to leave them on the side of the road. That's pretty good, don't you think?

After King's Canyon, we decided to head toward Carmel and stop at the first Motel 6 that didn't seem too bad. We made it past Fresno and to a town called Los Banos before we found a brand new Motel 6. It only cost 5 dollars more than the KOA and it was right near a Baskin and Robbins so it was a double bonus.


Poptart said...

So this motel wasn't too bad, since it was new!? Was there ever fighting about where to stop or what to do, or did you pretty much stick to the plan?

I love the pics of the girls. They are so beautiful. Not even kidding.

And yes, only a couple of dropping-youse-by-the-side-of-the-road-and-you-can-hitchhike-for-all-I-care is very, very good!

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

That's funny that she called her Number 2.. The pics look amazing and the girls got along.. all in all a good trip from the sounds of it.. can't get over the fact that the camping was just as ghetto as a Motel 6.... Glad the next one was better...

laura b. said...

You guys took the ghetto and made it ghetto fabulous!

Remiman said...

How, I love that hallow tree!
I'm wishin' I could have been a chipmunk in your trunk so I could enjoy your travels. Just the conversations in the car would be good!

evil-e said...

I have never had my fruit checked, but I have heard of it. I am glad you de-mystified it for me.

"Are you really from Iowa" reminds me of "are you really from Cleveland" that I have gotten on trips before. I always wanted to answer by saying, "no, not really...the car see the people we stole it from must be from Ohio"

Tara said...

I admire your restraint when you hit Vegas! You can take in lots of interesting things just by people watching in a car.

Mr Atrocity said...

I reckon I'd choose a giant hollowed out tree over Vegas. I'm impressed that this is day 2 or 3 of your holiday and you haven't killed each other yet. Doesn't sound much like the way I remember family car journeys.

MrManuel said...

Los Banos, I love that place. I've only driven past it, but I love ny place that translates to The Bathrooms in Spanish

booda baby said...

That was just smart, to drive past Vegas. (No one ever expects it out of me, but I love Vegas. LOOOOVE it. Even during the day when it's hotter than hell and all its bruises show. Love it.)

But I kind of, in general, like the dirty/gritty/ghetto side of life. Including Motel 6's. They're like palate cleansers for King's Canyon and the Gorge.

Gyuss Baaltar said...

proximity to 31 flavors of ice cream is motel selection I can get behind.

AlienCG said...

I've never been west of Texas. You should have told the girls that you were going to throw them in the Grand Canyon if they didn't quit it.

I have stayed in some pretty "ghetto" places in my life. I prefer the Holiday Inn Express.

NoRegrets said...

Good for you for leaving the KOA ghetto. Whew.

Tera said...

I totally was trying to think of another comment until I saw Walk-Through-Tree which made me giggle as my imagination ran wild!