After 4 months in the Northwest portion of North America, and almost 4 weeks in Europe we are finally heading south, while in the west and north we visited:
• The lowest point at 282ft/86M below sea level – Death Valley.
• Anchor Point the most westerly point you can drive to on the Mainland.
• Tuktoyuktuk in the Arctic where we paddled in the Arctic Ocean (Beaufort Sea), this was our most northerly point.
We then returned to Alberta where we dropped of the Truck and Camper for some Warranty work and some upgrades. While this was in process we went to Europe for a 21day Mediterranean Cruise with Catherine’s mother Pat and her friend Bev. Now two months later we are back on the road in mid November heading south.
We picked up our rig in Red Deer, drove to Calgary to drop of some things at our small storage unit and picked up other items that we needed.
Leaving Calgary around 3pm we headed towards Lethbridge for some dinner then continued on to the US border and finally stopping the night in Great Falls, Montana. Staying in a hotel as we had no water as we had not filled out tank due to the temperatures hovering around the freezing mark and did not want any frozen pipes.
Next morning, we wandered into the downtown for some breakfast at the 5th Avenue Diner. By the time we got on the road it was around noon after filling up with diesel. Upon leaving we continued south to Idaho Falls, Idaho, again staying in a hotel for the evening. We met Peter who was interested in our camper and where we were going.
When we left here our intention had been to make it to Las Vegas, Nevada, but as we had left a little later than planned and spent some time in Utah picking up some items and we needed, grabbing a Coffee and Tea we ended up staying in Mesquite, Nevada, at the Century Casino carpark in our camper. We had dinner at the Casino as they had Prime Rib and King Crab at the buffet.
We left Mesquite early next morning and drove to Las Vegas and had Breakfast at Coco’s, this is close to MGM, we have eaten there before and can recommend it.
After breakfast we then went and parked at the Stratosphere in their carpark across the street. Here we did some cleaning inside of the camper and rearranging of the cupboards and storage compartments as we had loaded everything back into the camper in Red Deer in a hurry. Later in the day we took a walk down the strip and found a place to have some early dinner. From there we went back to the Stratosphere and went to the lounge at the top (107flr) where we enjoyed happy hour.
We had intended to stay another day and take in some of the outdoor rides (rollercoaster etc.) but the wind was quite strong so we decided to continue on to Los Angeles, California, where we had to pick up a part for the new truck.
After picking up the part we drove south down the coast until we reached Seal Beach where we camped for the night. We were walking distance to a brew pub on the beach where we had dinner and washed the desert dust from our mouths. After we had a goodnight sleep we where up early continuing south until we found Ruby’s Diner for breakfast as we still have not purchased and groceries as we will be crossing into Mexico in a couple of days and were not sure what they would take from us after the US Customs took most of our vegetables when we crossed into the US.
After breakfast we continued down the coastal road (Hwy 101) until we came to Crystal Beach where we hung out for most of the day walking the beach and soaking up some sunshine.
Around 4pm we continued on to Oceanside, we parked in the Jolly Roger carpark where we met up with Stefan and Thomas, two Overlanders from Switzerland who were also heading into Mexico in the next day or two. We all had dinner at the Jolly Roger where we told travel tales and had a good laugh.
Next morning; we said our goodbyes and we headed off to Palm Springs to visit with our friends Rick and Zina who live in Calgary but own a residence in Palm Springs.
Rick helped Stewart install the parts for the truck while Catherine and Zina caught up on things.
After a good visit it was time for us to make our way towards the border. We ended up going back to the Jolly Roger again for another night while we organized ourselves. We considered crossing at Tecate which is a 45-minute drive east of where we were but we decided to cross at Tijuana. We stayed a night in the Walmart paring lot in Chula Vista then next morning we filled up with diesel and propane and headed to the border at Tijuana where is took us about an hour to clear customs.
Next: Truck & Camper Update