Porterville CA – Sequoia National Park

May 24, 2002

We left Las Vegas on Monday the 16th. Took I-15 South. Little did I know that that this interstate is the main corridor from Las Vegas to Los Angles and it was bumper to bumper. Not only that it passed through the Mojave Desert with a mountain pass. I have never seen such barren country. Sand everywhere. Some of it orange in color, tumble weeds, big valley’s of nothing surrounded by rock mountains. No buildings, no ranches, no vegetation, no cattle, no crops… just barren country and over 100 degrees outside. When we hit the Nevada/California boarder there were signs about an inspection station. It looked like a large toll both but it was for produce. There were people manning the booths but they were just waving people through, no stopping. Strange.

We arrived at our over-nighter at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow CA without incident. However, we wont stay here again… the sites are uphill with a ramp, not good. Some times with Military RV Parks (called FamCamps) you get good ones and sometimes you get other than good ones… this was an “other.” As soon as we crossed over into California the cost of fuel went up a $1.00. Things are high here, McDonalds is $30 for a couple. Its dry, hot, and expensive; glad we don’t live here. On to Porterville California in the morning for a stay at a Corps of Engineers park (Tule campground at Success Lake), our base for 8 days to go see Sequoia/Kings Canyon and the surrounding area.

From Barstow to Porterville we passed through some serious sand hills. Similar to Nebraska’s Sand Hills but more pronounced… and with palm trees; Nebraska doesn’t have palm trees. The campground is a typical COE campground. Not too many people here, quiet. The weekend, however, proved to be popular place. Lots of large families with happy kids playing; nice! Mostly tents as 2/3 of the sites doesn’t have electric. This area of California is mostly agriculture featuring oranges, tangerines, plums, grapes, etc. We did see a couple corn fields. On Saturday we went to a fruit and vegetable market in Visalia. They had a plum crossed with I think a peach. It had to be the best piece of fruit I have ever eaten!!

Click here for some photos of the area.

We arrived on Wednesday the 17th, then rented a car for the 18th & 19th where we went to the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. What a place, one to remember for sure. The oldest trees in the World!

Click here for more information and some photos.

On Sunday we went to the Coast, specifically Morro California. We just had too, this way we can say we have been to the East & West Coast and the to Gulf Coast. Maybe at some point we will hit up the North Coast… haha.

Click here for some photos…

On Monday I washed the New Mexico and Arizona red dirt off the camper and gave the truck a quick rinse off. On some of our free time I have been operating some Amateur radio. I have a portable set up with a wire antenna running about 50 watts. In the last few days I have contacted several in the States but also other Amateurs in Brazil, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, France, Canada, Hawaii, and Chile.

Our next route takes out of California (thank goodness) with some backtrack to Monument Valley. Should be there Sunday. Going to have to watch some John Wayne movies to get in the mood!

Take care!