Itinerary on February Trip to Southwest

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On my trip in February, I did a loop of sorts involving the desert southwest, beginning in Eureka, then traveling south through Barstow and Joshua Tree National Park. From there I went to the Gold Canyon area, then though Sedona to the Grand Canyon, then to Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Yosemite Valley, and back to Eureka. In all, it involved 2,891 mile loop, as follows:

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To get an idea of the time involved between the various locations, the trip can be broken down as follows. On the first day, leaving in the afternoon, I ventured forth from Eureka and drove all the way to Los Banos in the Central Valley. Despite a 45 minute delay through Willits, it took seven hours to drive 384 miles. The next morning involved driving 704 miles all the way to Gold Canyon. The quickest route between these two places involves driving through the LA basin. Because of concerns about traffic, I chose instead to drive through Joshua Tree National Monument. This would give me an opportunity to stop and get a few snaps, thus breaking the length of the trip. In all, it took 13 hours to drive the 704 miles to Gold Canyon. I did run into some traffic in Phoenix, but nothing very horrible.

The next leg of the trip involved driving from Gold Canyon to the Grand Canyon via Sedona. This was a 264 mile drive. Despite stopping in Sedona and a few other places, this took about six hours. From the Grand Canyon, I drove 290 miles to Bryce Canyon. I stopped quite frequently in the morning to take pictures of the Grand Canyon; and I also stopped at Mount Carmel Junction to secure a room for the night. Consequently, it ended up taking seven hours to drive those 290 miles. But it could have been done in less time if I hadn’t stopped.

A few days later I made another very long jaunt, necessary if I wanted a chance to spend an entire day in Yosemite. Venturing from my hotel in Mount Carmel Junction, I drove to Zion Canyon, where I spent an hour photographing during the magic hour, then I drove all the way Zion to Mariposa, California, to stay for the night. In all, it was a 651 mile drive taking over ten hours. The next morning I drove to Yosemite Valley, where I stayed until sunset. After sunset I drove all the way Merced, which took about two hours.

On the final leg of my trip, I drove from Merced to Eureka taking the route through Sacramento and Clear Lake (via Route 20), rather than the more conventional (and shorter by 20 miles) route through Oakland and Sonoma. Much preferable route, in my opinion, as it avoids all the traffic in the Bay Area.

Below are some miscellaneous snap shots from my main trip days involving, generally, non-scenic stuff. First, a couple shots from the Boron Rest Area, just off Highway 58 between Mojave and Barstow:

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Next a shot from the Ehrenberg Rest Area off Interstate 10 in Arizona (near the California border):

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Now for a couple of shots from the Valley Wells Safety Rest Area, off of Interstate 15:

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A couple of shots north of Merced, just off Highway 99:

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From the same day, a shot from an overlook along Route 20 in the Coastal Mountains:

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And finally, a couple shots of Clear Lake:

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