008 The bed spread in the Pismo Beach, California Motel 6 beckoned me like a Jack Kerouac novel to get out on the road. So we followed some surfer vans south. vans011 We “drove 500 miles today and never even left LA” – Michele Shocked. 015 We drove to the beaches of the very south of the southland but found they were closed for the season. 016

So we followed the dusty pickup trucks east through Imperial Valley and on to Quartzite, Arizona.

There, in a desolate valley where almost NOTHING grows…023 were as many land yachts…vans028 as locusts left over from the last desert plague. 026 There we encountered the lost tribe of gunrack-pickup-flag waving, buy America-made rock hounds. 027 They were all heading in their ATVs to the open-all-day adult-day-care-center Yacht Club of Quartzite where buckets of Buds awaited.

We were tempted but it was 9:30 a.m. Instead we caravanned with the land yachts and tractor-trailers heading east toward the oasis of Phoenix rising from the ash brown desert. 029

One of my favorite roads anywhere is on the east side of the Sierras winding through Death Valley (325 ft below sea level), past Mt. Whitney (14.489 ft) 042 and over the passes to Lake Tahoe. We slowly watched land yachts give way to hybrids and desert colors to snow white, then green.

We’re already preparing to get on the road again in a week, this time in an authentic Fleetwood land yacht called Mac the Knife. More to come.