Oceanside, February 26, 2008

Tuesday February 26, 2008 

can be my backyard. As I travel, I find different
places that have different and unique aspects to it
that I find myself wanting something from there at
some point after I have left. It's a matter of miles
to get there and yesterday proved it.

I wanted to get the van checked in Oceanside, CA.
There is a specialty shop there and if any work
needed to be done, I'd rather do it all there than
have labor in one place and shipping costs to
include in the overall repair cost. Since I'm
heading north to Seattle soon, it seemed reasonable
to detour there on my way. Afterall, when you are
travelling more than a thousand miles, what's a few
more? so…

I started the trek to Oceanside from Las Vegas,
Sunday night. I had to contend with SoCal travellers
returning home so traffic was thick. It was also
late because I climbed in the VRG (about 2 hours
northeast of Las Vegas) earlier that day and didn't
get into Vegas until late afternoon. I originally
planned to drive to the repair shop, sleep in the
van and drop the van early the next morning. But,
while driving, with traffic and my increasing
apprehension about the situation I was about to put
myself into, I changed my mind. I was still headed
to Oceanside, but I detoured to Joshua Tree to spend
the night. It was a place I had been to before and I
knew I would be safe there.

For the time it took me to drive to JTree, I could
have been at the repair shop. Detouring through the
Mojave Desert cleared traffic, but left me with
reduced speeds and somewhat windy roads. The jog
through the less preferred roads and the additional
3 hours I added to the overall drive took a longer
than I would have liked  but in the end it was
worth it.

I had to get up early the following morning to make
my original planned drop off time at the shop in
Oceanside, so I was up early and greeted with a
beautiful sunrise. The drive to Oceanside was
uneventful, but very scenic. The change in landscape
as you come through the San Bernadino 'pass' was
awesome. Sunny clear skies were fading behind me as
I headed into stormy skies, but I never had rain and
as I veered south towards San Diego, the clouds
seemed to remain further north. There were signs of
rain all over, but I didn't see a drop fall from the

in Oceanside, I dropped the van for inspection then
proceeded to an internet cafe down the street only a
few blocks from ocean beaches. I did some internet
then got the call the van was in fine working
condition and no work would be needed. I could pick
it up, and I did. I lunched on the beach before
driving back to Las Vegas where I made arrangements
to climb for a few days more.

The drive back was uneventful, and more suburban for
longer than the drive out so I wasn't as impressed
by the surroundings. I was listening to an audio
book all the way and somehow managed to get back to
Las Vegas, pick up my friend (Kenny) and drive to
the VRG to rest for some climbing today. As I
reflected on the long drive, I remarked on what a
day I had. I saw sunrise in JTree, lunched on the
Pacific in Oceanside and took in the lights of Las
Vegas. That's some backyard!

About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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