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Old 01-25-2012, 08:20 AM   #1
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feedback on this route; la mesa to palm desert

on feb. 1st we are driving from la mesa to palm desert
previously posted about best routes and thanks for the replies / info

now, looking for feedback on either of these two routes going from la mesa to palm desert:
- I8 east from La Mesa to El Centro
- then either CA 86 north
OR
- CA 111 north from El Centro to Palm Desert

thanks for the help
regards, pdq
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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I think it depends on what you want ...

North on I-15 ... little change in elevation ... all four lane freeway ... easy driving but about as interesting as yesterday's dishwater.

East on I-8 ... you will climb to over 4000 feet on three or four crests ... and fall to below sea level at El Centro ... you will descend through rocky hills (rocks bigger than Volkswagons) ... this is scenic ... and you will need your exhaust brake on the descent ... US 68 is a nice four lane undivided highway as I recall ... you will encounter lots of folks with their desert toys on that road ... and pass through date farms ... and you will go past Slab City on the west shore of the Salton Sea. This is much more interesting route ... there is a very nice rest area about half way to El Centro on I-8 ... it is in the middle of the freeway ... and sometimes there are people hang gliding from the large hill just north of the rest area.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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thanks for this - appreciate the comments
we find the interstates fine if you are in a hurry - but we're not!
sounds like this route will be interesting and just fine for driving
thanks again
pdq
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
I think it depends on what you want ...

North on I-15 ... little change in elevation ... all four lane freeway ... easy driving but about as interesting as yesterday's dishwater.

East on I-8 ... you will climb to over 4000 feet on three or four crests ... and fall to below sea level at El Centro ... you will descend through rocky hills (rocks bigger than Volkswagons) ... this is scenic ... and you will need your exhaust brake on the descent ... US 68 is a nice four lane undivided highway as I recall ... you will encounter lots of folks with their desert toys on that road ... and pass through date farms ... and you will go past Slab City on the west shore of the Salton Sea. This is much more interesting route ... there is a very nice rest area about half way to El Centro on I-8 ... it is in the middle of the freeway ... and sometimes there are people hang gliding from the large hill just north of the rest area.
You need to take 68 from ElCentro to Brawley then 111 to Niland to get to Slab City which is east of Niland aboiut 2 miles.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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I also recommend the I-8 route east, then north along the Salton Sea. Interstate 15 almost always has heavy traffic, and that's compounded by the never-ending Caltrans construction projects. BTW the hang gliding area the other person mentioned is in Pine Valley, just off I-8 as you pass Alpine heading east.

Have fun with your drive; make it leisurely and enjoy the beautiful mountain & desert scenery. :-)
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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Also, if you go up past Salton Sea, take the side trip to and through Slab City. I'm not necessarly recomending staying there but it is sure worth seeing. We stayed there one night several years ago and that was enough.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
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thanks everyone
this feedback is greatly appreciated
pdq
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