We had an awesome weekend at the beach in LA. We stayed at Newport Beach and spent a day at Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach….more on that soon, but first, the journey home…it was an adventure!
There’s not many pictures and it’s mainly for our memory so we can remember our eventful day so please feel free to skip this post if you like!
We left Laguna at 2.30 just as it started pouring down with rain (thanks to the tail end of tropical storm Dolores!).
After an hour, we got flash flood warnings on our phones and had to pull off the road as it bucketed down and people continued to drive through the river of water on the freeway at 90mph without any headlights on (Californian drivers have “interesting” driving style, I’m sure they all learn to drive on Xbox racing games!).
As the rain eased, we drove to Palm Springs and stopped for our tea and then drove to Indio where I was going to take over the driving for a while. Luckily, we scrolled through the map as we stopped and realised that the road we needed to take home (the I10, the only major road between LA and Arizona) had just been closed due to flooding, it would reopen when the water cleared. Then 10 minutes later, it said a bridge had collapsed onto the road due to the flooding…by now it was 6pm and we still had 4 hours to drive home and couldn’t find much information about the road conditions.
We’ve driven the I10 three times before and it’s 250 miles of very straight, very basic road through the desert with only 2 “towns” along it, poor mobile reception along most parts and no street lights.
Due to the awful weather and having no idea how long it takes flood water to clear in the desert, we decided to book a hotel and stay the night in Indio rather than driving home in the pitch black dark on a flooded road in a huge thunderstorm.
BEST DECISION EVER!
When we arrived at the hotel at 8pm after a leisurely Starbucks trip, we found a queue of 20 or so people waiting to book rooms but the hotel was full unless, like us, you’d made a reservation. People in the queue were telling their stories of how they’d been stuck in the traffic along the road for 2 hours before the police had got to them to turn them around. Turns out it wasn’t a bridge that had fallen onto the road as initially reported, it was the ACTUAL ROAD that had collapsed due to the flood water. Luckily they rescued the person who’s truck had fallen with it but the road was completely broken and all the side roads were flooded. We were very lucky that we decided to stop for tea, else we would have been stuck in the traffic or could have been the ones that fell in!
We left the hotel at 5am on Monday and Chris, the superstar, drove us all the way down to Yuma and across the I8 back home.
Before you ask, yes we saw a train, but it wasn’t the “3.10 to Yuma”, it was around 7.30am!
It took about 6 hours and 2 Starbucks stops (they open at 5am here!) but it was light, the weather was sunny and there were no floods to contend with! The I8 connects San Diego with Arizona so it was a good test incase we decide to visit San Diego later in the year. The road passes all the way along the border with Mexico. Not sure what we were expecting the border to look like but some parts had high fence, some parts had barriers and some parts were marked only with signs or sand dunes!
It was a different end to the weekend than we’d expected but added to the adventure! Time to plan our next trip!