The Road To Pismo Beach, California

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Editor’s Note: Terry and MaryAnn Barber are members of LTV’s sponsored content team, The Leisure Explorers. Do you own a Leisure Travel Van and enjoy writing? Learn more about joining the team.

We traveled on Interstate 10 from Santa Monica, California, in the west to Jacksonville, Florida, in the east, a total of 2,431 miles. The road brought us through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida – eight states in all. We saw oceans, deserts, mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, and swamps. We also viewed amazing wildlife and unique plant life like the Joshua trees in California, the majestic saguaro in Arizona, the yucca in New Mexico, the prong horn and roadrunners in Texas, the alligators of the Louisiana Bayou, the alligator turtle of Mississippi, the USS Alabama battleship in Mobile, Alabama, and the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. On this trip we traveled to Pismo Beach, California, to attend a Southwest Roadrunners Leisure Travel Vans Travelers Club Rally in October 2018.

Come along as we travel to the Pacific Ocean on Interstate 10 west from Phoenix, Arizona.

Mountain views on Interstate 10, west of Phoenix.
Views from I-10 west of Phoenix.
Joshua Trees along Interstate 10 west.

Located just north of Interstate 10 in eastern California is Joshua Tree National Park. Known for its Joshua trees, the Park is actually visited by millions for its rocks. Huge boulders, soaring into the sky as much as several hundred feet up, look more like mountains than just rocks.

Entrance to Joshua Tree National Park

Rock climbing and hiking are the big attraction here, and the Joshua Tree is just a side note. MaryAnn and I are NOT rock climbers, we will never try something like this, but we don’t mind watching others risk their lives. We stopped in Joshua Tree on a weekend, so finding a campsite was impossible. We rarely get reservations while we are traveling; we prefer the freedom of not being locked into a schedule.

Rock climbers in Joshua Tree National Park.

Like most popular national parks, the best time to get a campsite on a first come, first served basis is Sunday – Wednesday – the weekends are ridiculous! Even getting reservations at all may require as much as 6 months to a year in advance in some places, like Zion National Park in Utah. Since the campgrounds inside the Park were full, we drove outside the park boundary and camped for free on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. We actually prefer BLM land anyway – wide open spaces and no crowds. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE! Completely unplugged and unconnected, it is always the way to go for us since we have 400 watts of solar on the roof and a diesel generator underneath.

MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups enjoying the shade of our Leisure Travel Vans Unity FX out on BLM land just outside of Joshua Tree National Park.

At our campsite just outside Joshua Tree we had all the space and privacy we could want. Is it desert? Yes. Do we have any neighbors? No, and the surrounding mountain views are outstanding!

Our closest neighbor just outside of Joshua Tree on BLM land. This sure beats being plugged in at an RV parking lot!
More views of the mountains on I-10 in California.
Going west on I-10 in California.

We boondocked with our friend and fellow LTV owner, Laurie Lee, at Bass Pro Shop just outside of Los Angeles. The next day, more of our friends and fellow owners of an LTV, Greg and Marsha Locke, joined us, and together we traveled in a mini caravan to the Pismo Beach LTV Southwest Roadrunners Rally.

We met up with some of our Leisure Travel Vans owners and good friends at Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga, California, just east of Los Angeles.
Our mini caravan to Pismo Beach. Greg and Marsha (in front) have the Unity FX and Laurie (second) has the Unity Twin Bed.
Mountain views from the road.
The entrance at Pismo Beach.

Our pups loved the ocean and could’ve stayed there all day. Laurie Lee brought along her pups (Salukis) to the beach as well. They all had a great time chasing the waves.

MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups enjoying the waves at Pismo Beach, California.
From left: The Traveling Pups, MaryAnn, Saluki pups, and Laurie Lee at Pismo Beach.
From left: Laurie Lee and MaryAnn at Pismo Beach.
Southwest Roadrunners LTV rally at Pismo Beach October 2018.
Our campsite at the Southwest Roadrunners Pismo Beach Rally 2018.

We love going to LTV Travelers Club rallies. Not only do we get to see old friends, we always make new friends, too. The Travelers Club always has “tech talks” every day where we discuss the technology of our rigs and help each other with any issues or problems we are having as well.

There’s only one thing we love more than traveling in our LTV, and that’s traveling with other LTV owners on the open road. Until next time, safe travels, my friends.


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