The first part of the trip to Australia was a three day drive from Arizona to outside Chico California, mostly for my dog Felix to have a place to stay with friends, rather than a month in the kennel.
This trip included a crossing of Death Valley, scooting along the most majestic mountains of the Sierra Nevada in eastern California (including the highest peak in the lower 48 states, Mt Whitney looming over Lone Pine, CA, I’ve been to the top). We zipped through Bishop, where I spent much time in my Geology field work for my MS thesis, then up past Mono Lake, around Lake Tahoe, over the Sierra Nevada in I-80 and on to Chico CA.
We dealt (well I did) with a blown tire outside of Tecopa Hot Springs, with a detour for a fix in Pahrump, Nevada:
We crossed Death Valley under perfect weather
stopping at a sea level sign to repeat a photo from 29 years ago and then took in the grand peaks.
After a stay over in Bridgeport, CA (where it went down to freezing, luckily I decided not to camp on this trip, we went around Lake Tahoe, taking a break at Sand Harbor state park.
And finally got to our friends Kim and Jeff outside of Chico, CA. A day and a half to get Felix settled (it took about a minute) and the flying leg of the trip commenced.. including a long jaunt from Los Angeles to Melbourne, 15 walloping hours in the air.
Sleeping about 6-7 hours worked well for the adjustment in Melbourne, as did the first of many Flat White coffees..