S12PPL
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15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:29 pm

Well, this Friday night I leave for a 15+ hour drive to Southern California. I've been asked to come instruct at an umpire camp down there for a week. I'm going to stop in the Bay Area each way for a day to rest, and see family.

Is there anything to see, or any good places to stop in I-5 between the Bay Area and So Cal??? I'm gonna be bored enough on that stretch. I have a unit in my car to play DVD's, etc., so I have entertainment. But, how about good things to do/see?
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AirCop
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:09 am

I-5 from I-580 to So. Cal has got to be the one of the most boring highways in the country ranks up with I-70 in Kansas and anything in Western Texas.. In short nothing to see or do. But the good news the CHP won't request your signature until you're near 85-90. (all bets off if the plane is out doing speed work).
 
luv2fly
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:12 am

Anything over 4 hours and I would fly!
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tootallsd
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:29 am

I would drive down 101 or 1. 101 will take somewhat longer -- a ffew hours more but be infinitely more rewarding.

Of course I usually do the trip on two wheels.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:30 am

Quoting S12PPL (Thread starter):
I have a unit in my car to play DVD's, etc., so I have entertainment

Hmm...

Quoting S12PPL (Thread starter):
But, how about good things to do/see?

Yeah, the road, not a DVD Big grin
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ba757gla
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:32 am

i thought it was only about 8 hours to drive SFO - LAX or are you driving furher!
 
chrisair
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:05 am

It's six hours (if that) from the 580 to So Cal. There's absolutely nothing except cows, grass and a four lane freeway.

Be careful if you go the 152 to 154 to the 5 route. That intersection between 152 and 154 can be very deadly.
 
Daleaholic
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:14 am

Is it more boring than the Florida Turnpike? My god it is boring!
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futuresdpdcop
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:45 am

I always stop in Grapevine, CA (the north end of the grapevine) as it serves as a halfway point between San Diego and Livermore. Nothing out there except a quick gas and food stop. You could always spend a day at Magic Mtn. Other than that, there is not much else to do or see out there in farm land.

My best time travelling the 463 miles is 6 hours and 30 mins, which includes my 15 minute stop at Grapevine. Mind you, this was leaving SD at 6am so there wasn't much traffic.
 
TAM1079
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:16 am

The 101/1 HANDS DOWN!!! If you are strapped for time, the 101 isn't that much longer than taking the 5. A much more rewarding view of the California coast. Tons of cool little towns, and other assorted Americana down the 101. Enjoy!
 
N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:46 am

Quoting Ba757gla (Reply 5):
i thought it was only about 8 hours to drive SFO - LAX or are you driving furher!

It isn't that long, unless you are caught in some sort of traffic. Also, he is driving from Oregon.

I have to agree that the 101 drive is much better. Doing the entirety of 1 would be best, but that would definately slow you down. 101 is nearly as fast as 5 if you are going the same speed (even shorter for some routes) but you can almost never do the kind of speeds on the 101 as on the 5 through the Central Valley.

Here is my question. Where exactly in Southern California are you going? If you are going to San Diego or Orange County, 5 would probably be the best. If you are going to many parts of Los Angeles or Ventura County however, 101 is going to be shorter
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AeroWesty
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:10 pm

From downtown SF to Hollywood has always clocked in at 5 1/2 hours for me, but at least 7 hours via the 101. The Bayshore traffic, Ventura traffic, and the requisite stop at the Madonna Inn are always time killers.

Heading south out of Portland, stop at Medford to gas up, because it's going to be until Red Bluff before you can get any decent prices again. Dunsmuir is a nice spot to stop, but if you aren't going to tour the Dunsmuir House, just keep on going.

Remember to take the Willows cutoff going into the Bay Area, you'll save an hour or more. The cheapest place for gas is the ARCO right before you cross the Carquinez Straits on I-80. And I mean it's right before you cross, the very last exit, turn off, swing around, and you'll see it. (It's been a couple of years since I've driven that way, so it might be something else than an ARCO now. I could eek it out from Medford to the bridge on one tank no problem.)

Heading south out of the Bay Area, stop at Pea Soup Andersen's just outside of Los Banos. You'll see the signs. It's the only decent restaurant for 350 miles if you're hungry. Kettleman City is almost exactly halfway between SF and LA, so if you want to do it in one quick trip, you can stop there too, and they have a Carl's Jr.

I've been riding/driving down 5 between SF and LA or on the way to Fresno since before there was even a 5, LOL. It's BORING!
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N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:41 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 11):
From downtown SF to Hollywood has always clocked in at 5 1/2 hours for me, but at least 7 hours via the 101. The Bayshore traffic, Ventura traffic, and the requisite stop at the Madonna Inn are always time killers.

You are more likely thinking of Santa Barbara traffic than Ventura traffic. Santa Barbara is hell on the weekends because of tourists but Ventura is never that bad and has gotten even better because of the rebuilding and widening of the Santa Clara River Bridge.
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AeroWesty
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:50 pm

So the traffic on the Ventura between about Ventu Park and Laurel Cyn. doesn't got stop and go, sit and wait, stop and go, sit and wait, stop and go any longer?

I wasn't sure whether he'd be driving thru L.A. on Saturday or Sunday nights, but Sunday can be hell on wheels all the way from Santa Babs to L.A. cos of weekenders returning.
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oldman55
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:53 pm

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 2):
Anything over 4 hours and I would fly!

totally agree and with gas prices in CA over$3.00 a gallon It would probably not cost that much more to fly, if You can get a discounted ticket.
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N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:05 pm

Quoting Oldman55 (Reply 14):
totally agree and with gas prices in CA over$3.00 a gallon It would probably not cost that much more to fly, if You can get a discounted ticket.

Actually, it would likely cost less, though if he needs a car it may be cheaper than renting.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 13):
So the traffic on the Ventura between about Ventu Park and Laurel Cyn. doesn't got stop and go, sit and wait, stop and go, sit and wait, stop and go any longer?

Ventu Park Road is in Thousand Oaks, which is like 20 miles from Ventura. Usually, traffic at rush hours slows from Borchard to Lynn (only about 2-3 miles) and then speeds up from Lynn all the way through to Calabasas. At times it slows after Las Virgenes and is hit or miss till it widens in Woodland Hills. It slows up around 405 as well as near the 134.
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AeroWesty
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:08 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 15):
which is like 20 miles from Ventura

LOL, I think we were misunderstanding each other earlier. I was referring to the Ventura as the 101 not the city.  Smile
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S12PPL
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:15 pm

Thanks for all the input, guys!

I'm driving to San Bernardino. I think the 101 will take me longer to get to San Bernardino, won't it? I have a big window of time to get to San Bernardino. I just need to be there between noon and 3 PM on Sunday. I'm going to assume traffic shouldn't be that bad on a Sunday? Either way, I'm prepared for a long, boring drive down the central valley. I've seen it from the air a bunch of times flying into LA....And wow. And I've driven it one time, in 2002.


I was just hoping someone here knew some nice restaraunt along the way, or something to stop off and see. Sounds like the central valley offers nothing, unless you are traveling 99.
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N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:18 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 16):
LOL, I think we were misunderstanding each other earlier. I was referring to the Ventura as the 101 not the city.

Ah yes, I realized that with your second post. Remember, it is the Ventura Freeway from Seacliff to Pasadena (US 101 to the Hollywood Freeway, SR 134 to its terminus at I-210 in Pasadena).
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AeroWesty
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:22 pm

Oh yeah, Sunday mornings are no problem usually.

Take 5 if you're going to San Berdoo, then cut off on the 210 towards Pasadena. You'll save tons of time. (Check mapquest.com for the route.)
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S12PPL
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:25 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 19):
Oh yeah, Sunday mornings are no problem usually.

Take 5 if you're going to San Berdoo, then cut off on the 210 towards Pasadena. You'll save tons of time. (Check mapquest.com for the route.)

Yeah. I have a navi system in my car. It's kind of nice, really. Saved my ass a few times all ready. So, it will continue to update an ETA for me as I drive.
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AeroWesty
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
Remember, it is the Ventura Freeway from Seacliff to Pasadena (US 101 to the Hollywood Freeway, SR 134 to its terminus at I-210 in Pasadena).

I think the screwiest thing is the exit markers follow the highway number, not the name. Going northbound on the Hollywood north of Universal the sign will say Laurel Cyn. is the next exit, but it's ONLY if you follow the 101 to Ventura, not continue north on the Hollywood.
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Georgetown
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:37 pm

On I-5 stop at Harris Ranch. Seriously, the best meat in the world. (Lots of other stuff too) It is where many of the top steakhouses in the west get their meat. I always pull off there when driving down 5 (which I've only done about a zillion times).
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S12PPL
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:45 pm

Quoting Georgetown (Reply 22):
On I-5 stop at Harris Ranch. Seriously,

Where on I-5 is that? Is it an easy off, easy on to I-5? If not, I'll have to catch it on my way home. I'll be somewhat time crunched going down. Coming home I can take two days if I want.
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dc10s4ever
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:21 pm

Get a large regular coffee at Starbucks, and add three shots of expresso, then have two cans of red bull.
 
N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:44 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 21):
I think the screwiest thing is the exit markers follow the highway number, not the name. Going northbound on the Hollywood north of Universal the sign will say Laurel Cyn. is the next exit, but it's ONLY if you follow the 101 to Ventura, not continue north on the Hollywood.

Actually, that is the AASHTO standard, they follow the highway number not the name. The names are only there to show the continuous alignment of the road bed, not the highway's alignment. Actually, the exit numbers are a new thing, as California was one of the last states without mileage based exit numbering and still doesn't have road side mile markers.
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Georgetown
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:29 pm

It's right off the road (200 yards or so). You can't miss it, either, as there's huge signs, etc. Besides a decent hotel, there is a nice steakhouse, as well as a more casual diner. I've been to just about every famous steakhouse in the US (see the peter luger thread) and this is seriously near the top as far as meat goes...no need to get really dressed up either! It's in the middle of nowhere (I think the "town" is called Coalinga) which makes it kinda cool. Enjoy! Have a great trip!
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itsjustme
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:43 pm

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 23):

Where on I-5 is that? Is it an easy off, easy on to I-5?

http://www.harrisranch.com/
 
Georgetown
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:51 pm

Haha, thanks Isitjustme, that probably would have been easier. It's late.
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itsjustme
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:55 pm

Quoting Georgetown (Reply 28):
Haha, thanks Isitjustme, that probably would have been easier. It's late.

No problem Georgetown, I work the graveyard shift. It's early for me.
 
S12PPL
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:16 am

I was going to stop by for lunch maybe...Then I saw the prices. Holey crap! I think I'll stick with finding a Subway or something.
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Tom in NO
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:15 am

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 17):
I was just hoping someone here knew some nice restaraunt along the way, or something to stop off and see.



Quoting S12PPL (Reply 30):
I think I'll stick with finding a Subway or something.

There's always the truck stop at Kettleman City  wink .

Tom at MSY
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N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:01 am

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 30):
I think I'll stick with finding a Subway or something.

Which you will not have trouble finding. I swear, the reason Subway has grown even larger than McDonalds is because every po dunk truck stop town has one.
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Tom in NO
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:03 am

Years ago we actually found a mom-and-pop burger joint in Avenal that made absolutely killer hamburgers.

Tom at MSY
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N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:06 am

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 33):
Years ago we actually found a mom-and-pop burger joint in Avenal that made absolutely killer hamburgers.

Avenal?!?! Tom, you really go out in the sticks.  Silly
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S12PPL
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:17 am

I'll have to keep a look out. I also have my naiv unit that gives me lists of dozens of fast food, and sit down restaraunts, in addition to gas station, ammusement parks, etc.
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Tom in NO
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:27 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
Tom, you really go out in the sticks.

Avenal, Kettleman City, Lost Hills.....it's all in knowing the hot spots  wink . Somehow, though, Los Banos seemed a bit of a reach for us  silly .

Tom at MSY
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N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:43 am

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 36):
Avenal, Kettleman City, Lost Hills.....it's all in knowing the hot spots

Hot is an understatement out there in the summer. Then again, you grew up next to Fontucky, so you know all about that.
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AeroWesty
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:06 am

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 36):
Los Banos seemed a bit of a reach for us  

Los Banos has a great Dairy Queen, LOL. But the center of town is about 10 miles or so from the 5.

Pea Soup Andersen's is an easy exit off the freeway there instead.

On the idea of Harris Ranch, I've been there once, and it wasn't too special. The meal was a bit on the heavy side for driving another couple hundred miles, and made me a bit sleepy. Not that it's a bad place, it just isn't the kind of place I look for when driving all day.
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N1120A
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:17 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 38):
Pea Soup Andersen's is an easy exit off the freeway there instead.

I prefer the original in Buelton, which is also just off the 101. Much prettier area and excellent soup.
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AeroWesty
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:24 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 39):
I prefer the original in Buelton, which is also just off the 101.

Oh so do I, by a long shot! I must admit, I used to drive 101 just to make a stop in Buellton to eat, and pee in SLO.  Wink
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futuresdpdcop
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:12 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 40):
and pee in SLO

I just party there.
 
andrewuber
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RE: 15 1/2 Hour Drive To So Cal: Any Suggestions?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:45 am

My suggestion would be XM Radio!  bouncy 

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