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Aztek Adventures => Travel Adventures => Topic started by: callforhelp62 on July 04, 2011, 06:40:11 PM



Title: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: callforhelp62 on July 04, 2011, 06:40:11 PM
So I have finally made the move from Orlando, Florida to Los Angeles, California.  My dad helped me move with his trailer and F250.  So the trip, which we could have made in a little over 2 days, took us about a week because of our extra stops and sightseeing.

Map of our trip.  As you can see, we went quite off course of our original trip but we had a ton of fun and was definitely worth the time.
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/Desktop_3.gif)

Major cities and areas of interest we visited:
-Orlando, FL  (Home)
-Tallahassee, FL
-Mobile, AL
-New Orleans, LA
-Huston, TX
-San Antonio, TX  (The Alamo, River Walk)
-Carlsbad, NM  (Carlsbad Caverns)
-Roswell, NM  (ALIENS!!!)
-Albuquerque, NM
-Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
-Flagstaff, AZ
-Hoover Dam, NV
-Las Vegas, NV (Pawn Stars)
-Rhyolite, NV (Ghost town)
-Death Valley National Park
-Los Angeles, CA

There were plenty of other cool places we stopped along the way but you probably wouldn't recognize any of them.

I tried out a timelapse for the whole trip using my iPhone 4 in my TomTom GPS dock running Timelapse Pro.  It turned out pretty well:
http://youtu.be/fEKVRiYr-b4

Picture time!
I didn't really take any pictures until San Antonio.

My dad and I in front of The Alamo:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Alamo.jpg)

From there we started our huge detour around El Paso.  We headed towards Carlsbad, NM.  If you remember this is where they were having all of the wild fires a few weeks ago.  We entered the park two days after it re-opened after closing from the fires.  The landscape consisted of hundreds of acres of burnt cacti:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Carlsbad_2.jpg)

We took a walk through the caverns while we were down there as well.  They were really beautiful:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Carlsbad.jpg)

My dad and I have always been very interested in aliens and paranormal things so Roswell was an obvious stop.  The town really just seems like an average, large-ish town.  There is one small block around the UFO museum that was alien themed but other than that it was pretty normal, unfortunately:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/Roswell.jpg)

Next we took a trip through the Petrified Forest National Park.  I got some really great pictures and the park was way larger than I had originally thought it was:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/PetrifiedForest.jpg)

From there we made it to Vegas and drove down the strip.  It was my second time there but it was a first for my dad.  It was, however, my first time gambling!  My dad gave me $5 and I won $30 playing a penny slot.  Fun times :) :
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Vegas.jpg)

On our way out of Vegas we had to stop at the "Pawn Stars" pawn shop.  We are both huge "Pawn Stars" nerds so it was another obvious stop.  Long-story-short, my dad showed them an item he had and they wanted to put him on the show but we couldn't do it because we had to get to L.A. and they wanted to shoot four days later.  That would have been so cool.  My dad says tho that next time he comes out, he'll bring them another thing and get on the show.  I guess I should explain that my dad's job is a self-employed re-seller (basically a professional eBayer) so he comes across strange things all the time:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Pawn.jpg)

After Vegas we went up to a ghost town called Rhyolite.  It is a semi-preserved town so it's maintained but not fixed up.  It is, for the most part, how it was when it was found:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Rhyolite_2.jpg)

(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Rhyolite_1.jpg)

(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Rhyolite.jpg)

(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Mine.jpg)

After Rhyolite we were racing the sun to get through Death Valley but that obviously didn't happen because of this video:
http://youtu.be/zJz0_B2Hp9c

This video was taken after we had stopped and my brakes had stopped billowing smoke.  So yeah, apparently you shouldn't ride your brakes down a 9% grade hill for 8 miles in 118 degree heat.  Who knew ;)  After this, I was using first and second gear to slow my 'tek instead of brakes.  The biggest problem was that I was trying to follow my dad who was pushing 5 tons in a trailer.  We waited in the heat for about 30 minutes for our brakes to cool:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/IMG_7679.jpg)

Death Valley is an amazing place and I will definitely go back there soon.  We stopped in the center for the night at a motel they built in the park.  We were amazed by how many stars you could see outside.
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/DeathValley_1.jpg)

I tried to do a 6hr exposure of the stars but my camera battery over-heated and died so it didn't even save the picture :(

In the morning (day 6) we were determined to make it to L.A.  We headed out but not before taking a few more pictures in a dry lake bed.  This was my most favorite part of the trip although we didn't get to see the sand dunes in Death Valley because it was night when we went through.  Here's our caravan!
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/DeathValley_2.jpg)

And my current FaceBook profile pic:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/DeathValley.jpg)

We also learned why it is essential to get gas before entering Death Valley:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/DeathValley_3.jpg)

Now came the hard part of the trip; driving 14 miles up a 8% grade hill at 1pm in Death Valley.  I left my A/C on and nearly overheated and my dad's transmission almost overheated so we had to pull to the side of the road for 45min for our vehicles to cool down while we baked in the sun.

The last detour before we reached the L.A. area was the site of a meteor crater.  We drove up to the crater and they wanted $15 per person to see the huge hole in the ground! lol.  We decided not to pay that ridiculous amount and just viewed it from the road:
(http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i312/callforhelp62/MCO%20to%20LAX/Crater.jpg)

Finally we made it to Santa Clarita and spent the night in a La Quinta Inn.  That place was awesome!  In the morning they had a huge continental breakfast where you could make your own fresh waffles and it was... well, just awesome.  The night before I had my first In-N-Out Burger; a Double-double, Animal-style, with sliced-grilled onions, cut in half, and a side of well-done fries.  The burger was phenomenal and the fries were just mmmkay.  In the morning my dad went to a tire place to get a new tire for his trailer, I met him there after breakfast.  Once he got his tire we were only 20 minutes away from L.A.  We got on our last onramp annnnddd.........flat tire on my 'tek.  So we headed back to the same tire shop but this time for new tires for me!  $300 later I had two new tires and an oil change and we were finally back on our way.

We spent the next four nights in a hotel in Glendale, CA and then found an apartment in downtown Glendale.  So that's where I am now.  It's the first floor of a townhouse where I pay $950/mo all utilities (including cable) and a parking spot in the underground garage included.  It was a great deal!  Now I'm searching for a job so I can stay here :D

The trip was definitely a once in a lifetime thing and my dad and I made so many great memories on it.  As for Puma, he faired very well!  I had no issues until Texas where my lock fuse blew and continued to blow for the rest of the trip because I only had 20A fuses and it needs a 25A.  That's fixed now.  From there, I only had my brakes almost catching fire and my car overheating in Death Valley (both of which were non-issues).  So really I had no problems until my flat tire.  I averaged 25MPG while my dad averaged around 10MPG in his F-250 King Ranch SuperCrew-Extended-Cab and 6'x12' enclosed trailer.

I would definitely do it all over again.


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: diceallion on July 04, 2011, 08:19:13 PM
I am simply mind blown away with your road adventure...  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOW HANDS DOWN.................. I am so envious, I so wish to do a trip like this one day!!!  GORGEOUS PICS.....


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: 97drexelgrad on July 04, 2011, 08:30:22 PM
I am simply mind blown away with your road adventure...  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOW HANDS DOWN.................. I am so envious, I so wish to do a trip like this one day!!!  GORGEOUS PICS.....

Yes,    To NJ


Great looking adventure,  and nice pics.  Thanks for sharing them


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: callforhelp62 on July 05, 2011, 12:59:15 AM
Thanks guys!  It was definitely a ton of fun and I wish I could do it all over again!

My dad had a longer trip than that even.  He drove from Sandusky, OH to Orlando, FL just to get to me in the first place.  Then he made the Orlando to L.A. trip with me, stayed a few nights, then drove from L.A. back to Sandusky, OH.  Now that was quite the trip!


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: austriker on July 11, 2011, 06:55:14 PM
That was awesome and, from a fellow photographer, great photos- I really enjoyed them. Especially that petrified forest photo and the HDR shots; nice work. Dang, nice work on the APT deal, thats a good deal for CA from what I understand. I know my friend who got a job straight out of college in sunnyvale and couldnt find a studio for less than 1300 or so.. craziness..

What is you who has a 5d? I thought I remember someone on here has like a 7d or a 5d.. Either way I prefer nikon and my awesome d300..


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: callforhelp62 on July 12, 2011, 11:59:50 AM
Thanks for the compliments!  If you're talking about the caboose shot being an HDR, surprisingly it was just a single RAW shot that I burned and dodged a little.  I don't do a whole lot of post work on my photos, most things are just straight out of the camera.

Yeah, rent is super expensive here.  Glendale is a little cheaper but a 1 bedroom will still run at least $1,200 in a decent building.

And yes, I have the 7D.  Much better sensor than the 5D (color and contrast-wise) and I like the focal lengths on a crop sensor a lot more.  If you're interested, I used my Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM on the majority of the posted pictures.  A few I used my 24-70 f/2.8L on and I see one where I used my 70-200 f/2.8L IS.  The west sure is beautiful with wide angles!


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: Dave on July 15, 2011, 07:57:12 AM
Awesome pics callforhelp!!! And what a cool adventure - I'm jealous  :'( I was laughing when you mentioned almost overheating with the AC on - about 16 years ago I drove from Phoenix to Vegas (for the night!) and I remember the first long uphill seeing a sign saying "Turn off Air Conditioner". I remember thinking, "What, turn off the AC in the desert?? No way!" but fortunately just then saw a car overheat in front of me. Stopped to see if they needed help and the guy was cursing cuz he hadn't turned off his AC - so I sure did after that!!

Glad you made it safe and sound - so if I drive my Tek down there, can I crash on your couch?  ;D


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: Aztek-Knight on July 15, 2011, 08:48:11 PM
Awesome, callforhelp62!
Hope your unpacking and everything has been going okay.

The photos of the trip are great - but - you TOTALLY MISSED Missouri :banghead: .... time for TRIP 2.0 ;D


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: callforhelp62 on July 17, 2011, 11:08:02 PM
I totally saw a sign saying to turn off the AC for the next 20 miles to prevent overheating.  And I totally thought the same thing lol.

And my couch is always available, this town could use some more Azteks!

Unpacking was pretty ok.  I had to get a storage unit because all of my crap doesn't fit in my new apartment and I can't part with it yet ::)

I've got a job interview lined up for tomorrow morning (Monday) at 10am.  It's for a rental house management position; a great starting position in this industry.  Wish me luck!


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: Dave on July 19, 2011, 08:31:29 AM
I totally saw a sign saying to turn off the AC for the next 20 miles to prevent overheating.  And I totally thought the same thing lol.

And my couch is always available, this town could use some more Azteks!

Unpacking was pretty ok.  I had to get a storage unit because all of my crap doesn't fit in my new apartment and I can't part with it yet ::)

I've got a job interview lined up for tomorrow morning (Monday) at 10am.  It's for a rental house management position; a great starting position in this industry.  Wish me luck!

Best of luck with the interview - let's hope the next post is to tell us when you start the gig!


Title: Re: Orlando to Los Angeles with a bunch of stops in between
Post by: Python on July 24, 2011, 08:37:12 AM
Let me just say that was an AMAZING story.  I loved the pics and I want to do a trip like that in my lifetime.  Glad you had a good time. :)