The I-5 Drive
I myself have done this drive several times. I am wondering, what specific things do you look for on the drive that let's you know you are on the way to Disneyland? Wierd as it may sound, that huge cattle farm near Sacramento gets me excited. I guess it is because it is only a few hours to go. Also, seeing Redding let's me know I'm well on my way into Cali.
I always get this weird feeling in my stomach when I think about going up the Grapevine on the way to a week full of Disneyland fun.
Anyone else have these "monuments" on the drive down I-5?
07-08-2005 11:22 AM
MousePad Community Leader
Huge cattle farm near Sacramento? Do you mean Harris Ranch in Coalinga where they have all the tens of thousands of heads of cattle?
That's basically halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Driving southward toward L.A., I like seeing the ever-growing convenience stops at the Laval Road exits in Lebec.
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Uuugghh! That cattle farm! We went in April and I tied my 'smelly tree' around my sunglasses to dangle by my nose to avoid serious illness from that STENCH! Yep, that is a monument for us too, if you can call it that!
Also, we watch for the first Palm tree. $5.00 to the person who spots it. That always gets us excited about being in California!
Getting into LA traffic really got me going. I got soooo excited watching for the signs, and then seeing the Knott's sign first, I started shouting, "OMG! We're almost there! OMG! We're almost there!" My 8 y/o told me to be quiet and watch the road, hehehe!
LOL. Yeah, cows as far as the eyes can see. Theres also Bug City down the 99 between Visailia and the Grapevine. Oh heck. Its even Bug City north of Visailia. LOL!
Originally Posted by kimbopotamus
Hacker, nonmammaltarian, Warrior
Our I-5 drive is mostly defined by our regular rest stops. We live in Palo Alto and usually follow the recommended route: 101 South to 152 East to I-5 South. Lately, we've tried the "secret" backdoor route: 101 South to 25 East to 156 North to 152 East to I-5 South. This lets you skip the awful 2-lane section of 152 through Gilroy and the 152/156 interchange at Casa de Fruta.
Our usual rest/gas stops, from north to south:
- Petro truck stop at 152/33, near Los Banos. Sometimes skipped.
- Panoche Road. Skipped if the previous one was used.
- Kettleman City. This is usually a gas and food stop.
- Laval Road.
Eternal Foe of the Work Ethic
Everytime I pass Gorman, I have wonderful childhood memories of the Caravan Restaurant (closed long ago).
We always stopped there on our trips to Lake Isabella.
Hacker, nonmammaltarian, Warrior
When it's just me, I only make the Kettleman City and Laval Road stops. When it's both Jen and me--way more often--we have to make more stops. I'll let it go at that.
Kettleman City is our halfway point. And we stop to refuel at the Flying J in Frasier Park. I always breathe a sigh of relief when we near the 91 and the car pool lane becomes available.
Last Disneyland trip: July 22-24
miles on the bike in 2007
2008: last ride 66
Let's talk about that I-5 drive. Can you say 17 hours straight through in a mass rain storm. Ugh never again - we arrived home at like 3 in the morning. Okay it was my bright idea to do it all in one day.........We came from Longview, Washington. I don't think those who live in California can have a true appreciation for that long drive. We look for the aquaducts, the rest area that has the beware of snake signs, six flags, and the grapevine. It would be okay if not for the saddle sores from riding in the car so long. Last time we flew (in a plane, not down the freeway), it was much better!
Originally Posted by splash
I hear ya' on that drive...saddle sores indeed! I don't think I would get to go as much if I lived in WA.
But as far as the flight option goes I'd be out cruising the net all the time. Anytime I can fly down (it's a 1hr. 15min. flight for us here) I jump at the chance.
It also makes a difference (to your wallet) if you have a PAP.
Yeah, been there done that. Two years ago, I drove from So Cali up the 5 to the bay area, about a 6 hour drive. Most of it was sunny, but the farther north I got, the darker it got. Soon, it was downpouring. Visibility was minimal.
Originally Posted by splash
Originally Posted by Andrew
I know what you mean and being female myself, I try extra hard to make it to the pit stops.
Lekta, we know exactly what you mean. We don't drive as far as you do, but we have several reference points that remind us that we're getting closer to DL.
The first big one for us is when we leave the flatlands and start up the hills at the Grapevine. If the kids are awake, they say we're "in the hills."
We usually drive down early Sunday morning, and I like to note when we pass the Gene Autry western museum, because it means we're about one hour away from DL.
Finally, the kids get excited when they recognize the new part of the freeway just before the DL exit signs.
As much as I like the convenience of the new freeway exit, I miss the old south-bound I-5 exit that let you see the top of the Matterhorn. Is that exit still there?
Still there. Most just don't see it now because they get off the freeway earlier because they're heading for the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.
Originally Posted by 10-97
hangin with Tony
Santa Nella - "We're really driving to Disneyland!"
Laval Road - "Gotta grab that coffee, we're almost there!"
Don Kott car dealership sign - "Is that the Matterhorn up ahead?"
[QUOTE=McKmouse]We live in Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek area: We usually go I-580 to I-5 to the I-210 to Hwy 57. To heck w/ the 5 past Magic Mtn. And the 605/405 isn't any better. It may seem a little more in mileage (I think it's like 20-30mi. morebut you don't lose any time) , but it's worth it because you don't get stuck in LA traffic and your moving. Even if you arrive around 5pm, it's not anywhere close to the nastyness on I-5.[QUOTE]
Wow...that's my old stomping grounds!!! I grew up in Pleasant Hill and my parents still live there...really close to the Sunvalley Mall in fact!!!
From Sac...I-5, stop at Andersons split Pea soup...if the right time of the day/night, then stop right before the grapevine to get gas...drinks...potty break!!
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I just wish I could drive to Disneyland LOL, I am jealous of you all!!!
Theres a big fat ocean in the way. Driving to DLP week today though! This time next week i'll be heading down to Dover! Yay!
Still Jealous :P
We're a little closer than all of you (Seal Beach), but we, too, have our landmarks.... primarily, the Drive-thru Starbucks at the corner of Euclid and Chapman.... that tells us that we will be entering the M&F Parking Structure at just about the same moment that the caffine hits our brains!!!!
As for Harris Ranch.... that will be my first destination when I get to fly solo.... I want to "just pop in for lunch"!!!
Yeah, for those 16 hour straight drives, coffee is mandatory! So, just about anyplace with a drive thru Starbucks is a good landmark as well.
We live just north of Sacramento and always drive down to DL. Like to get up at 4 a.m., throw the kids in the car, grab a Starbucks two-shot expresso (best drink ever, especially for camping and road trips!) and go. First stop is Mickey D's in Buttonwillow (if kids wake up early, sometimes we stop sooner). Get a hot breakfast, change into clothes, brush teeth and hit the road again. I have two personal landmarks that get me excited about DL. First, seeing the aquaducts heading up over the hills just before you make the climb up the Grapevine. Secondly, the Knott's Berry Farm sign on the I-5. I tell the kids and hubby to pay attention, we're almost there and plug in some Disney tunes. I will get off at the exit so I can see the Matterhorn. We give an extra churro to the first kid who spots the Matterhorn. Hit the Target on Harbor and then to hotel usually around 11:30 a.m.
Also, LOL, I always drive down to Disneyland. I don't really speed--set the cruise control to 8 mph over the speed limit but there is something about it. I drive. My hubby always drives back. I could care less when we are leaving DL!
Oh man, that cattle ranch stinks!! What I am looking for most on I -5 is the Matterhorn. Then I know I am finally there!!
However, when I'm staying at the DLH, when I see the the Disneyland Dr. exit is when I go "Woo-hoo!!"
whenever i drive down to disneyland, i always make a stop at harris ranch, i love that place.
YESSSS! The BEST hash browns in the state.
Originally Posted by Shortiemetoo