Day 1: SW Vacation -> Calif to Arizona

Here we go!  Three weeks all carefully planned out to maximize my precious vacation time.  Only about half of it is paid but I’ll deal with the debt later.  If you want to contribute to gas, I won’t stop you.  Donations to Sparkle’s tank can be made through my email address at (  Thanks!!

First stop was in Corona, CA for this sign which was restored a couple of years ago.  I’m a little obsessed with Happy Bear signs right now since I just finished writing an article for the SCA Journal about them.  This is the only Bear sign still lit so it deserves three photos here.  By the way, for more examples & info about these signs, my webpage is here:




Headed eastward into the desert in the morning.  Here are a couple of signs from Hemet, CA:



Five Corner Liquors in San Jacinto, CA:


From Desert Hot Springs, CA:


The Broadview Lodge in Desert Hot Springs is no more but this single sided panel has been placed at the back of the property.

Colt’s Lodge in Palm Springs has two modern diver signs next to the pool (thanks Heather David for the tip!):




This motel in Peyton Shores (near the Salton Sea) is long gone but this sign remains:


Around 11am, I decided to crank up the A/C.  Nothing.  And it was already 93 degrees.  So, the dogs and I toughed it out since we were in the middle of nowhere and there were no reputable repair shops that I saw.  There were signs for miles advertising the date shakes in Westmorland.  I was so ready for this and it was sheer nirvana:


A few signs in Brawley.  Garcia’s Market:


Long abandoned sign without a building:


At the Mexican border in Calexico.  I don’t know what business this sign advertised for originally:


And then across the border into Arizona — woo hoo!  In Yuma where I spent the night.


Pep Boys to the rescue — an appt at 9am to get the A/C repaired.  Sounds like it was just the freon.  Bone dry.  Since I never use it where I live in SoCal (right on the beach where it rarely gets above 70).  It sounds like another 30 mins and we will be on our way.  I hadn’t planned on posting to the blog until I got home but this was a good way to kill the time.  More photos over at Flickr:

I’ll get posting the rest of the vacation when I get home at the end of the month.

Happy trails,

dj & the dogs

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