To me, the desert is masochism.<quoted text>
I seem to remember a place I think was called Pacific Gardens or something on the southern end of highway 1 toward Paso Robles. Was really just a roadside attraction, but large with a lot of pretty flowers. Can't locate it on Google Earth.
That was almost 40 years ago, wasn't it?
Many weekends I drove to SE AZ and back through LA, and 101 or 5 up north. Long drive. 16 hours back then with the 55 limit. Tried through Bakersfield once. No more.
Loved the portion through Indio.
I have never understood the attraction, but many people here enjoy it-- Joshua Tree, even Death Valley. They say it's the geology. I'll take the coast, Sonoma Valley, that sort of stuff.