Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge in Yuma; San Diego & LA Quick Trip

Odometer (ILX):  220,586

Trip Distance:  866 Miles

Sometimes it’s when you least expect it that interesting roadside attractions pop up and call your name.  I was about halfway from Phoenix to San Diego on Wednesday afternoon when I spotted a neat looking bridge off to the right side of Interstate 8 in Yuma, crossing the Colorado River.  I’d been making good time on my 6-hour trip and had a few minutes of daylight left, so I figured I’d take the next exit and give it another look.  As it turns out, the detour was totally worth the effort because I got to learn about a 104-year-old historic landmark.

This was also the second time I’ve found a noteworthy bridge in Yuma.  The other one was the abandoned Bridge to Nowhere that I blogged about five years ago.  Who would have thought that you could find such cool water crossings in a city that’s smack dab in the middle of the middle of the desert?

This bridge ended up being the “Ocean to Ocean” bridge, constructed in 1915, which crosses the Colorado River at the Arizona-California state line.  It’s a narrow roadway that over time became both structurally at risk and also functionally obsolete, since it was bypassed in 1956 by a newer roadway nearby on 4th Avenue, and then again by Interstate 8 in the 1970s.  Today it serves as a one-laner and carries a road called Penitentiary, named after the historic Territorial Prison State Park nearby.  A railroad trestle bridge runs parallel to it.

From 1988 through 2001, the Ocean to Ocean Bridge was closed to automobile traffic because of structural deficiencies, but a $3 million restoration project allowed it to be made safe once again for automobiles.  And even though my visit was short, it was fun to get to experience it.

The rest of my CA trip was action-packed with a night in San Diego and then a night in Hollywood.  The LA Auto Show’s press/media days concluded Thursday and I made it to the area in time to participate in an after-party at a place called Doheny Room on Santa Monica Boulevard.  The gathering was an annual reunion of about 40 auto-journalist friends of mine.  It was great to see old friends and make a few new ones.

That’s a picture of me with Sofyan Bey of Redline Reviews and Aaron Bragman of Cars.com.

I stayed at the InterContinental Hotel that evening in downtown Los Angeles which, at 73 stories, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi and has 889 guest rooms.  My friend Brian and I were on the 58th floor and the view was stunning.  My ears popped a few times from the pressure change when going up and down the elevator.  Cleverly, the lobby is actually not even on the floor/ground level.  It’s on floor 70.  So as a guest, you have to first go all the way upstairs to appreciate the view before you can proceed to your hotel room.  I thought it was pretty cool.

In typical LA fashion, traffic on Friday was hectic and it took me 45 minutes to Uber the 8 miles to retrieve my ILX in West Hollywood.  Parking the car at InterContinental would have been valet-only, and it would have cost me $46.  So I opted to ditch it in a residential area for the night.  Once I finally got behind the wheel again, it was a pretty straight shot to find Interstate 10 and take that all the way home to Phoenix.  My only pit stop was for a brief lunch stint in Palm Springs at a terrific taco place on Palm Canyon Drive.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Oh, and here are the fuel stats for the trip.  The ILX rolled 220,000 miles and achieved about 31 mpg overall.

San Diego night stay with my friend Ryan who has a 6-speed Accord 2.0

Working my way home on Friday afternoon

8 Responses to “Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge in Yuma; San Diego & LA Quick Trip”

  1. Tyson, where you able to make it inside the convention center and see any of the cars at the LA auto show?

    • Hey there, I didn’t. There are lots of articles about the vehicles that debuted there so I guess this time I’ll just leave it up to my colleagues to cover it. I was trying to juggle my ‘day job’ plus a quick trip to see friends in Hollywood so no time for an auto show visit!

  2. Maybe I’ll get to see the ILX reach 222,222.2? It looks great!

  3. Looks like a really fun trip. That bridge was pretty cool, but that abandoned building was like something from a horror movie. The view from the hotel, though, was absolutely fantastic (even I would probably conquer my fear of heights to have that view for a night or two).

    How’s the ILX holding up? It feels like it’s been a while since it was featured in the blog!

    • I know, it was nice to get the ILX out and about. The Kumho tires it’s wearing now are sort of loud compared to the Michelins that were on it before, and the clutch has a bit of a whirring sound when starting out in first gear. But otherwise it’s mechanically just the same as it was when I got it 7 years ago!

  4. Wesley Adams Says:

    Just saw your latest video and decided to stop by. Congratulations on 220K on the ILX!!!

    I’m a huge Redline fan. Been watching Sofyan since he had the green 2001 Accord.

    • Yeah I actually met Sofyan through his former blue ILX 6-speed. I can’t remember which video I commented on but somehow we connected many years ago that way and have stayed in touch ever since. Thanks for watching, Wes!

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