I will be going to LA for a couple of days then drive to San Jose via Pacific Coast Hwy!!! For LA, I am not as interested in the touristy things like Hollywood and downtown, especially when I have so few days to absorb things. I am very interested in the barren desert landscape on the east side. I know nothing about it, so I don't even know if it's close enough to make it a day trip. So if any of you have suggestion on where to go and what to see, please let me know. I don't think my local friend will be brave enough to stay with me out there in the night to catch star trails shots, but if I can see some abandoned towns or just the unique landscape, that will be great. Similarly, I am renting a car to drive from LA to San Jose on route 1. I plan to make it an over night drive. Any suggestion on what to look out for or good place to stop at, eat or stay will be great. Thanks in advance!