Get to his museum/shop by returning west on California 76 and crossing over the Interstate 15 to the freeway frontage road called Old Highway 395. Turn right (north), then go left on Reche Road/County S15. After passing Live Oak County Park, bear right on Live Oak Park Road to No. 912. The Collector is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Telephone (619) 728-9121.
Along Old Highway 395 you'll spot Pala Mesa Resort, an attractive retreat that's a convenient headquarters for your gem mine tour. Rooms, suites and rental condos overlook the resort's 18-hole championship golf course. There are tennis courts, too. Rates begin at $100 Fridays and Saturdays, $85 other days.
On Friday nights, an all-you-can-eat seafood dinner ($18.50) is served in Alexander's, the resort's fine restaurant. A champagne brunch ($16.50) is featured Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For meal or room reservations at Pala Mesa Resort, phone toll-free (800) 722-4700.
To take an alternative route back to Los Angeles, follow California 76 west to Oceanside and join Interstate 5 north.
Round trip for a gem of a tour in Pala is 240 miles.