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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default West Coast, National Parks, May.

    First of all, what a great forum. my wife and i have been reading as much as we can for sometime now. We have also been picking everyones brains that we know who has been before us. We arrive from Brisbane on a direct flight at 7am on the 2nd of May. We are picking up a rental car and heading straight for Vegas. I know, i know, we will be tired but excited at the same time. Both are experienced drivers and im a ex interstate truck driver so not a problem. We are staying in vegas for 3 nights at the Flamingo. We then head for Grand Canyon for a night. Not sure where we are staying yet. Would like to go to Monument valley and then Arches but am worried about further down the track when we want to spend more time somewhere. So may give that a miss and head for Zion and Bryce. Have been told by a few that we can see all we want to, driving to the entrance of Zion. What we see driving there is the same as inside and less walking. Wouldnt mind staying there 1 night though and then 2 nights in Bryce. We will then head north to Salt Lake City and stay there or before or after. Dosnt matter. Play it by ear. End up in Yellowstone and spend 3 or 4 nights there. Have a photographer friend that will give us a guided tour around there. Been told to go to Cody as well if we can. From there, we will head across to Salem staying 1 or 2 places on the way. Spend a couple of nights there to catch up with another 2 photographers. From there, head to San Francisco Via Nappa Valley. Depending on how much time we have up our sleeves, we may call into Westwood on the way down. Distant relations. Probably 3 nights in S F and then out to Yosemite for 2 nights. Then back across to the big Sur and down to L A. Fly out at 11pm on the 28th May. We still have spare days in there somewhere to stop somewhere else if we need to but this is a rough itinery. We are both experienced Photographers and if we spend to much time taking pics, then we will alter the plan as we go lol. Looking forward to any comments.
    Cheers.
    Keith and Margaret

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default the starting points

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I would strongly advise against your plan to get off a plane after 14 hour flight and then try to drive to Las Vegas. You're going to be exhausted from a long flight, your body clock is going to be really screwed up - which I suspect will be even worse because you'll be landing so early in the day, and on top of all of that, you'd be driving into the teeth of LA traffic and doing all of that will driving on the other side of the road.

    I'd also say your experience as a driver may also lead you into a false sense of security (especially with your declaration that it won't be a problem). One of our frequent Australian posters frequently brings up the name Peter Brock when people propose these kinds of plans. If a championship race car driver can die while driving tired after a long flight, you certainly aren't immune to those stresses.

    The rest of your trip looks fine for the most part, but trying to push yourself like this at the very beginning of your trip is a really bad, and dangerous, way to start your trip. You've got time to spend a day in LA getting recovering from the flight and getting used to the time change, so take advantage of it. If you feel you absolutely need to be in Vegas that same day, then look for a connecting flight on Southwest or another low cost airline, and let someone else deal with the transportation until you are in a better condition to drive, and pick up your rental car in Vegas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Yes, A Problem

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Whenever I read of someone's plans to do something super-human and then claim that they're somehow special so that it's "not a problem", I just have to cringe. Backing up and looking at your plan objectively, you are going to sit in a cramped airplane for 13 hours, emerge into a time zone that is 8 hours later than what your body thinks it is, and then set out on a full 8 hour effort to retrieve luggage, clear customs, pick up your rental, navigate Los Angeles' notoriously difficult morning rush hour, and drive to Las Vegas. Do you, as a professional, really think this is wise?

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Zion !!!

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It sounds as though you are leaving things open to change and just seeing how things unfold around an outlined route, which is no bad thing. By the time you have added a few detours you will probably be looking at a trip in the region of 4000 miles, around 8 or 9 full days of driving so with the days you have allocated in places you may have 2 or 3 spare. I would recommend the National parks pass at $80 as it will work out cheaper than paying individual fees and it is available from the kiosk of the first park you visit. If you have any specific questions then please ask but your trip looks like a great adventure.

    I would certainly unwind in LA and start your trip fresh after some good rest and re setting your body clock, I would also consider spending another night at the Grand canyon, or at least not to far outside the park as you move on to your next port of call.

    Have been told by a few that we can see all we want to, driving to the entrance of Zion. What we see driving there is the same as inside and less walking. Wouldnt mind staying there 1 night though and then 2 nights in Bryce.
    Wow ! That's right up there with the Grand canyon is "just a big hole in the ground" or Bryce canyon is a "pile of rocks." I doubt these people were photographers or have a great deal of time for nature [or perhaps they were having a bad day, Lol] but I would plan on spending some time here, it's every bit as spectacular as all the other places and has some great photographic opportunity's. Emerald pools, Riverside walk, [where you can walk in the Virgin river up to the Narrows], Weeping rock, Angels landing are just a few of the fantastic walks you can take.

    I would take a look at the National parks site where you can locate and get all the info on each one as well as take a good look around the forums for more info.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default

    I appreciate the replies and thankyou. It is a sunday morning when we get there so thought it would be easier to get out then rather than the monday morning when everyone is going to work. Wont be able to get into a place before at least midday so we will at least go to the outskirts of town. Having been on trips before, excitement makes it hard to sleep. I only ever sleep about 4 hours a night at any time so what would i do. I dont take risks so would stop and sleep if need be. We are both accident free and last time i had a traffic offence was over 20 years ago for logbook. Driving over my hours. As for Peter Brock, i couldnt do what he did and he couldnt do what i do. And in his case, he was driving at 10/10ths in a ralley through huge tree's on a highway and came unstuck. We have to have some place to stay the first night to get through customs but we can change that easy enough. As i said, this is what we hope to do. But we will do what ever to be safe.
    We will stay in Zion one night and probably 2 in Bryce. The pics you see on here make it to good to miss. Would love to see Monument valley and the Arches but i think it may have to be another trip. Think it will put to much pressure on later and we want to take lots of pics so lots of stops. Think best idea is to head north from Bryce and head for Yellowstone.
    Love to hear of any fun and friendly places to stay on our way. Hopefully we wont have any trouble up the top with snow but if we do, we will change directions.
    Thanks again for all your help and suggestions. This is an amazing site and we have learnt so much from it. Through different things we have read on here, we have been able to find video's on u tube which have been great. Will post pics on here as we as we go hopefully. Have to read how to do it first lol.

    Cheers. Keith

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You have a point about it being Sunday. In that case, I'd simply advise you to both try to get as much sleep on the plane as you can. LAX to LV is 287 miles, via I-105/I-605/I-210/I-15. You should not have any problem doing it in 5 hours on a Sunday. Get some breakfast before you hit the road, and stop in Barstow for lunch.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Thanks very much for the suggestions and help. Anywhere in particular for lunch in Barstow?

  8. #8

    Default Springdale, Zion

    Can't help with Bristow recommendations but if you're spending a night at Zion you could do far worse than booking into Majestic View Lodge.



    You'll find more pictures and some of my thoughts of the park itself in this report on Western Utah.

    Peter
    Last edited by Peter Thody; 04-01-2010 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Moved Zion from east to west Utah!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    I have never eaten in Barstow, so I can't offer any specific recommendations. I only suggested Barstow as it's in a logical location and it's a pretty good sized town. It should have a decent selection both at the Interstate exits and in town. Once you get out of the LA basin and past Victorville, it's the only large town between there and Las Vegas.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default .... or for something different.

    There's this show on The Food Network: Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Host (Guy Fieri) is a guy who drives around in a red Camaro convertible and visits interesting places to eat.

    One of his early choices was The Mad Greeks in Baker, a teeny tiny town about an hour past Barstow on I15.

    The geography may not work for you, by Baker you're about 90 minutes from Las Vegas, but this place looks intruiging. No, I haven't been there (yet).

    This site (hmmm, this looks familiar) has a write-up on the place.

    Baker also boasts a very large thermometer; if you see it passing by on the left you've missed the first exit.


    Photo: Don Casey


    ..... also; my personal choice would be TWO nights in Zion and ONE night in Bryce.

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