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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default Roadtrippers from Australia - John Waters

    Well Im sorry its taken so long to post something but we havent really had the time to get on the net.we are having an absolute ball at the moment.Pulled into a motel on our way to Moab in Montana for a good nights sleep. We have had a lot of time in beautiful snow covered country and the best thing is we would be lucky to have spent more than 2 or 3 hours on interstates.We spoke to locals and followed some beautiful country roads and highways without the heavy traffic.We met some lovely people and found many beautiful places.My wife has the diary but I l will see if I can remember our route so far. A few minor mishaps like locking the keys in the van,and the van overheating (repaired quickly)My wife dropped her video camera in the creek.(it started to work again so maybe ok and i formatted a full SD card by mistake.(got it recovered in Jackson for a price).
    OK here goes
    Day 1 - Picked up van and headed straight to Tehachapi and Motel, Beautiful town.







    Day 2 - Tehachapi Rail Loop to Bakersfield and over to Sequoia NP (Camped in Van).Loved the fresh snow.





    Day 3 - Sequoia NP to Kings Canyon onto Three Rivers and Yosemite NP.













    Day 4- Yosemite NP -Beautiful place,lots of rain then started to snow (wow).Camped








    Day 5 - Left Yosemite and headed to Sacramento and down a few beautiful scenic byways and met the coast before Orick. I overshot Avenue of the Giants by 80 mile,I might still get back, we did a few drives through Redwood.(beautiful).







    Day 6- A few hours driving around Redwood before heading off towards Crater lake in Oregon.We found some more great hidden places on country roads which ended up in an RV Park at Prospect Oregon.We had dinner at the local diner and met some locals who gave us some good tips on where to stay and more country roads.









    Day 7- We left Prospect and after a short trip we arrived at Union Creek where we booked into a Cabin seeing it was our wedding anniversary. After booking in we headed to Crater Lake for the Day. What a beautiful Place,I couldnt believe the beauty of the place or how much snow and how few people there.
















    To be continued

    {Mod note: John's rather extensive planning for this trip can be found here.}
    Last edited by john.waters; 01-26-2012 at 04:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Brilliant !

    Hi John,

    Thanks for dropping in with an update. Despite a couple of hiccups, it sounds like you are having a wonderful time ! You will without doubt, continue to stumble across more great places and folks as you make your way between places.

    Will look forward to more 'as and when', have a blast !

    Dave.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Exactly what we like to hear!

    We haven't been to a place we haven't liked or a person we didn't like.Everyone is so friendly and willing to help.Thing seem to bet better and better as we go along.Driving is a breeze and some days I want to keep driving and looking.
    USA is a great place to holiday -- Thanks for the post and for your keen observations. Looking forward to, one day, seeing some of the 64 Gb of photos you've captured.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Back Again

    Day 8 - We left Union Creek and headed over to Diamond lake and then towards Idaho Falls.We had an eventful day with our van requiring repairs.Whoever done the last service didnt tighten the new heater hoses and one blew off.Luck was on our side as we were about to get fuel when it happened. We again took scenic by ways and headed up into John Day National Monument and avoided the highways. We ran out of daylight and decided to sleep in the van in a rest area.Middle of the night awakening by the local police.After telling him where we were from and where we were going he was quiet happy for us to sleep.apparently whoever rented our van before us had a few legal problems.









    Day 9 was a long drive from Dayville across to Ashton near West Yellowstone.We ended up camping in a well hidden carpark near a serce centre as it wa late and raining when we arrived. A great day for landscape photos.








    Day 10- arrive at Yellowstone NP and head up to Mammoth. We booked in for 2 nights but only stayed one and moved over to Fishing Bridge. A lot of the park was closed due to snow but we loved the place.Lots of Bison, Grizzly bear, elk etc,we looked around in the late of day.
















    Day 11 was spent around the Fishing Bridge area and camped at the RV Park.Most places still closed but a great time to sight see and take Pics.





    Day 12 saw us head over and spend half a day at Old Faithfull before heading into Grand teton NP. I still cant get over the thrill of seeing the mountains and the snow. We camped in the local campground at signal mountain.We went for a late evening drive to see if we could find a moose to get a photo, only to find one in our campspot when we got Back.











    Day 13. we headed into Jackson for a visit and i needed a part fro my camera tripod.Another beautiful spot to visit. We topped it off with a visit to Bubbas BBQ. Im so full I wont need to eat for a week.
    We left jackson heading in the direction of Moab,I got some local information and headed of into some beautiful country. Not sure of the name of the place we are at now but looking out the window it is raining and blowing a gale and very cold.My map is in the van.
    I will update when I next get the internet and when I get the time I can put some more details on the route we have taken so far.

    We havent been to a place we havent liked or a person we didnt like.Everyone is so friendly and willing to help.Thing seem to bet better and better as we go along.Driving is a breeze and somedays I want to keep driving and looking.
    As for photos, I use 2 SLRs and have a total of over 64gb of photos.As they are taken in raw format I cant post any until I get home. I havent looked at the yet.
    So far our trip is to plan.we have mooved on a bit earlier from some places and stayed longer in others.We are a day ahead of getting into Moad so just chilling out.

    Around Jackson

    John







    Well I had better add a few more days before I forget where we are.We havent had internet for a while.Still enjoying every day and cant get enough of the USA

    Day 14. Remembered the Name.Kammera. when we woke this morning it wa snowing and a very bleak Day.We headed to Moab and had to travel a bit on the interstate.Didnt stay on for long as it was icy and snowing to headed via Green River. Stayed at a Camp Ground in Moab.





    Friday - Day 15- Visited Arches NP and what a beautiful place.





    Last edited by john.waters; 01-26-2012 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Quote of entire privious post removed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Well we are still here in Utah. What a fantastic place.

    Saturday - Day 16 - Well today is the real reason for our Road Trip America. To celebrate my wifes birthday with a Balloon flight over Arches National Park . Wow what a fun day. Canyonlands Balloning were fantastic and Lou was a great pilot.Deifiently a must if in Moab.
    The rest of the day we visited canyonlands NP but the crowds frightened us of a bit so we bolted and Made it to Valley of the Gods then Goosneck state park for the night.

















    Day 17 - saw us head over to Monument Valley then a fun drive up over Moki Dugway scenic route to stay the night at Natural Bridges NP. That drive up Moki was very quiet and not much said.













    Day 18- We headed to Capitol Reef NP and spent a great day before heading to Tori for the night in a little cabin, for $30 a great sleep and a chance to catch up with the washing.





    Day 19- our GPS sent us in the wrong direction even after looking at the map so we missed the scenic Byway to Bryce Canyon,still an enjoyable drive,spent the day in Bryce canyon and shot the sunset with a snow shower to add,and spent night in Bryce Village, another WOW National Park.








    Day 20 - a sunrise session at Bryce canyon a look around the Village and in Zion mid morning.This would have to be the busiest NP so far so we felt a bit crowded.We done a few hour shuttle bus tour and a few walks and then headed out towards Vegas.I found myself on the Interstate so looked for a side road, found a road that led to Vegas Via Boulder and stayed at a campground on Lake Mead.Noce spot.









    Day 21- Headed towards vegas and found ourselves at Hoover Dam,and we just had to go and do the dam Tour before heading to Vegas. What an experience that was. Being first in line we missed the crowds.
    Into vegas a nd a well earned couple of nights at Flamingo Las vegas.












    Day 22- Didnt do too much today.Took a 2 hrs tour with a holiday share firm and in return for our time ( we didnt sigh up for anything) the gave us to tickets for a helicopter flight over Vegas tonight as well as a $75 dollar American express card.Thankyou very much.





    Well tomorrow we head of to the grand Canyon, we will spend a day there before going To Page and then to Phoenix.
    Sorry I havent put too much of a story together yet but I will when at home and can add a few pics.
    So far this trip is fantastic and loving every minute.We could stay forever.Maybe we will.
    Will update at Phoenix.
    Now at 120 odd gig.
    John
    Last edited by john.waters; 01-26-2012 at 02:41 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Thanks for the update !

    That's a birthday your wife will never forget ! The Moki can have that effect. lol. Having been the only people at the isolated Goosenecks when we visited for a lunch stop, I happened to wonder what an overnight would be like, peaceful or spooky !

    Have fun!
    Had a great flight over the strip last night, a first for both of us in a helicopter,I see why they need hoover dam for a power supply. Moki was a bit funny at start as you head for a cliff face and e were wondering where the tunnel was. I couldnt believe we pass a school bus on its way down.
    As for gooseneck there was two other camps nearby.As we are up early each day,er ere in bed before dark and slept like a log.
    So where to now- its a bit like this over the next 2 weeks.

    Grand Canyon
    Page
    Horse shoe point
    Lake Powell
    Antelope canyon
    Painted Desert
    Petrified Forest
    Phoenix for a few days and friends showing us around
    San Diego Zoo
    Drive to San Francisco
    Coast Road to LA
    Look around LA and fly home
    Retire cameras and spend next 2 years editing photos and saving for next trip that will start at San Francisco and head nth along the Oregon Coast to wherever we want too.Thats the Plan anyway.We love this place.
    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Yeah, that would be a logical thought... but not the reality

    Quote Originally Posted by john.waters View Post
    Had a great flight over the strip last night, a first for both of us in a helicopter,I see why they need hoover dam for a power supply.
    I'm glad you were able to take Strip flight! I've lived here for a decade and not done that yet. Less than about 10% of the power generated at Hoover Dam is delivered to Las Vegas. When the Hoover Dam was built and hooked up to the power grid, there was no Las Vegas Strip and no one thought Las Vegas would ever need much power. Just about all of the power from the dam goes to Los Angeles. The power that runs Las Vegas comes from power plants and dams in Idaho and British Columbia. All of that "cheap" power right next door and there are virtually no power lines between the dam and Las Vegas!

    Moki was a bit funny at start as you head for a cliff face and e were wondering where the tunnel was. I couldnt believe we pass a school bus on its way down.
    One snowy January, I passed a school bus in a sleet storm on the Moki Dugway That was exciting!

    Thanks for the ongoing field reports!

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Day 23- left Vegas and headed to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Serviced hire van as 5000 miles were up. Stayed at Williams for the night.







    Day 24 - The Grand Canyon The wind was blowing at 100mph and nearly blown of feet at Grand Canyon. Stayed all day and had a good look around before heading out and staying at Cameron for the night.The little van rocked and rolled all night from the wind.








    Day 25 - We rolled into Page early and headed out to Lower slot canyon where I fulfilled a dream of photographing in the Canyon.
    After lunch it was a good long walk in the heat to photograph Horseshoe bend.What an experience leaning over a 1000ft cliff to get the shot.Well I hope I got it.
    After lunch we explored the dam and camped at Lake Powell.Page is another favorite place for me as well.











    Day 26 We left Page and took a scenic route with us ending up at four corners before doubling back and camping at the entrance of Petrified forest.












    Day 27 - A tour through the park before an interesting trip through the ranged down through Globe and into Phoenix to meet up with long time internet friends of my wife.



    Day 28- A rest day in Phoenix. I think we needed a tourist free day.Our little van parked amongst friends.



    Still about 11 days to go we have decided to slow down a bit. We are still going to San Diego for two days and might try to get to Joshua Tree National Park. We havent been to San Francisco yet and rushing to get there would spoil the trip.We are going to spend the time exploring the coast North of La instead,We have seen so much already of the USA.
    What we have done is started planning our next trip for 2013 and will fly into San Francisco and start from there.

    Do we like the US, NO we LOVE it and could easily spend the rest of our lives exploring it.
    Having a ball. Will update in a few Days.I have slowed down a bit on the photos for a fe days.

    John
    Last edited by john.waters; 01-26-2012 at 03:11 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default

    Thanks for the update John.

    Good to hear it's all going well. Shame about the winds at the GC, it can be real peaceful there finding a quiet spot to take it all in. The views are still spectacular when it's windy though !

    Looking forward to more !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default If you're still near Joshua Tree....

    Quote Originally Posted by john.waters View Post
    We are still going to San Diego for two days and might try to get to Joshua Tree National Park.
    Hey, a little known place -- if you're still near there - is the incomparable TwentyNine Palms Inn. Don't miss it!

    Mark

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