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  1. #1

    Default USA 2007 trip report


    Been back for just over a week following a wonderful holiday in the USA. Some great tips from this site helped in the planning. Here goes with part 1 of many.

    Big family group, 12 of us. 7 adults and 5 kids.

    Day 1 1st August. Looong days travelling. Leeds - London - Chicago -
    Las Vegas. Arrived close to midnight. Catastrophe ! my Mums case did
    not appear. In all our years of travel to the states this is the
    first time we have ever lost a case. The case was tracked back to
    Chicago and we were told it would be on the first plane into Vegas
    from chicago in the morning. We overnighted in a Best Western close
    to the airport.

    Day 2 Early next morning back to the airport and picked up the
    missing case. A fleet of Taxis then took us to Moturis RV hire on the
    Boulder Highway to pick up two Class C 31 foot RV's
    See bottom of page linked here

    Having been trained in the dark art of RV husbandry we set off north
    east towards Bryce Canyon around lunchtime stopping off at a
    supermarket for provisions. We took the I 15 all the way up to Cedar
    City stopping off at Leeds for some photographs along the way. On
    this route the I 15 goes through the Virgin River Gorge which is a
    spectacular section of road.
    Video clip of Virgin River Gorge
    I-15 route notes

    From Cedar City we took highway 14 east and I realised I had badly
    underestimated to time it would take to drive this mountainous road
    in a pair of huge RVs.

    We arrive later than planned at Bryce and checked into Ruby's Inn
    campground. After some fun and games getting the RVs into place and
    hooked up we walked to the main building and had our evening meal.
    Walking back to the RVs in the woods in the dark, the sky was
    impossibly bright and ablaze with more stars than I believe I have
    ever seen.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-04-2007 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Preferred URL Format herein

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Awesome!

    I can't wait to hear the rest of it. That sucks about your Mom's suitcase, at least you got it back, though. My Dad used to travel on business a lot. They lost his luggage one time and he wound up having to go out and purchase clothing that looked somewhat respectable until they Finally found his luggage.

    Did you happen to get a picture of that sky?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Ruby's! Great place

    Its sounds like an amazing trip. I can't wait to hear the rest. I'm almost more curious to hear how you got 7 adults to agree on what to see and how to see it. :-)

  4. #4


    Laura - Unfortunately did not think of getting a picture of the sky - was too distracted just staring at it !

    Judy - It took patience, diplomacy and many long nights having planning meetings copiously lubricated.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I thought that might be the trick!

    Quote Originally Posted by UK View Post
    Judy - It took patience, diplomacy and many long nights having planning meetings copiously lubricated.
    Copiously lubricated...duly noted. :-)

  6. #6

    Default 2007 trip - ramble 2

    2007 trip report - ramble 2

    Day 3. Up early as we were still adapting to USA time, we unhooked
    the RVs and parked them up close to the RV campground entrance. From
    there we purchased Bryce Canyon National Park entrance tickets and
    walked to the nearby shuttle bus stop. You can drive into Bryce, but
    parking spaces are very limited at each of the main overlooks and so
    you are better getting the free shuttle which travels every 10
    minutes or so.

    Bryce Canyon is a place I have long wanted to visit but had been
    unable to get it into previous itineraries. I knew it from
    photographs only, and my already high expectations of its splendour
    were not dissappointed.

    Bryce Canyon is not actually a canyon at all. It is an escarpment
    (very gradual long slope building up to a ridge with a steep drop on
    the other side of the ridge). Into the steep side of the escarpment
    the weather over the ages has eroded a series of bowls or
    ampitheatres which as they formed, left spectacular fingers of
    multicoloured rock called Hoodoos. There are many pictures of Bryce
    - good though they are, they do not properly convey the impact
    of this special place. Get it on your list of places to go.

    We visited each of the principle overlooks by hopping on and off of
    the shuttles before finishing at the visitor centre to buy the
    obligatory souvenirs.

    Early in the afternoon we set off in our mini convoy towards Lake
    Powell, our next stop. The journey was uneventful with easier roads
    and far fewer miles than the day before. We stopped off in Kanab for
    an ice cream and a quick look around the shops and arrived at Wahweap
    Marina in the early evening. Having hooked up at our sites we had
    Pizzas delivered to the RVs and ate them outside with a beer or two -
    camping out - roughing it - American style !


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Pizza & Beer...

    Eaten outside in the beauty surrounding Lake Powell. It doesn't get any better than that.

    While Grand Canyon is certainly gorgeous, it mainly impressed me because of its immense size. Bryce Canyon hoodoos were far more fascinating, imho. And, yeah, I took dozens of photos (of both parks) and none of them do the views justice.

    I await your next installment. :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Bryce Canyon

    Oddly enough I have never made my way over towards Bryce or the Grand Canyon. Your description just re-emphasizes how wonderful that area of the country is.

    There's nothing better than just relaxing after a hard day or tourism is there? Some of my best memories from my last trip are of drinking a beer, eating Ramen noodles (something I hadn't done since college) and just generally chilling out in a hotel room in an area of the country so different from my own that I had trouble believing that I was still in the US.


  9. #9

    Default 2007 trip report - ramble 3

    Day 4 As we had two nights at Lake Powell a nice and easy day with no

    Our plan was to hire a boat and have a large part of the day out on
    the lake. Disaster! when we went to the boat hire desk at the marina,
    all boats were either out or reserved for going out. We should have
    gone to the boat hire desk the previous evening apparently, to be
    sure of getting a boat in high season.

    Disappointed, we went to the main resort complex to look at what
    other options we had for the day. We settled on a tourboat trip up
    Antelope Canyon and also reserved places in the main Rainbow Room
    restaurant for the evening.

    The tourboat trip was terrific with a very informative commentary
    being given by one of the crew. We first of all headed for the Glenn
    Canyon Dam which is the dam that forms Lake Powell. Along the way, a
    white band on the rock wall sides of the lake was pointed out to be
    salts deposited, left as the water level in the lake has dropped.
    This band is over 100 feet tall. The photo at the top of this page
    clearly shows this white band.

    As I floated along on this vast lake and tried to imagine how much
    water it would take to increase the level of a 186 mile long lake by
    100 feet, the sheer scale of the western USA was once again brought
    forcibly into my mind. The lake was apparently full in 1999 but
    successive drought years in the Colorado basin have taken it down to
    its current level.

    From the dam we went up Antelope Canyon. This canyon winds into the
    side of Lake Powell getting progressively narrower and the steep
    walls get closer and closer. Where the sun catches the red rock it
    blazes fire bright against the dark blue water. My impression of Lake
    Powell when we first visited in the mid 1990's was that it looked
    alien with the blue water against the multicoloured rocks. That same
    feeling washed over me again and it was hard to shake off the feeling
    that you were on another planet.

    Eventually the canyon got too narrow and the boat had to perform a
    delicate pirouette to return the way we came. Apparently smaller
    boats can go all the way up the canyon until the water runs out and
    you can hike into the spectacular very narrow part of the canyon
    which is much photographed.

    On our return to the marina/resort the kids had time before the
    evening meal to have a play in the pool.

    The evening meal turned out to be an unexpectedly extremely enjoyable
    experience. I say unexpected because
    1) we were told we would have to sit in two groups of 6 when we
    reserved the tables and
    2) I had never been in the restaurant before and therefore did not
    know what to expect.

    The Rainbow Room restaurant is almost circular with its perimeter
    being glass floor to ceiling, showing a spectacular view of Wahweap
    Bay. We had a table for 12 set out on the raised platform in the
    centre of the restaurant giving a view to die for. This was then
    topped off by a delicious meal which everybody enjoyed.

    As we ate, a wonderful end to our stay on Lake Powell was a
    grandstand view from the restaurant of a late evening thunderstorm
    rolling over the far side of the lake, letting loose its electric
    fury at the distant rocks. Whoever arranges these things had
    thoughtfully stopped the rain just as we were leaving the restaurant.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default You made lemonade that day!

    And turned what seemed to be a disaster into a great day. It seems like folks who don't enjoy travel too much don't have that ability to roll with the punches. Dinner sounds great...not sure if I would have enjoyed the food or the view more.

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