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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default San Francisco loop.

    Mod note: Herein follows a report of user 'gommy's roadtrip though the American South West. To read about the planning stages of this trip, click here or, to skip directly to the daily dispatches, click here. Alternatively just read through this thread in chronological order. Enjoy!

    Hi all.
    I posted our trip plans a while back, that can be seen here.

    I am pleased to report that we got around to plan without pushing to hard and not feeling to robbed of time in each place. [although we wished we had more].
    We managed the Moki dugway and Generals highway without any drama in our RV, but each individual should decide if it's for them or not.

    Anyway, I 'd just like to say WOOOOOOOWWEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! What a beautifull country, absolutely fantastic, it took my breath away, you guys who live or get to see it often are so lucky.

    The night skys, fall colours and diversity of the places we visited were just unbelievable. Every part of the trip was fantastic, from the cities of San Fran and Vegas to the hikes in Yosemite and Zion N.P, the views over Bryce and Grand canyon [and a memorable helicopter flight], to the desert landscapes and to the giant forests, just briliant.

    What made it even better were the people we came across, friendly, helpfull and always smiling. If everyone from the UK that visits the USA brings a little of this home with them,[as I have] we will be better for it.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-18-2019 at 01:16 PM. Reason: tidy up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Moki Dugway Road

    Quote Originally Posted by gommy View Post
    We managed the moki dugway and generals highway without any drama in our R.V. but each individual should decide if it's for them or not.
    Thanks for coming back and checking in -- great to know that the roads did not prove too challenging for you.
    anyway,i'd just like to say WOOOOOOOWWEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! what a beautifull country,
    Thanks on all of our behalf.


  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Something I'd wish the whole world would see

    Quote Originally Posted by gommy View Post
    ...and what made it even better were the people we came across,friendly,helpfull and always smiling.if everyone from the u.k that visits the u.s.a brings a little of this home with them,[as i have]we will be better for it.
    We have our faults, because no body is perfect, but this is what I hope every visitor from anywhere gets to see when they come here. Glad you enjoyed your visit, and to use a somewhat over used cliche:

    Y'all come back now, ya hear!

  4. #4


    I think everyone shoul be forced to travel and experience other peoples countries. It's the differences which we encounter when we do that makes us realise that we're essentially all the same and how all the conflicts in our name are the most ridiculous things. A lot of people (Americans included) could learn a hell of a lot. Glad you had a good trip!

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default One of the perks!

    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    I think everyone shoul be forced to travel and experience other peoples countries. It's the differences which we encounter when we do that makes us realise that we're essentially all the same and how all the conflicts in our name are the most ridiculous things. A lot of people (Americans included) could learn a hell of a lot. Glad you had a good trip!
    This is one of the perks of my job, whilst I don't travel to other countries, I talk regularly with people from Mexico to Canada, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Russia, Israel, Iraq, and now even Dubai (mainly staff members for the new regional offices there).

    You get to learn a bit while waiting for computers to reboot.

    I do get the standard question of "Are you in India?" with customer calls though, and it's fun getting to explain "Nope, Arizona... the closest thing to India here is the New Delhi Deli down the street!"

    I'm hoping with our increasing expansion some new roving IT positions will open up... I'd love to just spend my days for a while at least flying 'round the world setting up equipment for new offices!

    Heres to hoping!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Thanks all, I had a great trip and will do everything possible to come back again. I still have lots more I want to see and do, but this trip is going to be a hard act to follow!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-30-2010 at 04:27 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default San Francisco Loop

    Hi all, well I thought I would share our first ever visit to the USA with you.

    It was quite an adventure for us, my wife and I are in our late forties and hadn't even flown before [well me once as a child]. We were accompanied by our eldest son and his fiance. We decided to travel by RV, and the Grand canyon was the main reason for our visit, so that was a 'must see'. After a lot of research and deciding Yosemite was also a must, we found a good rental company just outside of San Fran and we created a trip that would start and finish with 2 nights in San Fran either end of the trip. From putting the reserve on the RV to flying out was aprox 15 months, so plenty of time for planning and this was a very enjoyable part of it, but we had to make tough choices and drop places so as not to be to rushed to the point we wouldn't actually see much. This considered, we left out the coast road and LA which seemed to be the prefered choice by many others, anyway here goes, I hope you enjoy!!

    Day 1 - October 14th

    We leave our home on the south coast of England for the airport just after 6.30 a.m. UK time. a trouble free check in and the flight leaves on time and after a smooth change over in Minneapolis were of to San Fran.

    We get to our airport hotel by free shuttle bus. We had decided to stay in an airport hotel for the convenience after a long flight and all the luggage we would be carrying and travel downtown by the bart system from there, we are glad we did,we were rather tired after 22 hours of travel. so it was a quick feed and to bed.

    Day 2 - October 15th

    I am not sure if it's excitement or the body clock out of wack but it's 4.30 a.m [US time]and after 5 hours kip my body won't allow me to sleep even though i feel i could do with it. The others get up around 6.30 so of to breakfast and then downtown. We catch the free shuttle back to the airport and onto the Bart train, a very good system we thought.

    We get to Powell street and come up from the station and bang!! it hits us, we are in America!! Within moments we see the cable cars,tall buildings and the sound of horns blasting,even a drugs bust on the side of the street, it all comes alive after our late night arrival and early morning trip downtown.

    We head of to Union square and after a look around some stores we walk through China town, an interesting place. We had prebooked a trip to Alcatraz so we headed for the piers via Coit tower, we didn't go up the tower because of time and the fact it was rather overcast, but the view from the bottom of the tower was rewarding.

    So, it's of to Alcatraz for a look around.

    What a fantastic experience, one that's well worth taking time out for. It's time to head back to the city.

    After the excitement of "the Rock" the tiredness starts to come through so we decide to eat on "pier 39" and call it a day, but it wasn't that simple. As we approach the pier the sound of the street musician playing jazz on his trombone and the 'buzz' around the place kick starts us again and the shops, sea lions and restaurants keep us going for another few hour before returning to our hotel completely exhausted.

    Day 3 - October 16th

    Not being a city person, I was very impressed with San Fran, but today is the day we pick up the RV, the reason we're here, cant wait!

    We were a little slow getting going this morning after the previous 2 long days, but after breakfast we loaded the car [that the RV hire company had dropped of for us the previous day while we were downtown]with our luggage and headed for Oakley and the RV.

    Two minutes from the hotel was the freeway, not very long to adjust to driving in the states and on the wro...... oops sorry, other side of the road, but we did okay.

    After arriving at the RV location we were shown all aspects of how it operates which was very straight forward [seems much more daunting reading about it] and we were of. As I knew it would be after lunch before we left Oakley we decided to stop at Groveland for the night rather than putting pressure on to get to Yosemite the same day, it turned out to be the right choice as it was getting dark on arrival in Groveland.

    I had thought the 'Delta highway' route 4 would be a comfy drive to adjust to the RV, but it turned out to be uneven with narrow bridges and large quarry type trucks going up and down it, not allowing enough room for passing on the bridges.

    We then got on the 120 and the 'Priests grad' section. I actually felt comfortable here, it was more like roads at home, but the girls weren't so sure, lovely scenery though!

    Day 4 - October 17th

    We leave Groveland and head for Yosemite, we had high expectations of this place, it didn't disappoint. Our first stop was through the tunnel at Portal view, and although a little overcast it had a real "Wow" factor.

    We then explored the valley floor. The original plan was to go up to Glacier point first and then do the valley floor the following day before leaving over the Tioga pass, but both were shut due to ice, it wasn't totally unexpected, but fingers crossed they will open tomorrow.

    What a beautiful place, photos can not do it justice. We park up in the campground for the night and have a 'home' cooked meal around the camp fire and gaze up at the millions of stars, Oh boy!

    Day 5 - October 18th

    With a great nights sleep and after a walk around the camp area where I had a chat with a Ranger and another couple of guys, [everyone's so friendly] I return with great news for the others, Glacier point and Tioga pass are open and the forecast is good, Yay!!

    After a little more exploring we head up to Glacier point for lunch. The high ground is one of the main reasons we decided on visiting in October rather than March/April, when it would of still been closed. A great decision. This has to be one of the best views in the world, at least that you can drive to.

    We then head back to the valley floor and up the other side onto Tioga pass. On the way down we saw the aftermath of a collision between another rental RV and a Mustang, no one seemed to be hurt but both motors were badly damaged. It was the extra width behind the cab of the C class RV that had caught them out. A reminder of how you need to concentrate at all times on these narrow windy roads.

    We drove over Tioga pass, we didn't have as much time as we would have liked as the temps and light began to drop, so it was of to Mono lake for a lovely sunset and some great food at "Whoa Nellies Deli", fantastic.

    From here we headed through Benton to "Millers rest" for the night, just before Tonopah. It was dark when we left Mono lake so we missed any scenery here, but had a laugh on what we named the "Weeeeeeeeee" road" as there was a section of road that was like a roller coaster up and down large dips all the way [I know crazy brits! lol]

    Next up, we head for Zion and Bryce canyon along the E.T highway!!!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-18-2019 at 05:00 AM. Reason: Picture update

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default fantastic

    Great report and superb pictures! I look forwards to reading more!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Breath-taking photos!

    Wow!!! I enjoyed your report as well. Lots of good tips for future travelers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    The reason we decided to stop at Millers rest was the fact that had we stopped at Mono lake it would have given us to much driving to do today, so the only other option would of been to leave Yosemite earlier or turn up at an RV park at midnight, neither of which we wanted to do. Anyway, it's a fantastic place to stop for the night and we woke to a glorious morning. Although getting into the loo block after dark was a challenge, as well as a good laugh. Millers rest is quite well known for birds [feathered type] but we didn't expect a "bat attack" when trying to get in the loo. In fact what was happening was, the moths were drawn to the lights in the porch entrance to the block, this in turn had the bats zipping through there feeding on them, so going in wasn't such a big problem as the bats were aware of you, but gently opening the door to try and get out was another matter, watching the wife jumping up and down yelling as bats zipped past was amusing. lol!

    After a good nights sleep and the memory of Yosemite fresh in our minds the body clocks had fully adjusted and we were raring to go!

    So, on with the show, a trip across the desert was in order.

    Day 6 - October 19th

    First stop was Warm springs, a deserted yet fascinating place. There is a hot tub which is fed from a natural hot spring further up the mountain that at sometime has been diverted to the pool giving a constant flow of hot water. We took the short walk up the hillside to the water source only to find it boiling as it came through the rock. A few empty buildings some car wrecks and an old shed housing the generator were all around. An old metal roof sheet was flapping about in the desert breeze, it was the only noise to be heard and it seemed as though we were the only people left on earth. It was quite fascinating for someone from the UK that have nothing to compare it to back home.

    We then continue across the desert on nevada 375 south aka the ET highway stopping at the "Little alien inn" for lunch.

    This was a leg of the journey i wasn't looking forward to, a long day at the wheel with not much to see, but as it turned out I really enjoyed it and the time flew by. (There is always something to see if you look for it! )

    We arrived at the Zion river resort in Virgin for the night ready for Zion the next morning.

    Day 7 - October 20th

    It was pancakes by the pool for breakfast and off to Zion! We headed straight for the Watchman campground which is close to the main entrance and handy for the shuttle bus service, so we parked up on our site and headed into the canyon on the bus. We wasn't sure if it could live up to the expectations after Yosemite and the diversity of the desert, but yet again we were in awe of the place, fantastic!

    We walked up the Riverside trial,a nice easy walk of 2-3 hours and a short walk to Weeping rock along with many more short walks.

    We then had a lovely evening out in the town of Springdale [that the free shuttle bus runs to] before getting our heads down.

    day 8-oct 21st

    The following morning we explored more of the canyon and had a lovely walk up to the Emerald pools.

    We absolutley love it here but it's time to head to Bryce canyon so it's up through the Mount Carmel tunnel with a stop on Checkerboard messa and at Red rock canyon along this beautiful drive, before arriving at a rather chilly Bryce canyon.

    The shuttles have stopped running here so we drive to Inspiration point and explore sunset and sun rise point, what a place!

    We were advised not to keep our water hose on overnight as there was a risk of it freezing, it turned out to be good advice!

    Day 9-22nd October

    Yep, that's ice, it got down to -11 overnight

    We had a wander around the Ruby's inn complex and old town[a lovely place] before heading to the far end of the canyon at Rainbow point and worked our way back up, stopping at all the viewpoints. By going to the furthest point first, all the view points are on your side of the road coming back up making it easier to pull in. We left Bryce point until last and it didn't disappoint, fantastic views!

    Once again time to hit the road, our destination is Hanksville. A lovely drive along scenic 12 and a quick stop at Capitol Reef NP before last light. I would have liked to spend more time here, but with shorter daylight hours this time of year it just wasn't possible on our schedule, although the peace and tranquillity with no crowds more than make up for it, so a sunset and rest at Capitol reef before continuing to Hanksville for the night.

    Next up,we travel from Hanksville to Grand canyon, via Goosenecks and Monument valley via the "notorious" Moki dugway!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-18-2019 at 06:16 AM. Reason: added some white spaces

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