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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default LA to Badlands SD and return.

    My wife Margaret and I flew out of Brisbane, Australia on a direct flight to LA. 13 hour flight went well but couldn't sleep. Just rested eyeballs. LAX was really busy this time but we managed to escape in the end and jumped on the Alamo shuttle bus to go and pick up rental car we had hired through Auto Europe, a broker. We have gone through Auto Europe twice now and it has saved us a fair bit of money. More of that later. Always pays to check the rental car companies as well though as sometimes they have a special on.
    Arrived at Alamo and checked in. Took out another cover for loss of keys and flat battery. They wanted to upgrade us to a Jeep but we said no as that would have given them a chance to add all there fee's. We had a choice of a Kia, Chevy Malibu and a Toyota Camry that had only done 4500 miles. We chose the Toyota but soon wished we had picked the Malibu. Was pretty tinnie. Could hear the panels rattling now and then and we would clash elbows now and then as it was a bit narrow.

    Off we went out of town and headed for Barstow for the night. We had this placed booked before we flew out of Brisbane. Had to for customs. Only other place we booked was Las Vegas and that was to get the specials. Big difference if there is something on in town.


    I 15 heading towards Barstow.
    Once we had booked in, we headed out to Peggy Sue's Diner just on the outskirts of town. Great place that has been there for years and the lady owner's name really is Peggy Sue. There was a few rooms there and they were all busy.






    Military stock pile across from Peggy Sue's.


    Next morning we headed out of Barstow to Baker where we were turning off for Death Valley. There was a interesting Alien building there just near the turn off. We stopped and had a look. Was a fun place. Alien Beef Jerky.





    We left Baker and drove out to Shoshone and checked in at the I centre. (info) Very helpful lady there gave us lots of great advice for travelling in Death Valley. Like plenty of water. Phones don't work out there and if you are lucky, the HWY Patrol may drive out there once a day. So be prepared.



    The Info Centre and Museum



    Old Shoshone Saloon.



    Old relic


    Off we went again on our adventure. It was great to see Death Valley. Temperature was 117F for part of it.
    We drove carefully and kept an eye on temperature gauge getting to Badwater.





    BADWATER.

    We didn't walk all the way out there. It was way to hot. Very dry heat. Lots of people did though.
    Up a bit further we turned off on to the one way road to Artist Pallette. Beautiful drive.
    We didn't walk to far so missed out on some great sights we are sure. Walked for a couple of hundred yards but that was it. So hot. At one point I had to use the thunderbox and the air twirling around under it was even hotter. Didn't sit there to long I'm telling you.















    We didn't walk past that point. It was about 300 yards/metres to sunset point but I wasn't capable of doing it in the heat.
    We drove on and not far from the Death Valley centre building, the road swings back and heads back towards Pahrump. We still hadn't booked anywhere for the night and I wanted to be real sure we had enough gas to get back so we followed that road around and headed out past Zabriskie Point. How stunning was this place. Magnificent.


    Zabriskie Point.





    Well worth the drive out there. We drove to Pahrump and booked into a Best Western for the night. Had dinner there and the waitress's were flatout like Lizard's drinking water. One really looked after us well. We taught her Aussie slang in return. Next morning we went to Walmart to get a sim card for Margaret's phone. Couldn't believe how many people were working there. Different to what it used to be. Couldn't walk down an isle without being greeted by at least two smiling staff. Lady there went to a lot of trouble to sort out a card for the phone and after a bite to eat, we headed out to Las Vegas. That's another story for later. Need a break.


    Keithg (Aka Banana Eater)
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-28-2018 at 09:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default Las vegas.

    We had a quiet drive from Pahrump to Las Vegas arriving at the Flamingo at 3pm. Couldn't book in until 4pm so hung around and people watched. As we have said before, we don't like cities but everyone should go and visit Vegas at sometime in there life. The Flamingo was the only other place we had booked apart from first night in country. We find that when booking in Las Vegas to check prices over a few dates as they range by a lot. Must be to do with if something is happening in town or not. You may see $180 a night but few days later may be $35 a night which is what we got this time. Other times we have stayed here we have done that and that's what we paid. This time, it had changed. When we did get to check in, they virtually doubled the price with a resort tax. Then they charged us $12 a day to park the car. Free before. Then they charged us $15 a day to have a coffee machine in our room. When you added it all up, it was still really cheap considering it was the centre of the strip. I did question the check in lady and her reply was, "I used to live in Hawaii where it is expensive. You guys have had it so cheap for so long and we are going to make it expensive like Hawaii." hahaha. All good. I checked around while there and all the resorts are doing the same now.





    We don't gamble but we love all the color there. Was very crowded this time with tourists but we have found the Las Vegas Strip is very safe place to be. The most nights I can handle though is 3. I have to leave town then. In three visits there we have stayed a total of 9 nights there plus 1 night in the Golden Nugget in the old part at Freemont St. We still havn't seen everything. Takes so long to get around it all. So much to see. Each resort is huge and they all have different stuff to look at and do.





    Out side the Venetian Resort

    The Bellagio for instance has there famous water fountains that dance to music. You don't have to stand around long before the fountains blast into life. We have seen ducks swimming around in there but somehow they know to stay out of the way of the tubes.





    You can see where the fountains are just below the surface.







    The three pics above were inside the Bellagio.





    Amazing who you get to rub shoulders with in Las Vegas. :)



    This is inside the Venetian Resort. You can go for a ride in the boats and the man or lady in control of boat sings. They are very good to. Lots of shops in Venetian and free entertainment.





    New York New York

    This next photo is out the back of the Flamingo where the stars get picked up. :)



    The Boss's of Road Trip America arrive to pick us up.

    We were so lucky to be invited to Mark and Megan's house for dinner. We had never met them before but it was like we had known them all our life. They cooked us this steak which was to die for. Best we have ever had. Had an awesome time and then at about 11pm they took us on a sight seeing trip of Las Vegas. It was unbelievable. We saw stuff that you would never normally see. Thank you so much Mark and Megan.





    Tomorrow morning we leave Las vegas for Route 66 and Grand Canyon.
    Back soon.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-28-2018 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Word missing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default Route 66 and grand canyon.

    G'Day folks. We had a bite to eat and headed out. Drove down over the bridge at Hoover Dam but somehow missed the turn off to go in and have a look. Been there before so didn't matter. On to Kingman where we had a look in the info centre and took a couple of pics of our monkey on a old Steam Engine. Let me explain. The monkey is a small soft one that belongs to our grandson who insisted that Coey came with us. Coen our grandson of course couldn't come. We intend making a book of all the place's Coey has been to and giving it to him for Christmas. Don't tell him. We went into Mr D'z route 66 style diner and had some food. It was excellent. Really filled a spot.



    Mr D'z



    Beautiful food.

    We left Kingman and drove on a bit further to Seligman Arizona. Awesome place with all the old Route 66 stuff.





    Coey enjoyed having his picture taken on the car.







    Beautiful young lady I met there. I spoke with her for a while and she listened intently and never said a word. I met a couple of others there as well. They were so polite. They never minded having there pictures taken. Was great.


    We drove on to Williams and then up to Tusayan and then to Grand canyon gates which is only just along the road. Unfortunately there was no one at the gates so we couldn't get in. We wanted a National Park Pass as we were going to a few parks. We were hoping to have seen the sunset there. Saw it years ago and it is magnificent. We went back to town and booked in for the night. Went and had some dinner and found out we could have bought the pass there. Next morning after some breakfast, we headed into the park and walked out to Mathers Point. Couple of Squirrels ran over my feet when I was taking some pics. Happy they didn't decide to have a chew on my leg.







    Mathers Point.



    Heard this lady ask the Park Ranger. "How often does someone fall off here?" The Park Ranger said. "Only once." hehehe. well, I thought it was funny.

    The National Parks have free shuttle bus's and we jumped on this one and went out to Yaki Point. We had been there in 2010 and loved it. Have to be careful though as there are no barricades and its a long way to the bottom. Be a bit bruised by the time you hit the bottom.







    Look close and you can see the trail zig zagging down the slope to the bottom.



    Coey loved the view.







    Desert View at the Eastern end of Grand Canyon.



    Colorado River way down the bottom.



    Couple of chairs inside the tower at Desert View.



    Sad thing to see. Big loss of life.



    It was hot there so thought would cool off with a ice cream.

    We had to move on as we wanted to get to Page in Arizona. We drove out to Cameron and then headed north to Page. Just a few miles before Page is Horseshoe Bend. Not marked that well. Just one small sign on road. We drove in and parked the car and started walking to the top of rise. Car park was pretty full. Then down the other side to where we could see the bend. It was a fair way and it was really hot but it was worth it. Hard part was walking back to car. I had to have 3 rests.





    Part of the walk. Was worth it though. We then drove into Page to get a motel for the night. We found a Motel 6 so all good.

    Back later some time. Keithg
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-28-2018 at 09:13 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,363

    Default Been waiting patiently for this !

    Hi Keith. I have been looking forward to your report and it doesn't disappoint ! Great pictures and story telling, looking forward to more !

    Heard this lady ask the Park Ranger. "How often does someone fall off here?" The Park Ranger said. "Only once." hehehe. well, I thought it was funny.
    Haha! I like it.

    Dave.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Thanks Dave. Lot more to come yet. hehehe. I tried to get back in and correct the titles but it didn't work. I thought I had used Capitals but I see they are lower case. Never mind. Cant expect anything to flash from a country buy. :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,363

    Default

    I tried to get back in and correct the titles but it didn't work. I thought I had used Capitals but I see they are lower case.
    Sorted it out for you.

    Dave.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Thanks for that Dave. I shall try to do better. :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default Page to Kanab and Zion NP

    Day 8 and we leave Page. What we should have done was head back out to Horseshoe Bend which was only just on the outskirts of town. Would have been great to see it in a different light. Was pretty glary the night before. But we didn't think about it. We went and had a look at Lake Powell. That was different. Don't know how it all works there. Lots of house boats parked there and there was a transporter bringing them in from somewhere. Guessing it has something to do with getting around the dam there. Quite beautiful place.





    We drove on to Grand Staircase Escalante. Interesting layers of rock and dirt. Still pretty hot. Love all the shapes and colours of the land.



    Escalante National Monument. We walked a fair way up towards it. Good walk. Nothing tried to eat us.


    We didn't stop at everything there was to see on the way but had a great time. We arrived at Kanab where we booked in for 2 nights.
    Kanab in a nice little town and also where the westerns, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy and others were made.



    Next morning we up and out of there and headed to Zion NP. We knew all the schools had gone back but we didn't allow for a long weekend. Talk about crowds. Crazy. We paid $20 to park in town and then caught the free shuttle bus out to park. You could walk ok but it was pretty warm so we went in comfort. We hopped on another shuttle bus in the park and went out to one of the many stops. Beautiful place Zion. Took a couple of pics.



    Our first stop.



    We wanted to do a walking trail from right across the road from the 2nd stop but it was closed. Shame as we had done it in 2010 and it was beautiful. Even walked under a waterfall. So on to the third stop shown above. We went for a walk down by the stream. Lots of tourists and some were heading up stream further where they walk through the water.



    Further up they walk through the narrows.



    Looking for something to eat. It wasn't going to be my finger.

    Unfortunately we had to start heading back to gate and out. Pity it was so crowded.



    All these people were lined up in zig zag lines waiting to catch the shuttle bus's onto the park. The bus's were running really quick but couldn't keep up. Would have been one every 5 minutes at the outside. We hopped on the shuttle to go back into town and the driver informed a visitor that came and asked if he was going into park that no he wasn't and that it was taking about 45 minutes to get on bus inside the park. Crazy. Happy we went early.


    We found our car and headed back to Kanab where we did some washing at the motel. Tomorrow we head for Bryce Canyon. Expecting huge crowds again.


    Keithg
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-28-2018 at 09:14 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,127

    Default

    Great read Keith. Bringing back so many memories. It is now more than a decade and a half since I was there. Your report brings it all back to me. I too stayed in Kanab and loved the little town. Used that place as a base for visiting the North Rim. You would have gone past Big Water ranger station (a unique building) and the road to Lee's Ferry, where you can walk up to and into the Colorado River.

    Looking forward to reading all about the rest of your trip.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Thank you Lifey. Yes, we like Kanab. I didn't know about Lee's Ferry. Next time then. :)

    Keithg

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