Time to leave the USA

In 1991 my parents took my sister and I for a month long tour of the Western States, I was too young at the time to really remember that much but tried recreating it here to see if any memories were jogged. I didn’t really re-remember anything but I discovered something else entirely…

San Diego

The last stop on my tour of the USA, it’s a shame I only had one day there as the city seems to have the vibrancy of San Francisco but the edge of Los Angeles. I liked it!

Phoenix offers a Halloween Special

The back end of my time in the United States was all about the people. I’d travelled with some amazing people but the final person I stayed with wasn’t new. I’d met her in Bolivia right at the start of my trip.

Sedona destroys my memories

Sedona was one of the few things in the United States that I remember – Bell Rock and Chapel Of The Holy Cross specifically. Unfortunately, my memories are just that, memories – Sedona has changed from a sleepy little town to a tourist mecca. Handy then that I had great company for the day.

Tomfoolery in Wirepass and Buckskin Canyon

Whilst travelling you meet loads of great people but sometimes you meet someone with a similar sense of humour, you instantly get along and the pranks / jokes fly. This was one of those times.

Coyote Buttes, Wirepass and Bucks Canyon

If I’d planned better this post would be about hiking out to Coyote Buttes – I’d told everyone about it as I travelled but neglected to realise you needed to enter a lottery system for permits and had to get lucky. I wasn’t “lucky” with the permit, instead, I stayed on a ranch, ate great steak and hiked through one of the prettiest canyon’s I’d ever seen. Maybe I did get lucky!

Natural Bridges and Monument Valley

Leaving Moab we popped into Natural Bridges National Monument headed for Page. There was no-one there and the bridges are more impressive than Arches National Park. The road into Monument Valley is truly extraordinary too!

Moab–Canyonlands and Arches National Park

When I got my new laptop with Windows 7 I tinkered around and activated the different, hidden, themes – my favourite for the colour scheme is The USA. One picture shows a lovely stone arch in front of snow capped mountains which it transpires is in The Arches National Park just north of Moab. As pretty as the arch is, Canyonlands is overshadows it completely!

Mountain biking in Moab

This is the doozie. The big one. The week before I arrived Twitter was awash with comments of people riding the trails in Moab and here I was. Mountain bike between my legs, sun overhead and legs tensing and pumping up and down as I rode the trails.

Zion National Park is simply amazing

Driving into Zion from the East is a special thing. You crawl along a road with its tight twists, drops and climbs as it avoids boulders and traverses little valleys. It feels somewhat unreal with the red rocks and the small trees fighting for survival. There is a dark, forbidding, 1mile tunnel to drive through and at the end you are left with an impressive view as Zion Canyon is displayed in all it’s glory. If the Grand Canyon could be described as “Grand”, Zion is magnificent.

Grand Canyon is just too Grand

As a gentleman said in the public toilets said, “the Grand Canyon is, well Grand”. Ignoring the fact he didn’t follow the man rules (no talking at the urinals) and that it’s a corny joke worthy of my repeating, he’s right. As Wallace, from Wallace And Gromit, would say – it’s simply “Grand”.

Las Vegas-To sin or not to sin

The money is obvious, the casino’s are all tacky, the beer is expensive if you’re not gambling, the women are all after one thing (money), the strip is full of annoying leaflet giver-outer-reh’s but everything outside of the casino’s is cheap!

Hire Car Problems

Originally I planned to be in the United States for two weeks so when the time came to stay longer than that, I just extended the hire car. It was a big and costly mistake…

Yosemite, in the snow?

I only spent two nights in Yosemite but can’t really say I saw that much – the first day it rained heavily and there was a heavy mist, the second, well, it snowed!

San Francisco and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

I had high hopes for San Francisco, not only did I remember bits of it but the city itself is iconic staring in some of my favourite movies. As I travelled I met loads of people from SF and they all seemed really nice and truly loved their city. It all started out auspiciously when I couldn’t find the carpark, it was dull and overcast, the streets were filled with aggressive homeless people and the hostel was way over-priced ($70 a night!). First impressions count and San Francisco never really changed my opinion or won my affection.

Driving Highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco

I left Los Angeles headed for San Francisco and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. I was excited – not only was the open road calling but I was getting to go to the festival I’d been hearing about for some months from locals! I wasn’t quite prepared for just how amazing the drive would be though!

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, the City of Angels. The town of scary gangs, a horrendous airport, heavy traffic and not much in the way of entertainment. Why then did I love it? My secret weapon is a girl called Sloan and her boyfriend Jason…

The USA

A long time ago, shortly after the USA increased security, I declared that I would never visit the country. I didn’t like the idea that they treat me as a criminal-to-be. I didn’t like the idea that I had to apply for my Visa ahead of time. I didn’t like the idea of the queues […]