Wednesday, 18 March 2009

11/03/2009 - 20/03/2009 - Colorado to Washington

11/03/2009 – 12/03/2009 -Arches National Park, Colorado. After a couple of discussions with Peter we decided that we would make a detour to Arches National Park and Moab, Colorado on our way to Salt Lake City – and boy are we glad we did. The scenery and the rock formations in Arches National Park are just spectacular. The Park has the world’s greatest concentration of sandstone arches. We spent the night camping in the National Park and it was just inspiring. We were so inspired that that night we sat outside to have happy hour and nibbles. The next morning we blew caution to the wind and actually went for a hike for a couple of miles. After leaving the Park we headed down to the town of Moab – which bills itself as the recreation capital, and it delivers. One of the main activities is riding bikes and ATV’s plus a lot of hiking. The Moab area has been a filming location since 1949 with films like Rio Grande with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, Taza, Son of Cochise with Rock Hudson, Barbara Bush, The greatest Story Ever Told with Max von Sydow and Charlton Heston, Angela Lansbury and Sidney Poitier and more recent films – Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise, Austin Powers 3 with Mike Myers and Michael Caine plus many more.
Dave has been chatting with his sister Janice and since we were both so close in distance we decided that we would just have to catch up – so Hoover Dam was the place. So once again change of plans we are now going to head down to Hoover Dam prior to heading up to Salt Lake City – we are both looking forward to catching up with Norm and Janis. So from Arches National Park we made our way down to the Kodachrome State Basin Park – the drive we are going to take is in the top ten of the Lonely Planet’s drives.

Photos from Arches National park:

12/03/2009 – 13/03/2009 – Kodachrome State Basin Park – Wow – The Big Fella and I are very glad that we have made this drive. So far this is one of the most spectacular drives that we have been on. Kodachrome State Basin Park is known for its dozen of red, pink and white sandstone chimneys. We decided that this was going to be a great place to spend the night. Unfortunately we are on a bit of a tight schedule – so no time for hiking today – bummer.

Photos from Kodachrome State Basin Park

13/03/2009 – Bryce Canyon National Park – Another Huge Wow – Our first look at Bryce Canyon was breathtaking. We have spoken to a few people who have actually said that the Bryce Canyon is more spectacular than the Grand Canyon. Well at first glance we would have to agree with them. The colours and the formations of the ‘hoodoos’ (rock formations) was another breathtaking experience.

Photos from Bryce Canyon

13/03/2009- Zion National Park – yet again another magnificent drive from Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park. This Park is more renowned for its huge, overpowering and magnificent rocks – and yep yet again we were in awe. Zion National park has two tunnels you need to drive through to get to the other side. The first tunnel is no problem and we are allowed to drive through this tunnel like any other vehicle. The second tunnel is another story – first of all we needed to pay a $15.00 escort fee before we entered the park. When you arrive at the tunnel you need to wait whilst the rangers stop any traffic from entering the other side. Once the traffic has stopped from the other side and the tunnel is cleared – we are given the go ahead to proceed through the middle of the tunnel. It wasn’t until we were out on the other side that we realized the grandeur of the tunnel.

Photos from Zion National Park:

Photos from the drive:

13/03/2009 – 14/03/2009 - We arrive in Nevada (from Arizona and Utah) and have decided to spend the night in an RV Park attached to one of the Casinos (just across the border). We are both fairly tired – I know it’s going to be hard to believe but we don’t even visit the Casino, we did however stay and watch a bit of Cable TV before driving on to meet Janice and Norm at the Hoover Dam.

14/03/3009 – 15/03/2009 – Hoover Dam / Boulder City Nevada. We had arranged to meet Janice and Norm in the Hacienda Hotel and Casino car park about 2 miles from the Hoover Dam It was really great to see both Janice and Norm and to sit down and have a face to face chat. They both look really well. So after a cup of coffee and cake, I called Happy Hour so we adjourned to Stubbie for a nice cold beer / wine and a few nibbles. Of course we had already made a decision that we were going to have dinner in the Casino (a good excuse for Janice and I not to cook), so after Happy Hour we all headed into the Casino. After our little Happy Hour we weren’t that hungry, so we just had to have a bit of a gamble to work up that appetite (lucky staying in the car park is free) – because Dave and I are sure making up for it gambling. I must admit that by the end of the evening I did have a small ‘L’ on my forehead – but at least I didn’t feel too bad the Big Fella had a huge ‘L’ – so my conscious was feeling pretty good. In the morning we all set of, in Stubbie, for a look at the Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam is an engineering wonder; it was named the number five construction achievement of the 20th century. Construction of the Dam began in 1931 and the last concrete was poured in 1935 (a few years ahead of schedule – very similar to the last project I worked on Shared Service Solutions – NOT). Dave and I walked over the Dam and just wandered around, whilst Janice and Norm went on the tour. So after this worthwhile stop we headed back to the Hacienda Hotel and Casino for some lunch – and then way too soon it was time to say our goodbyes and for Dave and I to head up to Salt Lake City. Another wonder of this trip is that yet again we passed the outskirts of Las Vegas – with not even a coffee stop.

Photos of Hoover Dam

16/03/2009 – We spent last night at another Rest Area – we are starting to enjoy boon docking a lot more – it’s free and the Australian Dollar the way it is – we need to save every bit we can; otherwise Dave has said that I will need to go back to work – I keep telling him he can earn a lot more money in a lot shorter time than I can and that if one of us needs to go back to work it should be him – he’s not buying it. We arrived in Park City, just outside Salt Lake City this is where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held, this is where we would like to try the Bob-Sledding.

17/03/2009 – Park City, Utah. After a bit of investigation we are not sure if we will tackle the Bob-Sled. We have found out that it is US$200.00 per person; you have a driver and then are 3 passengers. So we have decided to head up to the Olympic Park and have a look around. We take the guided tour which goes for about an hour. We stood at the top of the world’s highest altitude ski jumps and we saw the fastest bobsled, luge and skeleton track where Olympic History was mad. We saw some of the Australia Team in training launching themselves of the freestyle aerial kicker jumps. We also got a good look at the Xtreme Zipline – which is the World’s Steepest Zipline. You can zoom down the zipline at up to 50 miles per hour – this is only US$20.00. The Zipline is supposed to provide us with a similar sensation of ski jumping before you jump. Ok so after the tour we have decided that we will give the Zipline a go first. So we are both harnessed in and off we go – I get a jump at the start and I hop into the crouch position to try and keep my lead. The Big Fella is hot on my tail, but unfortunately for him the track runs out and I win – not that we were competing at all. After the Zipline we have another talk and decide to give the Bob Sled a miss. They don’t start the Bob Sledding until 5:00pm and they also have coverings all over the track to protect the ice – so you don’t get to see outside as you go flying past. Apparently it lasts for less than a minute – we pondered and pondered over this decision but decided that we would buy a second Laptop instead. After visiting Olympic Park we went for a drive around to see the snow fields and the town. We were expecting to find a bit of excitement happening around as it was St Patrick’s day – but then we realized that being in Utah – the Mormon State where for the Mormon’s it is forbidden to drink alcohol, tea or coffee. This is certainly a ski area that we would love to spend about a week in and do a bit more boarding – but unfortunately we are on a bit of a tight schedule and need to keep moving – our US Visa’s run out on 30 March – so we need to get to Canada and we still want to go to Seattle.

17/03/2009 – 18/03/2009 – On our way up to Seattle we have driven by the Great Salt Lake and the Bonneville Salt Flats – this is Utah’s fame measure mile - site of world land record speed runs. The Last Indian was filmed here. Tonight we had yet another expensive Boon docking experience – yes there are no camping fees, but we are boon docking in a Casino and we do going in for a short visit. Unfortunately, yet again the Big Fella and I walk out with a Big L on our foreheads – I do get some bragging rights though, I lost the least. We have noticed that every time we cross into Nevada from another State that there is a town set-up like a mini Las Vegas, this time it was a town called West Wendover.

18/03/2009 - 19/03/2009 - As we are in Oregon (no sales tax) we have decided to buy another Laptop computer - this may save some angst between The Big Fella and I - so now we have two computers - the new one is really small, so that's mine, the Big Fellas fingers are two big for this one. I'm going to give this gambling business one more chance so tonight we are staying at another Casino, the Big Fella is staying in and I'm going over to try the Poker machines yet again. Well no surprise - I still have a big L on my forehead - I really don't like these Casinos anymore. So that's it no more boon docking at Casinos. Today we were going up to Mt Rainer and Mt St Helens - but unfortunately the weather was not very kind to us. The clouds were very low and you couldn't see too far in front of you or above you, so we decided that we will need to try and come back another time to see the two. Instead we headed straight to Seattle. Even with the weather we still enjoyed the drive. Once again our timing was impeccable - we arrived right on peak hour.

20/03/2008 -Today is a lay day in the rv park just outside of Seattle - it just so happens that it does have wifi and cable - time to update the Blog and do a few chores. We have been watching the weather channel and it looks like the rain etc. has settled in and will be hanging around for a few more days.


darian said...

Hi Guys... nice jackets you had on at the canyon, pidgeon pair. Great scenery!

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