A Travellerspoint blog


Las Vegas to Seligman, Arizona, Route 66

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We had to check the weather forecast to remain above freezing at nights when selecting our next stops. We obviously wanted to visit the Grand Canyon but tenperatures at night dropped below zero Celsius at the National Park. So I was looking for nearby locations with less elevation tonfind a safe harbour for the nights. We picked Seligman in Arizona which was close enough but just above freezing in the coming days.

Enroute from Las Vegas we stopped for lunch in the middle of the desert.


Then we arrived to our stop which was on the famous mither road Route 66. Another childhood dream of mine to drive or ride on this route connecting the West Coast with Chicago. "Get your kicks on Route 66" from the Rolling Stones was in my favourites since my teenage years and later we discussed this route with motorbiking friends many times.


Posted by divatmotoros 09:34 Archived in USA Tagged desert arizona route66 motherroad Comments (0)

The Hoover Dam

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Fast backward to 1910. Gambling was illegal in Nevada, even flipping a coin to decide the price of a drink was forbidden. The town of Las Vegas had a booming economy as the railroad hub connecting Utah mines to California through Nevada.

Fast forward to 1931. Alcohol is prohibited in the US, the Great Depression tore apart the world in 1928 and earlier railroad bankrupcy left Vegas in a very challenging position financially. Up and down, like a roller coaster. The construction of a huge dam on the Colorado River boosted Vegas' population from 5,000 to 25,000. Gambling become legal and Maffia mobs and local business owners started to develop casinos and theaters for the contruction workers.

The Hoover Dam (then clalled Boulder Dam) provided the initial demand and later on cheap electricity to create Las Vegas as we know now. An engineering marvel, the largest of the world at the time of completiton.


Posted by divatmotoros 20:12 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Sailing into Las Vegas

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How comes you can sail into Las Vegas? Well, we left Trona Airport hesitating between to possible routes. "A" heading North via the Death Valley National Park. We have seen it yesterday, quite steep roads up and down.


"B" heading South via Barstow, also some mountain passes but seems a bit better.


We picked "B" and it was a right decision, not for the elevation but for the wind! There was very strong wind East and we were heading East most of our drive! The trailer's flat back acted like a huge sail and we were cruising with 60 miles an hour. Normally that would mean a fuel consumption around 28 liters per 100 kms, now it was 12! So this is how we sailed over 200 miles happily into Las Vegas!


Then the next day we did the classic walk on the "Strip".


Also visited the Pinball Museum. Kids can enter casinos but no gambling is allowed for minors so we wanted them to enjoy some other machines. They did and I also played a bit with the classic Pac Man arcade. It was quite quick compared to my memories but was great to play again!


Finally we had to try out luck and while security was not watching we did a quick round with the whole family. Started with 10 USD and left with 25 so the hot chocolate the next day was free for all!


Posted by divatmotoros 01:33 Archived in USA Tagged las_vegas sailing Comments (0)

Mosaic Canyon, Death Valley

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When we visited Death Valley we stopped at Mosaic Canyon with a last minute decision. It was already getting dark and we were heading home from our daytrip to our airport night at Trona. It was a great decision and although we could not walk the full 3 miles back and forth we got a great taste of how the canyon looked.


Posted by divatmotoros 07:26 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes mountains death_valley deathvalley mosaic_canyon Comments (0)

Death Valley, California

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The desert is a very unusual place. Can be the hottest place on Earth at summer and it can get very cold at nights. It was very pleasant in November and we enjoyed the warm sunshine (about 20 C). Driving on the straight, empty road was somewhat similar to our Alaskan adventures. This time there was no technical issue and we just stared into the distance happily.


Posted by divatmotoros 20:33 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes desert california death_valley deathvalley Comments (0)

Trona Airport, California

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We like to stop at interesting local places like farms, breweries here and there, golf clubs, wineries , private homes or airports selected from HarvestHosts. This time we enjoyed the hospitality of a small airport at Trona, California. When I asked about the traffic the man helping us to park said there are four airplanes at the airport so no take offs for days. Surprisingly the next day a small aircraft (aluminium frame and a textile covering) arrived so we enjoyed the landing and talked to the pilot who was a local doing a trip around towns nearby.

The airport had a pilot's "bar" with plenty of cold soft drinks, a coffee machine and a restroom which we were allowed to use too. We got electricity and water too so it was a luxurious Harvest Host stay. We were very happy with it and enjoyed the special desert setting too. Echo, our dog made
a new friend, Mike.


Posted by divatmotoros 06:49 Archived in USA Tagged california airport trona Comments (0)

Sequoia National Park

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We have seen some big and hige redwoods but today we have visited The Largest Tree on Earth. It is standing amongst many others at the Sequoia National Park in Californai. It is called General Sherman's Tree and a very curvy mountain road leads to it.
When we checked on Google Maps and it estinated 1 hour and 15 minutes for 25 miles I knew it will be a good drive!
We have climbed from 2000 feet to 7000 feet, here is a short section as an example:


The road was also beautiful with some visible signs of recent fires. Redwoods and Sequioa in general is naturally bonded with fire. Fire scars in tree rings dating back 2,000 years show that widespread fires occurred naturally at intervals ranging from 6 to 35 years in these forests.


The setting sun on our way back was creating a beautiful haze.


First we walked through a fallen tree.


The highlight was the largest tree, General Sherman's Tree.


Photos will not tell its sheer size.

On our way back we have seen a beautiful river with huge rocks in its bed. We stayed in the Three Rivers area so the name was self explanatory.


Posted by divatmotoros 09:52 Archived in USA Tagged mountains trees snow sequoia redwoods general_shermans Comments (0)

Santa Cruz

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What a sunny and calm Saturday! A beautiful drive along HW-1 heading South on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The same road leading down to Mexico and hopefully we will travel on it soon for our winter stop. This is just a day tpur now with friends from San Francisco. We discussed what a great ride this would have been on motorbikes, the way we met each other almost twenty years ago!


After a great local lunch enroute to Santa Cruz at Davenport we arrived to the seaside parking of Santa Cruz. A large amusement park with a caroussel and many other attractions right on the oceanside.


Posted by divatmotoros 18:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Hikes around San Francisco

Tilden Regional Park and Muir Woods

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During our stay with friends we had some nice excursions at Tilden Regional Park (no photos taken) and to a majestic and historic park at Muir Woods National Park. These redwoods are 7-800 years old, some even a thousand! They are large by any means and it is great to walk under the huge branches.


Posted by divatmotoros 07:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

San Francisco - Alcatraz and Cable Car Museum

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Although we prefer nature and woods we could not resist San Francisco for a visit. So I booked a slot to visit Alcatraz, the infamous prison island and the two larger kid was really excited to see a real prison for the first time in their life. We already had some discussion in the car earlier about how justice works, what deas the police do and how a judge can decide how long someone needs to stay in prison after wrongdoing. So they were really curious of the details, how big a cell was, how the inmates got fed and so on so this trip to Alcatraz was just at the right time for them.


After escaping from the prison we walked a bit to pier 39 and watched sea lions resting at the dock.


The we took the cable car for a ride and we visited the Cable Car Museum, which is the actual power house pulling the several mile long steel cables to move the trams uphill in the steep streets of San Francisco. Very educational visit and the icecream was just the best part of the day!


Posted by divatmotoros 17:59 Archived in USA Tagged san_francisco alcatraz Comments (0)

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