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I thought I would kick off a new thread on Road Trip stories. I've done a few through Australia, the longest being Sydney - Melbourne - Adelaide and back to Sydney.

By far the most memorable was one was the through the USA with two other mates in 1999. We generally flew from city to city, but for about 1 week we hired a car in Las Vegas Nevada and did what is called the 'grand circle' through some absolutely amazing national parks. In order we drove through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and back to Nevada. Over 1500 miles all up. I did about 90% of the driving. We had ordered a large car through Hertz, expecting to get a Ford Taurus, but instead got a 4 cyl Toyota Camry. It had gutless engine, but we were not in a hurry. One positive was the boot was huge, bigger than a Falcon. We were able to fit 3 large suitcases completely flat on the floor of the boot.

We contacted AAA (The USA version of NRMA) before we left and got them to create a custom strip map (called a AAA TripTik) based on the itinerary we gave them. It was laser printed and spiral bound by AAA. It was just a case of following the highlighted highways and taking the right turn offs. I found driving on the otherside of the road reasonably easy. It just required extra concentration. The method I used was to say outloud where I was going to go. For instance if I was turning left at an intersection I would say to my co-driver "I'm turning left , to the right hand side of the road, in that lane...".

Here are two pages worth of pictures I have uploaded http://communities.msn.com/AussieFalcon/shoebox.msnw?Page=1
, Be sure to check out the full size pictures by clicking on the thumbnail. The quality of the pictures has been reduced by the compression process msn uses when you upload to there site, but I have attached a picture to give you a better idea.

The many highlights included:

*Zion National Park - Utah, where you drive through the bottom of towering canyons.

*Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument- Utah. A massive remote area that was proclaimed a National Park by Clinton in 1996. It was also one of the last parts of the USA to be mapped. The landscape at times looks like it belongs to another planet. Sometimes drove for ages on great twisty roads without seeing a car. At one point we were at roughly at a 9000 feet elevation. The air pressure difference (?) caused packets of chips to expand like a balloon! (see pictures)

*Capitol Reef National Monument - Utah.

*Bryce Canyon -Utah. Easily one of the most amazing sites on Earth. The colours and shapes of the rock erosion's and stunning.

*Canyonlands National park, Arches National Park and Dead Horse State park -Utah. I would rate these areas as slightly better that Grand Canyon only because there is a better variety and less tourists due to its remoteness.

*Messa Verde - Colorado. Contains the archaeological remains of the Anasazi, who are ancient Indians. They built amazing multi story cliff palaces and pithouses roughly 1000 years ago.

*Four Corners. Only place in the USA where 4 states meet.

*Monument Valley. 1000 feet sandstone rocks that rise from the middle of the desert. You have probably seen them many times in movies such as StageCoach, Back to the Future 2/3, Forest Gump etc.

*Grand Canyon -Arizona. This was actually the last national park we went into. I found the preceding parks more impressive, but is still a must see.

*Hoover Dam -Arizona/Nevada. "Is that a God Dam"- Beavis and Buthead. It took over two hours in 50'C desert road cruise control driving to get there, but our little camry didn't miss a beat.

Then back to Las Vegas.
 

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The SparkleHunter™
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They're some pretty stunning photo's mate.. The scenery is fantastic ay.. The one of Dead Horse point looks like it's got the Yarra flowing through it!!..
 

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CEO - The BSR Group
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Ok that does it. I am now officially "Heritage Green" with jealousy. :D
 

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Sounds like you packed a lot of scenery into 1500 miles. Pity you couldn't do it in a Ford though. :D

Doing 5000 miles in the Excursion, we saw...

LA, downtown (where you wouldn't go any slow than 25mph, and would never get out of the car) and uptown (Beverly Hills, etc)

Las Vegas - bright at night, just another plastic yank town surrounded by desert during the day.

The mountains passing through Colorado, some awesome scenery...

Fields of corn...

More fields of corn...

Even more fields of corn...

Milwaukee.

Fields of corn...

Yet more fields of corn...

The badlands, the town of Deadwood, Mount Rushmore and Devils Tower in South Dakota

More corn... with a fire in the field!

Eventually getting back to California.

So we probably saw 1500 miles of scenery too, and 3500 miles of corn, hahaha - ok, maybe not that much, but at times it felt like it!
 

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Interloper from LS1.com
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I did the US by road about 17 years ago with my parents.

Lived in Grand Junction, Colorado for a year and travelled from there.

You Ford types will be happy to hear that we did 25,000 miles in a 1979 Ford LTD (in 1983) - great car for interstae cruising.

Saw 37 states in total.


More recently I did Perth to Melbourne by road (in my trusty Holden :p ) - pretty amazing trip for a Kiwi boy like me. I've got plenty off pics so will have to get motivated and scan some.
 

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The SparkleHunter™
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Brendan said:
More recently I did Perth to Melbourne by road (in my trusty Holden :p ) - pretty amazing trip for a Kiwi boy like me. I've got plenty off pics so will have to get motivated and scan some.
Mate I'd love to see some of your trip piccies for sure. Sounds like a hell of a drive!!..
 

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Brendan said:
Lived in Grand Junction, Colorado for a year and travelled from there.

You Ford types will be happy to hear that we did 25,000 miles in a 1979 Ford LTD (in 1983) - great car for interstae cruising.
I think we stayed in Grand Junction while going thru Colorado. Found some small motel, and a couple of drinks in some tiny, seedy pub with a sunken floor behind the bar, with two good 'ole country boys playing guitar. Was scarily like a generic yank movie scene, haha.

25,000 miles is a lot of time on the road, anything special stick out from memory?
 

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Venom S said:
25,000 miles is a lot of time on the road, anything special stick out from memory?
Yellowstone National Park - walking along boardwalk to Old Faithful with huge Bison standing next to you munching on grass.

Washington DC - Smithsionian Air and Space museum

New York - stayed in Manhattan, walking thru Greenwich Village at night, Broadway shows, World trade Centre, Statue of Liberty.

Tennesee, Kentucky etc - Civil war sites

Elizabethtown - Original Coke factory

I could go on - most of all fabulous people. We found the hospitality amazing, you would get talking to people in the supermarket because they would here your accent and ask where you were from.

I'm looking forward to going back in the next couple of years to experience it as a adult.
 
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