Category: USA Trip 2013 – Route 66 and beyond!

Day 22 – They think it’s all over…

Our final day in the US of A found Ray doing a whistle-stop tour of the Empire State Building,  even at 9:30am the queues were thronging! An express ticket was the only way to get to the top and back in time to head to the airport.

In the meantime, the rest of us did a last bit of sight seeing whilst doing some last minute shopping.

We finally had to make our farewells with Wavey, bringing to a close our totally fantastic, incredible, unbelievable and mind-numbing journey across the vastness of this amazing county!

Trust me – WE’LL BE BACK!!!!

The Travelling Dangleberries!
The Travelling Dangleberries!

Day 21 – yes, Yes, YES!!!!

Che, Wavey and I went for a mooch around Lower Manhattan (passing through Central Station) in search of the infamous Katz Deli where THAT scene from “When Harry met Sally” was filmed- and we found it! Sumptuous Pastrami sandwiches all round… 🙂

After jumping on a couple of subway trains, we started walking South down the side of the River Hudson, we eventually made it all the way down to Battery Park and the Financial District – through some truly horrendous weather.

Ray spent most of the day recovering from his jetlag and joined us for food and drinkies – typically walking around for an age looking for a decent spot and then finding an absolute gem of a spot not more than 50 yards from our digs!

Day 20 – New York, New York!

We finally arrived in New York after a pretty dire flight – we’re now heading the wrong way and time zone changes are now our enemy…

New York was wet and humid after the dry heat of California – a bit foggy too!

After wandering around Central Park and seeing a few of the sights before we could check in at Pod51, we grabbed some sleep before having a cracking night at a place called Heartland Brewery for a good meal and more beers…

Day 19 – Planes ,trains & automobiles (plus an aircraft carrier!)

Once again we had a lie in – it’s starting to catch up with us now i think!

We piled into the car and headed over the bay towards Oakland to have a look at the Naval yard and spent a few hours wandering around the USS Hornet, a decommisioned aircraft carrier that served from WWII and was used as the recovery ship for the Apollo 11 & 12 moon landings.

After having an awsome “build-your-own” burger at The Counter in Palo Alto, we headed back to Wavey’s to pack ready for our red-eye flight over to New York – goodbye California!

Day 18 – A drive in the country

After a late start, we went out for a long drive around the hills near San Mateo.

Half Moon Bay is a beautiful area on the Pacific side of the San Francisco peninsua with spectacular scenery and an interesting way down to one of its many beaches!

Later, we went to San Jose in search of a new spot for drinkies, found a bar called the Britannia Arms which suited our needs perfectly – until the karaoke started!

Day 17 – Onward to Wavey’s

Again, not much to report (sorry!)

Today we checked out of the hostel in San Francisco and headed to the airport to pick up our second car of the trip (Chevvy Impala’s suck btw). We then headed down to Redwood City for lunch at The Gourmet Haus Staudt for beer, sausages and sauerkraut – yum!

Later, we dumped our gear at Wavey’s and headed out to The Steelhead Brewing Company to meet up for pool, more food and (suprise, suprise) more beer!

Day 16 – Free day!

 

Today we split up to have a bit of a nosey around San Francisco at our leisure.

Che & I went for a browse around some of the “posh” shops and ultimately ended up at Bubba Gumps on Pier 39 for food.

Ray spent the day at The California Academy of Sciences looking at stuff as varied as an internal rainforest, a huge aquarium and a chunk of moon rock!

After all this we decided to have an early night, so not many piccies I’m afraid.

Sorry, not many photo’s taken today…

Day 15 – San Mateo – Maker Faire (and the Swinging Door)

The Maker Faire in San Mateo is huge, with California and the Bay Area in particular being the home of many technological innovators both past and present.

With a selection of unusual vehicles from the Burning Man festivals in attendance, hundreds of stalls showcasing new ideas and gadgets – with many inventors seeking Kickstarter support to get their ideas and prototypes into production.

A large variety of vendors showcasing everything from the familiar constructive toys like Lego, the latest hi-tech kits from Arduino and Raspberry Pi, to the latest in 3D printing machines.

There were also a huge number of Hacker groups seeking to recruit new members – for those who think this is someone who breaks into computers – it is a term used to describe someone who is creative, not destructive – see What is a Hacker for more information.

You could easily spend a week walking round here and still not see everything, we satisfied ourselves with a few hours wandering before heading to the conveniently located Swinging Door – ‘English Pub’ – where we downed a few drinks.

Besides the drinks this place also has some incredible food, the XXX Habanero chicken burger comes with a disclaimer which must be signed before you can order. WARNING: Unless you have a mouth, throat and stomach lined with asbestos don’t even tempt fate with the milder Super Spicy version.

Sucked in by beer, food and the incredible selection of music on the jukebox we ended up enjoying the rest of the evening here – staying right up until the last train back to San Francisco.

Day 14 – Alcatraz (and beer)

Last time we visited Alcatraz it was for the night tour, while this was an interesting experience, it does limit the time you can stay on the island and the places you can go.

This time we took an early sailing across and, although the Agave trail was still closed due to nesting season, we were able to wander around a little more of the island and explore at our leisure.

After spending the morning on the island we found a new bar on Pier 39 – Beer 39 – serving a range of locally produced craft beers and providing a selection of themed samplers, each comprising of three different ales with tasting notes. Linked to an Italian restaurant next door, it also provided some good food to soak up the alcohol.

Later on we took a wander South of Market, first visiting Thirsty Bear, with only minor changes to the house beer list from our previous visit and now claiming Certified Organic status. Following our stop here we carried on walking to 21st Amendment for a couple more drinks before jumping in a Taxi and home to bed.

Day 13 – Long Beach to San Francisco

After dropping the RV off at Cruise America, Carson, yet more driving to get to San Francisco.

Not a lot to see on the way from LA to SF, mainly straight and flat through the Central Valley.

Here is a map of our final driving stint, from Vegas to LA, rejoining Route 66 at Barstow for the final leg through to San Bernadino (where we saw the huge load posted yesterday).

We dropped the RV just outside Long Beach and drove the final 400 miles or so to San Francisco where we are staying for rest of the week.


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Day 12 – Long Beach – Relaxing at last

After a week and a half of travelling just over 2500 miles we decided to have a chilled out day to catch up…

Having been to Long Beach before we have seen many of the sights however we did locate a new Ale House which is now on the must visit list if you are in town.

The Yard House claims to have 250 beers on tap and they are not joking, with an oblong bar surrounded by taps – if you can’t find something to your taste in here then you must be very fussy!

We picked up our hire car to get us to San Francisco – Ford Fusion Titanium Spec – Nice car with some funky features, but powered by Microsoft, waiting for our first BSOD!

Day 11 – Hot, Hot, Hot!

Since arriving in Nevada the temperature has not dropped below 90 degrees even at night. While we were at the Hoover Dam it was over 120!

Today we rejoined the final leg of Route 66 at Barstow. Passing into our 8th state (California) and heading to Los Angeles, heading through the Mojave Desert.

Finally arrived at Long Beach where the temperature is a lot more bearable!

Day 10 – Hoover Dam and Las Vegas Old Town

Today we visited the Hoover Dam, unfortunately there was a problem with the sewers and the visitor centre was closed.

Later we took the bus up to Las Vegas old town where we experienced the amazing display on the giant screen installed over Fremont St which stretches for about 8 blocks!

Day 09 – Viva Las Vegas

After a night amongst the wildlife at the Grand Canyon we continued West returning to Route 66.

We  stopped at the town of Seligman – home to Angel Delgadillo’s Barber Shop – Angel, along with his brother Juan, campaigned to bring official recognition to the Historic Route 66.

Also home to Juan Delgadillo’s Sno Cap Drive Thru, sadly Juan passed away some years ago but his son continues to run this interesting establishment. When you visit Seligman you should definitely call in here for some refreshments – you will certainly be entertained!

Leaving the interstate behind, we followed the old section of Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman via Peach Springs before leaving Route 66 and heading North for Las Vegas!

Here is a new map showing where we have been for the last few days…


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Day 08 – From one big hole to another

After a quick visit to Meteor Crater in the morning we headed for one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – The Grand Canyon.

We took a flight over the Canyon before heading to Mather Campground in the National Park which was within easy walking distance from the edge of the rim.

We found an awesome location on the edge of the rim to watch the sun setting over the Canyon – an unforgettable moment!

Day 07 – Snowy peaks to a painted desert…

Wavey arrived last night from San Fransisco to join us as far as Las Vegas.

This morning we went up the worlds longest tramway (cable car) at Sandia Peak, overlooking Alburquerque (over 10,000 ft!). There was even some snow at the top!

We then headed west and drove through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park before heading to Meteor Crater RV Park for the night.

Day 06 – Water, water everywhere

After a fantastic meal and a few more excellent beers, we went to leave and discovered a flood of biblical proportions.

There was fork and sheet lightning, horizontal rain and hurricane force winds, the locals said they had never seen the like before.

The rain didn’t stop all night and we woke up to some serious ponding!? We set off under a grey sky to encounter mixed weathers all the way to New Mexico.

After miles and miles of dead straight highway we eventually arrived in Albuquerque where we finally met up with Wavey (the fourth member).

Here is where we have travelled over the last few days…


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Day 05 – We found the way to Amarillo!

It’s been driving, driving, driving today… finally got back on schedule and found the way to Amarillo!

The drive was amazingly flat, straight and ultimately boring.

Think we are harbouring a FBI most wanted suspect as we have nearly been pulled over (for the second time) by the Fed’s K9 units…

Landed at the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, none of us was game for the 72oz Steak challenge but there were a couple of people attempting it and one even managing to finish the lot!

For the food we did have, it was Fantastic!!! We also sampled the house brewed beers and the 9.22% ABV Whiskey Barrel Stout is awesome.

Day 04 – 24 Minutes from Tulsa

Today we entered our third state escaping the rolling hills of Missouri to the more open plains of Oklahoma.

Not much sightseeing today, just some souvenir hunting plus plenty of driving – we need to make up time.

The roads have become a lot more open and a hell of a lot straighter, the occasional bend is a bonus!

Staying at an Indian Casino/Racetrack tonight – in a thunderstorm!

Going to be a lot of driving tomorrow – can somebody show me the way to Amarillo?

Day 03 – Illinois to Missouri

After a good night at Camp-A-While we shot off to pick up some essentials from the local Walmart.

It’s amazing how much time you can lose when comparing toilet rolls, then once again we set off on the road.

Headed into St Louis to visit the Gateway Arch, to end up stuck in narrow one way cobbled streets where we encoutered a bridge with 8 foot clearance in front of us – which would have been ok – but the RV is 12 foot – thanks to a very (un)helpful local.

After a fraught half an hour we decided to stuff the Gateway Arch and headed west on Route 66 again towards Meramec Caverns.

It seems like every man and his dog were picking up RVs at Chicago and heading down Route 66 so we were a bit delayed starting. We are currently a little behind schedule but hope to make up the time over the next couple of days.

Here is the progress so far…


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Day 02 – Chicago and Route 66 (The Journey Begins)

After a good night at the hotel, went for a wander round Chicago, it’s a really beautiful city with very friendly natives and would really like to come back for a longer visit.

Day 01 – Chicago

Well we’re here after a bit of fun with the Chicago Transit system and the numerous panhandlers (who were at least quite helpful, or one of them was).

Off for a bit of sightseeing before we pick up the RV and hit Route 66 – should have some good photos to post later.

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