Archive: Road Trip USA

Part 12: DEATH VALLEY

Just some miles away from Lone Pine lies one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on Earth: the Death Valley! „Tal des Todes“ called in German.

Hot: Tempratures reach up to 52 degrees

Dry: In some years it doesn’train at all. Funnily that the only night we camped there, we had a little bit of rain.

Low: The Badwater Basin lies 280 feet/ 85 meter under sea level.

Part 11: MOUNT WHITNEY

Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in California, 4.421m, still covered with snow and ice, is part of the Sierra Nevada and attracts year-round a lot of outdoor adventurers (mostly men :)). We camped at the beautiful Lone Pine Campground from where we started our activities.

Part 10: PIONEERTOWN

Pioneertown, founded in the 1940s, not far away from LA. An old western town with Barber Shop, Bowling Alley, Bank House and an original flair seen in many western movies before. The Pioneertown Motel with special designed rooms invite to stay while enjoying events / music gigs at Pappy & Harriett’s.

Part 9: JOSHUA TREE NP

After some smaller stops (Lake Havasu) we reached the Joshua Tree NP (California) on the 12th of May. Already our 13th day of this exciting Road Trip Adventure. Nothingelse seen before is comparabele to this Park, dominated by bizarre rock formations and Joshua Trees. We stayed 2 nights at a very nice and cheap campground called Jumbo Rock ($10/night).

Part 8: ROUTE 66

It was christened in 1928 and started at Grant Park in Chicago, reached across more than 2.400 miles, three time zones and eight states: ILLINOIS, MISSOURI, KANSAS, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA and CALIFORNIA – before it dead-ended at Santa Monica Boulevard and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. It was the country’s first two-lane road linking the shores of Lake Michigan and the Pacific Ocean. It was Bobby Troup’s „GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66“,  a song that became a state of mind. Because it went through the center of so many towns, it became the „MAIN STREET OF AMERICA“. John Steinbeck called it „The Mother Road“. (from a sign in the Canyon Lodge / Seligman).

Even if the Interstates nowadays replaced the Route 66 as main roads, there are still some nice villages where you can inhale the nostalgic flair of these days (Seligman / Oatman).

Part 7: GRAND CANYON

Even if guidebooks told us that the Grand Canyon barely can be enjoyed without making any longtime bookings ahead (helicopter, zipline, tracks) we took the risk, slept another night in the car and started early in the morning entering the canyon from the eastside. While most people come from the west (Vegas) we were pretty alone on the first lookouts. After talking to a couple hiking up, we decided that if we ever come back, a several day hike through the canyon or canoeing along the Colorado River would definitely be an unforgettable experience.

Part 6: BEAVER / OAK CREEK

Spending the night at a parking lot „sleeping“ in the car, we continued early in the morning on the #89 south to Flagstaff. From there a scenic serpentine drive on the #89A brought us through dense forests to Sedona and afterwards to the NF (National Forest) campground located at the Beaver Creek. A simple but nice campground, with a lot of hiking trails and bathing pools in the surroundings. We enjoyed hiking, relaxing, watching the wildlife (hummingbirds / kolibri) and bathing in pools of Beaver & Oak Creek. One of the best things at the American campgrounds: you’ll find everywhere huge space & fire places. In this lovely area you can spend several days enjoying yourself while not spending too much money!

Part 5: 4 PLACES

4 places, not very far away from each other, all with its very own & unique beauty! The grand diversity of nature is what fascinated me most about America!

 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes: biggest playground for children & adults and always a perfect spot for photo shootings and quad racing!

 

Lake Powell: unique in its visual appearance. Known as Eldorado for water sports. Unfortunately: very expensive. Boat rental – approx. 600$ / day without gas.

 

Antelope Canyon: located in the Navajo Indian Reserve. Touristy but still worth a visit.

 

Horseshoe Bend: shaped in a horseshoe, the Colorado River winds around a huge rock. Beautiful to enjoy while sun sets. Great atmosphere & light!

Part 4: BRYCE CANYON

Early in the morning I walked to the Visitor Center (the best institution in every park for maps / information / water / post cards with very friendly & helpful staff. Thanks for that! ) being told by the ranger that the weather forecasts predicts snow for the next days and that our planned route would take us even higher up into the mountains. Our conclusion: plan change! Instead of moving further north / east we decided instead going south / east, as temperatures were promised to be higher during nights. Before leaving this fascinating area we spent the whole day in Bryce Canyon, hiking the Rim Trail, Najavo Trail and Garden Trail. While the Rim Trail offers you spectacular views of the amphitheater from the bird view the other two trails lead you down directly into the canyon to enjoy the amazing stones from the frog perspective.

Part 3: RED CANYON

Utah-89 and Utah-12 brought us after some drive still early in the afternoon to Dixie Nationalforest and Red Canyon. Both of them just shortly located before Bryce Canyon. The beautiful Red Canyon Campground (15$/night) convinced us to stay there, not being aware at that time how cold nights could become in May and by not considering the fact that we were already at a height of around 2.200 m. But still, the beautiful views offered by these red rock mountains, a very good dinner and our first fire made the sleepless & freezing (approx. – 4 degrees) night worth it.

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