Salt Lake City to Red Canyon, Bryce National Park via Richfield

We had an uneventful day of travel from SLC to Richfield.  Richfield was a place we stayed at on the way to Bryce Canyon.  Richfield was a nice town and we stayed at a KOA, Kampground of America.  These campgrounds are all over the US, but so far we have avoided them as they are very family focused which can mean lots of kids and kids activities etc.  We would rather stay in a quieter place.  This KOA was actually very nice, and quiet.  As with St Anthony in Idaho, many owners of RV’s here at this park have ATV’s as there are 1000’s of miles of trails in the surrounding mountains. We left Richfield the next day for a short drive to Red Canyon.  […] View More

Salt Lake City, Snowbird Resort

When we caught up with Tracy yesterday he suggested as something we could do while in SLC is visit Snowbird or Park City.  Both are in the mountains.  By the time we got going we only had time to see one place, so we decided to see Snowbird-we will see Park City in another year.  Snowbird is an all year round resort, owned by Robert Redford.  It’s a 30 minute drive from SLC up the mountain.  Snowbird is ultimately a ski resort, and it looks like it would be amazing to ski there.  It would have the ski runs you only dream off, long runs through the pine trees.  However, in the middle of summer it still attracts a crowd.  There are many hiking and […] View More

Exploring Salt Lake City

When we were at St Anthony in Idaho we met Tracy Chapman and his friends.  Tracy took us out on his Razor ATV which was great fun.  Tracy and his family live in SLC so we made contact and arranged to meet.  Tracy works as a Radio Presenter for 101.5 The Eagle.  He offered to show us around the radio station and then we wanted to take him out for lunch.  We drove into the city and had a quick explore before meeting up with Tracy-its a very nice city-wide streets, beautiful buildings, a great blend of historic and modern. It was fun being in the recording studio with Tracy and getting a run down on how  all the equipment works. After that we walked […] View More

Crossing the Nevada Desert

It was about a 4 hour drive across the desert heading for Elko-just past mid way.  I was surprised that there were scanty traces of civilization all along the interstate.  There were a few ranches, some very small communities, the odd house dotted along, but mostly the land is BLM-public land (Bureau of Land Management).  We drove along the interstate which in places had an 85 MPH speed limit which seems very fast. Elko was quite a large city with a population of about 20,000.  It sits on the Humboldt River so there is water!  Actually, that river runs parallel to the interstate just about the whole way.  There were a few RV parks to choose from at Elko but all close together-we chose the […] View More

Reno, Nevada

We rode our Bicycles into Reno from Sparks which was only a couple of miles away.  We had to detour a bit not knowing how to get over the railway lines and interstate 5.  Reno was named after Jesse L Reno a Union General in the Civil war.  It’s known as the biggest little city and in the mid 19th century was bigger than Las Vegas as there was gold and silver found nearby and later the railway was laid through Reno.  In the 1930’s Reno boomed because it was one of a few places where couples could get divorced! Reno is high desert at 4500 ft, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  It’s in a fertile area called Truckee Meadows and gets […] View More

Job completed and we leave Grant’s Pass for Reno, Nevada.

On Wed morning the job was completed by Hendersons.  They got it done quicker than they said they would and it cost less than their estimate.  We took it for a test run and ended up unknowingly on a road we couldn’t get off for 22 miles.  The road was taking us closer to the fires at Grant’s Pass.  We saw lots of roads leading into the Illinois Valley that were closed and had the army posted at the stop sign.  This was about as close as I wanted to get to those wild forest fires! Stuart was happy with the work they did and we finally got back to the workshop and had them look at why we hear a strange noise when we […] View More

Leaving Springfield again

 The mechanics spent hours working on our coach to determine in the end that the secondary device could not be fitted and we therefore asked that the whole kit was removed.  They gave us a full refund which was the right thing to do, but it wasted a lot of time. We headed back to Chiloquin to the Waterwheel rv park again and arrived late and tired.  The next day we made contact with Hendersons in Grants Pass that actually make the unit we are trying to have fitted.  We decided to head there next.  We had the next three RV parks lined up through Reno and onto Salt Lake City, and it takes time to unbook and rebook elsewhere but we have learnt that […] View More

Leaving Springfield and returning the next day!

While we were in Springfield we got a modification made to the coach in nearby Eugene.  It’s a steering stabilizer called SafeT.  It takes some of the slop out of the steering and it provides control in the unfortunate event that we should ever have a tyre blowout.  The unit was fitted and test driven, a few adjustments made and off we went to continue our journey south to Chiloquin near Klamath Falls in southern Oregon.  On the drive down there S noticed the steering started pulling to the left which is not ideal.  He said the tyres would wear out prematurely if we didn’t get it fixed, and besides, it’s not assisting with the steering so it’s not worth having unless fixed. On our […] View More

Into Oregon

Time to move on again-that’s something we love about the RV way of life, when you’ve seen all you want to see, it’s time to move on.  The drive into Oregon was pleasant although the landscape is still looking a parched raw sienna colour.  We drove through the Targhee Forest which was a redwood forest, very pretty, and we climbed again up to just over 5000 ft this time. We drove along the John Day Way to a place called Dayville.  John Day was born in Virginia in 1797 and came over to the West and worked as a trapper here.  Those times must have been so hard, it’s really impossible to imagine how hard life would have been living off the land and setting […] View More

A list of the videos I’ve made that are on Youtube…

Hello.  If you are interested in following this blog, there are videos on Youtube too.  If you go to Youtube and type Carolyn Judge you should see my name appear-it should look like this: . Click on my name and then select Videos’s and you will see all the videos.  Otherwise, all the links are below: Taking delivery of the coach https://youtu.be/Se65GByVl9w A walkthrough of the coach  https://youtu.be/gEAL6bibGV8 Our first drive of the coach  https://youtu.be/jOCm08cAC8g Driving through Kansas  https://youtu.be/6amLyEFo98w South Hutchinson, still driving through Kansas  https://youtu.be/qP01JWBiF6o Kansas into Colorado  https://youtu.be/zjwT_JYqUkg Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs  https://youtu.be/A5CDLwZ9V9E Staying at Basecamp in the mountains of Colorado  https://youtu.be/FXHQQ7S8JGo A walk around BlackHawk, Colorado  https://youtu.be/_UhPBCGLrLQ A walk around Coldsprings, Arapaho Forest, Colorado  https://youtu.be/aKqpK4xw3dg Driving from Coldsprings to Grand Lake […] View More

Still in Idaho

The drive to Buhl was mostly through agricultural land.  Typically we followed the Snake River, which is the river that runs through Yellowstone.   Banbury hot springs was a nice campsite, full of squirrels scampering up trees, and our campsite was right by the river.  The hot springs were closed that day, but given it was 100 f, we were thinking more ice cold beer in the air conditioned coach.   Just an overnight stay at Banbury then onto Boise, Idaho.  Again the drive followed the river but outside of the river the land seemed parched.  It’s high country desert and doesn’t seem good for anything. We had some administrative stuff to get done in a city so decided to stay in Boise for 3 […] View More

In Idaho, land of the potato!

I was very sorry to leave Yellowstone, we will go back there in a future year, there is still lots to explore.  It was a good departure from the campsite and a good drive out of Yellowstone.  We saw more bison as we drove out, one was sunbathing right beside the road and cars were stopping to photograph and film him-it caused a huge traffic jam-in all the 2.2million acres he could lay…we think he knew the chaos he was causing!   As we exited Yellowstone we were in Montana-this is a state I hope to see more of, it’s full on horse country with snow capped mountains all around.  In only 20 minutes we had driven the little corner of the state and we […] View More

Into Yellowstone, looking for Yogi Bear and Bobo-Day 2

We didn’t bother with the early start today as it didn’t really gain us much yesterday given how cold mountain air and steam create fog.  We firstly went to Old Faithful as we pass it on the way to the Prismatic Spring.  Luckily she was about to blow within about 15 minutes of us being there.  Today the weather was hot and there were lots of people around.  There are seats all around Old Faithful and I suspect as many as 3000 people were watching.  The geyser was impressive but I think it’s on par with some geysers we have in Rotorua.  I’m glad we didn’t wait for hours to see it blow.     Then onto the Prismatic Spring.  This was so congested with […] View More

Into Yellowstone, looking for Yogi Bear and Bobo-Day 1

We packed up camp at Flagg Ranch, Grand Tetons and moved to Grant Village, Yellowstone with no hassle. Grant Village Campsite is at a higher altitude and the whole enormous campsite is a dry camp, which means no facilities-power, water, sewer, so we filled our water tanks up before settling in our space. This is a pretty tight campsite and our coach is the maximum size allowed, we just squeezed in. There are about 5 campsites in the whole of Yellowstone and this one allows the biggest RV’s at 40 ft.   In the afternoon we thought we would have a quick drive into Yellowstone. We didn’t go far but what we saw looked very impressive-lakes, rivers, snow capped mountains, meadows, fir trees to the […] View More

Horse riding in the Back of Beyond

I got all prepared the night before and set my alarm for 5:50 (that’s very early for me!).  I got up and out the door and drove off to go horse riding.  The sun rises here very early and it was fully light at this time, also very cold-36deg f, that’s just above freezing.  On the road I was backtracking from where we had already been, heading back towards Jackson.  At this time of the morning there were no cars around and it was a beautiful morning-why don’t I get up early every day??  30 mins down the road I spotted a large female elk on the left side of the road.  I stopped the car and we looked at each other for what seemed […] View More

In the Grand Teton National Park

We moved the coach to an RV park in the Grand Teton National Park, Flagg Ranch.  It was only 50 miles from Jackson and we arrived early so we parked the Coach and went for a drive in the car to do some filming and photography.  It was fun to explore this park.  The road that runs through the park is a good quality road and typically you are driving through fir trees, meadow or a river valley-always scattered throughout with wild flowers, and here in the Grand Tetons they are magical.    We called into a Visitor Center to find out if there are organized or group walks we can do.  This is a park with grizzly bear, black bear, wolves, bison etc all […] View More

I’m going to Jackson 🎵

We’ve been off the air while we’ve been in Yellowstone so the blogs are now catching up…   That’s Jackson Wyoming, not Jackson Tennessee.  We left Vernal Utah and within 10 minutes we were into the mountainous area of the Uinta Range.  This was steep in places, 8% gradient.  The mountain range was a dry environment but the rock was many shades of red which was very pretty.  We climbed about 3000ft, the views were breathtaking.  As mentioned in my previous blog, this area of Utah is known for the dinosaur fossils found.  All through these mountains are signs explaining what dinosaurs have been uncovered, also, which was fascinating, a vast area of these mountains used to be flooded, and many sea creatures, turtles, sea […] View More

Steamboat Springs

We had a great drive over the mountain from Grand Lake to Steamboat Springs. There was a huge mountain pass called Rabbit Ear pass (?) which was a 7% gradient. The coach handled the drive up very well and effortlessly and coming down Stuart took it nice and slow and had the engine brake us all the way down. We had a rental truck go past us at some point and at the bottom of the pass he was pulled over with smoke coming from his brakes. Stuart said that would be a very bad thing to have happen to us. We drove through Steamboat Springs and were staying in an RV park called Eagle Soaring about 7 miles out. This was a lovely park, […] View More

In the mountains at Elk Creek

It was a shame to leave Cold Springs in the Arapaho forest.  It was a great campsite.  I’ll never forget those wild flowers.  We pulled out of there knowing we were embarking on a pretty epic drive over a mountain range.  The scenery along the way was outstanding and very steep winding mountain passes.  Stuart drove exceptionally well and really enjoyed it.   This is a link to the video of the drive we made https://youtu.be/FE1AbgadLWY We were heading to a place called Grand Lake.  It’s in an area called Shadow Mountain and it’s right on the edge (less than a mile) from the Rocky Mountains National Park.  We found the RV park, Elk Creek Campsite easily and got set up, then went for a […] View More

In the forest

We spent 3 nights at Basecamp.  It was a great place to spend time.   I loved the log cabins at Basecamp and sat and drew one one sunny afternoon. We didn’t go walking in Golden Gate Canyon.  On our first full day we wanted to go walking but wanted a safe environment so we decided to drive down to a delightful town called Black Hawk.  Driving past, it looks like a combination of old western saloons and ultra modern, but very tasteful buildings often made of rock/schist-quite similar to Queenstown or Wanaka.  I thought this mountain town would be full of arty shops, tea rooms, nice specialist food shops etc.  Infact behind every façade was a casino. I’ve never been to a casino town […] View More

18th June, Rocky Mountain High, in Colorado

We left the RV park at Colorado Heights this morning.  We had made some friends there, Cory and Cheri.  A delightful couple that we just loved.  We had drinks with them on two nights and it seems we have known them forever.  Here I am below sitting with them as we look over a map to discuss where we are heading.  They think we have a great trip ahead. Pulling out of the RV park and then filling up with gas was pretty painless, then on the road to Basecamp. We had the route carefully entered in the Garmin as there are some routes up to here that you don’t want to take in an RV.  We took the route that we reconnoitered a week […] View More

16th June, Still at Colorado Springs, but getting ready to move on

This is where we are currently parked: Since we left Pontiac this is the longest we have stayed in one place.  It’s Fri evening now and we are leaving this area on Sunday morning.  It’s been relaxing to stay for a while.  We’ve achieved a few jobs in the time we’ve been here.  We needed to get the plates for the coach and the car.  They had to come from our lawyers in Montana.  Lots of paperwork and beauacracy, but we finally got them and Stuart attached them yesterday.  Our temporary plates had expired so good to have them before we head off into the mountains. These are some shots of the inside of the coach that Stuart took: I had a few things I […] View More

Relaxing and exploring at Colorado Springs

Sat June 10th.  Yesterday we drove 50 miles from West Pueblo to Near Colorado springs to a place called Garden of the Gods.  It’s a big open free park that has lots of walking and mountain biking trails through it.  The draw card is the 250 million year old rock.  It’s red, pink and white sandstone.  Through time, the elements have carved out interesting rock formations including some tall spires.  It was a very impressive park. Stuart too most of these photos, they are very good.   I found the walking hard going-it was about 38deg and a very dry heat.  I’m still recovering from the chest infection I’ve had for a couple of weeks and I found it very hard to breathe.  I felt […] View More

In Colorado, the Wild West

We drove over the state line from Kansas into Colorado today.  The general area that we drove through today on Highway 50 is known as the Santa Fe trail and the area, Kansas/Colorado is New Mexico.  It looked very Mexican. It’s hard to imagine when you see the ribbon of concrete that stretches ahead to the horizon that this was the dusty trail that the old pioneers, settlers, trappers and traders rode in their wagons not even 250 years ago.  Life would have been so hard back then-the landscape is dry, hot and harsh in June.  In Jan it must be frozen solid. We passed through a town called La Junta and there is a historic fort there, which was basically a trading post back […] View More

Kansas, Prairies and cowboys

We overnighted in a delightful RV park called Lighthouse Landing in South Hutchinson, near Wichita. Stuart was intrigued by a big vehicle on a big vehicle-that’s be standing beside it… Then we continued along Highway 50 towards Colorado today. Mostly wheat fields to the horizon.  Farming here is done on a massive scale.  We are currently in a place called Deerfield.  We are now only about 3 hours of driving to Colorado Springs, but we are still in Kansas. This land is flat and hot.  It was 32 deg c today with a very hot strong wind blowing.  It’s amazing any crops can grow in this unrelenting heat.  Apparently, it’s only the humidity that keeps the crops alive.  We did notice lots of water pumps […] View More

Heading west to Kansas City, banks, Walmart and Armadillo’s

We are currently just east of Kansas City by about 40 miles at a place called Pleasant Lake.  It is very pleasant here.  We are in an RV park that’s about 250 acres in size.  There aren’t many RV’s and so it feels spacious and backs right onto the woods.  These are like the woods I remember growing up in the UK.  A variety of leafy trees, but so thick they look intimidating to walk into. We were sitting out having a beer after we arrived here and saw a stealth bomber fly overhead which looked impressive, but ever more impressive are the humming birds that are all around.  I love to see them, such pretty little birds. We saw a deer yesterday, and today […] View More

USA, Heading west, Missouri

We got the coach ready for travelling today, which only takes us a few minutes, were used to the routine from our boating life.  We said goodbye and a big hug with Judy, funny how some people you meet you feel as if you’ve known them for a long time-she’s one of those people.  We called into Pontiac RV to say goodbye to Greg who has been very good to us.  We said good bye to Phil who has been the sales man we have been dealing with.  He has also been very good to us-every single person we had dealings with at Pontiac RV have been positive and helpful.  We’ve never known such good service and hospitality, and this is after we had bought […] View More

USA, Observations of life in an RV park

The 4H park was tranquil and quiet prior to the long weekend.  There are 300-400 year old oaks scattered all through the park that squirrels are always scampering up as we walk by.  Beyond the park are the flat endless fields of newly planted corn and soy beans.  In the evenings, the sky takes on the most wonderful warm purples, oranges and yellows.  This is big sky country, flat to the horizon.  I like it. This is the coach towing our car in the 4H park   This is our campsite setup Me cooking RV’s started to arrive on Fri and more and more came in through the day.  The space we had around us, which I had naively considered to be our space soon […] View More

USA, Picking up the car and getting locked out of the coach

After 2 nights in the park more and more RV’s arrived.  This weekend is Memorial weekend, which is the same as our Anzac day, remembering and honoring veterans.  Monday is a public holiday, so the park is now pretty full.  The modifications we needed done to the car to make it towable are complete and so we want to collect the car ASAP.  All this time we have had a rental which has been costly and we don’t want to be paying for it over the long weekend, so we decided to collect the car on Sat.  We have to collect it from the salesyard in Coopersville, Michigan.  This is a 4 hour drive on the interstates heading North East.  We need to collect the […] View More

USA, life in the first RV park

We spent 3 nights on the coach in the Pontiac RV carpark.  This was great as we were still learning so much about the coach, and needed some minor issues fixed.  Stuart has been working alongside an engineer called Greg who has been so incredibly helpful and competent.  He’s such a nice man.  Stuart has learnt a lot about the coach and how it runs from Greg. Stuart and Greg Being parked at Pontiac RV (which is about a 3 acre carpark!) was great but we had no way to empty our grey and black tanks so we really had to move. Parked at Pontiac RV We had already looked at an RV park 10 minutes away called 4H and so booked in with the […] View More

USA May 23rd, still in Pontiac, taking ownership

May 23rd, we officially took ownership of the coach today.  This means we have paid for it, and we have insurance for it.  We have had the coach in the workshop today having the solar panels put on the roof.  Stuart has been on the roof with Greg the engineer assisting him and learning how they are installed and operated. I have been busy all day.  I opened all of our boxes of stuff needed to live on the coach. Then I cleaned the coach, which had already been done, but I wanted to do it again, to be sure all was free of dust.  Its also a good way to check for damage or any other issues.  I found some, but all minor stuff. […] View More

USA, May 21 in Pontiac

Pontiac Illinois is the place where we bought the coach from (over the internet!!)  We knew what coach we wanted and Pontiac RV offered the best price.  We are buying the coach new and has been built to our own specs.  Pontiac RV is such a massive complex with hundreds of RV’s new and 2nd hand.  Here’s a pic of us driving by, Sunday so they were closed… We arrived in Pontiac today.  We’ve been for an explore around the town which is very nice.  The landscape here is incredibly flat with big skies.  It’s agricultural and reminds me very much of Norfolk, UK.  This is corn and potatoe growing country.  The landscape is punctuated with grain silo’s.  I loved the book/movie, The Bridges of […] View More

USA Arriving and Chicago

We had a pretty bumpy ride over to LA from Auckland, neither of us slept.  Even though we left Auckland at 4:30pm, we arrived in LA at 9:30am on the same day!  We had a room in a hotel near the airport booked for a night of good sleep, but neither of us slept well again.  Everything gets so much harder to accomplish when we are both so tired. So LA was a bit of a blur, blue skies, cool wind, palm trees and homeless people.  We got a decent walk in but that was all. Back to the airport the next day for a flight to Chicago.  That was a 4 our flight and went quite quickly.  We were picked up from the airport […] View More

12/08/2017 Broadbeach to Brisbane (final leg)

3 nights in Broadbeach was very nice. 24-27 deg each day, clear blue skies and little wind. Stayed with Mum and Dad which was a good catch up. We explored the shopping mall Pacific Fair which is very impressive and modern. Lazy days relaxing, eating , drinking and walking. On the road this morning for Brisbane. We arrived here with ease and after off loading our bags, rode out to Morgan and Wacker, the Harley shop to drop the bikes off. We stowed our leathers and boots on the bikes and left them in the good hands of the guys there, ready to ship back to Auckland. We walked back to Fortitude Valley carrying our helmets. A nice final walk through Brisbane, then back to […] View More

09/08/2017 Byron Bay to Broadbeach

We had a lazy day in Byron Bay. Such a nice place, it’s got a vibe all of its own. Good weather and a nice hotel, it was a relaxing break. On our day off we walked up to the lighthouse. It was a harder walk than I remembered, or perhaps it’s just that I’m older! The lighthouse was built in 1901 and really is a fine example of great architecture. This is Australia’s eastern most point. We spent a while up on the hill just watching the whales frolicking. They are moving south with their babies but stay around the region to mate so they can give birth in the warm pacific waters the following year. The mother is constantly on the move either […] View More

07/08/2017 Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay

We had a lovely day off from riding in Coffs Harbour. The harbour is similar to Hervey Bay, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie-they all look alike with a similar layout. When we were at Coffs Harbour a few years ago the winds had whipped the sea up and a huge swell was rolling in. This time the place felt different-we had great weather-no wind and a calm sea. We walked along the sea front to the marina which joins up to Mutton Bird Island. We walked over the island and looked out to see. I was looking for whales and dolphins and within 5 minutes saw both. Buying a naughty french pastry at Dorrigo-great cafe!   Whale watching The weather is really great over here-24-26 deg […] View More

04/08/2017 Port Macquarie to Armidale

We rode out of Port Macquarie this morning after a super breakfast and coffee. We basically had a backtrack day today up to Armidale. It’s one of the best and most technical roads we’ve done on this whole trip-climbing up a winding hill, lots of 25Km corners, 1000 meters up on to the tablelands. At the bottom of the hill, on pretty much the first corner I lost sight of husband and didn’t see him until near the top where he had been waiting-quite a while. He rode up fast and efficiently, I rode up cautiously and fairly slowly-I should have had what he had for breakfast! Some days you can really get in the groove of the bikes, and some days not. Today I […] View More

3/8/2017 A day in Port Macquarie

We had a day off today. We went out for a lovely breakfast and had a few errands to run, then we went off for a walk. There is a lighthouse 9K’s away so we made that our goal. We walked along a lovely coastal track which occasionally goes down onto the beach, then back on the track which winds over the headlands, always running along the coast with great views of the big waves rolling in. We had lunch at the lighthouse. It was built in 1879 and still looks in very good condition.   The old ruins of the original cottage can be seen. It was accepted that some men that managed the lighthouses might have wives and so cottages were built for couples. […] View More

2/8/2017 Hunter Valley to Port Macquarie

The breakfast where we stayed last night was $32 each-very expensive so we decided to go to one of the nearby vineyards. The closest one had nothing open so we walked back to our room and got on the bikes and road to Pokolbin village where one café was open.   I ordered a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon and it was the most dreadful breakfast I’ve ever had. If a chef can’t scramble eggs they should change to a different profession. We have found that when we are in small town Australia a lot of places are closed, or choices are few for food and accommodation. I guess you would encounter that a lot once you head off the east coast. Last evening […] View More

01/08/2017 Sydney to the Hunter Valley

We stayed in Sydney an extra day because we needed to get our 16,000km bike service. We were staying in North Sydney at Chatswood, and needed to take our bikes out to near the airport in South Sydney-I wasn’t looking forward to this day. We got up early so we could get ahead of the Monday morning rush hour. We were on the road by 7am. We got over to the Harley shop with ease, the rain hadn’t come, the navigation was good and the traffic still hadn’t built. The Harley shop said our bikes would be first up so that was all good. We caught a courtesy shuttle and then the train back to Chatwood-all pretty simple. The Harley shop said they would ring […] View More

30/07/2017 Sydney

We had a good ride into Sydney. The weather was good and apart from one glitch with the Garman navigation was good. The traffic was heavy and it moves very fast so lane changing has to be done very carefully. Stuart used to live in Chatswood and so knows this area quite well. Once we were in the vicinity he knew where to go. I’m so lucky to be able to follow someone that is so good with navigation. Coming into a big city on my own would be very daunting and having no sense of direction at all, I would be sure to get lost which would be a major drama on the bike. The apartment we are staying in is very well located […] View More

28/07/2017 Newcastle to Sydney

We had lots of cafes to choose from this morning in Newcastle. We went to a café called Monkey’s and I had the most fabulous breakfast of our whole trip. Once I was able to move, we returned to our hotel to pack for our ride to Sydney. I enjoyed Newcastle. It looks a bit like the UK in places, terraced housing and old architecture, but mostly it looks like Australia. For a heavy industry city, like Gladstone, it’s very well presented. I guess I compare these places to similar cities in the UK, but here you have good weather, palm trees and a beautiful coast. Husband did very well to navigate us out of Newcastle and soon we were on our way. We rode […] View More

27/07/2017 Port Macquarie to Newcastle

I’ve got three movies up on Youtube of rides we’ve done-we don’t always have the wifi capacity for uploading such big file https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4thhKzcLBxlb2hmJde_ILg We had a nice relaxing day wandering around Port Macquarie. There’s some lovely buildings there but lots of high rises which I don’t really like to see. The area was setup early on as a penal colony and the prisoners were harshly treated. The convicts were not just from the UK, but from Aust too, and all the disabled convicts were sent to Port Macquarie. They had special jobs for men with one leg, one arm etc and the blind were put to work at night time. There’s a very nice church that was built by the convicts. It’s interesting that when […] View More

25/07/2017 Armidale to Port Macquarie

We woke to a very cold morning in Armidale. It was forecasted to be -3 overnight but was -6 with a visible white frost over everything. We had put covers over our bikes. We walked into town for breakfast on icy paths but the skies were blue and before long the sun had warmed the day up. We lingered for as long as we could but by 9:30 we were on the road feeling confident that the ice would have melted. We rode out to Walcha and had a cup of tea to warm up, it was cold riding, but today we were better prepared for it with our woolly layers on. Long straight roads to start with which was good. After an hour or […] View More

24/07/2017 Coffs Harbour to Armidale

We had to have breakfast at the resort in Coff’s Harbour as we were quite a way from anywhere else.  The room rate at this place was pretty low for the nice room we had, but our burger and chip dinner last night and our breakfast this morning is where these resorts make their money-or take our’s as the case may be.  Still we knew this would happen before we stayed there.  Still we enjoyed listening to the pounding surf all night-it’s the closest we have stayed to the ocean and the view was great too. We woke to a beautiful blue sky again and no cold wind blowing.  We set out on a ride called the waterfall way.  Soon we were climbing up high […] View More

23/07/2017 Lismore to Coffs Harbour

It wasn’t easy to find a place for breakfast in Lismore this morning (Sunday). We found one place but they could only make toast, no eggs. The other place was very busy, so it was obviously the place to be. We had great coffee and food. I was surprised at how friendly the people were. Two separate groups of people came over to tell us how they love the bikes and wanted to know where we had been and where we were heading. Such nice people here. The road out of Lismore to Grafton was very dull with lots of roadworks. It turned out this was not the road we had programmed into the Garmin, but it decided to take us that way anyway. Very […] View More

22/07/2017 Coolangatta to Lismore

We got out our winter jackets in Coolangatta last night for dinner and again this morning for breakfast. A very cold wind blowing. At the beginning and end of the day it is the same temperature as Auckland, but during the day it gets upto 21 deg with blue skies. We got on the road and headed north, then west to do a nice back road south to Lismore. The Hinterland out the back of the gold coast is full of locals selling organic veggies, massages, natural therapies, hand made soap etc-quite a wide spread ‘alternative’ area. The Hinterland is pretty with the Tweed River running through it, lots of green pasture with cattle and sheep grazing. All along the journey today I was aware […] View More

21/07/2017 Brisbane to Coolangatta

We enjoyed our day off from riding in Brisbane. We enjoyed a bit of a sleep in and a lazy morning making our own breakfast and getting a coffee from Mrs Tuppy’s store downstairs just across from the apartment block. She’s an old Chinese lady and makes a fine coffee. I asked for two big coffee’s, each with an extra shot. This seemed to offend her-you sure you wan an ex sha? I make werry go coffee, no ex sha needed. She was right. This morning I ordered another two and told her the coffee’s were very good yesterday she said, they be jus same today-as if I was stupid! It was a great apartment and good value for money. We got all our laundry […] View More

19/07/2017 Noosa to Brisbane

Got the Gladstone to Yeppoon video uploaded if you want to see it…: https://youtu.be/kfJJiAr2ypY We had an early start from Noosa. Had a fabulous breakfast at a French bakery that made the best coffee! Then on the road to Brisbane. Stuart had spent time mapping out a convoluted journey on backroads so we could have a fun ride, but the Garmin let him down early on and in the end we just got on the M3 and rode directly here. There’s a lot of motorway to ride coming into Brisbane from the North. The traffic is much like NZ-slow buggers in the fast lane holding everyone up and big trucks to contend with. The ride was a hard one as there was a very strong, […] View More

18/07/2017 Hervey Bay to Noosa

A nice breakfast in Hervey Bay. We are now in sub tropical weather and no longer parallel to the reef-we are now on the Fraser Coast. Hervey Bay is a place where the humpback whales stop to frolic on their way from the Pacific to Antarctica and lots of the tourism is based on whale watching. Hervey Bay is otherwise a quiet town with an average age of 42, 10 years older than any other town, in other words, quite a few oldies here. We had few hours of riding and on the 2nd half of the ride Stuart had us riding on windy country roads that he had found and mapped out. From this point heading south we are hoping the riding will improve-we […] View More

17/07/2017 Agnes Water to Hervey Bay

We rode out to 1770 for breakfast which was acceptable…At 10ish we got on the road for Hervey Bay. We were on woodland roads today which is a welcome change from the A1 which I think we are both all done with for now. Having heard there are hundreds of kangeroos on the 60k’s out from 1770/Agnes water we took it easy. I’m not sure how well we would fare with a big red leaping out of the wood into our path but you cant ride for that risk, you just have to look logically at the reported cases of motorcyclists killed by leaping kangeroos-there are none. We did see them resting/sleeping in the fields though-they are there, but they are nocturnal, luckily. We were […] View More

16/07/2017 Rockhampton to Agnes Water

I managed to get the first video of our ride up on youtube at this link if you want to have a look: There was a Coffee Club under the hotel we stayed in at Rockhampton so we went there for a dependable breakfast-we always share one as the meals are so big.   After that it was on the road to Gladstone, just over an hour away for a break-we were also picking up some luggage straps there from the Harley Dealer. We had beautiful riding weather today. We enjoyed a banana milkshake at Gladstone and then onto Agnes Water about 130k’s down the road. We haven’t been to Agnes Water before so the roads were all new to us. Agnes Water is quite remote, […] View More

15/07/2017 Mackay to Rockhampton

We enjoyed a complementary breakfast at the motel in Mackay, then on the road down the A1 to Rockhampton.  This is one of the more boring rides-the scenery changes from sugar cane to cattle farming.  The animal used for beef here in Queensland is mostly the Brahman-originally from India the cattle are resistant to drought and ticks. The ride was about 320k’s and took us about 4 hours-we pulled over at one point to let heavy rain go through. South of Mackay the temperature changes from Tropical to sub Tropical, and the temperature change here in Rockhampton is noticeable. Lunch in a travellers lay-by. However it’s a nice temperature with less humidity.  Its sunny for 300 days a year at this latitude. The city is […] View More

14/07/2017 Airlie Beach to Mackay

Despite this being a pricey night for us, we both had a pretty poor sleep. We had breakfast at the B and B and then into town for coffee. Our B and B above and the view from our room. Having a refreshing beer yesterday! Back on the road to Mackay 2 hours away. The cyclone damage was evident for most of the ride to Mackay. During Cyclone Debbie, Mackay, Propserine and Airlie Beach were all evacuated as a 2 meter tidal surge was expected. This is the same weather system that hit NZ and dropped so much rain that the Edgecumbe river burst its banks. A pretty easy ride to Mackay. We stopped at a rest area for a break and I spotted a […] View More

13/07/2017 Townsville to Airlie Beach

We woke to a beautiful day in Townsville. We walked down to the beach for coffee and breakfast. Stuart gave the bikes a clean as they had got filthy in the rain yesterday. We went for a little ride around Townsville before leaving-its’ a very nice place with some old historic buildings. On the road we headed south on the A1. This time we were riding to Airlie Beach. We had an uneventful ride most of the way. We rode into Bowen for a Subway lunch by the sea. Once we made the turn off to Airlie beach it became evident of lots of recent damage. The trees in the hills were all stripped of their leaves and many palms had no tops to them. […] View More

12/07/2017 Port Douglas to Townsville

We left early this morning after making our breakfast. We headed to the beach area for a coffee then on the road by about 8:30. We knew today was going to be a hard ride. It’s a beautiful road between Port Douglas and Cairns but even though its’ an open road, people drive it very slowly. It’s a bit windy and hard to pass people. Then it’s a big bypass around Cairns before getting on the A1. Lots of road works, a bit of rain and heavy traffic including big trucks to contend with too! An area we rode through is called the Murray Flats.  It runs parallel on the western side of Innisfail-the wettest city in Australia.  The road is a notorious stretch of […] View More

11/07/2017 A day in Port Douglas

We found an apartment that was quiet in Port Douglas this time. We are spending two more nights here because it’s supposed to be wet, but it is in fact dry and sunny. The apartment we are renting has a full kitchen so we bought food to make our own breakfast again. I made an appointment to get my hair cut. The hairdresser has been living in Port Douglas for 18 months but she doesn’t seem very happy. She said that rent, rates and the cost of living is very expensive there. She said she works very hard but can’t get ahead. It’s a very seasonal place too which must make it hard. Apparently there’s really no tourists here between Xmas and Easter because it’s […] View More

10/07/2017 Mossman to Port Douglas

The journey from Mossman to Port Douglas is only about 20 minutes.  Our logic for staying in Port Douglas again is that it’s supposed to be raining and we were going to sit out two wet days here-it is however about 27 deg with clear blue skies.  Now that the majority of kids have gone back to school we will try to not book so far out.  Still, we are not complaining of spending more time here-it’s really lovely. On our ride over from Mossman this morning we saw a snake on the side of the road with a couple of people looking at it.  It was pretty big. When we arrived here at our motel I told the proprietor we had just seen one. […] View More

09/07/2017 Cooktown to Mossman

We got up early and had a great breakfast at the hotel. We were on the road by 8. I kept my eye’s peeled on the ride for wildlife. Luckily I saw a kangaroo. It was only a small brown/grey one but nice to see. Also as we went past a lily pond I saw a brolga (a huge crane) which was wonderful.  We did a short detour to look at a pub we had been told about-there was a camel there! About 30k’s south of Cooktown the road takes you through an area called the Black Mountain National Park.  We had a quick stop there.  We had been riding through savannah-green trees and bush, all pretty flat, then you come across these two massive […] View More

08/07/2017 Port Douglas to Cooktown

We made our own breakfast again which is a great money saver.  We left Port Douglas but very pleased to know we will be returning there in a few days time.  Rob the Hotel owner was a very nice chap and rides a motorbike.  He seemed to be very envious of us riding out of town.    As we rode out we climbed a windy hill which was great.  Then we were on the flat pretty much all the way-about 250k’s.  Many signs along the way warned us there were no fences and that cattle roamed freely.  We saw some crossing the road.  Many signs warn of Kangeroos.  I looked for some, I thought if we were to see some at all on our trip […] View More

07/07/2017 A day in Port Douglas

A lazy day for us today.  We made our own breakfast and went out looking for accommodation that we can stay at on our way back down from Cooktown and Mossman.  Our apartment here is nice but on a busy street.  We want to stay somewhere quieter when we come back.  We walked around and found and more suitable and cheaper place so that was good. Explored around the town later to get some exercise.  The marina area is very nice: Then a walk around the town:   The Harbour is very nice: An then a walk up the hill to a lookout.  It looks back out towards Cairns and the coast road we rode up on. The bird life and plants on the edge […] View More

06/07/2017 Atherton to Port Douglas

We were happy to leave the Atherton Motel-it was 3 star all the way, not really our scene!  The walls were paper thin and we had neighbours on one side-a couple.  In the evening we could hear every word spoken, it was like sharing a room with strangers-luckily they were well behaved!! We rode into town for a coffee club breakfast.  The coffee was very good. We rode out of the Tablelands the same way we arrived which was the windy hill.  A great ride down.  It seemed the temperate went up a degree with every corner.  Back in Cairns it was hot and humid-about 28deg. We called into the Harley shop as I needed some gloves that could let the air through-I’ve been riding […] View More

05/07/2017 Cairns to Atherton

We made our own breakfast and headed out on the bikes for coffee.  We are enjoying coffee from the Coffee Club as it’s always consistent.  After coffee we headed out to have a look at Yorkey’s Knob-we’ve had a few jokes about that!  We thought it might be an alternative place to stay to Cairns when we head south as it’s only 20 mins away.  Also we needed to run our tyres in before heading out into the Tablelands. Yorkey’s Knob is on the coast but you can’t access the beach easily.  However I’m so pleased we rode out there because I saw a pair of Sarus Cranes.  What magnificent birds they are.  They can be 1.8 meters tall with a wingspan of 2.5 meters. […] View More

04/07/2017 A day in Cairns

A lazy day.  We had to take the bikes into a tyre shop as we both needed new front tyres.  They replaced them while we waited which was good.  Then we went for a walk.  We probably walked about 10km.  Its a hot and humid day here today, no rain.  Like Townsville there is an esplanade all along the coast. The coast here is more of a muddy tidal flat-not very pretty, but even if the beach was lovely, there’s no swimming in the sea up here.  This is stinger and croc country so unless you are within a netted area and wearing a stinger suit you would be crazy to swim in the sea.  We have been adjacent to the Gt Barrier reef for […] View More

03/07/2017 Townsville to Cairns

We are waking really early here as its light at 6:20-dark this far north in the evening at about 6ish. We had breakfast in town this morning and a lovely walk along the esplanade that runs along the beach and marina area.  Such a pretty town with the most exotic park on the other side of the esplanade.  You know you’re in the tropics when the trees in the park are towering mango trees and massive Banyan trees.  They have a beautiful tree here that is the same as our Pohutukawa tree but has yellow flowers, and the bloom is bigger which is amazingly beautiful.  Added to that, it’s full of rainbow lorikeets hungry for the pollen.  We are not travelling with our good SLR […] View More

02/07/2017 Mackay to Townsville

We walked into town for breakfast which took a while-town was a 20 min walk away.  The sky was grey and threatened rain, but was warm. We got on the road at 10 ish.  Leaving Mackay we saw three large sugar refineries.  I guess that’s where most people in the town work.  We had 450km to ride mostly on the A1 and we knew the scenery was going to be boring so it was a matter of just getting comfortable and getting the k’s behind us.  We stopped in Bowen for lunch.  It’s on the coast but there was a strong onshore wind blowing and we both got a bit cold.  The sky was getting blacker. In the next leg of the ride the rain […] View More

01/07/2017 Yeppoon to Mackay

This was not our best day of riding!  We had found an alternative route to the A1 but upon close inspection on Google Earth, husband realised that the northern end of the road was closed due to roadworks.  This was well spotted because at the turn around point we would have been too low on gas to double back.  So, on this day we had to ride the whole 450kms on the A1.  It’s Saturday which meant not too much traffic, especially trucks.  The trucks here are very long and take a bit of skill and observation to pass. I didn’t mind the ride today.  It was a bit boring-we are in the land of sugar cane and gum trees now, so the landscape doesn’t […] View More

29/07/2017 Gladstone to Yeppoon

We enjoyed our stay in Gladstone and managed to get some good walking in, all around the waterfront and through the parks.  Unlike any other town we’ve stayed in so far, it was hilly too so that was a good workout.  We are trying hard to walk before we ride, or after, or both as sitting on a Harley all day requires no pedal power.  Ever wondered why so many bikers are fat buggers! Anyway, on our ride to Yeppoon we rode through Rockhampton.  I had stayed there before 25 years ago as it’s the port for getting out to Great Keppel Island where I stayed for a while.  I didn’t recognise any of it this time as we rode through.  It’s a historic town […] View More

28/06/2017 Hervey Bay to Gladstone

The ride out of Hervey Bay was good but for a while we were under some pretty big black thunderous clouds.  Luckily we didn’t get rained on.  Everywhere we ride there are signs advising of the floodways.  In all the gully’s there’s a measuring stick 1-2 meters high so you can see the depth of water in the rainy season.  We are riding in the two months of winter which is settled and, coming from NZ seems warm-it’s been about 25 deg each day.  It can easily be 45 deg up here in the summer, and the rain in the rainy season is just something I can’t imagine.  All the houses are built on stilts. We had to do a bit of riding on the […] View More

27/6 /2017 Dalby to Hervey Bay

All those long straight roads into Dalby had to be back tracked for quite a way-a great experience to go out into the vastness of the West.  Enjoyable riding back over the Main Divide, and altogether an uneventful ride to the coast.  We’ve both been to Hervey Bay so we knew what to expect. We lunched under a tree. It is becoming warmer as we head north and the plants and trees are starting to become more tropical, although this latitude is still sub tropical.  Bourgainvillea’s grow like weeds here. View More

26/6/2017 Caloundra to Dalby

The ride out of Caloundra was great-hilly and windy.  We rode Northwest towards the Main Divide and enjoyed the ride over the hills.  On one of the windy areas there was a roadworks sign with an 80km sign.  We started slowing down from about 110, went around a corner and there’s a man holding a stop sign-we both had to pull the bikes up really hard which is not easy when they weigh 450KG plus all our luggage.  This guy stood his ground as we both came to stop pretty much at his feet-he said drily, ‘that was impressive’ meaning our stop.  We got stuck into him about needing a bit more notice but he tuned out pretty quickly. The Main Divide is the place […] View More

25/6/2017 Brisbane to Caloundra

The ride to Caloundra was great.  It was our intention to stay off the main highways and to ride only on the smaller back roads.  The one we planned to Caloundra took in the hinterland out the back of Brisbane around lake Wivenhoe. This lake is formed by a dam that was installed after 3 floods in 100 years, the most recent in 1974 wiped out downtown Brisbane.  The City of Brisbane sites on a tidal river, and with heavy rain there was no way of controlling the river rising.  When we walked around the park in Brisbane there was a monument to the floods-in 1974 there was 64 cm of rain in 36 hours and the flood waters peaked at 6.6 meters on the […] View More

24/6/2017 Arriving in Australia on the Harleys

The bikes were shipped to Brisbane.  Once they had landed and were available to us at Morgan and Wacker’s Harley shop we flew over to pick them up.  Arriving in Brisbane is always a joy-a lovely city.  We decided to have 2 nights there so we were under no pressure to arrive and start our trip too soon.  After leaving the airport we took a taxi straight to the Land Transport Authority where we thought we were to collect our Queensland plates, but all we needed was a permit to ride here.  Sounds simple but the process took over an hour per bike.  Luckily Stuart had done his research and had all the documentation required. We got to our hotel in Fortitude Valley and got […] View More

Time Lapse-A Pair of Kookaburra’s in a Silky Oak Tree

A beautiful painting of a Pair of Kookaburra’s in a Silky Oak Tree. This painting has been created with acrylic ink on wood.  Whilst the painting time lapse is only 3 minutes and 40 seconds, it actually took me about 4 hours to paint. A step by step demonstration will be published in Australian Artist magazine in the near future.  Keep posted for the publication date-how exciting, I can’t wait!!!       View More

Looking for that next Landscape inspiration-on my Harley Davidson…

I take any opportunity to get out on my Harley Davidson Road King with my husband.  Whilst riding through the beautiful New Zealand scenery, I’m always looking for that next landscape to paint.  Follow our rides as we see the best of New Zealand on these links below. More video’s coming soon!   View More

Carolyn wins an ‘Oscar’ of the Watercolour world!!!

At Auckland’s Royal Easter Show, Carolyn won the coveted Raye Hannam Memorial trophy for the Best Watercolour Painting, across all categories.  This is the biggest Watercolour prize awarded in New Zealand It was thrilling to receive the news that I had won the top watercolour prize, the Raye Hannam Memorial trophy for best watercolour , across all categories in the Auckland Easter show. But what it ultimately meant to me was validation. I’ve been painting full time with watercolour for twelve years, and over that time I’ve worked at painting all subjects-portraits, (human and animal,) still life and landscapes including detailed landscapes that might have trees, horses, lakes and mountains within the landscape. This might be a reasonable enough composition with oil or acrylic, but […] View More

My Latest Painting

‘Under an African Sky’ This is my latest painting.  A loose but captivating image of Mother Elephant and Calf.  Painted  on 600gsm paper.  This painting will be exhibited in the Napier Arts show in June 2017. View More

My Next Workshop

Each year I run workshops, but this year I have not been able to fit any into my busy time schedule.  Until my next workshop, I am happy to discuss private one on one teaching, again if time permits. If you are interested in a future workshop, or private tuition, please make contact with me through my contact page by email, or give me a call. Carolyn   View More

Media coverage-awards

Carolyn has received some glowing media coverage after winning the ‘Raye Hannam’ Memorial Trophy at the 2017 Royal Easter Show in Auckland-New Zealand’s biggest art show. Soon to be added here, a copy of her media coverage from: The Central Leader New Zealand Artist Watercolour Magazine.   Also, coming soon, a ‘How to’ article in the Australian Artist magazine. Exciting times ahead! View More

Carolyn Judge - © 2018