Impressions of our 2nd year of travelling the USA

As our 2nd year of travelling the USA comes to an end it would be fair to say that our impressions of American people have only improved.  American people are the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.  We are not so naive to think that everyone here is nice, but everyone we’ve met are, and that’s a lot of people.   This year of travel got off to a bad start for me with a torn meniscus in my knee putting me out of action for weeks.  We stayed in Florida much longer than intended, a whole month so we could be close to the surgeon, but we enjoyed Florida apart from the Yellow fly, we hope we never see another one of those blood […]

Las Vegas

We are staying at a lovely luxury motor coach resort in Las Vegas.  We are about 5 miles away from the ‘strip’ and about 8 miles from where we are going to store the coach when we go home.  The resort we are in has a main swimming pool complex and one in each corner of the resort, 3 pickleball courts and some magnificent coaches that mostly have great outdoor kitchens and tiki type bars like our neighbours below, along with palm trees and blue skies it feels very tropical.  We have met and spent time with our lovely neighbours Ron and Jerry.   Our main focus while at the resort is to get the coach and car ready for storage which we have almost […]

Lake Havasu, Arizona

We booked into the ‘Islander Resort’ at Lake Havasu many weeks ago, a week here and a week in Las Vegas before flying home.  We thought a couple of weeks in the desert doing not very much would be relaxing before heading home. We have been at lake Havasu for 5 days now. There are 3 pickle ball courts which we are playing on, a beautiful swimming pool and hot tub and many walks within the resort.  The resort is located right on the lake.  The lake itself is very pretty, it sits on a bed of limestone so it looks blue green depending on the light.  The word Havasu means blue green and Havasupai describes the aboriginal people from this area, people of blue green […]

Arizona

We spent 5 nights at an RV resort near New River north of Phoenix.  This is a place we enjoyed last year, it’s in the Sonoran Desert.  The Sonoran Desert is the only place where the Saguaro cactus grow, and I love being amongst them. With a quick glance you can think there is nothing here in this desert, but it’s full of life if you take the time to look.  There are all types of cactus and many of the Saguaro and Barrel cactus were flowering which was lovely to see.   There are the typical desert snakes and spiders, although we didn’t see any, but also the Sonoran Tortoise, as big as a dinner plate, coyotes-didn’t see any but heard them.  We visited […]

Amarillo and the west

Amarillo is Spanish for yellow, so I guess I was expecting a pretty yellow town, it isn’t that!  There are a few reasons for the ‘yellow’ name.  There are small wild sunflowers that grow in the area, and all along the roadside which are pretty to see.  Also, before modern civilization this was an area where buffalo, wolves and other roaming animals used to come to because there was a large lake with a yellow coloured shore line.  Now that the city is built up the lake level has dropped and is no longer a picturesque place, otherwise I’m not sure about the name… Amarillo is a town in the Texas panhandle, it’s flat and barren and the city here is not the prettiest.  Northern […]

Oklahoma

We pulled into a campsite in Oklahoma thinking we might stay for a couple of nights and ended up staying for a week.  The ‘resort’ was very nice, lots of friendly people, two lovely big swimming pools and lots of walking trails.  Our first night there was a Friday which is a meet and great night, so we went to that and met lots of people, members of the resort, visitors like us and people that live there permanently.  Some good music was playing and lots of people dancing.  It’s Oklahoma and soon the country music was playing which meant line dancing.  I’ve watched a bit of line dancing now and it looks like great fun.  There’s an easy looking dance called the electric slide, […]

Back to Tennessee, Graceland

We got the coach serviced and ended up going back to Tiffin for another issue that we thought was fixed but wasn’t.  They did a good job of fitting us in and getting the job done, no cost and a year’s warranty on the work.  We didn’t want to hang around the area any longer so we decided to drive up to our next planned stop which is Memphis, Tennessee, to see Graceland. We are staying at an RV park called Tom Sawyers and it’s right on the mighty Mississippi river.  We sat out by the river last evening and watched the tugs pushing massive barges up river.  The muddy river is fast flowing and swirls like a freshly stirred cup of hot chocolate.   […]

Alabama

We stayed at a campsite south of Nashville that we loved and while we only intended staying a couple of nights we ended up staying for 4 nights, we met some lovely familys there. We drove down to Red Bay, Alabama which is where the Tiffin coaches are built.  Tiffin has many manufacturing and servicing plants in Red Bay and there are a few basic RV parks to accommodate coaches waiting to be attended to.  We drove to the main service area and were put in the ‘service’ queue and placed out at Belmont, Mississippi, a few miles from Red Bay, Alabama.  We were told to be ready to move by 7am the following day. The next morning a Tiffin representative came to the RV […]

Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

We’ve been in Tennessee for 12 days, and we are still here!  What a lovely state Tennessee is.  We spent most of our time in Sevierville which was a very nice town at the foothills of the Smoky’s, about 20 miles away.  Sevierville celebrates Dolly Parton and claims her as their own.  There is a statue of her in the town and everything in Sevierville begins with Dolly!  She is much loved and comes from these parts but lives over near Nashville. We have been staying in a lovely RV park in Sevierville on the river.  Usually when we stay in a campsite on a river or mountain top etc we have to back in and we don’t have a window in the back of […]

Nashville, Tennessee

It’s a nice drive from Ohio to Tennessee, which is basically driving all the way through Kentucky.  Kentucky is horse country and we saw a few paddocks with horses, but you need to get off the interstate to see anything of interest in the US.  There are distilleries all through the state which I expected we would visit… and its’ the first time we’ve see tobacco growing, a beautiful green/yellow broad-leafed plant. We had meant to stay a while in Kentucky but our planning went awry and we omitted it causing our ‘Tiffin team’ driver to drive 4.5 hours!  I’m sure that wasn’t my fault… However in true form he drove exceptionally well including a congested drive through Nashville during a horrendous thunder storm, visibility […]

Exploring Cincinnati, Ohio

We are staying at a delightful campsite called little farm on the river. I haven’t seen a farm, well any animals since we arrived but we are on the river, this time the Ohio River.  As mentioned in a previous blog, the Ohio starts it’s journey in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers converge-the Ohio eventually joins up with the Mississippi.  The river is slow, wide and chocolate brown but it’s nice sitting at the edge of it. Occasionally we see a tug pushing or pulling the biggest barge like structure you’ve ever seen!  We think it might be laden with coal as there is a power station further along the river with huge chimneys. The campsite we are staying at is actually in Indiana, […]

Heading South West and exploring Columbus, Ohio

We thought we may as well take in a few cities on our way to Tennessee and Columbus was on the way!  We explored the city today, driving the car in and then cycling. It’s a lovely city with a vibrant feel, although it is Saturday today and is the food truck and music festival day, so food trucks all over and music in all the parks by the main river, Scioto.   Columbus has a population of about 1 million, and another million in the surrounding area.  Named after Christopher Columbus the city was founded in 1812.   The city was founded by both the Irish, who settled the northern area of the city and the Germans, in the south end of the city. The German […]

Heading South West and exploring Pittsburgh

After leaving the Niagara region we headed south to upper New York state.  We stayed at a place called Country Hills Campground.  This was such a lovely place, well kept and in a country setting with green rolling hills all around.  Upper state New York is very pretty, we really enjoyed our stay and travelling through the region.  Canada was very flat, so the hills are nice to see.  Jim and Denise ran the campground and were wonderful people to get to know. Leaving the region, we headed to Pennsylvania and through the Allegheny Forest.  I chose a campsite right in the middle of the forest thinking we would go hiking but being in the forest often means narrow roads to get in, damp ground […]

Impressions of Canada

We were in Canada for just under a month.  We travelled through Quebec and Ontario during that time, but these are such huge places I can’t say we’ve seen those provinces, only the highway we travelled along.  The size of Quebec Provence alone is profound, 1.5 million sq KM’s!  NZ is 268,000 sq KM’s.  I’m not sure that anyone can say they’ve seen Quebec Provence-further north it looks like a series of lakes and marsh and not many roads. Travelling along the interstate for many miles I can tell you that Canada has many trees!  Trees to the horizon, and the horizon is very big in Canada. There are ‘watch out for the moose’ signs everywhere and I watched out for them day after day […]

Niagara Falls, Ontario

We knew we were in for some wet weather at Niagara Falls so we booked in there for 4 nights as we wanted to see the falls on a sunny day.  Typically, the mornings were nice and the afternoons rainy and stormy.  We were staying at a nice quiet campsite on the St Lawrence river, 10 km’s upstream from the falls.  This is a wide and fast flowing river and as we looked across the river at land on the other side we were actually looking at a large island with the other half of the river on the other side-the flow of water along this river is incredible. We were staying on a road called the Niagara Parkway that runs along the river to […]

Montreal and onto Long Sault Parkway and into Toronto, Ontario

We were in Montreal for 4 days which was a really good rest time.  We only went into the city of Montreal once but spent all day there and explored it extensively.  I think we would have gone in a second time but the roadworks were daunting/confusing coming back to the campground and it didn’t seem worth it.  Instead we went out exploring south of the river to St Annes which was a small town on the river where it splits and creates a canal system. We rode our cycles along the road parallel to the river and enjoyed looking at some of the grand houses. We spent most of the day there.     We left the campsite this morning and drove through a […]

Quebec and onto Montreal

We spent a 2nd day in Quebec city and managed to see all new territory from the day before which was great, we feel we have seen the best of the city.   On this second day we walked from one old gate of the city, Porte St Louis to the other. On our way we found a tree that had a cannon ball lodged into it, apparently since 1759!  As we were looking at I heard the driver of a horse drawn carriage tell his passengers that ‘of course it’s an English cannonball, the French ones were much bigger!’     We’ve had a small electrical issue with the car and had a part changed and decided it would be best if I drove the […]

Arriving at Quebec

It was a day of driving in the coach to get to Wolfville to see the tides, and having spent 2 nights there in a lovely RV park we had to back track the way we came. We realise now that while the land in Nova Scotia is beautiful there’s not a lot to see.  We didn’t explore Halifax as we thought we would, but rather spend the time exploring the bigger French cities.  Halifax was the biggest city in the area, otherwise it’s crops and huge barns dotted around the countryside that house cattle and poultry.  It seems sad that no animals here are free ranging, and there were no free range meat, poultry or egg options in the supermarkets but then it does […]

The Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy takes in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. We had already had a sense of the huge tides this bay produces at New Brunswick.  Now we are in Nova Scotia, at a place called Wolfville.  We chose this place as our research showed that we should see some good tide running here.  The BoF is very deep and wide as it hits the coast and then funnels up the huge bay.  We were in a village called Windsor which had a river flowing through and this is apparently a place to see a tidal bore. This is when the incoming tide rides up over the out going river-when both are running fast the water can stand up a meter in height and have […]

Into Canada

One of the reasons Arcadia is so nice is because of the trees and hills, but this area really marks the beginning of Canada and how it all looks up here!  We crossed over the border yesterday-alcohol is limited per person so we made sure we weren’t over the limit-food is fine.  It was a simple border crossing, no-one comes on board, no sniffing dogs etc, just a nice man in a kiosk asking how much tobacco and alcohol is on board. Once over the border we were immediately struck by how beautifully smooth the roads are compared to the US.   We were booked into an RV park not far from the border. It was an open paddock type RV park which was so nice […]

At Arcadia National Park

We pulled out of our campsite this morning at Rockport, happy to be moving on.  Not a long drive today but we have been positioning ourselves to get to Arcadia National Park.  It’s considered the jewel in the crown of the Maine coastline. Arcadia National Park is 47,000 acres of preserved land on Mount Desert Island.  There are walking and cycling tracks through it and roads for the car (probably not the coach).  There are also carriage trails which were designed and implemented by Rockefeller and other philanthropists around the 1930’s.  We haven’t explored yet and tomorrow it is due to rain so we won’t get to explore until Sat. It’s colder here-such a contrast to our days in Florida where it was too hot […]

Exploring Mid Maine

We left the lovely Mill Brook RV park where we made lots of friends and travelled a short distance to Saco south of Portland, Maine.  We booked in to a KOA (Kampground of America) RV park for 2 nights just so we could shop at Maine Mall in South Portland.   S needed some new clothes and we thought we would buy a mosquito net and canopy.  We bought all we needed including a Lonely Planet guide to Canada as we are heading that way.  On our way back we had an unplanned lobster roll lunch again…   When we got back to the coach we put up our mosquito net and canopy and found that it was rubbish-flimsy, too big, poor quality etc so […]

Leaving Cape Cod for Boston

We found getting in to an RV park quite difficult around Boston.  There’s very few close to Boston and those that are close were fully booked, however we were lucky to sneek into the last spot in one called Mill Brook.  This is a very nice park with very friendly people who have made us feel very welcome.  Tomorrow is the 4thJuly and there is a social breakfast for everyone and fireworks on Friday night.  Many people staying in their RV’s at this park come here from Florida in the summer to escape the hot summer down there and many of them live nearby to each other down there on Florida’s west coast-the place has a nice community feel.   We asked many people about […]

Martha’s Vineyard

The following day, our last full day at Cape Cod we caught the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard. There are 3 villages there to visit but they are positioned like the points of a triangle about 6 miles apart.  We landed into Oaks Bluff and decided we had only enough time to visit one of the other villages, not both as we were on our bicycles.  We had a quick look around Oak Bluffs.     We rode to Edgartown which was a very nice village. Beautiful houses, a lovely harbour, close boat access to Chappaquiddick Island, and some boutique type stores. Chappaquiddick used to be joined to MV but in 2007 they separated as a result of storm damage. Because we were catching the ferry from […]

Exploring Cape Cod, “If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, quaint little villages here and there…

We considered driving up to the tip of Cape Cod peninsular but we could get a feel of what it might be like, well as the song says-sand dunes, salty air, beach, lakes and ocean, nice but we can see that where we are, and it’s a 2 hour drive up to the top, I doubt Old Cape Cod has changed much… Instead we decided to drive to North Falmouth and do more cycling. We rode through a residential coastal area which has some very interesting houses and out to a beach, then joined up with another cycle trail, finishing with another picnic lunch.      

Towards Cape Cod

We spent a night in Pennsylvania as we generally headed north west.  We thought long and hard about the merits of going into New York city. It’s a city I’ve always wanted to visit but when researching RV parks you find only 1 in central NYC and that one sounds grim, it’s a carpark with rented RV’s and a security guard.  The others are outside of the city and that means a long and expensive train journey in. It was a tough choice as half the people we ask about NYC say it’s fantastic, the other half say stay clear of it, not much to see and a hassle with a coach-it’s funny how divisive the place is, I want to go, S doesn’t!  We decided […]

Washington DC 2nd day

We decided to take our bikes on the train into DC today so we could cover more ground.  Angie was not feeling so well and was unable to meet us.  We thought we would start at the top of the city and visit the Cathedral but it was closed so we thought we would ride through the zoo but you can’t ride your bike through there so we rode down towards Georgetown. We spent some time riding along the canal which popped us out at downtown Georgetown by the Potomac river.   We rode along the river and into the National Mall area again where we had lunch.     Cycling is a great way to get around, you can ride on the road or […]

Washington DC

We arrived here 2 days ago.  The evening we arrived we went for a walk around the wooded perimeter track of the park-It’s quite a big place.  On our walk we saw fire flies, what a delight to see, they shine so brightly! Our first day exploring DC we drove to the train station-about 10 mins, then caught the train which is mostly an underground system. We are about 7 stops from Archives which is central to all the monuments, it took about 25 mins, very efficient, clean and regular train service. Going above ground at Archives (National Archives) for the first time is wonderful.  It’s downtown and surrounded by historic buildings.  We were meeting up with Angie at 11 at the Lincoln Memorial so we […]

Shenandoah, Virginia

We travelled through North Carolina on the main highway, so I can’t say we saw much of the state this time around.  When we approached Virginia, we were still on the highway until we got near our RV park but already you could tell we were in a rural area that looked like we had stepped back in time by 50 years.  I kept thinking of the Waltons (which I used to love watching) and was singing the theme music as we drove by red farm buildings and old brick houses with white pillars out the front, grain silos and green fields.  There’s a Norfolk and Suffolk in Virginia and I thought the countryside looked very much like the Norfolk, UK where I grew up. […]

Further north to St Augustine, surprisingly historic!

The surgeon was accepting of us wanting to move on. I think he would have liked another visit as I still can’t fully straighten or bend the leg.  He said I have 2 months to get the leg straight or I will lose the ability to do so.  He suggested exercises and then showed interest in places we were going to-he recommended the Banff National park which I’ve put on the to do list-a list that gets longer!. We were happy to leave the RV park at Kissimmee after so long but also the yellow fly were so bad there we were starting to suffer with many bites that had a severe itch that lasts for weeks and are prone to getting infected.  No chance of […]

Okeechobee

The biggest lake in Florida is Okeechobee and we are now parked right at the top of it in a very nice RV park.  The park is over 100 acres in size with wonderful facilities and barely anyone here, very nice! This is the rainy (and hurricane) season, it rains each afternoon so the locals are gone to drier land!   The lake is a natural shallow dish with a clay bottom, whereas the surrounding land is sand and limestone.  The water levels can get high in the rainy season and water has to be released through the canals and eventually into the everglades.  We drove along the lake edge for a short time today and it is water to the horizon.  The lakes here […]

Another look at Key West then back north

The next day…Ok S went to key West on his own.  I stayed on the coach and painted and exercised, trying to get more flexion in my knee, I made some good progress.  S said that he saw a very nice aspect of Key West today, more upmarket suburbs with nice colonial houses.  From the photos, it looks more like the Key West I expected to see.  It’s great that he went back and did more exploring, and brought me some great photos!  He wasn’t gone for too long, Key West is only 8 sq miles.   We head off tomorrow to stay at the Miami Zoo!  Yes they have an RV park there. We had a good but rather slow drive up from the […]

Key West

We are down in the Florida Keys.  It’s tropical down here.  Coral grows in the water, coconuts grow in the palms, Frangipani grows like a weed and Iguana’s roam around like little dogs! The fauna and flora are all very nice. The drive down from Florida City was 114 miles along Ocean Highway, an impressive one or 2 laned highway about a meter above the sea.   The sea looks to be shallow with small outcrops of trees and mangrove islands stretching out to the horizon.  The land here is very flat, it will not fare well in global warming when the sea levels rise. We are staying at a luxury RV park which means we get our own private lot with a full tiki […]

Heading South to Florida City

We are in Florida City an hour south of Miami.  We are staying in a mediocre RV park that was Hobsons choice.  We are here for 2 nights as we are waiting to get into a very nice RV park 10 miles north of Key West where we will stay for 3 nights. We are looking forward to exploring that area. We ended up having 11 days at Kissimmee (pron Kiss sim me) which was a nice stay at a very nice RV park which had 2 wonderful swimming pools.  The length of stay there was determined by my (I thought) final appointment with the surgeon. However once he had a look at my knee he asked that we return for another follow up visit.  I’ve still got poor range […]

Surgery

We are still at the RV park in Kissimmee.  Very nice here and we are happy staying longer.  A short blurb on the knee.  Upon initial consultation with the surgeon on Mon he thought I may have a bucket handle tear in the Meniscus-yes, the good shoppers of Walmart were all right!  A bucket handle tear is bad as part of it flips under the knee and surgery is tricky and recovery long.  I was a bit bummed out at this prospect. The next day I had an MRI. Yesterday we met with the surgeon  Dr Blick and the good news it’s not a bucket handle tear but still a nasty tear so surgery under a general anaesthetic is scheduled for tomorrow. Surgery was today. All went very smoothly, a […]

Kissimmee Florida

Arrived in Kissimmee Florida today.  Very close to all the theme parks, Disney World just down the road.  We are in an RV park that is away from the tourist scene in a residential area. Very nice park with many swimming pools and a lake.  Stuart explored during his walk last night and then took me for a drive around in the car. Looks nice. Florida is of course famous for its oranges and gators, but because so much of Florida is low lying swamp land there are many bugs here, most annoyingly an insect that looks like a small aircraft carrier and bites like a mosquito, its called a Deer fly or known locally as Yellow Fly.  I got bitten many times yesterday and was only out for 10mins!  Typically, Stuart […]

On the road to Florida

We did a short drive to McDonough, Georgia for our first night.  Stuart drove wonderfully well, not rusty at all.  The RV park was pretty average.  Getting on the road and setting up at the end of the journey is all on Stuart, I can’t help with much at all. Stuart went for his usual late afternoon walk while I stayed on the coach.  Heading off tomorrow for Live Oak, Georgia. Big drive today, over 4 hours to get to Live Oak which is close to the Florida border.  We stayed at an RV park where you can stay with your horses.   Many people here tow huge trailers with horses doing just what we do but they go riding when they arrive, sounds wonderful! This RV park was very nice, 300 […]

2019 USA trip-Arriving

Blog 1 of May 16th2019 We caught a 7pm flight to Houston Texas.  The flight left on time, had a great meal and then we both pretty much slept until 3 hours before landing.  We spent a night at the Marriot at the airport which is just a short subway ride away and had another good sleep.  We woke on Tues morning ready to catch our flight to Atlanta, Georgia. Only 1 hr 30 mins, and equally uneventful which is good.   Once we arrived at the airport we couldn’t Uber as we had no data on our phones, so we had to catch a cab to Lawrenceville where the coach is stored.  We hit rush hour traffic and had a pretty rubbish driver so it took ages.  We arrived at National […]

North Carolina

We didn’t want to spend the weekend in the car park at National Indoor near Atlanta, so we decided to drive the coach up to a lake area.  We tried getting into many parks up here but they were all full.  Apparently this area gets pretty booked up when the autumn colours start to change, it’s quite a spectacle.  One of the few places we could get into was Mountain Falls, it’s a luxury RV resort and it cost more per night than most other places we have stayed at, but well, it is our last sojourn before heading back to NZ. This resort is in western North Carolina, about 2.5 hours north of the storage facility.  Once we started climbing into the mountains the […]

Rainy night in Georgia

We left the Hamilton State park and crossed back into Georgia.  We thought we would just turn up at the next park, as we have been doing that for a few weeks now-there are no school holidays, and it’s still too early for the Snowbirds so many parks have a lot of capacity.  However as we were approaching the next park we thought we had better check by calling ahead-they were full!  Found another option, also full-had to compromise with a third option which was a slightly scruffy park in the woods.  There was a pool but it wasn’t heated.   We had been watching the storm off the Florida Panhandle and thought that these woods would be a good place to take shelter. The park […]

Oh my sweet Carolina

We had a 3 hour drive to get to the Hamilton Branch State Park in South Carolina.  We are only just over the state line from Georgia.  We have a space at the lake edge, its beautiful here. We are away from the alligators, I asked the ranger what we can find here and he said there are lots of deer, fox, fox squirrels which are big, snakes, but there are snakes all over the US, and that’s about it, all very friendly. The drive today was all through tree lined roads, mostly pines much like Colorado and Oregon, Georgia seems to be a very green state.  As we head further north, there is an almost imperceptible sense that the weather is cooling off, although […]

Savannah Georgia, Day 2

We drove back into central Savannah today and parked near Forsyth Park.  Firstly we had a look inside the grand Roman Catholic Cathedral.  Very beautiful.     Oglethorpe’s far sighted vision not only included 22 squares for the city, but a large park too.  This park has a beautiful fountain and lots of walking paths, but it’s really about walking around the edge of the park and taking in all the stately houses.  This area is still considered the historic section of the city.     The houses are at times 4 levels tall, often Georgian in design and great attention to detail paid with the wooden and brick ornaments.  As in NZ, each house was a completely different design and colour to it’s neighbour.  […]

Savannah Georgia, Day 1

From the State Park, we are only 8 miles away from central Savannah.   We firstly went to Wormsloe State Historic Site.  This site was a grand plantation in it’s time and the entrance to it has an ornate arch way with a 1.5 mile drive way of 400 year old arching live oaks, again the Spanish Moss swaying in the breeze like seaweed in a tidal current.  There are mites that live on the Spanish Moss called Chiggers, apparently they give a very nasty bite if you get them on your skin.  During the days of colonisation, unsuspecting people stuffed their mattresses with this moss, this is where the saying, ‘Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite’ came from…   The drive way is […]

Onto Georgia, Forrest Gump country

It was a pretty challenging drive for husband today.  We are still travelling on interstate 10, which we’ve been on since Phoenix, Arizona, in a coach you can only really take 40 or 10.  On this section of I10 there were lots of roadworks which no one seems to slow down for, the lanes were pretty narrow and uneven, and lots of trucks passing us.  Some days are like that, other days are easier.  We were happy to get to Savannah.  We are staying in another state park, this time one called Skidaway.  It’s not on the coast, but we are on the edge of a vast salty marsh, and more specifically, the Skidaway Narrows-infact the whole coast along here is like that, very flat […]

See ya later Alligator…

The next day we had a day exploring around the state park on our bicycles.  We set off to the nearest alligator pond, which was only about 20 meters away! If I can’t sleep at night I sometimes think about what animals might be in the park we are staying in.  …these parks and infact most places we have been to are rich in animal life, that has been a very pleasant surprise about the US.  Here I have thought about alligators.  We have been in alligator territory since Galveston.  I would like very much to see one, but they give me the creeps, they like swampy water, they are nocturnal, they are purely instinctive, ie if they are hungry, they will find something (anything) […]

Jacksonville, Florida

We stopped on the way to Jacksonville for a couple of nights on the Suwannee River, made famous by the Stephen Foster song, and more famously sung by Al Johnson, Swannee (various sp…) how I love ya, how I love ya, my dear old Swannee…  Or the saying, Up the Swannee…When we arrived at the campground, I asked the owner if there was anything here we should know about, ie alligators, he said no, but don’t swim in the river (which was only a few metres away).  I asked, can we walk along the riverbank?   Oh yes, as long as there are no alligator’s there!  Anything else, I asked.  No, nothing else.  I told him, I’ve heard there are bears around here, is that true?  […]

Florida, the sunshine state

We had a good drive from Gulf Shores in Alabama.  Within 10 minutes of leaving heading east along the coast we passed into Florida.  Florida is the south eastern peninsular of the US, but it also runs south west, and this area is called the Panhandle of Florida, that is where we are.  We left Alabama as they were in for lots of rain, so we moved to Panama City which was still to be wet, but not as bad as other surrounding areas-this is a very unsettled time of year here.  We booked into Panama City RV Resort for 3 nights to wait for the weather to improve. This is a tightly packed RV site which has been a bit noisy with barking dogs […]

Sweet home Alabama

After leaving Slidell, we had a night in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Biloxi was a nice coastal town but essentially a casino town, and we stayed at a casino RV park.  This park and surrounding area had no redeeming features and we stayed only one night to break up our journey. The day we arrived in Alabama it was raining and as we approached Gulf Shores it was torrential with surface flooding on the roads, this made it hard to find the State Park we were heading for.  We arrived at Gulf State Park, registered and found our spot.  There are about 500 RV parking spaces here, and the park is about 20,000 acres in size. We got the coach set up and I parked the car […]

Down in Louisiana, where the Alligators grow so mean…

We both enjoyed Galveston, Texas and would have stayed longer but the rain beat us.  It rained torrentially there each day which drove the mossies crazy, which drove us crazy!  S looked at the weather map to see it was all clear further east.  We left Galveston by a 20 min  ferry journey travelling over the Bolivar Peninsular.  This would lead us from Texas into Louisiana.  During this drive the rain was torrential and the sea at times was lapping only a metre or two away from the road we were travelling along.  Having the Gulf of Mexico so close, the rain pouring down, the sky black and knowing this is the land of, and the season for, Hurricanes.  I admit I felt vulnerable! The […]

“Houston, we have a problem…”

It was a very wet Monday in Galveston so I thought backtracking 30mins in the car and visiting the Nasa Space Centre near Houston was too good an opportunity to miss.  Carolyn could think of nothing more boring so while she went off on her bicycle around Galveston I spent the day at the Nasa Johnston Space Centre which acts as the control centre for all USA space flight.  They also design and test all space technology here before its launched on a rocket. One of the first exhibits at Houston is the Boeing 747 that was modified to carry the space shuttle on its back to the launch pad and then to collect it again after it returned to earth. The public can go […]

Galveston, Oh Galveston

The drive along I10 from San Antonio was pretty stressful.  Very heavy traffic, poor driving all around, and as we approached Houston, a huge thunderstorm.  Once through the spaghetti like motorway system around Houston we got on 45 down to Galveston.  Husband drove very well and I helped navigate.  I guess we could have picked a better time than late afternoon on a Friday in rain but there you go… We are staying in a nice RV park in Galveston right by the beach. Unfortunately, on our first night here our neighbours partied all night and neither of us got much sleep.  This is the first time in all our travels that we have been disturbed by inconsiderate people in an RV park.  This left […]

Texas and the Alamo

The drive from Carlsbad to San Antonio was reasonably boring.  Flat scrubby land with oil derricks dipping into the ground to suck up more crude oil.  It was a long journey, we came down on 285 into Fort Stockton.  This was one of the worst roads we’ve been on.  Roadworks just about the whole way.  Truck tankers carrying the crude oil from one place to another and a bone shaker road with big pot holes.  Fort Stockton was not much of a picture postcard town.  It played a role in the civil war, otherwise it’s another oil and gas town.  The wider area reminded us of Queensland Australia.  We stayed in a reasonably nice park in Fort Stockton, it had more permanents than people like […]

The Bat cave

It was a long drive from Tucson to Carlsbad, nearly a 300 mile drive.  By the time we arrived here we were both tired and I hadn’t done anything!  The last hour approaching Carlsbad was over the Guadalupe Mountains where the sky blackened and the winds picked up.  By the time we got to Carlsbad it was howling about 40 knots.  We are staying about 20 miles north of the city, the caves are on the south western side but because we are here for 2 nights we wanted to be in a nice park.  This one is the nicest we could find. Carlsbad is all about petroleum and gas production.  You can smell sulphur in the air and see the derricks on the horizon.  […]

Westworld

Prescott Arizona was a very nice place.  We weren’t there as long as we thought we would be as the coach repairs were completed much faster than we thought, and Affinity were too busy to deal with any of our less pressing issues. It was from Prescott that S drove me to Phoenix Airport to fly to Vancouver.  My Aunt and Uncle live there and a visit was long overdue.  While I was in Vancouver, Stuart was to stay with the coach until the repairs were completed.  Once finished he moved on to a Park near Phoenix. I arrived in Vancouver on a Tues evening, met by Dudley and Paddy-so good to see them, and looking so well.  I stayed for 3 full days and […]

Walking down into The Grand Canyon

We got up pretty early and got going so we wouldn’t be hiking in the heat of the day.  By 9 we had driven up to the visitors centre and were waiting for a shuttle.  The free shuttle ride out to the South Kaibab Trail only took about 15 minutes.   You cannot drive by car to this trail head. The track descends quite steeply along a well-made track. Already there were lots of weary people coming back up it.  This track goes to the Ooh Aah point, then to Cedar Point, then down onto a plateau which, if you walk to the end gives you a look over the river below-this is Skeleton Point.  The National Park strongly advises nobody tries to walk to the […]

The Grand Canyon

We left Zion and headed to Tuba.  We didn’t really want to go this way but our Garman would not take us on Highway 64, the road from Cameron to the Grand Canyon.  Our Garmin has the dimensions of the coach plugged in so we can be warned about low bridges etc.  Having to go the longer way meant we needed to spend the night in Tuba.  Tuba is in Navajo country and is as Indian as it gets, it was good to be immersed in this culture.  I went shopping at the local supermarket which I also think is a good litmus test for the wider community.  It was quite a large supermarket and had a good variety of products, but many shelves were […]

Zion National Park

We had a scenic drive from Red Canyon to Zion National Park via I15.  We elected to not go through the Zion-Mt Carmel tunnel.  The coach would get through there, no problem (we would need an escort that costs $15), but the roads on either side are narrow and busy, it’s just less stress to go the long way, and it’s a really nice drive. We are staying in a town called Virgin, named after the river that flows through it.  Virgin is about 14 miles away from Zion.  There are parks closer but you have to book way ahead to get closer-it’s fine where we are, in fact Zion River RV park is really very nice. There is a large swimming pool, restaurant and […]

Bryce National Park

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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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