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Old 16 Jan 17, 09:02 PM  
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TrueBlue
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Wild west trip 2017

We did our first west coast road trip in 2015 and when we came back we vowed to do another one in 2 years time but this time we'd visit different places.

Our first trip took us from Santa Monica to Morro Bay, San Francisco, Yosemite, Lone Pine, Las vegas and we finished off with 5 days in Anaheim. Myself, my hubby and 2 sons went but this year there will just be 3 of us as our older son (19) doesn't fancy it this time


This photo was taken in 2015 in Death Valley. My hubby Ramsay, Me (Marion) and our youngest son Scott who'll be 14 when we go


This was me and Scott on our flight to the Grand Canyon. Was one heck of a bumpy flight too!




This time we are doing more of the national parks as we loved our time we spent in Yosemite.

So our plans are looking like this...

Flying with United Airlines from Edinburgh to San Francisco (via Newark) on the 28th June. Managed to get them at a good price (550 return). Considering this is the scottish school holidays I was pretty impressed. We are flying back from Vegas to Edinburgh (via Newark).



We are due to arrive at San Francisco airport at approx 1800 and we'll pick up our car (still to book) and head to our hotel for the night.

I've booked the Days Inn at San Francisco airport west for a quick overnight stay. All the hotels in and around the airport are pretty pricey. This was one of the cheaper ones and cost 127.00. There is some restaurants within walking distance so at least we can grab a bit to eat before having an early night.



We have free breakfast included in the price of our hotel room so we are hoping to be up super early, grab some brekkie then we intend to be on the road before 8am to make our way to Yosemite!

I've been trying since July last year to book accommodation inside the park but they have constantly been fully booked. We stayed at Yosemite Lodge at the falls on our last trip and would loved to have stayed here again. But it's not to be (unless we can get a last minute cancellation)

So instead i've been Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal which is approx a 25 min drive to the valley on Yosemite. I have upgraded to a River view room which looks fab

We have booked in for 3 nights as I felt our last stay at Yosemite wasn't long enough (2 nights). We love doing a bit of exploring and some hiking (but nothing too hard going). Plus we want to spend some time relaxing on the river and hiring a canoe.

We were lucky enough to see a black bear on our last trip so will be looking out for another one. We won't get too close though as I don't fancy coming face to face with one. Observing them from a safe distance is good enough for me lol









So after our 3 nights in Yosemite we'll hopefully be driving the Tioga Pass (if it's open) and will stay overnight in a quaint little town called Lone Pine. I have booked the Comfort Inn, a hotel we stayed at on our last trip. There is only 2 or 3 hotels in Lone Pine and this is the best of them all - even though it's fairly basic. But it's very comfortable and includes a free breakfast again.

Lone Pine is a lovely place to spend the day / night. It sits at the foot of the Alabama Hills where many a western film was shot. There is a museum housing a large amount of props from the movies that were filmed there. We had a visit here the last time but this time we'll probably give the museum a miss but I do think we'll take a drive into the Alabama Hills











Next up is Death Valley which isn't far from Lone Pine. The last time we drove through Death Valley and only stopped off for some photo's in various areas but this time we are staying over at Furnace Creek Ranch for 1 night.

The so much I want to go back and see in Death Valley - the things we didn't get round to seeing the last time like Badwater basin etc.





To be continued...
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Old 24 Jan 17, 06:52 PM  
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Sound so fab, you are following the route we did a few years ago. Loved Furnace Creek Ranch, very quaint, fabulous pool and a Coyote walked right past us about 5 foot away. Be sure to walk a little way away and look at the stars, it's really out of this world! Pussycat
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Old 25 Jan 17, 08:34 PM  
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Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Wow, looks amazing .
Thank you - we can't wait to go again
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Old 25 Jan 17, 08:36 PM  
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Originally Posted by Pussycat Doll View Post
Sound so fab, you are following the route we did a few years ago. Loved Furnace Creek Ranch, very quaint, fabulous pool and a Coyote walked right past us about 5 foot away. Be sure to walk a little way away and look at the stars, it's really out of this world! Pussycat

Thank you for the tip about Furnace Creek. We will definitely go star gazing. I imagine the skies will be clear when we go as it was the same the last time we went. We weren't there at night though
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Old 25 Jan 17, 09:41 PM  
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Continued ...

The following day we will take our time getting up and packing the car as we're not in too much of a rush. Our next stop is Vegas but only for 1 night.

We hope to stop off at various view points through Death Valley and take loads of photo's.

I have booked New York New York for a 1 night stop over in Las Vegas. It looks like a fun hotel and Scott can't wait to ride the roller coaster. We are aiming to arrive here around 2pm and just take a stroll along the strip and maybe spend some time at the pool.







The next morning we will take to the road again. This time we are heading for Springdale to visit Zion National Park.



We have booked 2 nights in the Bumbleberry Inn which is a basic hotel but we don't intend spending much time in our room as i'm desperate to explore Zion.







There is some hikes and trails we want to do in Zion. I believe it can be quite dangerous though if they encounter a storm or heavy rain fall as the canyons fill very fast with water. There's been numerous people lost their lives over the years so we will be speaking to the rangers about the weather forecast before we venture in.

We would love to do Angels Landing but I would never dream of putting Scott's or my life in danger. Ramsay on the other hand will definitely attempt it as he's an experience hill walker here in Scotland. He has done many of the Munroe mountain ranges up north.

Me and Scott on the other hand will wait at the bottom of the dangerous bit at the end. Fingers crossed for good weather !

The trail in the photo is the bit we can all do. At the end of this is a very tall rock to climb. That's the bit Ramsay will do



So as I said we have 2 days to explore this area and this is one part of the holiday we are really looking forward too.

The following day i'm hoping is going to be the best day of the entire trip and the whole reason for us going back and doing another road trip. We are heading to... The View Hotel - Monument Valley!

Every room has a view of the monuments and I can't wait to sit out on our balcony and take in the view. We're not even there yet but I already know that I don't want to leave!

We will be there for sunset and sunrise and we're also hoping to do a tour of the valley the next day before making our way to the Grand Canyon











Our next stop is Maswik Lodge at Grand Canyon Village. We did a trip to the Grand Canyon on our last visit but we took a flight in and it all seemed a bit rushed. This time we can take things at a more leisurely pace.





We hope to see an amazing sunset and an even better sunrise if the weather is good. Our hotel is about a 10 minute walk (I think) to the edge of the canyon. Must remember to set my alarm clock to very early! lol





Our last 3 nights will be spent back in Las Vegas before our long flight home again.

I think after all the driving that the 2 of us will do we deserve a little bit of luxury at the end so i've booked us into the Venetian Hotel

We visited here the last time and I vowed if we ever went back to Vegas we just had to stay there.













I've not planned too much for our last few days in Vegas. We will probably go to Fremont Street because we have never been before and i'd love us all to do the zip line.

We will also take a stroll through the various hotels and have a look to see what shows are on.

But i'd be quite happy spending our last few days just relaxing in the vegas heat and not doing too much that'll be tiring.

I've still to decide what to do with the car. I don't know whether to drop it off at the airport when we first arrive in Vegas and get a taxi to our hotel. Seems a bit pointless keeping the car for an extra 3 days when we won't use it. But i'll need to see if we can drop our luggage off at our hotel first before returning the car but I really don't want to have to pay for parking or valet at the hotel

I'll post more updates if I manage to add anything else into our plans but if anyone has any tips for us we'd really appreciate hearing them. i.e anything in particular to see or do on our travels
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Old 4 Apr 17, 02:35 PM  
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Bumbleberry Inn at Springdale is a lovely little hotel. We've stayed there twice. There's a great selection of restaurants and cafes. The shuttle for Zion stops right outside the hotel which is handy. We tried to do Angel's Landing last year but it was far too hot and had to give up. You could hike a bit up the Narrows. It's great fun walking in the water.

The sunrise at Monument Valley is something you'll never forget. My hubby and son slept through it but they were probably the only folk in the whole hotel still asleep. We hiked around one of the Mittens during the day. It was hard going cos you're waking in sand the whole time. The tours that the locals run are great and take you into parts that aren't accessible to the public.

I'm sure you'll have a great time.
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Old 13 Apr 17, 01:55 PM  
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Sounds an amazing trip! We're doing some of the places in your trip. ..can't wait to see Zion too. Dh and I loved Yosemite so looking forward to being back in the national parks. We had to give up Monument Valley in this trip... there's just so much to see! Which places are you looking forward to the most?
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Old 15 Jul 17, 08:36 PM  
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Just catching up...how did I miss this?

Looking forward to reading all about your trip
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Old 17 Jul 17, 12:29 PM  
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Wow, what a fabulous trip you have planned, I am really looking forward to reading all about it as we would love to do something similar one day
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