USA Texas, Tennessee, Yellowstone & San Diego Trip May 2023

Discussion in 'Destinations and RV Parks' started by The5goodwins, May 3, 2023.

  1. Fitzjohnfan

    Fitzjohnfan
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    Those Earthroamers are made in Colorado, 1/2 hour from my home.

    Great picts, as usual!
     
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  2. The5goodwins

    The5goodwins
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    Day 2 Yellowstone.
    An early start at around 6:30am enabled us to get coffee & a bagel before heading out to Old Faithful and its surrounds.
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    After entering the park we saw quite a few buffalo with new cubs and some coyotes as well as plenty of birdlife.
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    Whilst the Old Faithful geyser is the highlight we walked the timber pathways and were lucky enough to see one of the more random geysers, Beehive Geyser, that was frankly WAY more spectacular than Old Faithful.
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    The Old Faithful Inn doesn't disappoint and the adjacent visitors centre is also well appointed. Stepping inside the Inn is a step back in time.
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    You are able to do tours of the Inn unfortunately they didn't tie in with our schedule. The gift shop is also well appointed and surprisingly not bad value.
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    The walk also provided us with what we think is our favourite selfie shot of the whole adventure.
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    From Old Faithful we moved to visit Grand Prismatic Spring but found by that time that the area was over run with bus tours and some very ordinary drivers. Due to this we elected to head north and travel through to Fort Yellowstone and Mammoth Springs.

    We found that after the climb towards the springs Yellowstone did it to us again and just when we though we had experienced all its facets it took us through a rock canyon across Rustic Falls that yet again blew our mind.
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    Strangely Mammoth Springs is very dry at the moment. I was advised that usually the water flows right across the feature but this was not the case during our visit.
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    Fort Yellowstone is also and amazing location and extremely busy. Heavy road repairs due to flooding made a drive to the the North Entrance and the town of Gardiner not possible. The view of the massive traffic jam trying to enter at the north entrance reinforced that this was an excellent decision.
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    Back to the motel and dinner of Bison steaks and Moose drool beer which were both excellent.
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    That's day 2 done Day 3 final day in Yellowstone to follow......
     
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  3. The5goodwins

    The5goodwins
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    Day 4 our final day at Yellowstone enabled us to see the couple of things we hadn't got too plus allowed for the opportunity to see the West Yellowstone Bear and Wolf Sanctuary that I highly recommend to anyone attending the park.
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    We again started early and drove straight to the grand Prismatic Spring. This turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the trip as the hike to the overlook was closed due to how early we were there for the season (May 17) On top of this the walkway only does half of the spring so whilst impressive you really don't get the full experience.
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    Whilst we avoided much of the crowds I have to say that you should ensure you get to do the Grand Prismatic as well as take the hike to the overview.
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    We also found a short canyon drive for Firehole falls where we met Ruby the tame duck with her booties and nappy....only in America people.
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    From the grand prismatic you can attend the Morning geyser and its associated pools which are amazing.
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    Never forget during these drives you pass many of the wildlife areas where there are Bison Jams and amazing views of wildlife in its environment which is really what Yellowstone is as the worlds first true National park.
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    From there we returned to West Yellowstone. If you remember I said for our 7am entry we drove straight through the gate. On our return at around 9:30am the line to enter the park was already 25 cars deep.
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    From this point we had a short drive around town that included the well set up museum and some of the maintenance areas for the parks unusual vehicles.
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    We then took the opportunity to attend the West Yellowstone bear and Wolf sanctuary. Your inexpensive ticket allows entry across 2 days and it is well worth a single day visit.
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    With the money being spent on upgrades that include an actual waterfall with seasonal salmon swimming upstream and interacting with the bears this attraction will be a must see going forward. (my conversation with staff indicated that the new attraction was 18 months away from May 2023) keep that in mind.
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    There are 8 bears and 2 packs of wolves at the park with interactive feeding and talks from naturalists that work directly with the animals. The place is a must see as it relates directly too the park.

    Thank you Yellowstone for a true bucket list experience. Plus I got to give @BankShot a personal trip update so that was also very cool.

    Next time...... San Diego and the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley plus a California Coastal drive that includes Malibu........
     
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  4. The5goodwins

    The5goodwins
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    So moving into our last few days before the big return flight to Brisbane.

    We somehow decided that it would be a great idea to fly into LAX at 7pm at night and then get a bus to collect our hire car......... yeah next level great idea right there....not....

    The only thing that made this a little bit lighter was the fact we hired a Tesla for our time in California. Can I say it took as 20 minutes just to get it started as Avis provides zero assistance and guidance with regard to these types of vehicles. massive negative for Avis right there.

    Having said that we got it going and I can honestly say we enjoyed the car so much I think we will purchase one next year here in Australia due to the incentives and the fact we are due for an update. I truly loved that car.

    We booked into Kings Inn San Diego in holiday row a retro 60's hotel we regarded and one of the nicest locations we stayed at. Very close to down town and with an excellent Mexican restaurant attached plus a really cool 50's breakfast diner attached.
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    As we only had the 2 nights we didn't muck around and got straight into checking out Coronado and its beautiful hotel. A short drive over the bridge and with inexpensive parking you have the time to see the waterfront and the hotel.
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    The beachfront pergolas were amazing.

    2 disappointments were the overcast weather and the fact the beaches we closed due to effluent pollution. Great job Gavin Newsome perhaps focus on California instead of worrying about your potential Presidential aspirations.
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    We then took the opportunity to do a San Diego harbour Cruise for 2 hours. Navy SEAL's training anybody........
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    Well worth the price to see not only wildlife but the huge Naval presence, both naval and sea based including ships being built on stands launching directly into the harbour.
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    From there it was too the Midway museum and the memorials and statues surrounding the harbour.
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    Midway is WELL worth the entry with us actually being there whilst they we lifting a new exhibit onto the deck of the ship.
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    The museum is well executed with amazing talks from docents and well thought out and interactive exhibits.
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    Below decks you can also interact with docents and visit ready rooms, sitting in the ready rooms, whilst the exhibit takes you through the experiences of those from the lowest to highest ranks.
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    An then when finished you experience memorials to events and persons that are also well presented.

    Sadly the next entry is our last of the report before our return to Australia........
     
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  5. The5goodwins

    The5goodwins
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    So after another relatively early start we booked out of our motel on the last day with a plan to drive the coast to Long Beach and then travel to Simi Valley and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library before returning to LAX via Malibu.
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    The coastal drive was awesome. We saw seals at La Jolle and had coffee and breakfast at some beautiful locations.
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    The areas before Long Beach are truly lovely small towns.

    Then we got to experience the ugliness that is Los Angeles city and its freeways. 2 and a half hours later we arrived in Simi Valley and drove up the hill to the Reagan Library.
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    Absolutely the best of all Presidential Libraries I have been too (Ive been to a few, 3 on this trip alone)
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    The building is rustic and simple. Interestingly this is the only presidential library that is not attached to a University.
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    The library looks across a valley and is quite peaceful.
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    The exhibit is extremely well put together and arriving in the "Hanger" is amazing.
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    The effort to place this aircraft, which you can walk through is amazing with the view from the glass wall mesmerising.
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    There is a mural showing all previous Air Force Ones plus a well put together display regarding the Secret Service and their role.
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    Particularly the display showing how 27000 was disassembled and transported to the sites before reassembly is excellent.

    Once finished it was a rather long drive, in traffic, back to LAX where we were able to enjoy the QANTAS business lounge before our 14 hour flight back to Australia and reality.
     
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  6. The5goodwins

    The5goodwins
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    Thank you again USA for an excellent trip and we can't wait to return. These are just a few of the 1012 photos taken during our trip. Our equipment was as follows;

    1 x Iphone 14 Pro
    1 x Iphone 11
    1 x GoPro Hero 5

    Where we could, and judged on return by the lack of quality I tried to enter the blogs with the iPhone or iPad we had with us.

    Currently we are still getting rid of duplicates and sifting through videos and I may post some extra photos of various locations that are worth the effort.
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    Ill leave you with a few photos of our favourite purchase that now sits proudly in the out door kitchen area.
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    Sits perfectly on the wall
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    Looks amazing at night.

    Thanks for taking the time to view the trip report........

    2024 Washington to Miami (And the Keys) anybody...........
     
  7. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    Wow Jason just amazing pics, loved them all! :cool:


    Post note: I got to try that Moose Drool Beer! :p


    Mike
     
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  8. BankShot

    BankShot
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    I have just finished consuming two cups of morning coffee whist enjoying all the pics and commentary from your Yellowstone adventure and following stops south where you prepared for the long flight home. Flying business class is the only to make that journey IMHO, good on you mate. Once again truly amazing pics and commentary on your part Jason. Really pleased that this trip went well for you and the family. No doubt you've added some wonderful memories to your bucket list of adventures. Thank you very much for sharing with us as it has been thoroughly enjoyable. Only negative for me is that every time I go back to go thru all the pics I get a really bad dose of hunger pains and have to wipe up the drool from fixating on those tacos and other assorted plates of incredible foods you woofed down. Now that was just not a fair thing to to do to us...:( Shame on you...:mad:

    Safe travels home , Terry........(aka BankShot)
     
  9. Texasrvers

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    Amazing photos. They brought back some wonderful memories of places where we have stood and gave us some great ideas of places to go next. I'm so glad you had a good time here. We would love to see the great sights in Australia, but it is very doubtful that will happen. Fortunately there is still so much that we haven't seen right here, so we'll be happy to just keep on doing that. Please come back anytime. We love having nice folks like you come to visit.
     
  10. The5goodwins

    The5goodwins
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    Back in time for our big Football event, Stare of Origin NRL, game on…..
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    big hits…..no pads
    IMG_3369.jpeg got the place set up and ready…..
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    the youngest is our assigned Fire Master for the evening…..
     
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