...because we all like to be home now and then

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DAY 6 to 13

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Yeah I know, I said I was going to post blogs or articles as we went along - didn't figure on the internet access at most of these places to be so crappy! And my 3G Rogers connection on the iPad is only good in Canada!??!  Anyway...

 After the last post we headed out of Salt Lake City and down into Bryce Canyon - Bryce is north of the Grand Canyon and equally as stunning, not for it's size but for the rock formations, it's colour (deep orange hues) and the ability to walk down into the canyon and thru certain parts of it.  Your first view of it is certainly expansive and the lip of the canyon sits anywhere between 8,000ft and 9,200 feet, so it's a fair way up.  The day we did the walk it was into the high 20s and we were very surprised how Morgan coped with it - there was some coaxing along the latter parts but she did very well and slept like a baby that nite!

After Bryce we headed south again to a town called Williams in Arizona. Williams is the gateway town at the southern end of the canyon and about a 45min drive away.  Williams is also famous for being the last town to have Route 66 diverted from it to Interstate 15 and relies heavily on a Route 66 theme for it's tourism - a very cool little town with a lot happening at nite and day, with cowboys 'shooting' each other on the main streets in re-enactments.  The weather at GC was once again hot! So rather than tire ourselves out with another hike of some sort, we splurged on a helicopter ride, for an hour, over the canyon.  It was magnificent!  Morgan was a little unsure as the chopper was taking off but once in the air she was fine - we were able to take in the south, east and north sections of the canyon in the hour and very well worth the money. Definitely a must-see and quite humbling being able to visit one of the world's 7 wonders.

From the Grand Canyon it was a long trek west across the Mojave Desert into LA - we were going to do a nite in Vegas but when we were able to get Allie and appointment with Dr Amand, we changed plans obviously.  All down south, it was hot, hot, hot...we stopped for petrol at a small town in the Mojave at 10:30 in the morning and it was already 46c!!  The guy at the petrol station said it would probably reach about 120F (49c) by about  3 in the arvo.  All the locals were saying that summer had finally arrived and that the weather had been cold up till then?!!?  They're mad - I think the heat has got to them all!  That day was a long drive - about 8 hours on the road, but aided by the fact that the interstate is fast-moving, altho' once you get into California all vehicles towing have to obey the truck speed limit which is only 55mph (about 90kays)

Altho we were long on the road, we got away at a decent hour and managed to get into LA around tea-time.  After setting up we headed over to Hollywood to check out the stars on the sidewalks and the local colour and atmosphere - I have to tell you, we felt like a minority...white and english speaking!!  The place was inundated by latin-americans and african-americans and oh dear, too many LARGE people wearing way too tight clothes!

The next day was Disneyland!!  Each day on our trip Morgan would get out our itinerary calendar and count how many days till the 12th - the day of Disneyland - we don't think anything else mattered to her but that day - well of course it wouldn't, she is 5 after all.  And thanks to Tony and Channel 7 we got free passes for the day, and then went to Guest Relations and picked up a 'Guest Assistance' card for Morgan which allowed us to enter rides etc., through 'Exit' gates and not have to wait.  It was a hot day, once again, and waiting is just not in Morgan's world...we were very fortunate as some lines circled a ride and the wait times were upwards of 20mins easily for some.  The highlights of her day were meeting Mickey, Minnie, Alice in Wonderland, Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter, along with Goofy and Pluto - in Morgan's mind, they all exist.  We stayed for the fireworks and when she saw Dumbo and Tinkerbell flying across the sky above the Disney Castle, we think that capped the whole day off for her. It was precious to see the look on her face throughout the day as she saw things that she has only seen in movies etc.  Definitely worth any money to get there and experience that with her - of course, Allie and I had fun too!

The next morning was out to see Dr Amand, which we written about already, and the off to spend the rest of the day around Venice Beach and Santa Monica pier - once again, hot and getting rather sick and tired of the heat.

From there we headed off the next morning to Yosemite. We had to travel through the Mojave Desert again with temps hitting the low 40s as we climbed pass after pass wondering when we'll ever get to sea level again.  In fact at Bryce, we hit 9,115 "up in the air" (as some dumb blonde yank woman said it!) rather than above sea level - anyhoo...and with Edmonton at 2,480 ft asl, we had been climbing virtually the whole trip - except for a short moment across the mojave where we hit about 600ft asl at the small town we got petrol in. Of course LA was low, but leaving there we had to start climbing again.  We chose to up the east side of California to get to Yosemite thinking it would be just as easy as taking the interstate up thru the middle however, we didn't realise we had a mountain pass to drive over to actually get into the park.  We hit just over 10,000ft asl on that trip and it was in the high 30s.  I had one eye on the temp gauge and one on the road the whole way up!  While it's a new truck, you just never know (right Dad)...but I have to say, I am very impressed with the pulling power of the V8 and capability of the truck throughout the whole trip so far.  Yosemite was as awe-inspiring as all the rest we'd seen so's main difference being huge granite boulders and cliff facesand some very stunning waterfalls too.  And again, hot - 40 the day we were there, but Yosemite is a 'drive around' park and we spent the evening up at a place called Glacier Point (10,200ft asl) to watch the sunset and get pics of a rock called The Dome (you'll see why when I post the pics).

The next day was heading west once again for San Francisico/Petaluma - Petaluma is about 40mins north of San Fran and a really nice, family-oriented campground and very well set up for tourists. We had planned on doing Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge etc., for the day after we arrived and when we were checking in saw a sign for a guided tour for the whole day into San Fran - "sign me up!" I yelled. No driving!!  Glad we did it, we wouldn't have had time to do and see everything we did had we driven ourselves, plus I got to be a passenger for a day. San Franciscois a wonderful place - so alive and being on the water is a bonus. Both Allie and I loved it and are looking forward to going back there soon to spend some more time around the city.  It has a definite like-ability about it almost instantly - and the smell and sight of gum trees all over the place certainly helps! As is typical for summer it was quite foggy early in the day and so the Golden Gate was somewhat obscured from view, but still worth a pic or two. By about lunchtime the sun had burnt most of it off and we enjoyed some wonderful fish and chips on Fisherman's Wharf before heading to some shops. After that it was off to Chinatown for all the colour and noise that that has to offer - a drive through the streets and a cable-car ride was also on the itinerary - gotta love that cable car, pity there aren't more of them still.

The next morning it was pack up again and we headed north to where we are now - Crescent City, California. Crescent City is only about 40 klicks from the border of Oregonand is a harbour city right at the western edge of the Redwood Forests.  There are about 4 major forests that together, make up a world heritage area of these magnificent redwoods and sequoias.  The campground we`re in is called Redwood RV Resort and sits on the edge of one part of the forest - the backdrop to our trailer site is the forest itself with towering redwoods of some 200ft.  This has beenthe quietest and nicest camp spot so far, for the whole trip.  Today we took in a skyway that uses a gondola to take you on a short ride up thru the redwood canopy to an observation deck high enough to see back through some of the mountains to the east and out over the water to the west.  Again, like San Fran, the fog rolls in rather consistently here and it took until about 2ish to finally lift.  We had a nice lie-in today, took our time, fossicked around the rockpools and beach, washed the truck, had famous clam-chowder at a seafood restaurant, then took in the redwoods.  After that it was a little bit of kite-flying on the ocean beach as the wind was well up and perfect for flying.

After a nice fire and a read of our books we`re turning in. Tomorrow we head north to a place called Newport in Oregon where we`re staying for just the nite and then Tacoma for a nite before landing in Vancouver.  We were going to do a long drive all the way to Tacoma (about 800 kilcks) but decided to break it up with a an extra stop. Allie hasn`t been able to do any driving and it`s a little much to drive all day when we don`t really have to.  At Newport the campground is very near the beach so we`ll get in, set up and spend the afternoon relaxing.

Well until the next post - sorry it`s been a long time coming but here it is at last anyway (oh and still not a great connection to post pics yet).

Cheers...Greg, Allie and Morgan




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