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Our Route in the United States

United States

Date Notes Overnight Distance
(Miles)
Day no.

California - The Golden State

24 - 27 Aug

On 24 August 1996 we flew into LA and transferred to San Francisco. We crossed the international Dateline so not only enjoyed two Saturday 24th Augusts but also arrived before we took off!

We visited Alcatraz, Ripleys, and various sights around the city. A little shopping also.

San Francisco (Room) nil 1 - 4
28 - 29 Aug We are following the 'Adventure Cycling' of Missoula route down the coast to Malibu. Pigeon Point HI (Youth Hostel) 53.1 5-6
30 Aug We discover that some State campsites have 'Hike 'n Bike' pitches that are both economical to rent and have space on Labour weekend. Aptos-Sunset beach (camping) 47 7
31 Aug Lunch in Carmel and then we start the 74 miles of hills and curves. This was a great ride, often with the Pacific just on our right as we headed south.

Andre (Picture Mark Miller - The Touring Cyclist)
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (camping) 62.5 8
1 Sept The coast played Misty for us as the fog rolled in. San Simeon State Beach (camping) 68.3 9
2 - 4 Sept Here we rented a car and drove back to San Fransisco to collect our friend Herr Norbert Thueringer who will join us for part of our journey in the United States of America.

On our rest day we drive back up the coast to visit San Simeon (Hearst Castle). It's well worth it, especially if European.

St Louis Obispo - Maddona Inn (Room) 42.8 10-12
5 Sept This section of our USA route we met the most cyclists until near Zion. Many come from other parts of the USA to ride the pacific coast. Lompoc River Park (Camping) 59.7 13
6 Sept Today we experience our first puncture, we have cycled from London, through Europe and Asia, New Zealand and today near to Santa Claus I finally bag a flat! Carpinteria State Beach (Camping) 65.4 14
7 Sept Nice ride near the coast again to start with, and more cyclists to talk to.
Norbert badly sprains his ankle walking on the beach.
Leo Carillo State Beach (Camping) 48.4 15
8 - 10 Sept Our friend Andy Bridges comes and collects us from Malibu, it's a bout as far as Norbert could make with his bad ankle.

We are staying with Andy and his housemate Mike Despard in Altadena. Andy takes a couple of days vacation and drives us out to Las Vegas. It's a great experience, on entering a casino the noise of money jingling is awesome.

Las Vegas has lots to see, there is Freemantle Street with Sassy Sals' and numerous impressive Hotel - Casinos to look at from the outside and to venture in. Don't miss the interior of the Luxor.
On the way back we travel through Death Valley - a cool 43C!

Altadena - 'Hotel' Bridges (Room) 15.4 16-18
11 Sept Las Vegas - Rio Hotel &Casino (Room) By car (into Nevada) 19
12 - 14 Altadena - 'Hotel' Bridges (Room) By car 20-22
15 Sept Andy drives us out of the suburbs of LA and drops us at Black Rock. He has a little trouble comprehending us wanting to camp in such a wild place.

We hear the wind throgh the canyon but survive to cycle through Joshua tree national park.

From twentynine palms we cross the edge of the Mohave desert, it's tough in the afternoon and we are pleased with the old coolers that still work at Roys. At Amboy we join the National Trails Highway - Route 66 for our first time.

Denis Casbier is very generous and allows us to stay in a bunkhouse on his property. At night we see the shadowy shapes of coyotes just outside the lamp light.

Yucca Valley, Black Rock (Camping) By car 23
16 Sept Twentynine Palms - Rock Sky Park (Camping) 46.1 24
17 Sept Amboy - Roys' Motel (Room)
Alt 1000ft.
51.3 25
18 Sept Goffs - The old schoolhouse (Bunkhouse)
Alt 2700ft.
49.8 26

Nevada - The Silver State

19 Sept We find a nice air con room with breakfast thrown in for $21. Bargain. Laughlin - Gold River Hotel & Casino (Room)
Alt 510ft.
52.5 27

Arizona - The Grand Canyon State

20 - 21 Sept Our next target was The Grand Canyon, we wanted to camp at the south rim so that we could be close enough to the canyon. It took us several days to reach there and we travelled a lot on 'Historic Route 66' at times the long long trains would pass us by, we counted the rail cars once and made it 107.

There are some interesting caverns on the way but we did not stop to see them. At Bedrock city you can experience a very large Fred Flintstone...

Kingman KOA (Camping)
Alt 3340ft.
40.1 28-9
22 Sept Grand Canyon Caverns, Cavern Inn (Room) 58.5 30
23 Sept Ash Fork KOA (Camping) 52.6 31
24 Sept Valle - Bedrock city (Camping) 49.7 32
25 - 28 Sept Our first impression of The Grand Canyon was that it could not be real, it must be a painting - it was so huge that it could not be real! We spent a couple of days there, we walked along parts on the rim, we walked a little way down and we flew over it for an hour. What a spectacular sight - one that we did not grow tired of.

Because we were on bikes and in tents we were able to camp at Mather, but the site was fully booked to vehicles and the hotel in The Grand Canyon village area were also full.

When we moved on to Desert View there are a number of places to stop and view The Grand Canyon, there is also an interesting museum and pueblo ruins at Tusayan to visit.

Grand Canyon Village - Mather Campground (Camping)
Alt 6720ft.
30.8 33-36
29 Sept Desert View - Desert View Campground (Camping)
Alt 7436ft.
27.2 37
30 Sept After Desert view The Grand Canyon begins to get left behind, we climb a small hill and are rewarded with beautiful veiws of The Painted Desert. Pretty soon we stop at The Little Colorado River Gorge and peer over the edge to the river far below.
We head to Tuba city because it has a camping site. On the way the desert is very beautiful; pale greens, shades of pink and mauve and white. Off of the road are fossilised dinosaur prints!
Tuba City - Tuba RV park (Camping) 58.2 38
1st October We retrace and start to head towards the Navajo bridge where we will cross the Colorado river. There is some wonderful mountains to our right for most of the day.
We had planned to camp tonight but when at the bridge we had an attack of laziness so chose to stay at a motel instead.
Marble Canyon - Marble Canyon Lodge (Room)
Alt 4000ft.
68.2 39
2 Oct We aimed to make it to Jacob Lake tonight but as we passed cliff dwellers the lanscape opened out and we could see a pretty nasty electrical storm over the way we were to travel. The wind was getting up and we could hear thunder. Oh well one more night in a nice bed is not such a hardship so we retraced and tried out the Cliff Dwellers Motel. Marble Canyon - Cliff Dwellers (Room)
Alt 5000ft.
19.9 40
3 Oct The weather had cleared so we crossed the flat expanse ahead of us and climbed up to Jacob Lake. A wonderful view back where we could see all of the mountains of Cedar Ridge that had been our companions two days before.

That evening we met Mark Miller otherwise known as The Touring Cyclist (out of San Fransisco), and we we were reunited with Andre who had also camped at Pfeiffer Big Sur some weeks before. There was also Norbert - known as 'Bear'. These three had the misfortune to be out in yesterdays storm and really wished that they had not. We six ate and then told stories around a roaring camp fire before settling down for the night.

Arizona : Norbert, Ian & Allie. Near to Grand Cyn.
(Picture Mark Miller - The Touring Cyclist)

Jacob Lake State Park (Camping)
Alt 7921ft.
32.8 41

Utah - The Beehive State

4 Oct We bid farewell to the guys at Jacob Lake and then head downhill fast to Freedonia, the obligatory photograph is taken at the State line and we slowly make our way up Kanub pass and Mt Carmel.
We find a sweet old gent in charge at the campsite who alows us to camp on grass and gives us some free firewood. We put our clocks forward one hour today.
Mount Carmel Trailer Park (Camping) 55.6 42
5 - 6 Oct It's a steady climb up through some great country to the Park Rangers post where we pay our entry fee. There is a short tunnel that can be cycled through but at a longer one we have to wait for transport. Numerous cars pass through but after 30 mins someone with a fifth wheel pulls over and lets us pack all our stuff in their pick up and runs us through the long tunnel.

We rush to get to the post office but it is the superb downhill that I remember. We get setup at the camp and laze away the afternoon in the hot sun.

We have a free day here so go for a short ride in the Zion Canyon, then leave the bikes to set off on foot. Zion is a beautiful place, running water surrounded by tall mountains and lush vegetation. We take a look at 'The Narrows' but the water really is very cold.

Today we also bump into Skip and Kelly Volkman and Penny the dog. They are using a 'combination tandem' that has a recumbent front and the usual back except that Skip who takes the back also gets the steering. They tow a small trailer for Penny the dog!

Springdale - Zion Canyon Campground (Camping)
Alt 4000ft.
26.5

17.3

43 &

44

7 Oct We retrace out of Zion, the countryside is superb and we have plenty of time to enjoy it as we climb the road out. Skip, Kelly and Penny pass us - they already have their ride through the tunnel. We wait maybe an hour until someone kindly stops and waits while we put all our gear in their pick up. They are quite willing to give us a ride all the way to the Trailer Park but we want to cycle.
Again wonderful scenery, some of the rocks have 'flow lines' in them, there are proto-arches and we are in no rush, soon we catch up with the Volkmans who have become centre of attraction for some tourists from the Netherlands.
Mount Carmel Trailer Park (Camping) 25.6 45
8 Oct Some lovely Autumn (Fall) colours today and plenty of time to appreciate them as we climbed up the 7600 ft summit today. Red Canyon RV Park (Camping) 46.7 46
9 - 11 Oct We passed through the Red Canyon to arrive here and set up camp in Rubys. It's a big site just outside the Bryce Canyon National Park. We take one complete rest day - sleeping in our tents until the frost is gone - and one day to explore Bryce Canyon. It's a quite incredible place with so many unusually shaped rocks.
The cold nights remind us forcefuly that we must keep moving on so that we do not get caught by the bad winter weather, our sleeping bags are not much good below zero Centigrade and we are feeling cold at night here.
Bryce Canyon - Rubys' (Camping)
Alt 7050ft.
14.8 47-49
12 Oct The route today is another interesting one with some great views in the afternoon from about 7400ft. We meet six other cyclists today - from places as far apart as Alaska and Switzerland.
The Escalante State Park Petrified Forest is a really nice place to stay. We are looked after very well by Flo and Mike Murname out of San Palo CA.
Escalante State Park (Camping)
Alt 5800ft.
46.7 50
13 Oct Mike and Flo cook us a superb breakfast and then we must away. We climb a hill to about 7000ft. and turning the corner get a wonderful view over the Aquarius plateaux. Far to our right is Navajo mountain, to our left are The Little Rockies and the 94 mile view (yes ninety-four) ahead seems to made entirely of slick rock.
From here there is a descent to the river and a very steep climb up to the Hogs Back Ridge from where more views are to be had. Tired we decide on an inexpensive Motel for the night.
Boulder - Circle Cliffs Motel (Room)
Alt 6700ft.
29.8 51
14 Oct We climb to the highest pass on our trip in the USA - 9400ft. The tree colours are incredible today - yellow, orange and red leaves. From the top of this hill there are great views east to Capitol Reef, then its a whiz down to Torrey. Torrey - Thousand Islands RV Park (Camping)
Alt 5800ft.
39.1 52
15 - 17 Oct A cold start to the day, but its warm as we cycle through part of Capitol Reef National Park. The rock formations are once again incredible, it's a great place to come cycling. Hard work into a headwind delivers us to Hanksville where due to sickness we rest for a couple of days. Hanksville - Redrock Campground (Camping) 49.5 53-55
18 Oct The night was cold, we spill some boiling water at breakfast which quickly freezes, We cycled 44M till we hit the interstate which has an excellent smooth hard shoulder. Green River state park is nice and quiet. Green River State Park (Camping) 57.2 56
19 - 21 Oct The sky greyed over quickly today and we made good time with a helpful wind. After 6 miles we turn south, the wind turns also and we are into a strong side/headwind. At 6mph and 30 to go it's going to be a long day. We have a pic nic lunch, it's very windy - we can see little twisters on the horizon. Great news the wind turns and we get a push all the way to Moab

Moab is the USA home of Slickrock Mountain Biking and we hit town just a mountain biking festival is taking place - it's busy but we find room to camp.

Our sleeping bags are not warm and the nights are getting pretty cold now, our first day here we cycle up to and into Arches, a car would have been useful as it is on the large scale. It's also cold up there (Alt 5000ft.) and we can clearly see fresh snow on the not so very distant mountains.

Allie's not feeling too good today and we decide on a proper rest day for tomorrow. Another cold night - Allie is very sick so we call an Ambulance and take her to the local hospital. They are great people there and take good care of her. I organise some better accomodation - we move into a motel. She stays overnight in Hospital but is released the next day. The mystery illness is caused by an unspecified waterborne bacteria - not sure how she got it as we do not drink from 'unsafe' sources.

So we take a few more days before venturing out for a short local ride on the bikes. There is a little stress because we cannot stay too long as we are fearful of being caught in the winter snows.

Moab - Canyonlands Campground (Camping)
Alt 4000ft.
52.8

34.7

57

58 & 59

22 - 26 Oct Moab - Apache Motel (Room) 20.1 60-64
27 Oct We climb away from Moab, Allie is very slow today and we all know that to make Monticello in daylight we must average about 7mph. It's uphill to Monticello and the hills take there toll on us. We have a miserable lunch at the roadside and then put on our wet weather gear, rolling into town at dusk. We stay in a lovely little Motel and are really pleased to be here. Monticello - Navaho Trails 9 Motel (Room)
Alt 7050ft.
53.8 65

Colorado - The Rocky Mountain State

28 Oct Our last morning in Utah, we had a great breakfast out at Hudsons. Norbert had decided that he'd prefer to continue on his own - to be honest Allie & I had got so used to each other that having three people was a difficult adjustment to make. We parted amicably and wished each other well.
Allie and I took our by now obligatory photo at the State line - it was raining quite heavily, we set off aiming to reach Cortez. It was not to be, it started to snow, and soon visibility was down to a 100 yards or so. A diner at Dove creek proved salvation for a lunch stop, then a short walk down the road we holed up for the day at the Motel, we'd wait and see what tomorrow would bring.
Dove Creek - Motel 9 (Room)
Alt 6850ft.
25.7 66
29 Oct A little icey at first but after a reccie we decide to set off. It's a grey sky today but as we near Cortez the sun comes out and starts to warm us up. Allie is finding it hard going after her illness so maybe our extra stop has helped. Cortez - Arrow Motor Inn Nat 9 (Room)
Alt 6200ft.
38.7 67
30 & 31 Oct It's a favourable weather forecast and the sun is out. The mountains around are covered in snow. We climb out of Cortez, going past the entrance to Mesa Verde having decided to visit in a car out of Durango. We go over the top at Hesperus at Alt 8110ft. and roll down to warm and busy Durango.

Mesa Verde is a very interesting place, it's also a very hilly 20 mile road journey from the main highway. So that we can enjoy the maximum time there we hire a car and drive there. I found Mesa verde a fascinating place - on a par with Zion.

Durango - Siesta Motel (Room) 48.2 68 & 69

New Mexico - The Land Of Enchantment

1st November A climb out of Durango brings us to a lovely little road that we follow into New Mexico, up on a plateaux again we are surrounded by farmland with horses and cattle. Tonight we stay in a cabin and can cook out side in a balmy 35F - thats about 2 Centigrade. Bloomfield KOA (Cabin)
Alt 5400ft.
49.5 70
2 Nov It's quite tricky getting across New Mexico as the Interstates may not be used, we plan to head over the Continental Divide to Albaquerque and then over to Roswell and down to Whites city. Today we do the first stretch to Albaqueque, a not very intersting road is made up for by the nice evening stop which has a shared kitchen and lounge so we have some company. Naageezi - The Inn at the post (Room) 38 71
3 Nov We cross the continental divide at Alt 7275ft. It feels like freezing rain as my forehead goes numb. Cuba is not the greatest of places and we look forward to moving on. Cuba - Cuban Lodge Motel (Room)
Alt 6905ft.
52.3 72
4 & 5 Nov It's a much better day today and we make good time. Some good scenery,and a nice sign on the way in!
Drive Slowly - See our village
Drive fast - and see our Judge

We arrive at our old friend Route 66 and stay in a large Motel. we take a rest day here but find that there really is not too much to do apart from a wander around the old part of the city and browse in book shops.

Albaquerque - The crossroads Motel (Room) 82.9 73 & 74
6 Nov   Belen - The Hub Motel (Room) 34.5 75
7 Nov   Mountainair - El Rancho Motel (Room) 44.6 76
8 Nov Some lovely open country today. Carizozo - Crossroads Motel (Room)
Alt 5426ft.
82.3 77
9 Nov After crossing 'The Indian Divide' at 6940ft. we have an easy ride to Lincoln, arriving early enough in the day to take a good look around. This is where Billy the Kid was imprisoned. The Courthouse and many other fine buildings still stand today. It is a lovely Autumn afternoon, warm & blissfully quiet. Lincoln - Elliss store & co.(Room)
Alt 5710ft.
33.5 78
10 & 11 Nov A great breafast at the store and we are on our way. A lovely river valley with glorious orange and gold colours gives way to an exposed grassy plateaux with (another) headwind.
Roswell has plenty to see, we visit the Art Gallery and Museum. Very very good, the science of Robert Goddard is very well covered as is the history of the spread west of the settlers and the consequences for the Indians. For light relief we spend the afternoon at the UFO museum...
Roswell - Royal Motel Nat 9 (Room) 59.3 79 & 80
12 Nov   Artesia - Artesia Inn (Room) 46.3 81
13 & 14 Nov We stock up on three days provisions at Carlsbad before riding out to Whites City campground. Quite a pleasent evening, warm and a herd of Mule Deer descended on the camp ground. We visit Carlsbad Caverns - they are very large and dramatic; Go see them. Whites City - RV Park (Camping) 55 &

14.31

82 &

83

Texas - The Lone Star State

15 Nov What a ride; Uphill into a very strong headwind. This road is notoriously windy as evidenced by the warning signs and the wind socks along it. It the wind had been from the side we'd have had serious problems. Two very tired people crossed into Texas and we made camp at dusk, luckily finding a pitch that had a little shelter. We ate, then tried to sleep but that wind howled around us all night. Guadaloupe Mountains - Pine Springs US State park (Camping) 35 84
16 & 17 Nov We packed the tent carefully as we did not dare let it get damaged in the strong wind. Thankfully for most of the ride to Van Horn we had a tail/side wind. It was a nice ride passing ranches in the morning and then a few mountains later in the day.
The people at Van Horn KOA were kind to us, allowing us to hire a trailer, we felt like a rest and the bikes needed a tyre change so we had a lazy day in the sun. At Van Horn we picked up the Adventure Cycling Missoula route to St.Augustine in Florida.
Van Horn - KOA (Trailer)
Alt 4000ft.
65.1 85 & 86
18 Nov Easy Peasy to Kent then a minor disaster - "Road Construction Next 17 Miles" - much of the road was now dirt (that's okay) but so the machines can move it around and flatten it they spray water on it. Very quickly our heavily laden bikes had two wheels loaded with wet soil and not at all keen on turning around. So we got a 'little' delayed. Aside from this the ride from Kent to Ft Davis is very nice, quiet roads and a lovely climb up to the observatory. We did the descent in darkness - it'd be so much better in daylight. Fort Davis - Davis Mountains State Park (Camping) 87.6 87
19 Nov Bob at Danny boy will tell you a few jokes... Alpine - Danny Boy RV Park (Camping) 28 88
20 Nov A very lazy day today. Marathon - The Ranch RV Park (Room) 29.7 89
21 Nov We pass through more ranch country "Big Buck$ Ranch" is one that had a superb freize over the entrance. Dryden - The General Store (Camping) 73.6 90
22 Nov   Pecos River - Seminole Canyon State Park (Camping) 60.8 91
23 - 25 Nov The route to Del Rio is very undulating and into a steady wind. We have two nights here so we can visit Cuidad Acunja in Mexico. Margaritas taste rather good. Del Rio - Del Rio Motor Lodge (Room) 41.7 92-94
26 Nov   Bracketville - Fort Clark RV Park 51.5 95
27 & 28Nov We arrive day before Thanksgiving. It is so miserably wet that we just stay put while the rain raineth. Camp Wood - Lake Nucas Park (Camping) 46.4 96 & 97
29 Nov A beautiful - if expensive as you have to pay not anly a camp fee but a park entry fee also - place to stay. Vanderpool - Lost Maples Nat. State Park (Camping) 44.2 98
30 Nov It's turning cold here! As we near Kerrville we pass a string quartet playing at a Wedding, and in Kerrville itself is 'The Cowboy Artists of America' Museum - well worth a visit. All exhibitors are cowboys first and artists second, some of the pieces are very impressive. Kerrville State Park (Camping) 51.2 99
1st December   Blanco State Recreational Area (Camping) 60.5 100
2 - 4 Dec   Austin - The Austin Motel (Room) 48.6 101-103
5 Dec   Bastrop State Park (Camping) 37.8 104
6 Dec   Round Top RV Park (Camping) 54.0 105
7 Dec   Navasota - City RV Park (Camping) 57.2 106
8 Dec   Pumpkin - Hillcrest RV Park (Camping) 57.6 107
9 Dec   Kountze - The K-Court Motel (Room) 77.0 108
10 Dec   Kirbyville - The Gateway Motel (Room) 54.6 109

Louisianna - The Pelican State

11 & 12 Dec   De Ridder - The Red Carpet Inn (Room) 52.2 110 & 111
13 Dec   Mamou - The Bamboo Motel (Room) 63.0 112
14 Dec   Washington - Willies Campground (Camping) 31.2 113
15 Dec   Simmesport - The Sportsman Motel (Room) 58.2 114
16 - 19 Dec   St Francisville (Room) 49.0 115-118
20 Dec   Easleyville - Gt. Discovery Campground (Camping) 64.5 119
21 Dec   Bogalusa - The Choklaw Motel (Room) 53.5 120

Mississippi - The Magnolia State

22 Dec   Airey Lake USFS (Camping) 61.5 121

Alabama - The Camellia State

23 Dec   Grand Bay (Camping) 75.5 122
24 - 26 Dec   Gulf Shores Holiday Inn (Camping) 85.0 123-125

Florida - The Sunshine State

27 Dec   Milton - Hospitality Inn of Milton (Room) 61.0 126
28 Dec   Crest View - Hilton Motel (Room) 36.0 127
29 Dec   Chipley - Chipley Motel (Room) 65.0 128
30 Dec   Quincy - The Quincy Motor Lodge (Room) 68.0 129
31 Dec &

1st January

  Monticello KOA (Cabin) 73.0 130 & 131
2 Jan   Suwannee River State Park (Camping) 51.0 132
3 Jan   Ichetucknee Family Campground (Camping) 53.5 133
4 Jan   Alachua - Travellers Campground (Camping) 30.5 134
5 Jan   Cross Creek - Twin Lakes Fish Camp (Camping) 53.0 135
6 Jan   East Palatka - The Oaks Motel (Room) 48.0 136
7 - 10 Jan   St.Augustine - Inn and Hostel 42.1 137-140
11 Jan   By rail from Jacksonville to NYC nil 141
12 - 17 Jan   New york City nil 142-147
18 Jan   Fly to London Heathrow nil  
18 Jan   Home nil  

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