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USA Road trip



We had four weeks touring around the west coast of the USA this summer and came back with a mountain of photos. I thought I'd share a couple. Taken on a mix of iPhone and Canon 5DII (24-105 & 70-200 f2.8LII).

For the first week, we hired a Camaro SS at LAX and had planned to spend a couple of days travelling up the Pacific highway from LA to SFO. Sadly there had been landslides so we had to stick to the interstate (with the roof up). The car was amazing... 6.2L V8, with 450bhp. The noise on starting was hilarious. So much fun, but a little cramped with the four of us and luggage for 4 weeks!
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr
The boot:
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr
We had a couple of days to get to SFO with various stops along the way(Oxnard/ Pismo Beach/ Santa Cruz/ Monterey).
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

En-route to Monterey, I spotted a Laguna Seca sign.. hadn't even realised that we were in the area. We drove in and were fortunate to be able to walk around the pits etc. A steward even pointed me up a dirt track to get to the corkscrew for a photo!
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We had booked a whale watching trip from Monterey. We saw dolphins, sea otters, moonfish and humpbacks. Amazing experience.

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We loved San Francisco. Did loads of walking, cycled the Golden Gate, visited Alcatraz and then more walking.

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Hippy Hotel about 15 minutes walk from Fishermans wharf
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

The only pic I have left from Alcatraz due to a card formatting error on my part. I managed to recover most photos, but still lost nearly 100.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We then swapped the Camaro for a 26ft campervan and headed into the National Parks.

Yosemite, with wildfires raging just over 50 miles away, and ash falling out the sky. Probably the worst nights sleep I've ever had.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr
Grey snow
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Our home on wheels
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Half Dome in Yosemite
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We did a fair bit of hiking. Sadly didn't come across any bears. The park itself is a proper factory tourist spot with millions of visitors each year. You don't really get the "wilderness" feeling when marking along concrete paths through a forest. Some stunning views though.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We needed to top up the water supplies as it was so hot... I figured that as we were at the top, the water should be fairly safe to drink. That turned out to be very wrong, but there was no internet/ network to double check it... next time I'll drink my own piss instead.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Massive Sequoias. These had a proper wow factor when you first see one. Immense trees.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Heading towards Vegas. The landscape changed quickly from one place to the next. The hours of driving flew by with so much to look at. We even went through an area with snow as it was so high.

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Some of the roads we drove were incredible and I wished we still had the Camaro instead of our oil tanker. There were other bits where you could drive for 60 miles without having to turn the wheel or touch the cruise control.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We had a couple of nights in Vegas. The camper was plugged into the Circus Circus RV park with airco on max. It was insanely hot.
Vegas was a blast. So much to see with just about every stereotype you could imagine.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

From Vegas we headed back out to the parks. Zion was the first stop.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

The night sky was amazing. We all lay on the table outside the camper and did some star gazing for a while. Saw loads of the shooting stars and the milky way was visible to the naked eye. My two boys have never seen anything like it as we have so many greenhouses where we live in Holland that light pollution kills all but the brightest stars.

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

More amazing driving roads:
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Bryce Canyon. I found this the most impressive/ prettiest park of the lot. We did more hiking and mountain biking here. The mountain bike trail was the best I've ever ridden.

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr
 
PTII

We caught a rodeo. When in America...
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Back on the road:
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Horseshoe bend on the Colorado river. The walk to this was only just over a mile, but it was all uphil after taking the photo and hot. We saw a couple of people actually in tears and looking close to heart attack while they struggled to carry their 20 stone back up to the top again.

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

The upside of no mobile internet... quality time with the family. Evenings spent collecting firewood and starting a fire with the boys. Story telling and roasting marshmallows.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Our view over Lake Powell one morning
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Glen Canyon Dam
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Antelope Canyon was also in the neighbourhood so we spent a morning cooking there. We did the lower canyon, but the upper is supposed to be slight better for photos. Next time...

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We then headed over to Monument Valley. John Wayne country.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

Caught the sunrise. It was an early start but totally worth it.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

From there we headed over to the Grand Canyon. Caught another sunrise, which was a bit special. There were small groups of people all gathered together at 5:45 waiting in silence for the sun to pop up. When the sun came up over the ridge, you feel the warmth hit you and being in silence with those nearest and dearest was a bit of a moment. Hard to convey, but worth doing if you are there.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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20170802-865 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We hit Route 66 for a bit of a break from the interstate. Utter waste of time/ petrol as we had driven almost an hour through nothing except abandoned trailers and old cars, to reach a road block. If we had been in a car I may have risked driving on to see if we could have made it through, but the prospect of a three point turn in our behemoth didn't fill me with joy.

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We did visit an old mining ghost town. It was just more a tourist trap than a real ghost town, but interesting to see all the same.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

My wife wanted to take a picture of a lighting strike. She only managed to get one too.
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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

We then had 5 days in LA. A day in Disney, one in Universal and a couple to catch up with an old mate and do some final shopping.
The first night I checked on Google maps for the closest restaurant, we grabbed an Uber and ended up opposite GAS! The cars inside and out were insane. Another nice surprise find.
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20170803-905 by .monk3y, on Flickr

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USA Road Trip 2017 by .monk3y, on Flickr

The end... now I have to sort out the Album for us! Thanks for looking.
 

Short Legs

ClioSport Club Member
  a better one
Wow epic post and some lovely photos. My wife is trying to convince me to have two weeks on the west coast next year however more coastal than you (San Francisco and LA).

Ive been to vegas and will be going again in 2019, never knew the hotels offered RV parking.

I bet there was a lot of planning involved for a trip like that.
 

Davyy

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
Incredible pictures. I'm on a big trip at the moment and the one thing I regret is not buying a half decent camera/learning to use one.
 

Aaron..

ClioSport Club Member
Looks superb.

Once my little one is a bit older I plan on doing something similar.

I'd edit the plane out of the Milky Way shot.
Did you get any more?

Antelope canyon is on my list and you got some really nice shots. It's supposed to be absolutely heaving with photographers from what I've heard.
 
Wow epic post and some lovely photos. My wife is trying to convince me to have two weeks on the west coast next year however more coastal than you (San Francisco and LA).

Ive been to vegas and will be going again in 2019, never knew the hotels offered RV parking.

I bet there was a lot of planning involved for a trip like that.
Thanks!
We were busy for over a year with the preparation and booking of this one. We booked flights and camper through a travel agent, but took care of all hotels and campgrounds ourselves. My wife is more organised than me and made a book with a daily itinerary, tips of things in the area to see etc. We had enough time en route that we could also just stop if we came across something worth looking at. Having everything so well planned meant that it was still really relaxing, even though we were on the road almost daily.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Best experience ever and the kids both loved it.
 

Panda.

ClioSport Club Member
  850 T5
Your photos are awesome and what an adventure!!

Did a similar trip a few years ago although the Grand Canyon (and all other national parks!) were shut because of the government shut down which was a real shame and we didnt' get as long in Yosemite to do much walked because of it. The coastal highway is beautiful and the drive from Yosemite to Vegas is just weird - high in the mountains with snow then dropping into those valleys where its roasting hot with dead straight roads (have almost exactly the same road photo as you lol) for miles and miles!
 
Incredible pictures. I'm on a big trip at the moment and the one thing I regret is not buying a half decent camera/learning to use one.
Thanks! It was easier to grab the iPhone a lot of the time, but having a propera camera does help get some shots that the phone just can't.
Enjoy your travels! Look forward to your thread when you return. ;)
 
Looks superb.

Once my little one is a bit older I plan on doing something similar.

I'd edit the plane out of the Milky Way shot.
Did you get any more?

Antelope canyon is on my list and you got some really nice shots. It's supposed to be absolutely heaving with photographers from what I've heard.
Ours are 8 & 10 so I hoped old enough to hold onto the memories. Having so many photos should help...

Good tip on the Milky Way shot. I still have some editing to do before they go in for the album. Sadly, it was a one time event. The other parks didn't offer the same view/ dark sky/ weather. I was a bit gutted that I didn't make the most of it at the time, but I was knackered. Hindsight and all that.

If you do Antelope, have a good look at whether you want the lower or upper. The lower is thinner at the bottom and wider at the top, with the upper canyon the opposite, giving the nice sun rays etc. Time of day also plays a major part. I have hundreds of photos from there, but there are so many you can share of abstract rock formations. I saw some amazing cameras there, one Chinese guy had a Hasselblad worth over 20k! It's hard to get the shots as you are marching through the canyon in a massive line of tourists... you can't really stop and it's near impossible to get a wide angle without ten other people in it.
 

Aaron..

ClioSport Club Member
Ours are 8 & 10 so I hoped old enough to hold onto the memories. Having so many photos should help...

Good tip on the Milky Way shot. I still have some editing to do before they go in for the album. Sadly, it was a one time event. The other parks didn't offer the same view/ dark sky/ weather. I was a bit gutted that I didn't make the most of it at the time, but I was knackered. Hindsight and all that.

If you do Antelope, have a good look at whether you want the lower or upper. The lower is thinner at the bottom and wider at the top, with the upper canyon the opposite, giving the nice sun rays etc. Time of day also plays a major part. I have hundreds of photos from there, but there are so many you can share of abstract rock formations. I saw some amazing cameras there, one Chinese guy had a Hasselblad worth over 20k! It's hard to get the shots as you are marching through the canyon in a massive line of tourists... you can't really stop and it's near impossible to get a wide angle without ten other people in it.
Yeah I thought I'd read it was mental there at times, impossible to get a tripod down etc. Must be times when it's quiet though although America might not exist by the time we're ready to go!
 


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