29.04.2014 - 02.06.2014
Mazarron, Spain: 6th April 2014
Where? It don't matter, as long as we're goin' somewhere together.......
I've got a quarter. Heads, Carolina tails, California.
You may have found yourself at this page having been rudely signed up for our next USA Blog. So if you've nothing better to do, here is a bit of an introduction to our next USA trip, which starts off on April 29th. Won't be long now. Always a last minute rush to get things done, despite having been planning this trip for a year now!
Having searched for an alternative to our theme tune from last trip, (Just Drive by Alistair Griffin), I'd almost given up when, driving back from town, this came on the car radio:-
You may get an advert; wait for a couple of seconds then skip the ad! Also, ignore any rude comments about your PC being slow.
But, if you don't see this video in your browser, please let me know, and try another - eg Chrome - or go to the video here
We didn't quite toss a coin, but the cornerstone drive on this month-long trip was based on a letter to the New York Times read on our last trip. The reader's letter sang the praises of US Highway 395. It's quite famous in California where it skirts the desert around Death Valley, follows the edge of the Sierra Nevada (which we drove, without knowing it, on our first trip in 1981) then on past lake Tahoe, and into the wilds of Oregon and Washington backwaters, until it eventually ends at the Canadian border.
Originally it started in San Diego, southern California, but this southern section has now been consumed by Interstate. It now starts in the outskirts of Greater Los Angeles. We will pick it up right from the start and plan to drive almost every inch, diverting via Death Valley for a few days in Las Vegas (yeah!), up through Oregon and Washington then across the border, into Canada.
It's a sort of north-south Route 66 without the tourists, most of it linking many small towns. Seeking out small town America on deserted highways is what we like doing. It's the getting there that we really enjoy, especially on unexplored roads through unheard of towns.
After a drive along "Crows Nest Highway" through British Columbia and Alberta, we drop back down over the border to catch a flight out of Great Falls Montana, to start the next part of our adventure. More on that later. This drive is going to take up over half of the whole trip and GoogleMaps says will be some 2,696 miles long. Good job fuel is still cheaper there than here! Though I expect we will have some beast of an American car that just drinks gasoline. Never tried it myself, quite.
John has been working on our hotel destinations to get them loaded into TomTom for its trusty know-it-all LaurenLauren to direct us there. This process lead him to viewing the map showing all of our hotels, and this gives a quite a good overview of where we will be ending up on this trip.
From Miami, bottom right, to Castlegar, British Columbia, top left, the black stars show the location of our hotels.
So.. welcome to our new Blog and we do hope you too enjoy our journey which will also take in Chicago, the Great River Road, Minneapolis, Tucson, Tombstone and Great Organ Pipe park in Arizona, San Diego, then home from Los Angeles. We have a stopover in Miami on the way out and hope to make it for dinner in South Beach this time. But we'll take it as it comes.
See you'all later.
John, Bob, Stan & Arthur
No mention of food above, so, to make up for that, I thought I would include this:-
Apart from being able to choose your seat at the time of booking with American Airlines (unlike BA), there is now a new facility whereby you can chose your "entrée" as the Americans mis-name it, for your main meal on your flight. This saves the hassle of the item you fancy on the menu not being available because too many others have chosen it.
This is available 30 days before your flight, so we have already chosen our main courses for our flight from Madrid to Miami. Here are the options we have:-
Choose Your Entrée for this Flight
Rosemary Cumin Chicken - Grilled breast of chicken flavored with rosemary and cumin, served with spinach orecchiette pasta topped with creamy tomato sauce
Chateaubriand - Grilled fillet of beef topped with a green peppercorn sauce, offered with potatoes au gratin and sautéed mushrooms, leeks and onions
Buffalo Mozzarella Torteletti Pasta - With butternut squash cream sauce and spinach
Crab Cakes - With spicy hollandaise, warm cabage, sautéed greens and roasted potatoes
Which do you fancy? What did we choose?? Please leave a comment, just to get into the swing of things!