Friday 30th August was our 75th day on the road and the last day in the van. After a 6 hour drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, the latter part of which being quite difficult due to the very crowded roads and fast traffic (it was Labor Day Weekend and many people were making an early get away for the weekend), we returned Mac to the Van hire
Depot somewhat grubbier than when we picked him up and headed to the airport.
Contrary to the common experience, our transit through LAX was easy (although its facilities are sparse when compared with Heathrow),
the overnight flight back was about one hour shorter than timetabled and after 76 days on the road, a tired pair of travellers opened their front door to a mountain of mail and an overrun garden (with short grass thanks to M).
During our 76 days away, we drove nearly 9500 miles, used over 1100 gallons of gas, stayed at 47 camp sites, visited 18 states and 18 national parks, washed our clothes 12 times……. and we saw more of the USA than many of the people who live there have seen. We met some very interesting people, had discussions with people of all political persuasions, made many new friends and met again with some old friends.
To say the trip was an education is an understatement. Although we have been to the USA many times before, this time we went to areas which neither of us had been to previously and we were astonished at the different types of landscapes which we came across. We went to some fantastic museums, saw some lovely old buildings, saw some terrible edge of town developments amd much more.
Our favourite states were Montana and Utah with Wyoming following closely behind. We decided that really we prefer “large landscape and few people” and we certainly found those few occasions when we went into big cities rather difficult.
We also had numerous opportunities to meet and talk to Americans on their home ground. We will particularly remember a campground in Montana and evenings around a camp fire, meeting my Cousin for the first time was a real pleasure as was meeting again someone we last met some 43 years ago and also someone we met recently in Norway who seems to get as much pleasure out of travelling as we do.
Whilst we were on the road, we wrote down numerous questions about America and the places we went through to which we did not know the answer and researching these will keep us occupied during the winter months. They range from easy ones such as:
- what are the words to Rawhide;
- what is the history of the Hutterites
to more esoteric ones such as:
- why is two medicine river so called;
- what is in a field just south of Bynum Montana
and at least a hundred more.
Now we have to consider where to go next – Alaska is high on the list alongside Africa. Which one of these or anywhere else will it be?
You will have to wait and see.