Leaving Las Vegas

I’m glad to leave Las Vegas, it’s not my sort of place! However, Las Vegas served as a good staging point for our trips out to Zion National Park (a day trip) and to the Grand Canyon (over-nighted there) and to fly out to Washington DC.
 POST SCRIPT: we flew with Southwest Airlines where one gets a boarding pass but there is no seat allocation on the plane at all – just pick a seat and sit down. Great, except by the time we boarded there was not 2 seats together anywhere for the 1.5 hr leg to Denver, Colorado. Then when most Denver passengers departed the aircraft, we walked to the second front row of seats and sat together right up the very front for the 4 hr leg to Washington DC. Arrived at 11.00pm local time Friday night and had to take a taxi to our hotel, the Residence Inn Marriott Capitol.

Here’s a few more pics non Vegas pics.

Fort Bragg to Redding via Hwy101 & Hwy 229

Drove up the coast a bit on Shoreline Hwy 1, then on to Hwy 101N, (also about 8 miles on into the Humboldt National Park) the Redwood Hwy to Eureka, then to Redding via Hwy229E and the beautiful Shasta-Trinity National Forest. This is spectacular country and the giant redwoods are so tall that it’s actually hard to get pictures of them.

North on Hwy 1 Shoreline Drive

This is actually Monday USA time, despite what the blog date stamp says.
What a day! We trudged through the steep streets of San Francisco “only a few blocks” to Bush Street to pick up our pre-booked hire car. We got there at 10.00am only to join a very long queue of others waiting for their cars. Long story short, we left at 12.30pm ‘upgraded’ Jeep SUV. Now I had been pretty edgy about driving through downtown SF in a car I’d never driven before, on unfamiliar streets on the wrong side of the road. However, the joy that is a GPS made it all so easy. It was quite a buzz to motor over the Golden Gate Bridge and head north.

Hwy 1 North is much like the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, only more wild and isolated. Oh, and I was pulled over by one of Mendicino County’s finest today – but no ticket issued. In fact he was a very nice guy and gave me some education on California’s speed limits. It’s not what you’re thinking – I was pulled over for travelling too slowly! Dorothy had a good laugh!

Tonight we are at a motel in the fishing town of Fort Bragg. Had a great seafood meal at the North Coast Brewery, which was excellent and great value compared with San Francisco prices.

Tomorrow to the Humbolt Redwood park and beyond.

Napa Valley

We took a bus trip around some of the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa today. It was a boiling hot day in the valley, around 37C at one stage.

Very familiar landscape to Aussies.

 Back in San Francisco we went out for dinner to a restaurant that opened in 1849 – Tadich Grill.
The first is at a famous seafood restaurant, Tadich’s.

 A genuine San Francisco cable car.

San Francisco

We had a really smooth flight to Los Angeles, then a connection to San Francisco. Even though smooth, its still a long, long way and we were felling pretty rung out after 15 plus hours of flying! Here are some pics from San Francisco.

A ride at last!

After 2 months of not riding due to bad weather or work commitments it was great to finally head out for a short ride to Lorne and back via the Great Ocean Road(GOR).

Clunes central Vic

Where better to go on a chilly Sunday than Ballarat – renowned for its warmth & sunshine.
We took a run to visit a mate of ours Andy in Ballarat. He fired up his Norton Commando and we took a run to the historic township of Clunes. It was quite sunny but still pretty cold at 12C nevertheless.