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  • Found the campground we've been dreaming about on the shore of Lake Superior & it's almost empty. It is owned by the Native American Ojibwa tribe. Had the pick of sites, number 47 called to us !!! surrounded by lakeshore. Stew's hunter gatherer instinct has kicked in, gathering firewood from empty sites. Dinner experiment worked a treat, hot smoked salmon over a campfire, sweet potato roasted in the campfire with cilantro lime mayo... Delicious with a glass of wine !!!Read more

  • We ended up crashing pretty early the previous night, which is a good thing as we needed an early start, so we saw the sun come up over the towering Yosemite Valley walls as we drove the half an hour to the top of the park.

    We hit the Mist Trail which sneaks up on you gradually as the nice tarmac path gets steeper and steeper, then turns into rougher and rougher steps, which then get bigger and bigger! We passed the two impressive waterfalls, although there wasn't a much water at this time of the year. Fortunately the trail levels out a bit (relatively speaking), and you wind you way up through the forest before you hit the subdome, and the steps begin again!

    After climbing 4,400ft as you can imagine the view from the top of subdome was utterly spectacular, looking across miles of polished rock climbing into the distance in all directions except for the view down to the valley floor many thousands of feet below.

    The last 400ft of elevation was Half Dome itself, and this could only be tamed using the cables they attach during the summer months. When you see it from a distance it doesn't look possible to get up without serious rock climbing skills, and as you get to the bottom of the cables it still looks pretty hard core. It was a very strenuous hike up and Jo didn't feel confident about the final few hundred feet, and I have to admit I was a little apprehensive myself but I steeled myself and donned my gloves.

    It was as steep as it looks, possibly more so! Your feet just about gripped, but without the cables there was no way I would be up there. Despite the thinning air (just shy of 3k metres) I powered up it and felt a little unusual once I was standing at the top. I started taking a few snaps and only then I realised that I was a few feet from the edge on a big overhang looking down on the valley floor about 6,000 feet below.

    Fortunately going down was significantly easier (mainly due to not losing your breath every 10 steps due to the thin air). Despite being fairly quiet on the way up there was an old chap determined to make it to the top, but that meant it was rammed solid and hardly moving so I bravely/foolishly swing to the outside of the cables. It was reasonably smooth sailing until I got to people who were a bit freaked out and wouldn't move so I had to freestyle a few feet before I could get a good grip back on the cables. One mistake on this thing and you wouldn't only slip down the few hundred feet to subdome but also the other few thousand back to the valley floor, which soon focuses the mind and I carefully made my way down.

    We set off back down and soon made the top waterfall. Rather than try and tackle the massive steps we took the longer but marginally more gentle route down the John Muir Trail. It didn't take long before the views looked familiar, as we had hiked this on a spectacular walk to Glacier Point when we visited the east coast about 8 years before. The views from the far edge of the valley were way better than the direct route up, and several enjoyable hours later we were reunited with Elvis.

    A much needed shower and a hard earned pizza and pint rounded off an incredible day in an unbelievably beautiful and awe inspiring park, before we returned to our layby and collapsed into bed.
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  • Arrived at hotel 12.30 pm.
    Drive back into Boston OK. Took just over 2 hours. Once we had freshened up we went out into the city.
    Bite of lunch on the harbour side , then walked, following our guide book, to Beacon Hill.( old money Boston 😉) cobbled stone streets and old fashioned Street lamps.
    Sat on Boston common and ate the best lemon pie ever.
    Then a 45 minutes walk to see Fenway Park , home of The Red Sox
    Seedy underground train back. Will not be taking that mode of transport again whist we are here. 😉
    Back to room for power nap and a little treat.
    Then off to club lounge for a little inter continental hotel hospitality 😉😘😘😘😘😘😘

    (Richard) Actually we need to get the subway to the bar that is showing the City match on Saturday morning......mmmm Guinness at 10 am! Nice.
    ( Hilary).... Iam so excited about that.....
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  • Day 21. Our last full day
    Up at 8 am. Breakfast in the hotel.
    Off out into the bright sunshine. Though a little colder this morning.
    The freedom Trail starts on Boston Common. A walking tour of the revolutionary historical sites of Old Boston. 2.5 miles. Took us most of the day..
    We had plenty of stops.....
    Brandy ginger and apple sangria
    Clam chowder
    A little retail therapy
    Quincy market
    The Green Dragon Tavern.( Found this on pintrest)
    Ferry ride
    Sore feet
    A great last day.
    Soon time to sort out the cases. But not quite over yet 😉....
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  • Only 50 miles or so down the road is Bryce National Park. There are so many brits (amongst other nationalities) its quite a change from most of our travels, but this is prime 2 week road trip territory as we know all too well.

    Bryce is where the sandstone mesa (flat mountain top) has been dramatically worn away leaving arches, windows and hoodoos (pinnacles). Although we've seen a few examples of this there is nothing that quite compares to the sheer impressiveness of Bryce. Last time we had to rush this a bit so today we spent several hours exploring on the amazing peekaboo trail.

    There's not much more to say other than the photos (as usual) don't do it justice.
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  • So just been enjoying our last day of this amazing trip... When....
    We get an email from the airline. Our flight home is delayed 11 hours!
    Just a little holiday extention 😉
    So making the most of our extra hours xx
    We've booked our lovely room for one more night.
    And.... We're enjoying the

  • Definitely tell we're in the south at Reed Bingham SP. Lovely park with lake & big sites with moss hanging from the trees. Walked swamp trails up the Little River, saw plenty birds & palms but no alligators !! Squirrels are busy burying acorns & are bold as brass, had one on the step this morning. Stew's in his element are there are lots of birds here. Protected gopher tortoise burrows are everywhere marked with flags, saw one today !!Read more

  • What a beautiful part of the USA! We came through the hills of Chattanooga and some amazing horse country on our way to Nashville yesterday. It's been overcast here and this morning's temperature was a chilly mid 50s. Felt so good to these mountain folks!! We visited The Hermitage today, former plantation of our 7th President, Andrew Jackson. An amazingly well preserved and presented property. Looking forward to dinner tonight with a school mate from junior and senior high in San Francisco!Read more

  • The first day in Yosemite NP we tackled a trail recommended to us by a grumpy ranger so we should have known better and it ended up being pleasant but pretty uninspiring considering where we are.

    The next morning was another cold one (6C inside, but we are at 10,000 ft) but gloriously sunny so we headed back the few hundred metres into the park. We found a spot with enough signal to get a call out and we were pretty gobsmacked when we were told we'd won the daily lottery to get Half Dome permits for the following day.

    We hiked up to Cathedral Lakes but this time it was a glorious walk with majestic scenery. These huge scarred and also polished rocks jutting up out of the hillside and rising hundreds/thousands of feet. It was about 12 miles and fairly up and downy so we were feeling it when we eventually stopped for the night. The camping arrangements here are crazy - even at this time of the year the only available reservations are over a month away and there is pretty well sod all around! Rather than pay $25 to camp in front of a long-dead (vault toilet) in basically a layby, we found a much nicer and free pull out up the valley. Now we've dropped down to 2,000 ft the temperature has soared and its 33C at 6pm, which makes a very pleasant change to the past couple of cold nights.
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  • The forecast is for cool, light rain and heavy winds. Looking like 5 or 6 hours of this. Slow rider kind of day :)

    Well, I was wrong about the above; the day was cold, 39 degrees, heavy rains, and moderate wind. And things got more interesting...

    So the 2 Hours to Yellowstone turned into about 5 hours... Then about 4 more.
    My waterproof boots and gloves gave way to the rain after about two hours, and that was a challenge for my toes and finger tips.

    So when I got to West Yellowstone, which is the town just at the entrance with a bit of water inside my suit, I when to a laundry where I dried my clothes.
    With boots and gloves proving they weren't going to cut it. I got some new gloves and boots. And headed West into Yellowstone, with a forecast of light rain for the next three hours of riding. But...
    To everyone's surprise, 70 miles into Yellowstone the snow took charge and closed the route I was on. The photos are of me at the road closure with dozens of baffled travelers. Just up the road, at 8600 feet elevation was 3 inches of snow. Many of us were not more than 20 miles from our motels.
    So I headed back 20 miles for plan B. By time I got to the intersection of plan B, the snow had caught up with me and five miles of riding on snow had me turning around for plan C. A attempt to go the full way back West. Not happening, no, not.
    So fortunatly for me at the intersection of all my options is a gas station. And behind the gas station is a staff dorm and I was offered a room for the night. So I am settled in, enjoying the banter of the local staff, late teens, early twentys, playing a board game with enthusiasm.
    The snow has stopped, currently there is about 3 inches out the door. Lots to consider with the uncertainty of the weather, and tomorrow's forecast of rain for hours all around me.
    I may need to learn this board game:)

    (902 miles traveled)
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