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2009 / 1


San Francisco to Yellowstone
SlideShow: Yellowstone National Park
The flight via London (Easy Jet) and from there with Virgin Atlantic direct to San Francisco was smooth, the only mishap was the loss of my glasses in the London Taxi! The Motel Capri was OK and within walking distance or the Fisherman's Wharf (30 min. There we had, after arrival our first dinner. The weather was a bit chilly and windy and I got complains from my family to bringing them to a cold, windy place. I assured them that they will get enough heat later on! We made the mandatory City Tour (Hop-On, Hop-Off) and visited Alcatraz. A very interesting island!

Another highlight was the "Crab House" situated on Pier 39 and of course Union Square. My wive was a bit frustrated because I made restrictions and told her to do this at the end of the voyage, where we will have a clearer picture of remaining funds!
From San Francisco we drove, in our rented Dodge Grand Caravan, to Reno where we stayed at the "Harrahs Hotel & Casino", not bad. Reno looked a bit run down and mostly visited by elderly people! Early next morning a long stretch to Salt Lake City, where we stayed at the worst Motel 6 of the tour. Anyway, manageable for one night. Next morning we visited the famous Mormon Temple and than hit the road, destination Yellowstone Park.
Yellowstone National Park to Denver Colorado
SlideShow: Yellowstone National Park
In Yellowstone West we stayed in a KOA where we had booked a cabin. This was our first test of this kind of accommodation and it proved to be very suitable. We could grill our huge rib-eye steaks, bought on the way, in the Wall Mart of Idaho Falls and prepare our breakfast. All you need is a sleeping bag, a frying pan, a Water heater and a cheap cool box. Everything else can be bought locally. We toured the Yellowstone National Park and touched all major areas.
The "Old Faithful" tested our patience since just erupted before our arrival, so we had to wait almost all the 90 minutes before the next one. We also saw some wild live like buffalo, Moose, Eagle.
The 1100 km drive from Yellowstone National Park to Estes (Rocky Mountain National Park) was endless but interesting. We passed the Grand Tenton National Park, and through quite deserted roads down to Cheyenne. Somewhere I rushed over a hill crest and flew by a Police Patrol at maybe 90mph. I heared sirens whiling and saw flashing blue-red lights. I kept to my right, thinking the Patrol Car wants to overtake me and maybe flag me down. They kept behind me, making noise and suddenly another Police Car squeezed in front of me and I had to stop. I asked the officer of his problem and he informed me that I was speeding and not stopping in time. I played surprised but all my Swiss Charm was wasted. I got a ticket over US$ 400. Oliver filmed the whole incident but not before removing all the empty beer cans! From there to Denver the Highway was busy, than a winding climb to Estes where we stayed also at the KOA. The next morning we took the famous Trail Ridge Road, with stunning views to the Rock Mountains and down to Denver where we stayed in the only hotel of the trip. A private shower was a welcome change otherwise we looked forward to our next KOA in Moab.
Moab, Canyonland, Archer Nat.Park, Grand Canyon
SlideShow: from Canyonland to Grand Canyon
After we almost got involved in a crash with a lady driver and extensive shopping at the Denver Wale Mart we drove via famous and expensive Ski Resorts (Vail) to Moab. The temperature got hotter and hotter and to top it all, we overtook a Highway Patrol in full speed (90 mph) and got, after some chasing, a ticket! I was a bit pissed off but it was my fault, I did not spot them in time. Was maybe busy with my Budweiser, which Nancy put away before my interview with the officer. Moab is a very hot spot and the KOA had not much shade.
The nearby Arches National Park and Canyonland are very impressing and we visited them early mornings. The temperature climbed too high (>48°C) in the afternoons, so we used this time for a siesta.
From Moab we our route took us via Mexican Hat, Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon. A very scenic route. No traffic and very hot! We arrive at the Red Feather Lodge in the evening and had to eat outside. The local "Italian" Restaurant was horrible but next day at the Steak House was OK. Grand Canyon is always spectacular!However a full day was sufficient since we did not wanted to climb down to the bottom of the canyon. Oliver and Nancy where looking forward to Las Vegas since they also missed the civilization, speak shopping!

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