On arrival in NY we had a couple of days to wait for Juanita to clear customs. We were staying in a Air BnB room in Queens, what a great location! To get into the centre of the city was only a 20 min/ $4.50 train journey, we did go in one day for some cheap sightseeing (walked 14km) but to be honest Queens was such a friendly neighbourhood we were happy just to walk around and talk to people. We ate great Afro Caribbean food for reasonable prices and chilled.
Not bad for $40 dollars a night, our host Deborah was incredibly helpful.
We picked up the van from a grotty warehouse in Newark, were relieved there was no damage and pleased to get going.
As we found when travelling on the motorbike one of the best things about this type of slow travel is the people you meet.
Not only did we have family to catch up with in the US but also friends we had met previously. Our route to my sister’s home in Gunnison, Colorado had been planned to zig zag a bit to include some nice camping and visiting.
We headed down through the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, not travelling very fast, happy to cover around 300 miles a day.
In the Smoky Mountain NP we got to see our first black bear (doing a meerkat impression). On leaving the National Park after 3 days of no phone or wifi access we heard the result of the EU referendum. We lost track of the number of people who on hearing our accents asked us how could that happen? All we could say was we had no idea and won’t be rushing home anytime soon!
I have packed a few more clothes than perhaps I should so space inside the van is a bit tight, however John has not been forced to sleep under the van (he loves to tinker).
At one campsite we enjoyed talking to Carl the site owner, it was a beautiful spot surrounded by lakes. Here is Carl and his dog enjoying a spin (you’ve got to love dogs on bikes!)
Our first city stop was Kansas City (in Missouri, not Kansas!?!) It was great to catch up with Dave G, last seen Bangkok 2011! We chatted, ate, drank, saw our first Baseball match, did the laundry (so important!) and generally had a lovely time. Thank you Dave let’s hope it is not so long till we see you again.
When we’re in the US we tend to gravitate towards the mountains, desert or ocean but in a country this size you have to get through the featureless bits as well……..
Let’s just say the high plains of Kansas were bloody hot and equally boring! It’s a good job the Wizard of Oz put it on the map as the scenery won’t.
It as a relief to get into Colorado and a more interesting landscape, before we headed for the mountains we spent a few days with my niece Sarah, her husband Rick and their boys Steven and Trevor. Our first get together for around 7 years. So nice to spend time with them all, thanks for looking after us so well.
Rodeo, another first for us!
This was funny, we had invested in a selfie stick so attempted to get a pic as the Rodeo finished, by the time we had paired it with the phone, dropped the phone (whoops) and taken several shots that we weren’t happy with we were just about the only people left in the stadium! More practice required.
Red Rocks amphitheatre was opened in 1941, the list of bands and performances held there was pretty impressive, from the Beatles to the Sex Pistols to Mumford and Sons, rather biased that I’ve only named British bands, not on purpose! Getting better with the selfie stick thanks to Trevor.
Steven and Trevor our great nephews, lovely young men who quite understandably have changed a lot since we last met 7 years ago!
Into the mountains…..
For the 2nd time on this trip we met up with Coop and Mary. We first met Coop at a Horizons Unlimited meeting in Colorado in 2010, since then he and Mary visited the UK and we were able to show them some of the Surrey countryside (pretty but no mountains!). This time we spent a couple of very enjoyable days with them and Russ their son. We camped in Steamboat Springs Lake SP, a lovely spot.
The happy campers, we had a great couple of days and a special thanks to Russ for the delicious dinner, John and I need to expand our camp cooking repertoire!
Well, this does not cover all we have done so far but this has been a long post, so time to stop I think!
Bye for now!