Daniel Austin

mandan

Daniel Austin




North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » LAX July 4th 2015

We've dropped off Jeep MK2 and checked in with a nice 4 hour wait till our boarding time so I thought I would write a final post about yesterday. On our way from Anaheim, we had a couple of hours to spare and it was a beautiful day so we decided to make a stop at Huntington Beach before checking in at the queen Mary. This was defiantly our kind of beach. Miles of white sand coast, surf and cheap on street parking! It even has a section before you get onto the main beach with fire pits and litter bins so you can spend your day sun bathing and finish it off with a regulated fire/bbq without being told to move on (like in UK). The Queen Mary was our next and final Stop permanently ... read more
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After being stuck for a long time in crazy LA traffic, we decided to chill with the still yesterday morning and head out at around noon to a few key locations that we wanted to see. Avoiding rush hour made the roads quieter but it was still quite hectic and it was really revealing how my expectations of this part was so different to its true appearance. I always imagined all around LA and Hollywood in particular, to be glitzy and glamorous with just a small selection of hidden run down locations that aren't quite so aesthetically pleasing. Obviously we have only seen a small percentage of areas mostly off of the highway but it almost seems quite the opposite, I guess with every largely populated area in the world there is always the sharp contrast ... read more
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North America » United States » California July 1st 2015

So we left the madness of Vegas and headed down the other side on our last long drive of the trip. Because Vegas isn't part of the route 66 we couldn't join back onto it until Barstow where we had a nice few miles and Passed by the bottle tree ranch. Its a huge art structure comprising of 1000's of empty bottles. Very Bizarre but Mandie was very taken by it. The rest of the 4 hour drive was down the never ending decent towards Los Angeles and Californians are by far the most crazy drivers out of all the states we've been! The funny thing about California, is that all the place names seem familiar from all the films based here. We passed just shy of Pasadena (we big bang theory is based) on the ... read more
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North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas June 29th 2015

Mandie stepped up today and released me from my 8 day stretch of driving as we had a nice gentle 2 and 1/2 hour drive to Grand Canyon West mostly on the 66 and then straight up the 90. So I kicked back, devoured most of a packet of Cheetos and really took in the scenery. It was breath taking views all the way up to the canyons with plenty of stops for scenic pictures. We decided against going into the skywalk which looks down into the mile deep valley as it was 40 dollars each more and you cant even take photos! We managed to get almost as good a view from the 2 points anyway. The shuttle bus takes you round the two best stops so you can stare down into the vast voids ... read more
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North America » United States » Arizona » Peach Springs June 27th 2015

The road west from Albuquerque is once again mainly restricted to the I40 as it actually covers most of it. There are small sections that shoot off but only for a few miles and then they return to the faster interstate highway. This was however not a problem as which ever road you choose going west out of New Mexico is stunning. We had a good 500-600 miles to cover today, so taking the fast road was the best option anyway and we really enjoyed speeding past the small settlements either side with the pastel red colour of the hills and the San Francisco mountain peaks on the horizon.(not actually in San Francisco which is confusing!) The first stop was about 240 miles into Arizona (about the same distance from mid cornwall to London!) just before ... read more
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Not a lot to report today. Being now in the mountain time zone, we have gained another hour making us 7 hours behind. We were a little disappointed with Santa Rosa and wished we could have just driven the additional few miles to here last night so we could have 2 nights in the Grand Canyon. We were planning on doing the Breaking Bad tour in Albuquerque which involves being taken round all the locations in the show in a big RV! However we sat down last night and realised we could just google the locations and visit them ourselves and save some bucks. So we hauled ass the 120ish miles from Santa Rosa and got some good pictures of Walt and Jessie's house, Jane and Jessie's apartments, Saul's office and the car wash. If you ... read more
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North America » United States » New Mexico » Santa Rosa June 24th 2015

Today was ghost town day, it got very redneck and a little weird..... Mandie had noticed that we had passed a pretty cool site last night about 30 miles back east on the I40 called the v-dub slug bug ranch. It is another representation of the artwork like the Cadillac Ranch (mentioned later) but with vw's instead! In many ways this site is worth going to more than its predecessor as there are less tourists and its a bit less mainstream. Back down the I40 just past Amarillo, we then visited the Cadillac ranch which is very similar but packed with families and kids. However a little kid was nice enough to give us the remnants of his spray paint can which I then attempted to use to write MANDAN on one of the cars. I'm ... read more
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North America » United States » Texas » Amarillo June 24th 2015

Well with all the good intentions in the world, our early start didn't happen! We were all dressed, packed, had breakfast and ready to go by half 8 and just as we were checking out there was an error on our reservation. There was some cock up with the system that our travel agents third party had used and the payment for the room wouldn't go through. We had to get hold of the office in uk and try and sort it out with them and the hotel manager who I was starting to get a bit frustrated with. After a long time a decision was reached and we begrudgingly paid out of our own pocket in the promise that the agents would refund us, which involved scanning documents and sending emails etc. We finally got ... read more
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Got into the rhythm of navigating through the old roads today with the help of combining google maps with a map of the old route on a separate app today. We could have probably avoided the interstate all day but we left the hotel to late again and had our first experience in Wallmart! Its like all the shops in the uk combined into one at discount prices. You could be lost in there for months and no one would find you! Tomorrow we are going to try and set off early to spend the whole day taking our time on the old route and see some different things. Its much less stressful than the interstate because THERE ARE NO RULES OF DRIVING IN AMERICA! Honestly, people just cut you up, don't indicate and weave between ... read more
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North America » United States » Missouri » Springfield June 21st 2015

We didn't have many sites to visit today so took our time and decided to follow the old road as much as we could instead of taking the I44 all the way. This proves difficult in this section due to how much has been abandoned, closed or just doesn't exist anymore. Past about 1984, the actual route 66 doesn't exist and it is just a mix of dozens of different highways. We got lost a couple of times but we did also manage to cruise through a lot of the old road which is dubiously sign posted. The first stop was the "worlds largest rocking chair", a staple tourist attraction that was very cool and a lot bigger than I thought! The store next to it was closed so we got our pictures, and jumped back ... read more
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