North to South America on a Honda 250

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Outa sight dude!
    Great pic's, nice Hot Rods and nicer Fräulein!
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  2. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado Supporter

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    "It was good to see her again but she had to go back to Vancouver in the evening so we said goodbye. Maybe our paths cross in the future and we'll meet again."

    You should be so lucky.

    If you're coming to Colorado give a shout...can't promise you a cute young lady, but I'll buy you a beer. :photog
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  3. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

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    Tell us how the bike is doing now?
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  4. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Hahaha, love it! My brother and I are heading to Vegas tomorrow! Not sure how our or my route will look like after that. I’ll definately send you a message when I get close!

    The bike is doing great actually, put a new rear tire on it in Sacramento and changed the oil once again. But its not leaking anymore, so i’ll just keep going.

    I on the other hand, I jumped of a small ledge while exploring the Ape cave with @Viper7 and my left ankle hurt for a few days. Then hiking down from Lassen Peak I twisted my right ankle which hurt even more. The swelling is almost gone now but I still feel it with every step. And while staying with @outdoorsman I jumped in the pool with my phone still in my pocket.. so I am using my spare phone now.

    Pictures to come soon, luckily I had them all online before my phone died!
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  5. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    I had typed a bit about my first days in the USA, and then proceeded to ruin my phone and everything on it by jumping in the pool.
    So, 23:30.. typing this from a computer in a hostel in Las Vegas, I'll keep it a bit shorter!
    When I entered the USA at Port Angeles I contacted Dean and Michele via the Tent Space Map. I didn't want to ride far on that first day and they are located just outside of Port Angeles, and they were willing to host me. They had some friends over for dinner. I even got to ride the Yamaha XT250, such a cool bike.
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    My sleeping quarters, I could either pitch my tent or sleep in their trailer. Trailer it was!
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    I planned to stay only one night but they were okay with me staying another night. This gave me the opportunity to do some maintenance on the bike, explore Port Angeles and join Dean and Michele to their monthly local brewer meeting!!
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    Michele had made some Tamales (Tomales?), which were delicious. Everyone attending the BBQ had brought something to eat or drink (except for me then). I really enjoyed this day. Thanks Dean and Michele (and your sweet dog Fanta) for hosting me and showing me around
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    The next day I said goodbye and started following the road along the coast to Neah Bay. There I walked all the way to the end. Just like in Tofino, it sometimes looks like a tropical rainforest here on the west coast.
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    Later in the day, further south along the coast I started looking for a campsite. Of course everything was full, it's high season after all. But I decided to check out one and see if I maybe someone would be willing to share. I had almost given up but then passed a empty site. The family occupying it had left a day early so it was already paid for, said their friends on the site beside it. Score! I was snacking on these blueberries all day, Michele gave them to me when I left. So kind!:)
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    I didn't go for a swim as the water was quite chilly. There where however a lot of dead crabs washed up on the beach. A woman told me it was because the water was much warmer then usual. A sad sight. She invited me to come over to her site for a drink after dinner so I did. She had been travelling with her car for two months now and had been to Mexico many times before, so I got some good pointers!
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    I continued south along the 101. And took some detours here and there.
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    Crossed from Washington into Oregon via the huge Astoria - Megler bridge!
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    I found the Oregon coast to be even more beautiful. So walked some more trails to enjoy it.
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    I believe this is Indian beach, it is a while ago so I don't even remember everything that well.
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    From Lincoln City I turned inland to stay with @Viper7 for a day (or two). And because I wanted to see the Evergreen Aviation and Space museum. It looked like France in some places, grain fields, vine fields.
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    First thing when you arrive at the museum is a 747 on top of a building, it is actually part of the swimming pool and houses some slides.
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    I liked the museum very much, definitely worth going to if you're in the area. They had all kinds of cool planes, helicopters and stuff on display.
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    Most impressive was the Spruce Goose, a eight engine, wooden float plane. Nobody believed it could fly, but it did!
    See the video!
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    H- 4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)

    Howard Hughes is contracted to build the world's largest plane by the US Government
    www.youtube.com
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    And then there was another building, solely devoted to space aviation. So cool!
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    And then... There was outside! I had to ride up to the 747, not sure if it was allowed or not.. but I couldn't resist.
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  6. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Arriving at @Viper7 in Portland there was just enough space left in the garage for my bike. It was in good company, I was too! Ron and Lisa made me feel right at home :)
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    I wanted to take a ride to Mount Saint Helens the next day and Ron joined me (it was that or doing choirs at home). We had a beautiful ride following some back roads. Ron was in the lead most of the time, keeping the speed down enabling me to keep up with him.
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    We stopped at the Ape Cave, Ron had never been in there and I was keen to check it out too. Well, I tried to take a picture but there's not a lot of light so that didn't work. You have to bring your own light or rent a flashlight at the entrance. The lave tube tunnel is really impressive, it took a while to walk to the end (and back).
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    The roads around this vulcanic area are really good. We stopped at this viewpoint about halfway, and met some other bikers that were also enjoying the roads.
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    We returned via the Historic Columbia River Highway, stopping at one of the waterfalls and the viewpoint. In the evening Ron again made a lovely dinner (he's really good at cooking) and we had some more cold ones. Thanks Ron and Lisa for hosting me, I had a great time! Maybe we'll see each other on the Isle of Mann :)
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    When I was at Ron and Lisa's place my brother contacted me, asking me if I would like it if he joined me for a couple of weeks. He asked me on Wednesday, booked a ticket on Thursday and would fly in on Saturday. That meant a change of plans, but that was fine because I didn't really had any plans or schedule for the US.

    I continued south, back to the coast and towards San Francisco. I had my first experience with the heat and stopped for a drink and a bite in this cafe. The waitress gave me this picture book to look at while waiting for my burger.
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    Reaching the coast it was cold and misty as usual. Still beautiful!
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    When I reached Port Orford the weather had cleared up and it got even better...
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    Because I was meeting Dave, Dawn and Rich again! I stayed with them in Calgary and now they were on their own trip along the coast. It was so good to see them again. Dawn cooked a great dinner and then we went to beach to watch the sunset.
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    The next morning I had to say farewell and continue further south. Into California!
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    Proceeded to ride through a tree..
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    ...and stop beside some really big trees..
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    ...more wildlife, not that wild at this point..
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    ...and more really big trees..
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    ...more coastal pictures..
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    ...and across this bright red bridge..
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    All to see if I could spot a familiar face in the crowd, which I eventually did!
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    At that point it had been three months ago that I had last seen my brother, so I was really happy that he had arrived in San Francisco!
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  7. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Nice update Joris
    I'll be in California Sept. 15th taking my bike down to storage in preparation for Mexico in November
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  8. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    We spend a couple days in San Francisco. To see all the sights and to give my brother some time to adjust and get rid of his jetlag. Interesting city, lots to see and a very diverse culture.
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    Before he left he checked online if he could rent a motorcycle somewhere, Eagleriders looked good and their website said you could just walk in and get set up. I told him, maybe you should call ahead of shoot them a message because it is on such short notice. But he believed it was fine.
    So we took the metro to Eagleriders to see if he could rent a bike for three weeks. And.. no, nothing was available (or crazy expensive). So that plan went down the drain.. We walked back to a Mc Donalds for some wifi and find out if there were any other options. We found a website called riders-share, where you can rent from a private person. A bit like AirB&B but then for bikes. He send some messages but most of them didn't want to rent for three weeks, but one guy replied that it would be no problem. We had to pick it up next day as he was leaving for work.

    The Suzuki GS500 in question was advertised as in good working condition and only one indicator didn't work. There was a bit more wrong with the bike when we showed up, one fork seal was gone, a bald rear tire and chain that was on it last legs. It was also really slow! Oh well, it'll do for now.
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    We left San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge and followed the 1 North. We found out why the Suzuki wasn't able to keep up with my Honda. It ran on one cylinder.. We checked the wiring and quickly fixed the problem. With all the power back it was actually great fun to ride on this winding road!
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    Another drive through three, and more big threes!
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    Going for a swim after a nice day of riding.
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    We made our way from the redwoods on the coast to Lassen Vulcanic Park. Once away from the coast it really warmed up.
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    So nice to be camping and be able to share the moment with someone else (I also picked up a new tire in SF).
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    Lassen was truly incredible. We hiked up to the top of Lassen Peak, which offers great vistas in every direction. We were asking ourselfs why there were so many butterflies though. On the way down I misplaced my right foot and sprained my ankle. I put some snow in my sock to keep the swelling down and kept on walking before the pain got really bad.
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    In the evening we arrived at Darren's place near Sacramento. I had met Darren in Dawson City at D2D, on the Dempster and later we met again at GISdood's place in Prince George. He invited me to swing by if I ever made it to his area, so I did :)
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    We got a new tire for the Suzuki and I changed my rear tire as well.. All Sorted!
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    My brother and I had never shot or even touched a gun, and being in the USA it's almost mandatory to shoot something at some point. So Darren took us to a shooting range and for an hour we tried to punch holes in the paper targets. It was quite the experience, I really had to get used to the loudness and the power even those small handguns have. It was great though!
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  9. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Ah, cool that you're doing another trip down South Cal! Taking the Super Sherpa or a different bike this time?
    I plan on entering Mexico in the next week or so, that will give me plenty of time to make my way down to Panama (maybe even to much time, but its not hard to kill a week or two somewhere). I will be somewhere in Costa Rica in November probably. I booked a crossing on the Stahlratte on December 27th. So Christmas in Panama and New year in Colombia! :) Shipping it around the Darien Gap also means I'm committed to ride my bike all the way south.
    Oznay, MYUMPH, roadcapDen and 2 others like this.
  10. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Good stuff!
    You're gonna be long gone thru El Salvador before l get there in February...
    Hope your sprain is not too bad my friend.
  11. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Suzuki V strom You have almost 4 months from the US to Panama, plenty of time to see the sites. Mexico is worthy of more than 2 of those months! Be prepared to fall in love with Mexico.
  12. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer Supporter

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    Great update Joris! I had a GS500F some years ago-great little bike! I loved the big gas tank that thing had. Great to see you and your brother getting to spend time together.
  13. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Bikes all in order (phone not anymore at that point, as it didn't like the pool) we left the valley and headed into the Sierras. Huge thanks to @outdoorsman for hosting us, helping us and showing us around!
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    We followed the 50 down to Lake Tahoe and rode along the western shore for a bit before turning around and following the 395 down south to Mono Lake. Lots of people at Lake Tahoe, which is understandable as the area is very pretty.
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    Maarten getting used to my kind of breakfast and lunch for the last three months, peanutbutter sandwiches.
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    We continued and reached the top of Monitor Pass. At over 8000ft my bike was starting to struggle a bit. Not a lot of power to begin with, and at altitude it only gets less.
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    Coming down the other side the valley opened up and the views where just phenomenal. Pictures don't do it justice!
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    Darren had given us some pointers and one of them was the abandoned gold miners town of Bodie. A couple of miles east of the 395, the last bit to the town is dirt.
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    Like many gold rush towns of that era, it was booming when they were mining but once the mine closed the town had no way of sustaining itself and quickly vanished.
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    There's always a fair share of old machines and cars at these places.
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    At Lee Vining near Mono Lake we found a campsite and stopped for the night.
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    Another pointer from Darren was the Tioga pass into Yosemite National Park. It went above 10.000ft which was higher than my bike had ever been. We did a short walk in the valley and then went to look for campsite. All were full of course. There was however the option of putting your name on a list and if there are cancellations you might get a spot at the end of the day. We did and got a spot in the afternoon, perfect! That ment we could go on another hike the next morning and see a bit more of Yosemite.
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  14. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    I should have followed you out of Dawson!!!!!!
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  15. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    The eastern Sierra are my favorite corner of the world, I’m glad you enjoyed.
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  16. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Yeah, should be somewhere a bit further south at that point! Bummer, would gladly have bought you a beer or two Den!:beer

    I'll be crossing the border this friday, or saturday. I can't wait, but it will be a steep learning curve and an interesting experience for sure :)

    The motor was brilliant, the seating position is a little small and uncomfortable but yes, great bike! And the mileage wasn't that far off from my bike. As I was riding full throttle almost everywhere and he could just feather it to keep up with me.

    Hahah, you can still jump on the bike and go, before winter sets in up North!
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  17. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    See, I'm trying to get this RR up to date before I head into Mexico. As I expect there will be even less opportunities to upload pictures or Wi-fi time. Not sure if it's gonna work..



    From Yosemite we went back up and over the Tioga pass. There were more things to see on that side of the mountains.

    For one there was the Panum Crater that I wanted to check out. Turns out it's hard to take a picture of the crater once you're on it.
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    We finished the day riding the June Lake Loop and found a campground near June Lake.
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    Up to this point the heat had been bearable. From now on it would get a bit warmer. We continued south to Bishop, Big Pine and then east to Oasis. There was another crater I wanted to see called Ubehebe. But when we got to the turn-off on the 95 it said the road was closed. Bummer! We continued on to Beatty and then started the descent into Death Valley (and crossed the stateline).
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    We rode into Death Valley on the 9th of August, around 6pm. And it was the hottest air I had ever felt. You could not ride with our visor open as it would literally burn. Like opening the oven to check if your pizza is ready and then get burned by the hot air escaping. I chucked some water down my neck but the sun had warmed it up so bad that it felt like spilling hot coffee on your leg. Why did we go here?
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    The campground in Furnace Creek was almost completely deserted. We saw maybe five other people there. The hotel in Furnace Creek was surprisingly busy for this time of the year. We checked out some of the memorabilia and retreated to the air-conditioned bar. Oh and I bought a cap! To keep the sun away but mostly to keep my hair in order, it's getting awfully long now.
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    If you're looking for a nice cool night to get some sleep, Death Valley isn't the place. Maarten didn't bother with putting up his tent and used my hammock to try and get some sleep. I did pitch my tent, but found out it was unbearably hot and around midnight I moved to the picknick table. That didn't work either, I gave up and accepted that there would be little sleep that night. I think I got in one hour of shut eye. We had set our alarms at 5am to get out of the valley before it would become really hot, but we were both awake before that.
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    The sun slowly lighting up the valley.
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    We did the Artists drive but didn't stop to walk around. We did stop at the Badwater Basin.
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    Eventually the sun caught up with us but by that time we were already climbing out of the valley and on our way to Las Vegas.
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  18. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    I am doing the financial risk evaluation(high speed term for dreaming) of taking off soon, but I'd probably try and catch Lauri and Declan in Baja.
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  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    I think heat is worse than cold! You will have good wifi at every economical hotel in Mexico. Get your haircut in Mexico 70 to 80 pesos is the going rate, just pantomime how short you want it or point to another customer in the shop lol Oh and by the way Baja is not the real Mexico as you will find out
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  20. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Ohh Vegas, where to start.. There is so much going on at any given time.
    We had booked a hostel for two nights near Downtown Las Vegas. We both agreed that one night would have been sufficient after seeing the city. But it was cheap, they had a pool and we could do with some rest. After checking in we walked into the city and tried to process the whole madness and over-the-top extravaganza of the place. There must be a millions slot machines in Vegas.
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    It is quite impressive what they have come up with here in the desert. We didn't go to a show or played on the machines, it just didn't appeal to us. I like it better to just sit down with a beer somewhere and listed to some live music.
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    On our off-day we visited the Hoover Dam and went swimming at Lake Mead. The evening was spent at the pool in the hostel as we both didn't feel like going into the city again. I'm glad I've seen Vegas, but it's not really the thing I like so I'm definitely in no hurry to get back there.
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    What I did like, maybe the most beautiful national park that I've visited in the US, was Zion National Park. The colors and the rock formations are spectacular. We arrived in the afternoon, entered the park via bus and hiked up to Angels Landing. I was holding the chain that runs along the path real tight as some parts were really steep and I didn't like those heights one bit.
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    All smiles when we made it to the top though, and even more smiles when we made it back down safely.
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    Pitched our tents in Springdale. Just beneath the tree in the picture was a nice refreshing river in which we could cool off.
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    Next national park on the list was Bryce. The road continues through Zion for a while, and then it's just a short ride to Bryce.
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    Another incredible park!
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