Travel Journal

From aliens and line dancing to funky groovy toilet seats...

(Saturday 14 April 2012) by Karen O'Shea
Howdie Y’aaaaaaall

I am so enjoying this trip, there has just been high light after highlight and the group I am with are pretty sound. Amazing how quick you bond when your living, eating, sleeping and just hanging out over a number of weeks.:-)


The grand canyon Arizona

Man is this place massive. There seemed no end to it. Got to hike part of it down into the canyon. A little hairy at time, found myself clinging and grabbing onto the rocks…trying to look normal. (whatever that look is ;-);-);-)

If I am to be honest during the hike I wasn’t overly impressed with the canyon…to put it in perspective. it’s a big hole in the ground! I found Bryce canyon was so much better, but maybe if I saw the grand canyon first I would have been blown away. So once I got back to the top of the canyon I walked around part of it…this was so much more impressive. It is quite beautiful and mesmerizing. It just seemed endless.


Monument Valley Arizona

Whow….what a place! Really enjoyed it here. Monument valley is part of the Navajo settlement. The Navajo are Native American Indians. The settlement is 18 million acres with a population of 350,000 or there about. We had an Indian guide who drove us around and fed us lots of interesting facts.
The place was so beautiful, and lots of the scenery has been in western movies. Kept expecting john wayne to pop up……………………..anyone for a game of cowboys and engines!!!!! ;-);-)

Actually the guide was quite funny he said when he was younger he played cowboys and Indians in his yard..(which was monument valley), he always played the Indian but his brother always drew the short straw and got to play the cowboy as he was the only albino Indian on the settlement.

Had dinner around the campfire with some of the locals. They sang, told stories and danced. It was so enjoyable and an amazing experience. We all got to dance the friendship dance…this was such good fun and an amazing thing to have experienced. Got driven around in the cool of the night to go star gazing. Got to lie out in this cave with a hole in the roof to watch some stars while the guide played some tunes of a flute. It was excellent. We than stayed the night in a Hogan which is a house made out of earth. Kind of like a crannog. ;-)


Monument valley to Canyonlands Utah

Canyonlands is another state park. Its where that dude was hiking and got caught between some rocks and eventually had to cut his own arm off…(127 hours is the film). Fortunately I didn’t have an experience like that just a few cuts and grazes. Did a big 8 km hike here and I was god damn proud of myself. There was a lot of slick rock, steep inclines, 33 degree heat and some big gusts of wind. Just when I thought I had gotten over one obstacle another one would pop up. But thoroughly enjoyed all the challenges I met, and so delighted I finished it.;-);-) The scenery was breath taking. It’s kind of funny to be in such heat and then look into the distance and see snow on the mountains…….

Sitting around the campfire in the evenings is fun. Always a game to be played. Discovered one called “washers”, such fun and so simple…..I will be recruiting ye for a game when I arrive home. Can really see it taking off at the old bbq’s…

-5 last night………..sweet jaysus!!! In the tent I wore. Long johns, pj bottoms, singlet, long sleeve top, t shirt, hoodie, jacket, knee high socks, hat, wrapped myself in a towel, I didn’t have room to move in the sleeping bag. There was even frost in the tent the following morning….


Mesa verde to santé fe new mexico

On the road to santé fe, we stopped off at a thrift store. Kathy’s thrift store to be precise. Thrift stores are what we call second hand shops. This was so much fun. 13 of us piled out of a mini van and into her store. She hadn’t seen this many people in months. She was so lovely. We all bought 25 cent jumpers….or as I am calling them here sweaters!!!! One of the boys bought a Childs tricycle as you do when your trekking across the us.;-) She was great fun, she even got her photo taken with us under her shop sign. A true American experience. Santé fe is a pretty lovely place. It’s called a city but its more a small town. You could be mistaking for thinking you were in Spain. All the houses and churches are really Spanish themed.


Santé fe to san Antonio Texas

Roswelll……………………….i loved it. A little info on roswell/area 51. In 1947 a ufo crashed here. Now it’s up to yourself to believe it or not. The whole town is themed around aliens. It’s hilarious. The UFO museum was pretty interesting. Had a lot of newspaper articles from the time of the crash, and eye witness accounts. And then the government response to say it was some weather balloon that crashed. As we were dealing with aliens, we all made hats out of tin foil so the aliens couldn’t read our thoughts, it;-);-) was pure priceless walking around the place. Actually what was even more priceless was we visited Carlsbad cavern national park after roswell and still kept the hats on. It was hilarious to see peoples reaction……..just gaping at us and avoiding any conversation with us…..ah funny day it was…;-)


San Antonio Texas

What a cool place. Or hot more like..the temperatures are rising. Went to a bar that night, where there were 2 ladies on stage, singing, rapping and doing comedy. They were so funny, Later on that night, we went to a bar in the middle of the sticks called midnight rodeo. A true Texan experience…..all cowboys and cowgirls all out in their boots, hats and shirts all dancing. It was so much fun…got to try some of their moves….with great hilarity…;-);-)

Just outside of the town, we stopped by barney smiths toilet seat museum. Oh…what a lovely man. 91 years old, still married 72 years on. He decorates toilet seats…Barbie and ken, 9 /11, scrabble, you name it, he has a seat with it on. What a great guy.;-)
Next stop was Austin Texas lily I got you a teddy from Texas as I know how much you love the place….his name is oreo.;-)

I love texas, (I can see why you love it too lily…;-) its wild weird and wonderful. The folks are really friendly, everyone wants to chat to you, whether your in a bar, asking for directions or just doing your laundry…met some interesting people here. One lady and her husband are retired 10 years, bought an rv (motor home) and have been travelling around the country the last nine years. A lot of retired people do this, sell their house and just take off (think its called SKI ING....Spending the Kids Inheritance...) ;-) T&T don't be getting any ideas here....;-);-);-)

Music music music everywhere. 6th street is where it all happens. Jazz, blues, country, rock whatever you will find it all here. Haven’t jived or waltzed this much in years…. Really perfecting my moves. ;-)

It’s been quite amusing at times trailblazing across America in our van and trailer, people have mistook us for a band, and today a church group……

;-)So on that note god bless from the church of the American trailblazers…..;-);-);-);-);-)

  • Hello by The Hesters
  • You are so amusing by Gearoidin
  • ps by Gearoidin
  • rooftop bars by mandy
  • 2ROSSCLIFF by steph/dan
  • Howdie by Big Coz


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