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Thread: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

  1. #11

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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    If you head up the California coast and need a place to stay, let me know (about 450km north of SF in the redwood country). But be warned, my place is a bit of a man-cave...me and my three 15-year-old boys. My boys have dual citizenship (USA/Oz), so visitors from Oz are always welcome!

    Vaughn

  2. #12

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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    Wow. Thanks for all the responses guys. Some really useful advise in there. We do know we have to ditch at least some of the itinerary. It's hard though when you are talking about places you've dreamed of since you were a small boy!
    To be pragmatic ... We will likely leave the more northern areas to next trip.
    We have been down from SF as far as a few days in Monterey and also a brief trip into the redwoods. But this was over 10 years ago!
    Will need to work in a few days tourist-ing in LA as well....
    I have some concerns about the grand canyon and crowds but have heard the north rim is one way to minimize that. It sounds like yosemite might still work though at that time of year. I was assuming the crowds might have died down some by late sept/October?
    I shoot a lot of colour Velvia 50 mostly but also some BW. I really enjoy both. But I would certainly like to shoot a sunrise or 2 in monument valley!
    Thanks for the offer of a place to stay Vaughn. That's very generous. May also have my 14 year old daughter with us so the "man cave" might freak her out. Or create heart palpatations in your boys!

  3. #13
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    I second Venice Beach for colour neg... going to hang out there again next year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boinzo View Post
    Wow. Thanks for all the responses guys. Some really useful advise in there. We do know we have to ditch at least some of the itinerary. It's hard though when you are talking about places you've dreamed of since you were a small boy!
    To be pragmatic ... We will likely leave the more northern areas to next trip.
    We have been down from SF as far as a few days in Monterey and also a brief trip into the redwoods. But this was over 10 years ago!
    Will need to work in a few days tourist-ing in LA as well....
    I have some concerns about the grand canyon and crowds but have heard the north rim is one way to minimize that. It sounds like yosemite might still work though at that time of year. I was assuming the crowds might have died down some by late sept/October?
    I shoot a lot of colour Velvia 50 mostly but also some BW. I really enjoy both. But I would certainly like to shoot a sunrise or 2 in monument valley!
    Thanks for the offer of a place to stay Vaughan. That's very generous. May also have my 14 year old daughter with us so the "man cave" might freak her out. Or create heart palpatations in your boys!

  4. #14

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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boinzo View Post
    ...Thanks for the offer of a place to stay Vaughn. That's very generous. May also have my 14 year old daughter with us so the "man cave" might freak her out. Or create heart palpatations in your boys!
    And my boys are pretty good-looking, too, with very different personalities! Have a great journey!

    Vaughn

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    Do you want to spend quality time or just want to madly run around spending thousands of dollars on fuel with a sightseeing sterotype checklist and get a sore butt in the process? Oct is color month for sure through much of the West, but also when the weather
    starts getting dicey over some of the high road passes. Yes, you could easily fly into SF,
    travel thru Yosemite over Tioga Pass, then straight across Nevada into southern Utah, and
    still have quite a bit of time expoloring several places in the general vicinity. Throw in Yellowstone or the Pacific Northwest and you've got a formula for horrible road fatigue and no real time to get out and look, plus the whole nine yards could backfire due to the weather. Whatever you do in the West, once you head over or into any mtns carry warm sleeping bags and extra food and water, and be prepared for options if there is a road closure somewhere. But Oct can be fantastic in the Southwest, esp Utah and adjacent
    parts of Colorado. You can get there from the SF area in one really long day, or two more
    enjoyable ones.

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    Should footnote - having no camping option and expecting to take a bus is rarely an option
    in the West unless you join some organized tour at high expense, and not many cater to
    the younger set (a few do in summer). You almost have to rent a car and be prepared for
    long distances between formal facilities. Less of a problem if you stick to the coast areas
    themselves. But public transportation in this country is generally horrible unless you take
    one of the comparatively rare train trips.

  7. #17
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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    I don't recommend the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for a first visit. You'll be looking south, into the Sun, for most of the day. The North Rim is about 1000 feet higher than the South Rim, so the view is not quite the same. And the North Rim is rather a wilderness experience. It takes a long time to get there, and it's primitive when you are there. And in October, you might get snow (it's at 9000 feet).

    The South Rim is crowded, but it won't be nearly as bad in October. I'd missed that you would be there that late.

    Much of the California coast reminds me of the east coast of the New Zealand South Island, south of Picton, but northern California, at least north of Marin County, is terra incognita for me.

    Driving to the Grand Canyon almost requires driving across southern Utah, especially if you are coming down from the north. There's no bridge over the Colorado between Lee's Ferry (where 89A crosses downstream from Page) and the Hoover Dam (near Las Vegas), and none upstream between Page and what used to be Hite before it was submerged under Lake Powell. At Hite, Utah 95 crosses, and it connect Blanding with Hanksville, which is near Capitol Reef. You only have a few choices in that part of the country unless you are flying rather than driving. Rivers in that neighborhood tend to cut deep. So, after going east from Yosemite (over Tioga Pass), you either turn south at Tonapah and go to Las Vegas and then cross the Colorado and go east to the Canyon, or you stay on US 6 east, across Nevada, to Ely where US 50 joins it, and then stay on 50 when it continues east after 6 turns more north in Utah. Then you can go down into Bryce country pretty directly, through Panguitch, on US 89. US 89 eventually crosses the river at Page, taking you around the east end of the Canyon. You are not that far from Monument Valley at that point. So, you'd have to work hard to avoid going near Bryce Canyon in any case, and it's a pretty amazing display of the Orange and Pink cliffs of the Colorado Plateau. Drew is right--the drive over the Colorado Plateau, much of which is high country, will be gorgeous in October, but it might get cold. I've been on the Markagunt Plateau (west of Panguitch, and up around 10,000 feet) in June and seen snow.

    Going west from the Grand Canyon puts you on I-40, which will point you pretty directly to Los Angeles.

    Were it me, I'd go out of my way to avoid Las Vegas, but then I designed a traffic system for them about 20 years ago and go my fill of the place.

    Rick "hoping you like long days of driving" Denney

  8. #18
    8x20 8x10 6x9 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    If you decide to make Monument Valley seriously consider staying here:
    The View Hotel

    It's on the Indian land and you'll have access before sunrise and after sunset. It's pricey, but I think it's worth the experience.

    And while all the iconic views are something you need to experience, your best photos will be made somewhere off the beaten track.

    If you are adventurous, do the Moki Dugway in Utah but drive going up (you can get back down by continuing north). Going down is certainly possible but it will take stronger nerves than mine. Don't go if you are affected by vertigo.

    I'll echo what others have said, don't attempt too much or you'll be spending inordinate amounts of time in the car. There are several lifetimes worth of sites and images in the American West and you won't be able do do even one lifetime's worth in one trip. It will be a great trip no matter what you choose. Have fun.

    john

  9. #19
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    Oct is probably the least interesting month here on the north coast of Calif. - tends to be hot and dry, without our usual lush fog. But the eastern
    Sierras will have aspen in color and are a fairly easy drive from LA. From
    there one can cut across the bottom of Nevada to Zion NP, or else more
    southerly across the top of Arizona and then on to places like Canyon de
    Chelly and Monument Valley. Accommodations north of the Colorado River can be hard to get after summer. The nice thing about our SW deserts is that spectacular red rock country is often near mtn ranges and
    aspen forest, which tend to turn color in Oct. The Sierras are different - a
    long chain you have to be on one side or the other; but Tioga and Sonora
    Passes are generally still open in Oct. Again, always be prepared for weather. You'd hit all kinds of things in Oct due to the varied terrain and
    altitudes. Yellowstone is a LONG drive from here - don't recommend it that time of year.

  10. #20

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    Re: If I had 3 weeks in the States in October ...

    I often head to New England and upstate NY during Oct, but enjoy the US west... It is spectacular!

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