Travel Itineraries – USA Part Three

Howdy again and it’s time I returned to my planned series of itineraries by finally finishing my itinerary through the States. Part One saw me explore the east, part two New Orelans and Texas, and part three sees me go from Colorado to California. The whole itinerary needs probably a good three months, and today’s section at least 5-6 weeks at a pinch.

On the road to Denver.

On the road to Denver.

As you may recall from Part Two which is HERE, I had got myself a Greyhound Bus Pass for to take me from New Orleans all the way to Los Angeles. I’d gone through Austin and Houston on the pass and then moved on my way in late October via Dallas Fort Worth where I changed buses to get to Denver, Colorado.

usa west map

Bus journeys are not my favourite parts of travel, however with America a long haul ride can be quite an adventure as you go through various states, the buses (for me at least) weren’t very full so I often had two seats to myself, and there are plenty of stops on the way and places to buy food. Fast food? Well, yes, but there’s usually a reasonable choice.

My route took me to Denver and then out to the middle of Colorado. There’s not much there but farms and ranches, and lucky me – I got to stay on a ranch. I’d made a friend who invited me to stay with her family who were very hospitable, even if my friend was elsewhere! I got a really authentic experience over three days. And I saw a high school match of American Football to, that was a first. The weather had turned cold too, from high 30s and humid to a dry cold where 10-15 degrees was more the order of the day.

Cows on a Colorado Ranch!

Cows on a Colorado Ranch!

A high school football game in Colorado.

A high school football game in Colorado.

I crossed back to the other side of Colorado to see my friend in Colorado Springs on her college campus, and then back to Denver for a connection through to Las Vegas baby! It was whilst waiting at the bus station in Denver that the weather turned extra cold and it started snowing quite hard. An announcement told passengers that services heading east of Denver were summarily cancelled due to snow.

Thankfully I was headed west and south. It was an overnight bus journey that ended around midday the next day. Bus pulled over in Utah at one point so I took a photo so I could say I’d been to Utah!

Las Vegas baby!

Las Vegas baby!

Vegas

Vegas

Into Las Vegas. Checked out the casinos, felt completely out of place. Took a tour to the amazing Grand Canyon, watched the 2004 election on TV. The tour to the Grand Canyon took me into Arizona and I also saw Route 66 and the Hoover Dam on the way. That’s a big dam! Didn’t spend a lot of money! For true. Mercury never rose above 13 degrees Celsius either if you can believe that! I didn’t expect that kind of weather meself!

Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon.

Wow! That's some canyon!

Wow! That’s some canyon!

Hoover Dam on the Grand Canyon Tour.

Hoover Dam on the Grand Canyon Tour.

Bus to San Diego, lovely place, sunny and warm. Don’t remember much about the place or what I did. Another overnight bus journey to get to San Francisco, and I stayed with a friend there. Saw the bridge, fire museum, rode the tram. Friend had her wheels stolen from her outside the apartment! Seriously! And then down to Los Angeles.

The cable car (tram) famous in San Francisco.

The cable car (tram) famous in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge!

Golden Gate Bridge!

San Francisco - it's not flat!

San Francisco – it’s not flat!

I mostly chilled in LA, however the previous time I had taken in Disneyland and Universal Studios. I stayed both times in Hollywood (Hooray!)

Busy Hollywood.

Busy Hollywood.

Looking at the map of my journey, I certainly did make the bus pass work for me. A lot of kms and quite a few overnighters. Apart from the last couple of journeys in California, the buses were at best half full (don’t know if it would still be the same today) so I had room to snooze and sleep.

Look, you could easily double your time in the USA and not see half of it. It’s huge and amazing, and to be honest best explored by car I reckon because I missed a lot of the national parks. Camping would have kept costs down a fair bit too of course. Places like Mount Rushmore are quite a way off the beaten track that having your own wheels would really help. And there’s so much open road to explore.

BUT – for first timers not keen to drive, this itinerary takes in a number of worthwhile places and you can say you’ve been to the places most people think of when they think of touring the States. Sure, you could add Seattle and Chicago, explore California thoroughly etc etc there is no limit to what you can see in America.

But personally there aren’t that many things I’d return for – that I haven’t seen before. I mean I’d still love to return to New York for example. What do you think? What off the beaten path places should be included in a 2-3 month Stateside visit? What would you leave out? Please do comment! And….

banner USA

May the Journey Never End!

8 comments

  • I will be off to USA this weekend, but only for a week 😀 and the city I will visit is not on your itinerary posts. It will be my first time to US! I think New York is always interesting to visit though 🙂

  • Wow, the Grand Canyon is so inspiring and breath-taking! Wish I could get there as soon as possible!!

  • Lissette was born in New York and spent 20 years of her life there. 10 years we’ve been together (in Canada) and we’ve only gone once to the US – San Francisco back in 2006. I love that city. But the problem with the US is what you say – so big and you really need a car to discover it properly. Lissette says that only poor people travel by bus in the US 🙂 And since I don’t like driving in places I don’t know (especially cities) and she doesn’t drive at all well…
    But one day I want to go to Vegas, get a car and drive to the Grand Canyon and surrounding area. The Southwest such a beautiful area.
    Nice post and photos,
    Frank (bbqboy)

  • I’ll be visiting a few of these places next year on a trip including Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Fran and then a road trip to Yosemite and down the Pacific Coast Highway to LA. I am super excited as I’ve not really explored much of the USA before and everywhere just looks awesome. Your trip sounds incredible!

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