We have just completed the trip of a “lifetime” travelling over a combined forty one thousand kilometres in six weeks. No wonder I’m tired (I think I need a holiday!) And can you believe not a single drag race or swap - meet on the itinerary! Got on the plane in Melbourne and arrived in JFK airport New York twenty four hours later minus Lois’ luggage. It did turn up at the hotel two days later so it was all ok in the end. After a few days sightseeing in New York we boarded the cruise ship for a ten night cruise to Canada. The Cheers bar in Boston wasn’t the only one “Where everybody knows your name” after two days on the ship the bar staff knew your name, what you were drinking and your ID number. We visited several ports in America and Canada on our way to Quebec then a coach to Montreal. A five hour train trip got us to Toronto.
Next day we had a day trip to Niagara Falls, unfortunately the weather was overcast with a bit of rain around but certainly didn’t take anything away from the awesome spectacle of the falls, the noise and volume of water is just unbelievable. And if you get close enough you can’t tell if it’s raining or the spray from the falls anyway! From Toronto we travelled by bus to Buffalo NY to get back to the USA and get through US Customs, everyone and everything has to come off the bus at the border and go through airport type xray/scanner machines, the bus driver handled all our cases so it worked out very well.
Picked up the rental car, destination Chicago. (It was meant to be a Chevy Impala but they gave us a Hyundai!!!! Not Fair) and now we start our road trip. We left the city of Buffalo and the state of New York travelling through the Amish countryside of Western Pennsylvania. Then onto Ohio, our third state for the day, for a well earned rest.
The first stop the next day was at Summit Racing Headquarters just out of Akron, can you believe it three weeks and my first car fix! Great looking showroom, got a pair of front runners for the Gasser for my birthday. Stopped at the Amish town of Shipshewana for a cool buggy ride, with the temperature of two degrees it was a very cool buggy ride!
Next day we arrived in Chicago picking up the start of Route - 66, travelled along the ‘Mother Road’ until we had to drop the car off and pick up the RV. After a long delay getting the RV ready (lucky we were the only customer that day!) we left Chicago in peak hour traffic, pouring rain and going on dark, thanks Art’s RV’s! We spent a couple of days with friends in Illinois getting the royal tour of the local car guru’s.
The Nickeygasser guys shop was a highlight, got some good info and they even gave me some brackets for my project. Now we start the six thousand kilometre road trip to LA via all points north
Called in at the American Pickers in Iowa “you should have been here yesterday” they said when asked where they were. Spent the night in a closed park in Clear Lake, don’t rent an RV up north after October as all the parks are ‘closed for the season’!
Checked out where Buddy Holly played his last concert and where the plane crashed into cornfield. Late in the day called at a fantastic car museum in South Dakota (or at least it would have been if it was open!)
Another tip: Don’t check opening hours six months before you go as they are not the same in winter! Spent the next day driving around the Black Hills area, Badlands, Crazy Horse Mountain, Deadwood, etc, checking the local wildlife. Visited Little Bighorn battlefield, site of Custer’s Last Stand, on the way to Bozeman, Montana. We parked overnight at Wal-Mart where the temperature dropped to minus twenty - two degrees Celsius even the fruit in the RV froze solid. The snow looked good and made for some nice photos, but it’s bloody freezing! And driving a truck on icy roads isn’t much fun either.
Said G’day to Evel Knievel in the Butte cemetery, got out of Montana and the snow and into Idaho to catch up with friends. We actually found an RV park open and had our first hot shower in a few days! Tomorrow we head south and into some warmer weather, we hope! After a couple of leisurely days on the road we called at “Wild Bill’s” house in Reno and checked out his collection of cars.
I first met Bill at Hot August Nights in 1990, so it was good to catch up again. After checking out the “Biggest Little City in the World” and their Veterans Day parade we hit the I - 80 to acramento. Caught up with old friends and Ed’s latest ‘toys’. His latest acquisition is a wheelstanding
1932 Bantam roadster! Had another free camp near Yosemite overnight.
Drove around beautiful Yosemite National Park then onto Fresno, stopped by Turner’s Wrecking Yard (Lois just loves the place! Ha Ha!) Looks to have sold most of the 5,6,7’s.
The road trip finally ending as we arrived at our Los Angeles destination, the next day we dropped of the RV and picked up a more suitable vehicle for the traffic in LA. Spent a few days shopping and relaxing after all the days on the road before catching the ‘Flying Kangaroo’ to Home Sweet Home.
Ok, where to next?