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In the West of the USA

Maggie Bevis

September 2005

Maggie Bevis of South Yorkshire is an inveterate traveller and has already contributed to the Greece and Slovenia sections of this website. Here she describes a 3-week car journey through the western states of the USA in a large anti-clockwise circle, starting and ending in Los Angeles.

We went out to California and Arizona last summer, but not in a motorhome - we rented a car and stayed in motels which worked out cheaper for us. My cousin, who lives between LA and San Diego, lent us a cell phone and an ice chest (cool box for your dictionary) which was brilliant so we had cool drinks available all the time. We stayed at Circus Circus for one night- and that was more than enough! We enjoyed riding the roller coaster at the top of Stratosphere, though Pete made me sit on  the outside and then we waited up there to see all the lights come on. We made a huge mistake in having the all you can eat buffet at Circus Circus as we could hardly walk afterwards.

We too enjoyed the spectacles of the amazing hotels - fire on the water, the fantastic Treasure Island show, etc. On the downside, we were given cards by lots of children and young adults offering sex and we were horrified to see how many young women were openly prostituting themselves - hanging round in gangs with 'minders'. I suppose it's common in most countries, but I've never seen anything quite so open, but it is legal in Las Vegas.

When we were in Williams, we had hail that was so strong it covered the ground and it looked like it had been snowing! I got altitude sickness from going up mountains and coming down mountains: one fortunate thing is that they have B and Q stores (Home Stores) there and as they are almost the same layout as in the UK, I was fortunate enough to find the loo very quickly when there wasn't one for miles! (I know that's not a problem with a motorhome and what wonderful things motorhomes are for taking out aged parents without having to worry about toilet stops!)

Our route took us from Mission Viejo to Williams, Grand Canyon (on my birthday and I always fancied a helicopter ride), Sedona and then across to the National Parks of Sequoia and Yosemite, up to San Francisco then down the coast again via Big Sur. It was a pity we only had 3 weeks and some of that we spent with our family but I'm sure we'll do it again in more detail.

We found everyone really friendly especially in San Francisco - a lovely little ex-Continental airline steward who was a bar tender in the Heritage hotel there was so lovely - I'll never forget his Margaritas! And no hangover!