Patty’s Epic Trip To The US. Part 15. Palm Springs, Indian Canyon

The next day it was on to Palm Springs. I have to admit that this is one of the weirdest places I have ever visited, not necessarily in a good way.

There were a number of reasons we stopped there.

In the first place, we were getting close to the end of our trip and I wanted a place from where we could easily drive back to LA airport in one day. I’d already been to LA and seriously, the only good thing about LA is that some of my friends live there. Nup nup nupity nup, I do NOT like LA. It’s big, it’s full of cars and you can’t go anywhere without a car. There seems to be no heart to it.

Secondly, we were getting back to summer in Australia and had experienced some very cold weather and wanted to have some warmer weather.

And importantly: Joshua Tree National Park! More about that later.

As it turned out, Palm Springs is kinda like a suburb of LA, the-same-and-worse in layout. As in, you can’t go anywhere without a car. Everything is dominated by car parks. There is no attractive outdoor seating. If you sit next to the car eating a roll you bought in the supermarket, police and other uniformed monkeys with guns think you’re a druggo. Urgh. Add to that, the average age of (temporary?) residents is about 75.

As I said, weird.

But I discovered this nature park called Indian Canyon which was pretty cool and full of wildlife. Apparently, it’s the largest oasis in the world. The surrounding countryside is certainly very dry and desolate. Kinda depressing, to be honest. Except for the windmill park, that’s cool. Even if every single one of those hundreds upon hundreds of windmills was not moving a single blade. Absolutely frozen. No wind at all.

In the park and Joshua Tree NP, we saw many of the animals that we had not seen in some of the other places. Goats, various birds, a coyote, chipmunks and squirrels. So. Many. Squirrels.








Patty’s Epic Trip to the US. Part 14. Sedona, Jerome and Prescott

On the move again.

We visited lookout at the chapel on the hill (Chapel of the Holy Cross) in Sedona. Wonder who lives in that crazy house down there.

We came through the creepiest-ever place called Jerome. The building with the red window frames was actually a brothel. I think it was a mining town. It’s very weird, and very creepy.

Then to Prescott. Some pretty pictures of the dam. If that looks like Lindsay Buroker in the bottom picture, you may be right.

We did this podcast live surrounded by dogs.








Patty’s Epic Trip to the US. Part 12. Sedona Day 2

We started with a walk the next morning. It ended up a bit longer than we intended because there were so many different paths.

Walking around Sedona is awesome. I can see how miserably hot it will get in summer, though.

We were staying in a suburb called Oak Creek (where we discovered the most awesome Thai restaurant!) and we could walk to this walking trail from our accommodation. It was nice not having to sit in the car for a change, although the local traffic is… interesting, due to the frikken SIZE of the cars and the fact that literally ZERO of the drivers knows where to find the indicators.



This is called Bell Rock.


The local vegetation is really friendly.




We went to have a look at the shops in the afternoon. I don’t know if I have any photos of that, not being a shopper. My daughter was a bit disturbed that several people asked her what her favourite rock was, and she went er… Apparently you’re supposed to have one.

Patty’s Epic Trip To The US. Part 11. Sedona Sunset

I have no idea how I came to want to visit this place. No one outside the US talks much about it. I think I started looking at Google maps and thought the map looked interesting and randomly dropped myself into Google Streetview and went “Whoa!”
Yup. No one outside the US tells their friends that they should go to Sedona, but man, they should.
Crystals and rock shops aside (more about those later), the place is full of walks and awesome views and rocks of all colours and did I mention the rocks? Oh, it has loads of cactuses, interesting town landscaping and a real permanent creek going through it with waterholes and stuff where you can swim. Not in January, though.
What’s there not to like?
So we drove there from the Grand Canyon and spent three days in Sedona. Because there was lots of walking, because it was Not Cold. And because it’s just a cool place. I could live there.
Anyway, when in Sedona, you have to climb the Airport Vortex (a little rocky hump that you can see in the first photo, with all the people on it) and watch the sunset. Warning: if it’s January, it gets a bit nippy.







Patty’s Epic Trip To The US. Part 10. Grand Canyon

We stayed at the Gran Canyon for two days, and walked the entire South Rim trail. There was still a bit of snow around, and quite a lot of people.

It was January. It was a weekday. I seriously don’t want to know what this place is like in summer!







On the first day, we had some lunch at a picnic area. We got back to the car and were putting our things away, when all of a sudden there was a guy next to me with a ginormous camera pointing into the car, jabbering in Russian.

There was a squirrel in the car!


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Patty’s Epic Trip To The US. Part 9. Page

Page is a funny town along the Colorado River.

It’s dry. It’s desolate. There is zero mobile reception. There is not a single tree or blade of grass to bee seen anywhere. There is a disgusting factory at the edge of town.

It’s full of motels, hotels and other forms of accomodation. It has a marina. Yup, we’re in the middle of the desert. The country is red and dry. It looks a bit like Australia, except with no trees, and zero kangaroos.

There are two reasons people come here: because of Lake Powell (a dam, and bloody big one, too) and because of Horseshoe Bend.

We saw a bit of the dam. Not that much, because the road on the north-western side is a toll road and I wasn’t going to pay $25 to go down there late in the afternoon. We went to the eastern side (ignoring the pay booths–seriously, what is it with charging for everything?). We’d also come past Antelope Gorge and passed on the $50-for-an-hour tour, because we’d done a tour at Monument Valley which was half a day for just a bit more, and we’d reached peak annoyance with tourist milking.

We walked across the dam at the road. We went to the lookout on the other side. We decamped to Denny’s, and we went to Walmart. The latter two were tick boxes on my daughter’s wish list. They even sell wine at supermarkets! Whoop-de-doo!



The funny thing is that, having returned home, I realise that I see Lake Powell every day. At the gym, they have this ever-looping video that shows people doing funky things with tightropes over water and throwing frisbees at people in speed boats from tall cliffs that’s taken at Lake Powell. You can see the marina in the background.

The next morning, it was off to Horseshoe Bend, where there were a lot of ridiculous tourists taking ridiculous selfies from ridiculously unsafe positions. I couldn’t stand the idea of watching someone fall to their deaths, so after a quick stop, we were off to the Grand Canyon.



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Patty’s Epic Trip To The US. Part 7. Indian Monument and Monument Valley

After Bryce Canyon, we were up for a big drive, from Bryce Canyon to Monument Valley, slightly complicated by the fact that up until now, the directions had either been clear or we’d used Google Maps.


No reception.

AAAARRGGH. Technology.

So we’re at this big intersection, and the option is left or right. Which way to go? No idea. I looked it up on the map the previous night, but can’t remember. I’d have expected there to be signs to the, y’know, major tourist attractions in the area.

So we went into a petrol station. It’s that way, the attendant said. By the way, what’s up with the fact that you have to pay for your petrol before you can get any. Yeah, I understand, but our non-US credit cards don’t work in the machines, so we have to go inside, give them twenty bucks, then get the petrol and then go back inside to get the change. What a nuisance.

OK, back on the road, and we spot this sign “Indian Monument” and get a spidey sense. Maybe that’s what they’ve directed us to. So we decide to have a look. Surely there will be a map or someone to ask.

There was. And what was more, there was a gorgeous little walk to a lookout where you can see a cave where people used to live.



And after all that, we finally made it to Monument Valley.






We booked a 4WD tour and would be looking at those wonderful rocks the next day.

Patty’s Epic Trip to the US. Part 6. Bryce Canyon

We stayed in Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon National Park for two nights. Being January, there was almost no one in the entire hotel, and OMG, it was cold.

We walked the entire rim trail, and took hundreds of photographs of the snow and the weird rock formations below.

The deer were curious, but despite many signs not to feel them, didn’t come close.