2. Houston to Amarillo, TX.

Day 1-2

We headed out of Houston at 7.30pm on Saturday 22rd April.  We drove for an hour and then checked into a motel to spend the night.

We were then able to hit the road bright and early on Sunday morning. It took 10 hours to Amarillo which was our next over night stop.

I offered to drive several times during the journey….but Ed said he was happy…I get the feeling he may not trust me with his beloved Beast! Suits me!

We’d heard about a famous ‘must try’ restaurant for ribs and steak called The Big Texan.

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If you can eat their 72oz steak (that’s about 2.5kg of meat) with all the veggies in under an hour you get it for free. Fortunately neither Ed nor Izzy fancied the challenge – if they had it would have been a pretty anti social meal as they would have had to sit on a special stage on full view of the whole restaurant while they gorged themselves!

The Big Texan was utterly OTT with its cowboy theming but great fun!

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Among other things, they had a shooting gallery,

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a haunted portrait gallery !

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They picked us up in a limo – which had cow horns on the front! The food was good and Ed loved their home brewed IPA so all in all it made for a fabulous first night on the Roadtrip.

The next morning we headed out of town with a pit stop at Cadillac Ranch. This is a line of old Cadillac’s which a farmer has ‘planted’ in one of his fields. Anyone is most welcome to turn up with a can of paint and spray the cars to their hearts content. Great fun was had by all!

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Next stop: Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1. Our Route – Houston to Portland via Canada.

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This trip is going to last around 100 days and take in 11 states plus Canada. We are heading out of Houston on Sunday 23rd April and our first big stop is Santa Fe (in New Mexico) where we will celebrate my (big!) birthday and our 15th wedding anniversary. After that it’s off to Mesa Verde National Park (for Ed’s Birthday) then to Arches & Canyon Lands National Parks (staying in Moab) and then Lake Powell (where we have a house boat for 3 nights – very excited about that one!). Grand Canyon is next, then Bryce and Zion National Parks.

After 10 nights of camping we will be able to appreciate the bright lights of Vegas for 3 nights – then it’s back to sleeping under canvas (well, high tech nylon) at Joshua Tree National Park. San Diego is our next port of call, then LA, followed by Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. After that it’s back to the coast to experience Highway 1 and Big Sur. We’ll then be able to chill out in Carmel for a few days before what will be our longest run of uninterrupted camping (God help me!) about 3 weeks taking in Mammoth Lake, Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. We’ll hit Mount Rainier if we have time then its onto Seattle and Vancouver Island – hello Canada! (and yes, you guessed it, more bloody camping!). Whistler is our penultimate stop – where we are not camping but thankfully staying with friends in their stunning chalet! We are planning to end the trip in Portland around 1st August – not only because it seems like an uber cool city but because there is a Car Max so we will be able to sell The Beast. From there we’ll fly to the UK via Washington….probably!

We have been using a free website called http://www.roadtrippers.com to plan out the route. It seems like a superb tool – you just pop in the names of the places you want to visit and it instantly creates a route for you, tells you how long it will take to get to each location, milage, and even fuel consumption. You can add in markers for campsites, places of interest etc etc. It even seems to work worldwide. The mobile app does not seem as user friendly as the main website – which is a shame as this is obviously more handy to use on the road – but we’ll give it a go.  Ed is not a fan of my navigating skills at the best of times so fingers crossed the i pad version is not too bad otherwise divorce may be in the air well before Vancouver! But then I guess there is always WAZE!

If you have been to any of these destinations we’d love your recommendations (or things to be avoided!) We have campsites and Airbnb’s booked for the majority of nights and we do have a few tours and activities booked along the way but are basically are winging it in lots of the locations!  We do have some flexibility to detour off this plan if we hear about any other must see places or things to do along the way…

We look forward to hearing from you!