Road Trip USA; Denver to The Great Lakes

Collection by The Travelling Lindfields

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Denver to The Great Lakes - a road trip.

The Travelling Lindfields
The Travelling Lindfields: Detroit's post apocalyptic wasteland. Road Trip Usa, Come And See, Great Lakes, Post Apocalyptic, Luxury Travel, Denver, Detroit, Travelling, Trips

Detroit's post apocalyptic wasteland. Where have all the people gone?

The shock wasn't the burnt-out houses, the crumbling mansions or the fact that nature is reclaiming the city. House after house consumed by vines and undergrowth, condemned and awaiting demolition, or just gone entirely. We had read about Detroit's wasteland suburbs and we knew what to expect - or so we thought. What really surprised us were the vacant blocks. In the inner-urban areas of a city of almost three quarters of a million people there are whole blocks of nothing. No houses, no…

The Travelling Lindfields: QF 12 to Sydney, Australia - Heading home. Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Sydney Australia, Luxury Travel, Iowa, Outdoor Gear, Tent, United States, Canada

QF 12 to Sydney, Australia - Heading home.

We have spent the last few days driving west from Detroit to Denver through Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. We stopped for a few nights here and there, cycled more of the I & M Canal Trail , explored Omaha, Nebraska on our bikes and stayed off the inter-states whenever we could. We drove past a giant spider made from the body of an old Volkswagon, innumerable towns which could have come straight from the set of a B grade western, a lot of really awful motels, hundreds of miles of corn…

The Travelling Lindfields: Henry Ford: The great innovator turns grumpy old m. Grumpy Old Men, Henry Ford, Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Detroit, Innovation, Canada, Denver

Henry Ford: The great innovator turns grumpy old man.

Did I say we don't go to living museums any more? Today we went to one of the best. Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Detroit was established by Henry Ford as an eclectic mix of historical buildings and other memorabilia. Riding the museum's steam train was great fun but really dirty. Ford was an admirer of Edison, the Wright Bros and many other innovators and inventors. At Greenfield he set out to create a museum to rival the Smithsonian. He intended it as a place to educate and inspire…

The Travelling Lindfields: Mackinac Island - A land without cars. Mackinac Island, Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Denver, Travelling, Trips, Street View, Canada

Mackinac Island - A land without cars.

Imagine an island where the automobile was banned in the late 1800s. There are no cars, trucks or motorbikes of any kind. You would imagine, as I did, an atmosphere of tranquil, unhurried peace where the moment you disembark from the ferry you have stepped back in history to a time before the internal combustion engine. Now make that island easily accessible to a zillion tourists. The result is an immense culture shock. One which will soon having you begging to return to a land where the car…

The Travelling Lindfields: A little bit of Holland in Michigan. Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Denver, Holland, Michigan, Travelling, Trips, Canada

A little bit of Holland in Michigan.

Windmills, street organs, clogs and Dutch dancing; no we haven't left the US. We are in Holland, Michigan the site of an 1847 settlement by Dutch Calvinists. The colonists set about creating a little bit of Holland in America. Today the town is home to Michigan's largest Hispanic population. However tulips, windmills and Dutch kitsch bring tourists so the town showcases its original heritage. The DeZwaan Windmill is the only authentic, working Dutch windmill in the US. In 1964 it was…

The Travelling Lindfields: Cycling in Chicago - Be careful what you wish for! Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Denver, Travelling, Golf Courses, Cycling, Trips, Chicago

Cycling in Chicago - Be careful what you wish for!

It has been hot since we left Snowmass in Colorado. We drove across Kansas and cycled in Independence, Missouri in 90 degree F (30s C) heat. We rode The Tunnel Hill State Trail and The I & M Canal Trail in Illinois in the mid to high 80s F. We knew the mid-west would be hot this time of year but not this hot. Every exhausting kilometre we have been wishing for a cool change. Yesterday it arrived! The trouble was it came right in the middle of a long cycle. We were riding the The Lake Front…

The Travelling Lindfields: Cycling the I & M Canal Trail. Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Denver, Travelling, Cycling, Trips, Shed, Canada

Cycling the I & M Canal Trail.

"It takes four things to build a canal .. a pick, a shovel, a wheelbarrow and an Irishman". We came across this quote at a small museum in Lockport, Illinois. Sadly, the death rate among the Irish workers was awful. Conditions were harsh and disease was rife. Unsurprisingly drunkenness was common. The I & M (Illinois and Michigan) Canal ran 96 miles (154 km) from the Chicago River to the Illinois River, creating a water route from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Together with the Erie…

The Travelling Lindfields: Abraham Lincoln Country - Illinois Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Historical Sites, Luxury Travel, Abraham Lincoln, Illinois, Denver, Travelling, Trips

Abraham Lincoln Country - Illinois

We have been wandering the back roads of Illinois. We can only stay on the inter-states for so long without going crazy. What should have been a half day's drive from Marion to Ottawa took us a full eight hours meandering along on by-ways and local roads. We got lost a couple of times. Our Garmin Nuvi GPS refuses to communicate in any language other than Spanish or Portugese. A German brand, purchased in the US and recently up-dated in Australia - it's choice of language is weird. The really…

The Travelling Lindfields: Cycling the Tunnel Hill State Trail in Illinois Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Touring, Illinois, Denver, Travelling, Cycling, Trips

Cycling the Tunnel Hill State Trail in Illinois

In the last two days we have cycled 60 miles (96 kms) on the Tunnel Hill State Trail. We are in Marion, Illinois. Tomorrow we move 350 miles north to Ottawa, Illinois. Frankly I'll be glad of the chance to sit in the car for a day and get a rest from being on a bicycle. The Tunnel Hill Trail is only 45 miles long but as usual we didn't see it all. One day I would love to ride a trail in just one direction. The world is full of tour operators who move bags, provide back-up and transport you…

The Travelling Lindfields: Crossing the Hay Plain - Ooopps! I mean Kansas Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Denver, Kansas, Travelling, Trips, Canada, Outdoor

Crossing the Hay Plain - Ooopps! I mean Kansas

Have you ever crossed the Hay Plain? It is a vast, flat, hot, featureless zone in outback New South Wales stretching from one horizon to the other with nothing but salt bush and scrub. (For some great photos by a fellow blogger - click here). We have been driving across Kansas for the last two days and the closest comparison I can come to in Australia is the countryside around Hay. Kansas is like the Hay Plain with grass - hot, flat and vast. The only difference is the colour of the grass…

The Travelling Lindfields: Twice as high as Kosciuszko - Mt Evans, The Highes. Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Denver, Mount Everest, Evans, Travelling, Trips, Canada

Twice as high as Kosciuszko - Mt Evans, The Highest Paved Road in Nth America!

"Haven't we been here before?" - We have just passed the entrance station to the Mt Evans By-way. The turn off the main road seems a bit too familiar. Years ago we returned to the same fishing village in France on three separate holidays each time convinced we were going somewhere new. It was an amazing place so it didn't really matter but by the third visit we had started to feel a bit foolish. We decide we have definitely been to Mt Evans before. D has a soft spot for high mountains you…

Maroon Bells, The most photographed mountains in America, Colorado, USA Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Cool Photos, Around The Worlds, Colorado Usa, Canada, America, Mountains

Beware the bears!

No I'm not talking about those bears - the ones that jump out when the stockmarket bulls feel complacent. I mean the real bears - the furry ones which populate the American wilderness. The nice lady who served us at the Aspen supermarket today says if you are in town at 4 o'clock in the morning there are bears everywhere - black bears. There aren't any grizzlies in Colorado. They come to scavenge for food. I'd love to see them but I'm not sure it's worth getting up in the middle of the…

The Travelling Lindfields: High Altitude Cycling - 600 vertical feet Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Touring, Denver, Travelling, Cycling, Trips, Bicycle

High Altitude Cycling - 600 vertical feet

Bringing our bikes over Independence Pass must have gone to our heads. We live at sea level and neither of us cope well at high altitudes. Last year we tried cycling at Telluride (click here for the story). Telluride clocks in at 9540 ft (2907 m). The cycling was hard, very hard - even hiking was difficult. Did we learn our lesson? No! Scorning the many picturesque and LEVEL cycle paths around here we decided to tackle the 600 ft (180 m) climb from Aspen to Snowmass. We have done this cycle…

The Travelling Lindfields: - Crossing the Rockies with our bikes. Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Luxury Travel, Denver, Travelling, Trips, Canada, Bike, Mountains

3,687m - Crossing the Rockies with our bikes.

Our bikes can boast they have crossed the Rocky Mountains. We weren't actually riding them. I regard myself as fairly fit and trim for a 50-something girl, (D could lose a few kilos - lol), but neither of us are up to the challenge of a 12,000 ft climb. Only 7,000 if you start in Denver! The drive from Denver to Aspen via Independence Pass is one of the prettiest in Nth America. The highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide, the Pass is closed in winter and opens early June. David…

The Travelling Lindfields: How to turn a bicycle into a pretzel! Road Trip Usa, Great Lakes, Pretzel, Luxury Travel, Denver, Travelling, Trips, Bicycle, Canada

How to turn a bicycle into a pretzel!

QANTAS made us sign a waiver before flying our bikes - 'all care, no responsibility'. They got the 'no responsibility' part right but I'm not so sure about the 'all care'. I think someone ran over David's bike with a truck - well perhaps not quite - but the 'fragile' sticker was a complete waste of time. It's impossible to know whether the culprit was QANTAS or American Airlines but when the bike arrived in Denver, having flown from Sydney and changed planes in LA, it was badly damaged. The…