Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Day 25... Slept in a cold damp camp site but it was fine and super comphy in my sleeping bag. The alarm was set for 6 but both steve and i just couldn't bring ourselves out of the warmth of our bags. We finally gave it an "on the count of three.. heave ho" we were up and at work. Break down camp and get on the road, tonight we camp in salt lake city. Our camp is in a place called antelope island in the middle of salt lake. We stopped at a little general store in who knows where nevada for lunch. This was the whole town, thrift store, deli, and market all in one small store and they had a gas station out front. One of the local customers checked out pur order...wow! We have been driving forever passing countless dust devils, salt flats, and casinos. I think that's all nevada has. It is a beautiful drive tho, its flat but we are encircled by 6- 9 thousand foot mountains. We are looking at getting in to salt lake at around 10 but the clocks drop back an hour so we may just get a hotel. Not sure yet we'll just have to pibe it ( play it by ear).
Day 24... Slept in sonora had a great shower, did laundry, and got an oil change. We drove through the serra nevada mountains to yosemity. We hiked 5 miles up the half dome trail to see vernal and nevada falls. We made a quick stop so steve could take a dip in emerald lake it was amazing. We took a sunset bike ride through yosemity valley to mirror lake looking at the cliff side of half dome. As we were leaving steve heard a noise like something jumping out of a tree. he stopped to look and we saw a mountain lion approximately 25 feet away from us. I pointed and said "holy explosive, its a cat ". both the lion and steve and i were trying to leave the area unbothered by the other. Scary scary scary, but exciting since everything went well. They are truly magnificent creatures and it was cool to see her in her element. I do feel more relaxed when there are bars but it was epic. It was around 10pm by the time we got up to our camp site and set camp with in the hour. The weirdest thing was putting all our food and personal care products in bear boxes because if you leave them in your car they will rip it out ... Taking the yogi bear thing way too far .
Day 23... Slept in. It was great, had a warm shower and got coffee matte and breakfast w/ john. Breakfast was toasted bagels w/ cream cheese and tomato and avaccado super amazing! Steve and i left john who was making arrangements to get to his movie primere in la tomorrow night. Go see his movie paper hearts! Steve and i went sight seeing around the city . We went to upper haight, twin peaks, fisherman wharf, and the golden gate and bay bridges. We drove toward yosemity and made it to sonora to a hotel for the night. A bed what a treat!
Day 22...I Got the car unlocked by making friends w/ tom and bob from cali while everyone was sleeping, steve got a slim jim from the ranger the door was opened. We Hit the road drove through humbolt county, where if you turn down the wrong road a guy and his pitbull come running out of a shack to encourage you to go away. We found a great swimming hole in a redwood grove and swam in the eel river. We ate in point arena at phoenix a delicious italian place. Go figure. Chris drove like a champ along the coast in the fog. We got back to sf at around1am. I slept hard.
Day 21...our night got cold on the beach so waking up wasn't too hard but getting out of the sleeping bag was. Misty fog covered the beach and much of fern canyon. This was one of the places where jurassic park and the ewalk movie were filmed. The lady at the camp told me that the ranger reported a mountain lions sighting last week not too far from our site. I think i may do the anti lion dance to make sure he states far away. We had a picnic overlooking old growth red wood groves along a scenic drive. And then did a 4mile hike in redwood state park down the coastal range to the ocean. It was beautiful. We were hiking along the lost coast, which is the stretch of coast pch dosent cover. It was a great place for a nap on the beach while chris and steve climbed rock faces darting up from the sand while they yelled to 2 large male elk off in the distance. We went back to set up our campfire have dinner and john played guitar and fiddle music to sooth us after a day of adventure. We had redbeers which i thought would be gross but they were really good. Take a bud heavy or some cheap mexican beer drink an inch out of the can and fill the rest with clamato and enjoy! We got locked out of the car but no worries we will figure it out in the morning. Or Ill just live here on the beach forever.
Day 20... We slept in and i enjoyed every minute of it. We showered and had an amazing Sf brunch at the bean bag cafe. Everything here is super vegetarian friendly. By 3pm we packed in to the car, picked up chris at work and we were off to the red woods for the weekend. It was approximately a 7 hour drive up 101 passed eurika by about an hour. We didn't get up there till 11 30 or so and set up our camp on the beach and got up and out early to hike!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Day 19... This morning i promised chris i would wake him up to go to work, which proved to be much harder than i thought it would be. I started on the artichokes early so when we got back from Sonoma they would be ready. Steve and i snatched up john and headed up to wine country. We had beautiful weather once we got out of the fog blanketing the city. I did a complete outfit change to summer cloths. We stopped at the general store and got crusty bread, cheese, 2 amazing sandwiches, and an olive spread. We had a picnic in toe and all we needed was some wine, easily done. We went to 2 places with tastings and bought a bottle of wonderful california zinfendel. Outstanding! We had our picnic and then drove over to the russian river for a swim before our drive back to the misty cold city. We got dressed ate artichokes and headed out to the downtown area to see eclectic method. They are dvd Dj's they mix movies tv and music videos from the 50's to today. They were awesome! We walked all over the city popping into a few bars, parks and burrito stands to round out the night. It was urban hiking at its finest!
Day 18... This morning we woke up to the smell of red woods our camp site was beautiful. We got back in the car and headed up the 1 toward monarey bay. We had a foggy morning but it was clearing up nicely we drove through Pebble beach and saw a bunch of sea lions off the coast in the bay . Its really neat to see all the kelp beds blanketing the bay we drove through the canning district of monaray and continued on our drive to san fran. The 1 went from a ocean front drive to a tour of californias agricultural center. Which couldn't have come at a better time, veggie stands make a great lunch! I alms bought 20 artichokes for 2 bucks . Ill make stuffed chokes when i get to sf. We got to chris's house showered, which was glorious, and then went to dinner. We ate at a wonderful french seafood place steve had tuna steak blackened and i had mahai with a caper tomato sauce delish! We went out after dinner for some adult beverages with 5 people from howell, me, steve, chris, john, and megan. Crazy! We had a great night. Chris was a great host and gave up his bed for the night. It was the softest thing we slept on since vegas.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Day 17... This morning we packed up and got some breakfast and walked around beautiful santa barbara. It was exactly what i thought cali would look like palm trees cute little shops and high end eateries so high end that breakfast was subway. But it did its job and we continued up ''the 1'' on the coast to pierdas blancas to see the molting Elephant seals. This time of year the mature males and last years males beach themselves along pch in great numbers, about 100 that we could see. We continued our drive along the 1 and that's where it became the beautiful coastal highway you see in all the car commercials. We were in the breath taking big sur area. Cliff side roads with countless turns and switch backs with dramatic views of the powerful pacific. Needless to say we had to stop a lot and take many photos and say wow! We got to our camp site in phifer big sur among some beautiful red woods. We set up camp and ventured back out to rock up as much day light as we could. We drove to julie phifer burns state park and hiked out to see a waterfall off a cliff on to the beach. I didn't feel like i was still in cali, the beach looked polynesian. Beautiful. Then we went down to phifer beach to see sunset however it was so super windy that i had my hood up and my legs were getting sand blasted , i was actually getting blown over! But it was pretty, with big rocks rising from the powerful surf. Very cool. When we returned to our camp we started looking at photos and fell asleep by utah. Slept great and were up to start driving up to the bay area.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Day 16...Had a bad nights sleep steve and the guy next tent over were having a snore off so i slept in the back of the car. I did much better there. ear plugs are a must! I felt bad steve tried to stop but couldn't sleep in a good position because of the sunburn. We packed up and hit the road up to LA ... We drove on sunset blvd, rodeo drive (i thought it was great riding in the wagon down rodeo drive) through hollywood and beverly hills we had lunch in hollywood at a Crepe shop. then through the hills of malibu. its amazing to see the celebrity homes just hanging on the sides of these mountains with an incredible view of the mountains and the ocean. We set up camp for the night in a state beach along the pacific coast highway PCH in a cute town called carpinteria. We explored the town on our bikes played frisbee and had a sunset dinner a short walk from our tent. It was great to watch the pelicans dive into the water to get their dinner at sunset! Tomorrow we drive up to big sur .
Day 15... Just realized that the last post had a few spelling errors i was sleepy when i texted... t9 is not flawless. Our second day in san diego was great. lots of relaxation. We rode bikes up to the beach and had a large delicious breakfast at kono's. we waited on line half way down the block for 30 mins but it was worth it! We had to walk a bit after that meal so we walked along the beach and i bought a super cute dress for alan and sues wedding. Then a bike ride along the bay back to camp for a great conversation with our camping neighbors they were from ocean twp nj but relocated to cali in the 80's ... Super nice people. We took a tour of downtown san diego and had margaritas and chips in the gaslamp distric for lunch/ snack. Then we went to find some shade by the bay, steve got some nasty sunburn, so we took a siesta! Then back to camp for showers and out to a cool vegetarian burger dinner at vegin out in north park san diego. We saw sun set at the cliffs again went back to camp and watched the sea world fire works over the bay from our camp site. I really needed a few days like this just to relax and get caught up on some r and r !
Day 14... Last night we got to san diego. our campsite is in the primitive section at campland by the bay in pacific beach san diego. They weren't kidding when the said primitive overflow! The place was huge and filled with rv's our right was a parking spot with some dirt on top, a picnic table and a fire ring totally urban camping! But its close to the beach and just because its different from a majestic state park doesn't mean its bad. It was funny tho. Today we woke up and rode bikes to the broken yoke for breakfast and then to the laundry mat to do some wash, we were running out of under garments. Played some cards and then went to the beach for a while. The ocean is different not many shells and piles of kelp with lots of little flyS but they don't bite like the ones at home do. We went to ocean beach for dinner to get some super yummie fish tacos. They were amazing. Then we went to sunset cliffs to watch the run melt into the pacific. Steve showed me the sky line of the city by the bay. What a great first night in san diego!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Day 13... So we rolled in to las vegas looking like 2 bums neither of us had showered in 4 days. Walking up to the front desk hn the same cloths we hiked the river in just 6 hours earlier. I can just imagine what people must have thought. But i didn't care cause i was 10 mins away from a shower and a soft bed. We checked in and got our room key we payed for a room with a bed and ended up with a suite on the top floor with a jacuzzi some major karma coming our way... We ate a great noodle bar in the belagio which brendan and meg paid for thanks guys! We walked around vegas down to the lexor and back for some urban hiking. We walked around a bit today after we checked out but its way better at night! We are now driving through the mojave desert and its 111 degrees so glad we are staying the weekend in san diego 78. We will be camping right on mission bay time to relax a bit!
Day 12... Last night we went for a swim in the virgin river this is the river responsible for carving zion canyon. When we were in bryce we met a couple from boston who told up to do the narrows trail so this morning we threw on our flip flops and into the river we went:-) should have had water shoes but we will next time. We were hiking in the river mostly shin deep but waist deep in spots at the bottom of 2 to 3 thousand ft cliffs. totally epic! Such a great hike considering it was 105 degrees today. In total juxtaposition we are heading to vegas tonight to finally get a shower sleep in a bed and get some fancy grub. Tonight we stay in the roman tower in caesars right on the strip. Thank you hotels.Com!
Day 11...Yesterday started at sunrise with a hike down to the bottom of bryce canyon the hoodos are even more amazing close up. Because we started out so early in the morning it wasn't too hot till we were all packed up and ready to drive down to the high desert of zion national park . The last 3 parks we went to were part of the grand staircase starting with bryce. The bottom of bryce Hr the same elevation and geological make up as the top of zion and the bottom of zion is the top of the grand canyon. Zion canyon is so cool looking and very different from the outside to the inside of the canyon. To understand what i mean look up photos of the checker board mesa and the narrows or angles landing to get a feel for how diverse the landscape in just this park is. And on our way in i saw a big horned sheep it was wild! Tomorrow we hike the narrows!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Day 10... Last night we rolled into bryce canyon and the red canyon and all i said for the first 10 mins. Was wow wow wow wow . We set up camp and ran over to the canyon for sun set , super cool and totally different from the grand canyon. Bryce is a series of horseshoe shaped amphitheaters with colorful formations called hoodos. Erosion has shaped colorful limestone, sandstones,and mudstone into thousands of spires, fins,pinnacles, and mazes. After sunset we went to look for wildlife and found some mule dear and prong horn. So excited for our hike down to the bottom of the canyon. Early to bed early to rise . I think i may like this as much as the grand canyon so amazing!
Day 9... Yesterday we made it to the grand canyon. Epic. I can't even put into words how i felt. It was a jaw dropping sight that takes your breath away. The size is unbelievable it almost looks fake. After my first glimpse of the canyon we went to set up camp and make some lunch. We are really learning how to do this ... Roll in early around 3ish set up camp go see the sights around 5, the crowds start leaving, then have some dinner at 7, and go back for sunset, check out the stars and to bed, up early for sunrise back to bed for a nap and up well rested by the time we need to get back in the car to do it again:-) not sure how long ill be able to keep this pace up but im going to enjoy it while it lasts:-) i have never seen so many stars in the sky one of the most beautiful things ive seen in the night sky. We got up early and saw sunrise over the grand canyon. Today we are headed to brice canyon in utah, on the way we are passing the vermillion cliffs. What an amazing trip this country is so beautiful can't wait to keep seeing it over the next 4 weeks.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Day 8... This not working thing is wonderful, but i keep getting my days of the week messed up sorry ill edit the dates on the other posts when i get to a computer which may be a few more days. Last night i took a cold shower which was amazing for my sunburn and i even used sunblock, i need to get one of those goofy hiking hats, the sun is angry down here! camped in mesa verde last night made vegetarian hot dogs and soup for dinner , drove to the highest point in the park to see it. beautiful. This morning we woke up before the sun and drove 2 1/2hrs to utah to see monument valley in the morning light. That was steves idea, i must really love that boy 4:00am is early on vacation. But he was right it was a magnificent sight! I don't want to jinx myself but we only had 4 drops of rain all trip, extreme heat but no rain so far. Today we are heading to the grand canyon with plans to camp there tonight. Posting may not be daily because we are staying in national parks and remote towns most of which do not have cell phone service but ill catch you all up as son as i can.
Day 6... Last night we got in to durango tried to camp but got shut out. note to self don't try to find a camp site late on a saturday night. We got a hotel room that was closer to luxury camping than a hotel but it had a shower, which i cleaned and i used my shower shoes! But all kidding aside it was a good nights sleep. We got up early and went to mesa verde to See the cliff dwellings of the ancient puebloians. The park has over 600 cliff dwellings and ruins throughout. The history of these ancient people is still largely a mystery which adds to its mystique. It was so amazing i know i keep saying it but it was epic to see thunder storms over the san juan mountains while your dry 30 miles away watching the sunset. Our plan is to camp here tonight and go utah and arizona to see monument valley.
Day 5...Yesterday we drove into north east new mexico- the jemez mountains. Much greener than i thought it would be . We stopped in santa fe for some food for camping to fix our bikes and for an amazing dinner at the ore house. We had margaritas ceveche and poblano rellenos . Then up into the mountains for some camping. Look up photos of valles caldero. we passed it on the way to our site there were hundreds of elk grazing and bugling it was beautiful. We camped at the last site at the campground and were up with the sun to find the secret san antonio hot springs. We had some hand written directions from richard and from lori and our toothless hippie friend rick in la cueva. After a 5 mile hike in we enjoyed a 102 degree soak overlooking mountain cliffs. 5 miles back to the car wasn't as muah fun but it was beautiful and hot! Back in the car but the drive was breath taking the red rocks and mesas were an outstanding way to leave new mexico ... Now we are off to colorado to see mesa verde tonight we are staying in durango colorado.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Day 4... We rolled our first thousand miles yesterday and right now we are 360 into our next thousand. We checked out memphis on our way to arkansas took a total of 1Hr 11 mins . But beal st was cool kinda like a little burbon st. the street was filled with bars, eaterys, and blues for about 2 blocks. Then back in the car for 3 hrs to little rock. What a flat boring drive saw farms, crop dusters, and 18 wheelers. Got into little rock around 8 checked in to the comfort inn in the downtown area. They had a movie playing down by the river market district, lots of families out and about 3 blocks of bars and restaurants that were really alive on a random wed. night. we ended up at ernie briggs, a cool little piano bar with dollar beers, can't go wrong with that! Slept in till around 9 and filled up on free breakfast ... Thanks comfort inn! Walked around little rock in the oppressive heat to look for a LR sticker and the "little rock". After an Hr of searching and coming up short on both accounts we decided to hit the road. So now we are back in the car on a 9Hr drive through oklahoma to our planned stop in amarillo texas.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Day 3... Went out to the basement with john last night in nashville and saw theodore a band from st. louis . The basement is a gritty bar with the charm of the saint and the feeling that you are there to hang out with friends even if this was your first time there . The band was a mix of the frames meets sonic youth, using a saw with a bow, accordion, horns, and anything they could get their hands on to make sounds and it was surprisingly good. Went back to johns and got a birds eye view of the city from the roof. Cities at night are great! John and billy played some great music for us till 3am. This morning we repacked the car yet again added john and all his possessions to take them to the air port to go to jersey! Can't wait see him again in cali...Steve and i went downtown on broadway to do the tourist thing and take photos. We ate at a great microbrewery and split shrimp and grits and a pulled pork sandwich. This hiatus from vegetarianism isn't so bad. Now we are back in the car cause " im going to graceland, graceland, memphis tennessee im going to graceland" ~ paul simon
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Day 2 ... On the road to nashville tenn. 6:10 am Woke up to a beautiful morning with oatmeal and tea ala dundas . Finished a scenic drive out of the park and on to the blue ridge parkway. Finally got cell phone service after 24 hrs of the "dead zone" , not that i need my cell that bad but its nice to be connected once again. We stopped in roanoke for some essentials,lunch, and deep fried greenbeans... When you ask yourself why? I say why not ... They were yummie! Then john called steve and we called an audible ...no stop in the smokeys ...tonight we go to nashville.
Day 1 ...shenandoah national park skyline drive...We started with a beautiful 5 mile hike to a 94 foot waterfall, the tallest in the park. We had the opportunity to see alot of native virginia wild life our totals include... 10 black bears ... So many white tailed dear we stopped counting at 40 something .... 1bunny rabbit ... 1turtle and 1dayglow green caterpiller. Ended the day with a light walk through a huge meadow at 3535ft with a pink sunset. Set up camp by moon light and head lamps, soup for dinner and ear plugs to forget about the wild life all around me for bed - good night all catch you at sunrise - and yes mom i checked for ticks.