Sunday, August 20, 2006

Now I know the way to San Jose

I've been back in Australia for six weeks. During the second half of our trip I gave up on the idea of updating my blog. Various things have conspired to keep me from blogging since I've been home. One problem was the large number of photos I took - 1,723 in all. I've finally edited them down to the manageable number of 48 for viewing on this web page.

The trip had quite an affect on me. America is a beautiful country. We drove over 3,000 miles Crater Lakeafter picking up the Ford Taurus in Portland, Oregon. We arrived there travelling by bus from lovely Vancouver to Seattle then train through picturesque and green southern Washington.

We enjoyed wonderful hospitality at Joe and Deb's in Kings Valley, Oregon. Here a hugely fortuitous decision was made to drive to San Francisco via Crater Lake rather than visit the home town of Steve Prefontaine at Coos Bay on the Oregon Coast. I haven't space to describe the beauty of Crater Lake. Snow was abundant for our visit on a perfect day.

I'd received an email from Sarah with some tips on what to do on the way down to San Francisco. When we arrived at our B&B, I couldn't contact her for our planned Golden Gate Bridge bike ride due to a phone number mix-up. From San Francisco we drove south on highway 101. Fifteen miles north of San Jose we turned east on highway 84 and drove to Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite has huge rock formations and waterfalls and, as it was the holiday season, lots of tourists. The road from Yosemite over Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet had been open for just over a week after being cleared of snow. New York in Las VegasThis was a spectacular drive as was the trip south on US 395 to Lone Pine. On June 27 we drove east through the fascinating and hot Death Valley to Las Vegas.

Joy loved Las Vegas. I think she'd have happily spent the remaining 9 days of the trip right there. Instead we drove north-east travelling briefly through Utah, arriving at the Grand Canyon on July 1. We were only there for 5 hours. Our original plan was to stay at the North Rim the previous night but bushfires had closed the only road to our lodge.

I want to return to the Grand Canyon. Looking out at that vast space which had it's beginnings 20 to 30 million years ago makes you think about all the beauty in the world. The Grand CanyonTheodore Roosevelt said "keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see." I think every visitor to America should see The Grand Canyon.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, we stayed at a motel on Route 66. Our drive continued to San Diego through some more spectacular and varied desert landscapes. Only too soon it was time to head north. We escaped from the hectic 6-lane Interstate 5 and followed highway 101 with it's Pacific Ocean views. We passed through Carlsbad, San Clemente, Laguna Beach and Long Beach, arriving at LAX with four hours to spare before our flight home. Thanks Joy and Mal for a great trip!


Blogger Tuggeranong Don said...

What a trip and what photos, Ewen. And well done for cataloging all those snaps. We missed you while you were away and it's great to have you back.

6:47 am  
Blogger Stu said...

WOW Ewen, I've started looking at the pics and some are amazing.

Excluding work trips with my uniform I have never been on holidays overseas and the USA is one on my list, I so much want to see the New York skyline in person!

Welcome back to the world of blogging

1:02 pm  
Blogger plu said...

Top photos,

This one is my favourite. I too would not have expected a sandy desert.

chers plu

4:51 pm  
Blogger Spark Driver said...

Sounds like a fantastic trip. Lets hope that mobile billboards featuring 'Hot Girls' will be one thing we will never see in Australia.

9:40 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Oh Ewen, you have brought back some great memories for me. I went to places you visited back in the early 80s. Loved them all!

Yes, the Grand Canyon is truly spectacular. And I can understand why Joy enjoyed Las Vegas. And Carlsbad ... do they still have the "Even bats need friends" t-shirts?

Might have to set aside a day to linger over your pics :-)

3:52 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

Excellent Post Ewen!
Makes me want to head back and explore.Hope your calf is feeling better already.

Cheers R2B

8:10 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Sounds like a fantastic trip. I would love to get to some of those places someday.

11:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fascinating read, Ewen, and you take very 'goof' photos too!

6:15 pm  
Anonymous Luckylegs said...

Why did my comment come out as "anonymous"? It's from me....CB!

6:17 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Good to have you back Ewen. Glad you had a good trip.

Sorry that the weather up here is so nice this time of year.

9:54 pm  
Blogger Wobbly man said...

Great post Ewen. So good to hear of a holiday that went so well - ours (when we get them) often end in disasters! Great photos too - wow - 1,700 photos. Don't you just love digital cameras

7:40 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

WOW - fantastic trip Ewen and great report.

We hear so much that is ugly about the US it is great to see some of the good stuff.

11:38 am  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Ewen, I have been meaning for ages to look up and subscribe to your blog, wise and respected running sage that you are ;-) With much tugging of forelock I apologize for taking so long to get around to it. This post and others show what I have been missing. Great report of what was obviously a fantastic trip. I agree that the US is a physically beautiful country, and so much of it largely untouched by the ravages of mankind. It shows how much larger Australia's population could be if we actually had some water. Not that I'm advocating we change anything though.

6:02 pm  
Blogger Gronk said...

I've just spent the last half hour looking through many of your pics Ewen. Great stuff mate !

7:27 am  
Blogger plu said...

I think it is great that we can use blogs to not only show where we have been and what we did but also it is a record for us when no one really cares a bit later.

cheers Plu

7:36 pm  

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