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Fall Vacation

Grand Canyon

Monday, October 25, 2010: London -- Oakland

Jean and John made the long arduous journey from Canterbury in England to Oakland California this day. They arrived in good spirits and ready for a long sleep.

During their first few days with us we made many hikes around the local area. The most notable was at Point Reyes National Seashore: Tomales Point.

Point Reyes' elk

This is a spectacular walk not only offering vistas of the rugged Northern California coastline, but also the opportunity to marvel at elk and many other wild creatures such as whales migrating along the coast. The hike started on a clear cool morning and ended in a cloudy and showery afternoon.

Point Reyes video

Sunday, October 31, 2010: Oakland -- Grand Canyon

The wall of concrete

It was a very early start for all of us this day. We rose at 4:30 am to make our flight to Las Vegas and then the long five hour drive to Grand Canyon. Along the way we stopped at the Hoover Dam. This dam is a true marvel of modern twentieth century engineering and tenacity. However, the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge is a twenty first century wonder and worth seeing as well.

After walking over the dam and marveling at the views we continued our drive to Grand Canyon. We arrive just in time to be welcomed by a remarkable sunset at the rim of the natural sensation.

Hoover Dam video

Monday, November 1, 2010: Bright Angel Trail

The vast pit

The next day we rose at a reasonable hour and walked down from the rim of Grand Canyon via the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden about half way into the vast hole in the ground.

Jean and John had never been here before and were flabbergasted by the immensity and panorama of the place. Julia and I were too, even though we had both made this hike before.

On the way out of the canyon John, who is 73 years young, showed us all up by sprinting to the top and leaving us youngster, David (53), behind in the dust. I hope I can hike like him when I am his age. We were all glad to retire, after an interesting dinner, to our warm and soft beds after the arduous but splendid day.

Bright Angel Trail video

Tuesday, November 2, 2010: Kaibab Trail

We begin our descent

Up early again and out on the trail once more, but this time we descended into the seemingly endless pit via the Kaibab Trail.

This trail is almost the opposite experience to walking the Bright Angel. When on the Bright Angel Trail one is mostly surrounded with tall cliffs, but on the Kaibab Trail one is hiking on exposed ridges. This of course offers marvelous views of the scenery of Grand Canyon.

This day I was firing on all cylinders and managed to pass John on the long hike out of the canyon. It is odd as I write this that I am praising myself for out walking a 73 year old, but I will take what I can get.

Kaibab Trail video

Wednesday, November 3, 2010: Grand Canyon -- Oakland

Au revoir

We left Grand Canyon behind with deep regrets of not being able to spend more time at this truly inspiring place and made the long, and boring, five hour drive back to Las Vegas.

In contrast it took only an hour on the airplane to fly from Sin City to Oakland and home.

Friday, November 5, 2010: Oakland -- London

On this day Julia and I bid Jean and John a fond farewell as they left us to return to jolly old England. Thanks for a great time Jean and John.


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