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 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
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
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
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.