Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally Home

After 20 months and 48,260 miles it is time to rejoin the world.  Coincidentally we have a 1997 Ford F-250 and camper for sale.

Low miles.

Canyon de Chelly etc.

In a final attempt to culture ourselves more we visited Canyon de Chelly and drove though the Navajo Nation on our way home.  If in the area, make every attempt to sample the fry bread with honey on top no matter how run down the shack providing them may look.

My philosophy every day...

More culture

Furthering our cultural expansion, we visited Bandelier National Monument where the native americans lived like the sand people from Star Wars.  Some weather entered the area and we caught one of the first snows of the year.  Some interesting cloud formations resulted...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dose of Culture

Stopped by Chaco Canyon for a bit of ancient culture and some artsy photos. We didn't learn much since no one really knows why the American Indians largely as a group abandoned their homes in AD 1300. Forclosures due to ancient predatory lending, shifty loan packaging and fraudulent high grade bond ratings by insurers perhaps?

Random miscellany

On the way out of Moab we visited the Fisher Towers made famous by many Westerns and Wile E. Coyote then travelled through a big storm rolling through the area. In Colorado the leaves are starting to turn as it gets below freezing at night.

Moab area

After Lake Powell we drove up to Moab to partake in its various activities. Mountain biking, hiking and rafting primarily. On one particularly difficult trail, one vehicle in a group of 4x4's got a little too off-center on a steep sideways slope and rolled over a few times. If it hadn't been for a couple large boulders in the way, the truck would have rolled over the nearby 500ft cliff. Fortunately the 2 people inside had only minor injuries. Another truck had an axle realignment job on a section called "The Wedge". On a lighter note, we enjoyed the world famous Slickrock trail and other precarious goat trails on our bargain mountain bikes obtained from Craigslist.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lake Powell

One of the best ways to see Lake Powell is by kayak due to its many narrow twisted slot canyons. We took a 5 day trip to explore a few. Not many houseboats on the water when gas is $5 a gallon and it takes 4-6 gallons to go one mile. Our base camp is in the 3rd picture if you look really close.

Antelope Canyon

Near Page AZ there are the infamous Antelope Canyon slots. Most people have seen pictures of these in coffee table books. It's also in every German grade school text book because you couldn't swing a dead cat without hearing a 'Ya' somewhere. They're nice people and they're helping the local economy but could at least one female buck the trend and keep her hair long? Judi Dench must have a cult following there.

Slot Canyons and critters

We're on the road again. Hitting places we missed on our previous southwest US trip. First we went to the north rim of Grand Canyon then on the way to Page, AZ we checked out the wacky Buckskin Gulch. A serious flash flood had taken the lives of 4 people just a week before but with no clouds in sight it appeared safe. A few critters showed up in the area as well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

China part 1

Before our big USA/CAN trip, we went to China for 2 weeks.  The flight over took us along the coastline of Russia where sea ice was still breaking up.  We landed in Beijing and everywhere you looked were building cranes, if you could see them through the haze.  The locals claim it is mostly due to blowing sands from the Gobi desert this time of year....  We enjoyed tours of the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall.  It had snowed the night before on the Wall which gave it a nice touch.

China part 2

We drove past the Olympic aquatic center and the birds nest.  They were tough to see despite only being a block or two away.  In the afternoon, the sun is barely distinguishable through the haze.  It's the first time we've been able to look directly at the sun on a cloudless day.  Then on to Xian and the Terra Cotta warriors.  They were built to protect a paranoid emperor's tomb in his afterlife.  Then on to Chongching where we boarded the river cruise ship.

China part 3

Down the Yangtze river we travelled through the Gorges.  This is where millions of people were relocated to accomodate the rising water from the Three Gorges dam.  Chinese shipping standards are a little more lax than the US as evidenced by this hay barge.  Then we visited a china factory and I tried my hand at some.  Keep in mind the asymmetry is a creative statement.

China part 4

On our way to Shanghai, we were entertained by this truck full of ducks travelling at 50 mph.  In Shanghai, we visited an impressive garden, the newly renovated "old Shanghai" shopping district and the waterfront overlooking the east half of the city where they're currently constructing the tallest building on earth.  At night, one can purchase many fine wares on the street including Rolexes and Mont Blanc pens for the amazing price of about $2.50 per watch and just under $1 per pen.  It must be legit since it all happens in front of the official Rolex and Mont Blanc stores.  On the way home we saw a hazy Mt Fuji from the airplane.