A day trip into San Francisco, with photos from Coit Tower...
Coit Tower. Photo from staysf.com
The financial district, with the pyramid-shaped TransAmerica Tower being a famous San Francisco landmark. On a previous trip, my daughter and I ran up and laid our hands on the TransAmerica Tower, so it's ours now.
A bit of fog moving into the Golden Gate, a common occurance.
Looking west. I kept looking for Dirty Harry, jumping from rooftop to rooftop
Pier 39, home to one of the best restaurants I've ever had the pleasure to experience, Swiss Louis. Don't let the name fool you, it's top-notch Italian cuisine.
We spent a few hours in Chinatown also, which I thoroughly enjoyed... the sights of all the foreign and unfamiliar items in the shops, nearly all the signs in Chinese, and the sounds of the locals speaking everything but English. If one were to ignore the American cars on the streets
and the English street signs, you just might think you were a bit further west than California.
Val, Eli and I (Brian had to work, poor devil) took a day trip wheeling up to the summit of Mount Diablo. As it turned out, the road was not unpaved (it seems every dirt road in California is behind a locked gate), but we had a great time regardless.
Eli (nearly 2) seems to be digging his first Jeep ride. Photos by my sister Valerie.
__________________ "It always seems impossible until it is done." -Nelson Mandela
I left Val & Brian’s place on Friday, October 1st. Instead of heading straight home, I drove south to experience the Giant Sequoia redwoods in King’s Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park up in the Sierra Nevada mountains east of Fresno, CA. These are the Giant Sequoia redwoods (sequoiadendron giganteum) which are thicker than the Coast Redwoods (sequoia sempervirens), but not quite as tall. Compared side by side, the Giant Sequoias appear subbier, but they are larger overall, measured by volume.
The Giant Sequoias of Sequoia National Park grow at an elevation of 6000 - 7000 feet, which must be perfect for them, as they can live to be well over 2000 years old, and are reluctant to grow to that age in other locales.
The General Grant tree near Hume CA in the Sequoia National Forest.
The Fallen Monarch, a deadfall Sequoia log that has been down for a couple hundred years now...
Giant Sequoias in the Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park...
The General Sherman tree in the Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park. This sequoia has the distinction of being the largest tree on earth, with a height of nearly 275 feet, 36 feet in diameter, and an age of 2300-2700 years old.
I headed back north from the Fresno area and crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains east of Stockton CA...
I crossed over into Nevada and drove on to Fallon, NV where I stopped for the night. 357 miles, 4883 total.
Sunday Oct. 3 - Fallon, NV to Delta, UT
Drove across Nevada on U.S. Highway 50, “The Loneliest Road in America”. Traffic was practically non-existent, and I truly enjoyed the beauty of the empty desert as I cruised through.
I stopped for the night in Delta, UT. 412 miles, 5295 total.
Mon. Oct 4 - Delta, UT to Castle Rock CO
Interstate 70 near Green River UT...
Gotta love the irony...
Not far after this spot I passed by the Highway 191 Exit to Moab UT, home to some of the best four-wheeling in the USA. But by this time I had already been on the road for a month and had had my Forrest Gump moment...
“I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll go home now.”
A couple weeks in Moab and southeast Colorado will be a walkabout for a future time. I waved toward Moab as I passed by... ‘See you in a bit.’
I entered the Rocky Mountains in Grand junction CO and continued east toward Denver, with I-70 tucked in right beside the Colorado River, and then the Eagle River, for well over a hundred miles. I-70 then ascends into the heart of the Rockies and crosses Vail Pass at 10,666 feet and a few miles later the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel at an elevation of 11,158 feet, one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world, and the longest mountain tunnel and the highest point on the U.S. Interstate Highway System.
I stopped for the night in Castle Rock CO, just south of Denver on I-25. 587 miles, 5882 total.
Tues. Oct. 5 - Castle Rock Co to Conway, TX
I took I-25 south to Raton NM, then east on US 87 to Amarillo TX and east on I-40 to Conway TX. I had passed through Raton NM on US 87 westbound on my way out a month earlier, and now here I was again admiring the view toward the opposite direction.
436 miles, 6318 total.
Wed. Oct. 6 - Conway TX to Hazen AR
I-40 east through Texas and across Oklahoma, about 2/3 the way across Arkansas.
Along with listening to my Sirius satellite radio (which I simply couldn’t do without), I play little games to pass the time. I’m able (usually) to recite the U.S Presidents in order, but for some reason in the middle of Oklahoma, I hung up on Number 8. Washington through Jackson was fine, and (William) Harrison through Obama was a piece of cake. But I totally drew a blank on President Number 8 for some reason. For miles and miles I was wracking my brain trying to come up with it, and then finally just gave it up. Pheh.
Then a couple hours later I crossed into Arkansas and passed through the town of Van Buren.
”MARTIN VAN BUREN!!!”
I stopped for the night in Hazen AR, about a hundred miles west of Memphis. 608 miles, 6926 total.
Thurs. Oct 7 - Hazen AR to Home
I made the remaining 500+ miles home without incident in about 11 hours. I thanked God for the wonderful, scenic, and drama-free trip.
In all, I traveled 7,479 miles in 32 days, with not a single mechanical problem. The ol’ girl never skipped a beat. I neither experienced nor witnessed any road rage, nor was anyone even rude. The entire trip was a good experience. In my many travels I have concluded that most people are essentially good and helpful, although I still keep my guard up. You never know sometimes.
Here are links to a couple other Travel Blogs, in case anyone’s interested...
Wow, what a truly epic and all-encompassing documentary of a cross-America tour. Great photography and commentating. I especially liked seeing your experiences of the places I've been to as well. That is quite the undertaking that few have the privilege to lay claim to. Well done, sir. Well done.
Holy cow! Usually I just skip through the picture on the trip reports, but this one was amazing. Thank you for sharing! Between the pictures and the most excellent commentary, this was defiantly an “epic” adventure…….
Needless to say, this was nothing short of inspiring…… I’m going to go to go check to see how much vacation and funds I have now!
"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic."