Canyon Spotting

Next story was already queued. This time you will read about the Canyon Tour Loop. Again I will give you a short update of the days in between PCH road trip and Canyon Tour. I assure you, I will keep the filling short.

17.6 That day I was doing Window Shopping at the Camarillo Outlets. My shoes bought in Japan about 5.5 months ago starting to have holes which does not look very good! I didn’t buy any shoes but compared prices and models.
18.6 A colleague showed his girlfriend the Santa Monica Pier and beach as well as Venice and Venice Beach. I joined them. On the pier we almost thought about doing the big wheel ride but decided against it after being aware of the price. The weater was really nice and calm. To show his girlfriend an American Delight we went to In&Out for dinner. I had animal style fries instead of a burger and hoped this kind of fries would be better than plain fries. They weren’t. What does fries animal style mean? Fries topped with a special sauce, processed cheese and fried onions.
20.6 Minigolf; I went for Minigolf all alone at Golf’n’Stuff Ventura. This place is magical. It offers two 18 hole minigolf courses both completely different, both beautiful! Furthermore the place offers gokart, bumper boats and arcade games. At each hole I tried to be below 3 shots and if that didn’t work out I started the hole again. On top of that the weather was really nice!
21.6 Cinema Night: The Internship; 2 Guys want to strike success in their life and then the opportunity comes up for an internship at google. Somehow they get the internship and the adventure starts. Eventually they get a job at google! This all mixed up with a romance. The movie is fun but probably not worth the entrance fee for the cinema.
22.6 Disney Adventure Park; A day packed with fun. This park offers more thrill rides than Disneyland opposite to it. I am a little worried about the situation of this park because a few rides were already shut or have been shut when I was in line. Some of the attractions reopened later but some stayed shut. That day was also the premiere of the movie Lone Ranger so finally many ppl just visited the park to see the stars walking on the red carpet. I had a short glimpse and saw Jonny Depp posing! Have a close look at the pictures!
23.6 I went with two other interns to Santa Monica and Venice for the afternoon. We enjoyed a stroll along the coast and cool drinks in a beer garden. The sun gave us company the whole time.
24.6  We all went to watch a baseball match: LA Dodgers VS SF Giants. However the match was not as much entertaining as the food offered. I had a doyer dog. It comes with hot dog bun, sausage, different sauceses, cheese and onions. The kiss cam sometimes showed on the huge screens was the entertainment highlight of the evening.
25.6 Cinema: This is the End; It was fun but shallow entertainment. In this movie hollywood actors play themselves and trying to escape from the apocalypse.
26.6 This was the day when 3 ppl celebrated their birthday. We all met at another interns home, had TriTip and burgers, salads and condiments. It was a very nice BBQ feast with an awesome Whirlpool roundoff! Thanks guys and gals for the awesome party!
27.6 I hardly write about work these days but at that day something notable happened. I sprained my ankle badly when I had to help in loading a truck. My foot swelled to double size within minutes. A colleague brought me to the doctor straight away. After painful waiting a doctor was inspecting my foot, gave me massive shoe to stabilize the foot, a cool pack and a pair of crutches. Back at Home I was watching television with my roomies. The following weekend was more relaxing and movie watching. Although I went for a brunch at Manhatten beach on Sunday (yum!) followed by a coastal drive along to Redondo Beach and eventually to the Peterson Automobil museum. The people in the museum were so kind to borrow me a wheel chair for the duration of my visit. There were some speciality exhibitions about pickups, vehicles from movie sets etc. We also drove by the Hollywood sign to get some close up shots.
01.07 In the evening I went to the doctor to make him observe the progress I made over the weekend. Unfortunately the progress was not very much! The doctor gave a bandage sock and a second cooling pack. I cooked for my roomies that night to thank them for their support
02.07 We had a canyon tour lined up which is why I did some preparation for the trip: Shopping, packing etc.

Now for the Road Trip at which we had an glimpse of an insight in USAs backcountry.

As we had 4th of July holiday and 4 th July was Thursday we decided to do a huge 4 day trip on that weekend. The only thing which came between me and the trip was the ankle sprain from last week. However, I didn’t want to miss out on that adventure and so rented a wheelchair and asked at the BMW vehicle distribution center for a car in which the wheelchair and luggage fits nicely. The vehicle I got was a nice silver BMW 5 series. Indeed the wheelchair fit nicely in the trunk and there was still space for the luggage.
The first part of the trip brought us to south Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Half way through was a dinner stop at Habit Burger. I noticed that I forgot the national park card from our predecessors and so we had to pay entrance fee at each and every national park seperately – bummer!
When we reached the Siena suites on the Boulder Highway it had about 35 degrees celsius night times. In the parking lot the first true adventure began: cockroaches are spread all over the place. However our appartment seemed to be neat and clean. My friends organized dinner for us at Subways whilst I was waiting in our appartment. Not much after dinner the crew went to bed.
The night was not very long because the itinerary for Thursday the 4th of July was quite packed. I shared the shower in the morning with a cockroach which was not how I planned to start the day. It also gave me something to think about: How can someone be so scared of an insect that he jumps out of the bathtube even though he knows any sprained ankle wouldn’t like it – well my sprained ankle really didn’t like it! I confined the cockroach in an upside down trash can and was able to enjoy a shower.
We split the group and without breakfast one part of the crew left for Hoover Dam. I guess its so famous I don’t even need to explain it much. I got a drop off at one side of the dam and walked once across with the crutches – not without having some scenic stops on my walk in the hot morning sun. I had the dam larger in mind, I mean I saw it two years ago from an airplane and it looked so huge – obviously: you can not imagines somethings size if you are too close. After a while I was picked up on the other side of the dam for a ride back to our appartment.
The group headed towards Zion National Park which was a drive of approximately 4 hours. When we were driving through the valley of the park the road was narrow and surrounded by reddish white layered rock – very dramatic. However we didn’t have much time for a photo stop and left the park on the other side. Just a few miles after the exit we took a left turn towards Ponderosa Ranch where we stopped for a salad lunch. The ranch offered many leisure activities for families. There was ATV driving, zip-lining, swimming, group activities and amongst many others also a 2 hour Jeep Tour. We choose for the jeep tour after lunch. The jeep tour was only at the Ranch’s property and was going steep dirt roads up and down. The scenery had nothing to do with the Zions reddish/white layered rock. It was more bushy. At a few points the view was definitely great but all in all I would not recommend the 33 $ tour at the Ponderosa ranch. As we still had some time after the tour we decided to drive back in the Zion National Park for a few more great views of the blunt rock. When we reached the bottleneck of the valley a narrow tunnel with managed traffic we turned around, mounted the GoPro Camera on the roof of one of our cars and headed back towards the exit of the National Park – we definitely had a few photo stops on the way.
In the evening we reached Page, Arizona. Just before Page we stopped at the Glen Canyon Dam which helps to keep the Lake Powell at its size. The dam itself is a little smaller than the Hoover Dam and the rocks and sand around it is completely reddish. This combined with a almost setting sun was definitely a nice photo spot – well not for me I observed the scenery sitting in the car with the left foot on the glove box because I didn’t bother going outside the car. First thing we did when reaching actual Page was to settle down in our room at the Motel 6. Our room was a little small and the hotel already booked which is why we spontanously booked another room in the Super 8 hotel, the very next building. After some refreshment we drove to Denny’s for dinner and 4th July firework gazing. We had troubles finding the right time for Arizona because its on the same latitude as Utah but still has one hour difference to it. The solution to the problem: Arizona doesn’t have summer time. Finally when we adjusted our clocks to the correct time, the fireworks started at the correct time and after sunset – I was observing from my wheelchair. The firework hasn’t been very professional as every single item was fired manually. It was nice to watch though. When we reached back to our table at Denny’s the food has already been served.
The next day didn’t start much early and with a very simple breakfast buffet at the Super 8 hotel. First on that day we went to a place south of Page where the Colorado River makes a horse shoe bend. I skipped the walk from the parking lot to the actual bend because it was in sand and went steep uphill. I prefered to stay in the car with running aircondition and engine. I had a look at the pictures when my friends came back.
We headed back the road we came, crossed the Glen Canyon from East to West and stopped at the Lake Powell National Park where we had to pay entrance fee – bummer! We squeezed everyone in the BMW 5 and saved so on one entry fare. The walk to and from the beach with crutches was very exhausting. The first couple of meters were on concrete while the last bit was on hot sand. The swim in the warm to cold waters of Lake Powell were really relaxing for body and foot though. I actually didn’t want to leave the water. When I finally reached back to the car I was sweating like hell and had a blister at the left palm. Next stop that day was again in Page for lunch and water bottle refill. Our water bottles going like hot cakes in this hot weather conditions. When we reached Antelope Canyon east of Page the weather was already cooling down and the sky was more and more crowded by clouds, eventually it started to rain. The smell of the fresh summer rain in the air was too nice. The canyon was not crutches/wheelchair accessible and hence one more time I waited in the car for everyone else to come back listening to music. A/C and running motor wasn’t necessary this time because of the strong breeze outside. I again looked at the pictures when my friends came back – the pictures are just too awesome. My friends have been told that they are very lucky to choose this canyon because its at the given light conditions (end of the world darkness below heavy clouds) the better canyon to visit. However they had to evacuate the canyon due to rapid floods that can occur once it started to rain, so my friends got their money back – yeah!
After approx 3 hours drive we finally reached the Monument Valley. It’s an awesome rock formation in the middle of the dessert. The rocks are mostly reddish, layered with some darker rock. With some imagination it is possible to see that the rock formations can also be interpreted as creatures. Shortly after the end of the Monument Valley was the little village of Mexican Hat where we stayed in a hotel called – guess it – Mexican hat. Giving us a little time to relax in the hotel room, we hung out until dinner with some drinks in our cozy room. Dinner was at the restaurant of the hotel. The menu was very simple but the food directly from the swinging grill was very delicious. We opted to hang out a little more at the pool side before we finally went to bed.
Saturday started relaxed: packing and a couple of minutes swinging on the porch-swing in the morning sun. Breakfast was at San Juan Inn & Trading Post a little down the road. If it had been a normal breakfast I wouldn’t have mentioned it. But there is a little something unique at this place. The only girl in our group placed her hand bag beside the bench on the floor. When the waiter came with our delicious food he had a syrup dispenser dangling on his index finger below a plate. Because the syrup can was super full he drew a syrup line from the kitchen through the dining area right into our girls hand bag. We tried to tell him but because he didn’t see the cannikin he didn’t understand what we meant. However once he got rid of the plate in his hand he saw the disaster and apologized slightly. He politely asked if he should bring a damp cloth instead of bringing it right away – what should be the answer? No, thank you no need of a damp cloth I’ll dip my pan cake in the hand bag instead…Tipping was very little this time.
We continued our little road trip back through the Monument Valley, towards Grand Canyon. The most important stop on the way was the Monument Valley visitor center. The visitor center was surrounded by many rock formations. It explained the history of people lived in the area and gave examples of animals which can be interpreted when looking at the rock formations. Also a list of movies recorded at this sacred place was hanging on the wall. There was also an off-road path winding in between the formations but it didn’t seem passable with an BMW 5 series. The temperature at this place was not too hot due to normal winds.
Later when we reached the Grand Canyon the temperature dropped to roughly 12 degrees and it was slightly raining combined with heavy winds. The road was winding along the rim of the canyon and we had several stops along the way to have the breathtaking views from every possible angle. I didn’t leave the car at every stop but at most of them because I wanted to rest my leg a little. Once I was sitting in the car, observing the scenery from the passenger seat, the only girl in the group was about to take a picture of me and asked me to show how much fun I have on this trip. My spontaneous answer in a cute and sad voice at once was: I don’t have fun. However I want to emphasize that this particular situation was very sad because everyone was out of the car and exploring the area on their foot when I was sitting in the car not able to walk without crutches. I definitely need to say that the whole group was caring as much as possible to make this weekend possible for me – thanks for that! Alternative would have been alone at home and that would have been definitely no fun at all.
We didn’t stop at the Grand Canyon Village, instead we hurried south to our home for the night. It was a very nice home-stay in Valle with on site dinner prepared by a maid. When everyone else was going to the gas station to buy some beer and get some cash for dinner, I stayed at the home-stay and helped the landlady to fix her computer. The dinner menu was again very simple (beef or shrimp pasta). It was very delicious and filled our stomachs to our complete satisfaction. Relaxation at the whirl pool was the option after dinner. The jacuzi however looked like it could need fresh water but it was a good round off for the long day.
Breakfast buffet the next morning was again home made: pan-cakes, waffles, fruits, bread, cookies, eggs, bacon, syrup – the list was endless – definitely one of the best breakfasts on this planet. That morning I went on a 45 minute scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. It was a 160 $ and worth every cent! Spectacular views of the canyon, great weather conditions for the flight and a window seat on the airplane – what else would I need? A healed foot maybe but flying doesn’t need a healed foot necessarily. Eventually we went to the Grand Canyon Village for a few more spectacular views from the rim down to the base of the canyon – stunning! The temperature was again above 25 degrees and made us sweat while walking along the rim – especially with the crutches.
That was the final main activity on the weekend. The drive back home took us a giant 9 to 10 hours. We stopped a few times to swap the drivers, relax with ice cream or have some nice food.
This was our short trip out of California, out of Nevada and into Utah and Arizona. I hope you enjoyed reading and don’t need pictures as I have described the trip in much detail.

What happened after the Roadtrip? Well I wouldn’t call it the standard program, read yourself!

09.07 Cinema: The lone ranger; A very very long story. Jonny Depp could have performed a little better. I would have loved a little more of his fancy dry jokes and more of his Jonny Depp like moves. Nice action and beautiful scenery though!
10.07 Imagine the beach, the pacific ocean, the sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean. Also imagine a fire, the cracking of the dry firewood bending under the heat and the divine smell of barbecued pork. Also imagine the sun just before sunset, yellow glowing clouds on the horizon and the warmth of the last sun rays of the day on your skin. Now combine all these three things and you get a glimpse of the setup we had for our Wednesday Night BBQ. It has been awesome!
11.07 3$ Cinema. Fast and Furious 6! I think everyone knows what this is all about? Fast and stylish cars. This time the former bad ones help the police to catch the new evil. All stunts are damn realistic – for sure!
13.07 Drive-In Cinema: Third time cinema this week. But if the third time would not have been for a drive-in I would not have gone. I watched Despicable Me 2. The frequence for the radio was 95.6. The drive-in at Santa Barbara is definitely a good dating site! The movie was fun too!

So, this is the end of this short entry. Word count is almost a 3500 and I’m quite tired to continue this entry. Please give me some time to prepare the next story – stay tuned as the next entries might be about a fabolous concert weekend in Southern California or about India or maybe Sweden. Let the adventures begin!

One thought on “Canyon Spotting

  1. the only little bad part of this trip was, your phone being unreachable for some time, rest its always great to hear about a new adventure :)

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