Monday, August 13, 2007

High and Dry

One of the main highlights of this bike trip was going through Monument Valley in Arizona but after a hot day of driving through Utah we hit rain outside of Moab. What a site to see the lightning and thunderheads roll in over the red rocks and dust. We ended up in a thunderstorm that slowed our pace down to a crawl with no cover available. By the time we finally hit Monument Valley it was pitch black, we were in the middle of nowhere, hadn't seen a car or light in site and were in a full on high wind monster doing 30 mph with bleak visibility, pounded by rain, bursts of red dust clouds flying by horizontally with hours to go to the next town. Seeing Monument Valley wasn't quite what I expected. We didn't get any pictures. :0)

Stopping for breakfast was a hoot. Connie had tomato slices, cottage cheese and healthy things, I had the grandmother of all pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns and everything on the menu you could put ketchup on. I was also pleasantly surprised to see you could order gravy as a side dish. My kind of place.

On to the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree... Over 117 degrees. 120 in some places, even 106 in the shade. I decided to take a "short cut" right through the middle of the desert on a two lane highway that cut back considerably on miles but not on time. One road ended up turning to a dirt road about 20 miles into the bypass, backtracking and finding another route brought us through storm washouts that were hidden until you came right up on them at about 65 mph. Dips in the road could be a mirage or a potential mud / sand trap that would hit the front tire and send it swerving. The road less traveled did make a difference.

As hot as everything was,it still had rugged beauty and the actual Joshua trees themselves were no exception but rolling in to Palm Springs was like spring had erupted and the colors, concrete and available water made everything feel a little more hospitable.

It was that night that we heard about the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. It was surreal watching a hispanic TV station with a latino reporter talking in spanish about something so common from home. Connie and I used that bridge all the time so it was odd to feel homesick for such a tragic reason.

Finally rolled into LA and secured the trip from the top middle of the US to the ocean near the bottom. Over 2,000 miles and a great time. Connie's trip back home would be four hours and $150. Much more convenient but a little different view of our countryside here in America.

We had lunch at the Getty and took in all the artwork before two dinners with two sets of friends and kissing my wife goodbye at the airport then starting work the next day. Lunch reminded me about what LA can be like. Aspiring actors waiting on us, beautiful people everywhere and when you get bread with your meal it looks like artistic fusion on a plate. Menu's label all the locations of the ingredients and hamburgers are $18 because the patty is Kobe beef from Japan. I'll be sticking to In and Out burger for the rest of the trip. :0)


At 11:27 PM, Blogger China Doll said...

Welcome to LA!

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



{ThE fReNcH tOuCh}


At 4:35 PM, Blogger Bryan K Pederson said...

That is simply hilarious! I thought there was a saying that you should never eat anyting larger than your own head & I think that pancake qualifies... :) Glad to see you guys made it in one piece & are living the high life in LA.

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Dee G said...

Mmmm... pancakes...

Hey, just looked at your Grand Canyon post as well. It's amazing to me that something like that can exist. I've seen some nice stuff, and some big stuff, but nothing like that. Australia had its volcanoes a looooooong time ago, and we're just a big continent of sand and soil now.

Would love to see the canyon someday. You know, retrace the steps of the Brady Bunch and all that...

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

hope you are doing well and not working too hard

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to the Getty Center. It was so awesome. I felt like it was out there on a pedestal because it was so high up, well not really but you could see a ton of landscape from the outdoor gardens. Totally awesome. Loved the exhibits too. When I was there they had an exhibit all about how painters way back in the day made colors, what elements they used for different colors. That was awesome.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger BuckeySandy said...

Looks like you are enjoying the trip!

When do you head back North?

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Cam said...

Glad to see you made it ok. I tried to get to your blog from China, but apparently "blogspot" is considered a national security risk, and I was denied access. :(


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