Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dream with open eyes... (29-Mar-2010-present)

After a great couple of days in Santa Fe, I headed onto Arizona!

However, I failed to realize that most of Arizona does not follow daylight savings time. I thought I would reach Sedona before sunset, but I still had an hour left to go after the sun went down:

Since I arrived after dark, the beauty of this place was hidden until I could see it the next morning in the light of day...

I wanted to experience the fun of Sedona so I went on a Red Rock Jeep Tour!

We had the chance to walk around a bit mid-way through and experience the flora and fauna (though, the fauna includes tarantulas :P Our cowboy driver made a joke about one being loose in the jeep! LOL! We didn't see any though)

This was a big hole in the ground (I can't recall the exact name) but the big bolder that looks as though it broke off did so after an earthquake that happened a few years ago! It was referred to as the grand piano due to its shape.

Here one of the other drivers got a picture of us going over some of the rocky boulders; we had so much fun!

We drove back into town after the excursion...

The town of Sedona is really great with no shortage of things to do. I just wish I had more time!

But, I did make time for something fun I thought I'd try...

Ok no, not chocolate with a teddy bear, but isn't he adorable? I had to take a photo. Anyway, moving on. This is what I did:

I had a palm reading and tarot card reading and the medium whom I sat with told me great news for the months and years to come! She said I would be successful in California but that I would need to be patient! Very cool. Apparently, for new age enthusiasts, Sedona is in some sort of mystical "vortex" that has a great deal of energy surrounding the area. Hence, this town has a very strong spiritual side!

After spending time in the town, I decided to check out Meteor Crater. I had passed signs for it on the way to Sedona. I had always wanted to see it but I had completely forgotten to look it up. It was a bit of a drive, but so worth it...

Ok, backtrack. On my way to the crater I got pulled over for speeding :\. Luckily the officer was very kind and just gave me a warning. He probably took pity on me since I was out of town and didn't realize how suddenly the speed limit changed from 75 to 65. But, I still made it to the crater and museum before they closed for the day:

I got some awesome photos:

Here are some fun facts about Meteor Crater you might find interesting:

This was one of the most interesting quotes posted. After seeing a video at the museum on the threat of comets, asteroids, and meteoroids and watching movies in popular culture, many people don't realize how important these objects were in making our planet the habitable one it has become:

On a lighter note, I just had to take a photo of these stairs. We had similar ones up in Syracuse at the student center and you either take really teeny tiny steps going one at a time, or really huge steps by skipping every other one. No normal stepping allowed. Maybe someone can enlighten me as to their purpose?

Outside, they had a big "Wall of Fame" honoring American Astronauts:

And I really liked this photo op. It's a "frame" of the landscape surrounding the Meteor Crater museum:

After Meteor Crater, it was time for me to head on over to Williams, AZ for the next day's Grand Canyon Adventure! Here is the view from my hotel room shortly after I arrived:

The next day started early!!! My tour group took a bus ride to our location in Peach Springs, AZ and then an open-air jeep ride to the base of the Canyon right on the Colorado River. The family I was matched with was from England and they were lots of fun to spend time with. Our driver was also really great, he kept pointing out landmarks and told us about the history and geology of the area. Very interesting!

It started out a cold, overcast day at the Grand Canyon! Unfortunately, I knew we were gonna get soaked on the rafting trip so I kept my camera in a plastic bag the entire time. You'll just have to believe me when I tell you it was awesome! The rapids on the Colorado River rocked!! We even took a few breaks for hiking to a waterfall and using all these ropes to climb up the different rock formations. It was so cool. At the tail end of the trip, we took a helicopter back to a local airport:

It was my first time in a helicopter and it was amazing! The view from inside was breathtaking...

The Grand Canyon and all of Arizona was so wonderful. I know I keep saying this about every location, but I really do wish I had more time to spend there! There is so much to do and 1 day at the Grand Canyon (and even in Sedona) is just not enough. Luckily, I'll now be living only one state over so a visit shouldn't be too difficult.

Later that night it snowed and I had to scrape my car off the next morning. I was in the mountains of Colorado only a few days prior but it snows here in Arizona?? Too funny.

That morning I left to begin my drive into California and I took this photo to mark off another point made on the trip:

The sky was so clear during this drive you could see the mountains in the distance:

And, heh, I thought there were a lot of wind turbines in Kansas, but California certainly had Kansas beat by a long-shot in terms of quantity. There must have been thousands:

My travels brought me to the town of Cabazon where the famous Cabazon Dinosaurs live!

The Apatosaurus' name is "Dinny":

You can go inside Dinny:

And the T-Rex's name is "Mr. Rex" and you can apparently go in him as well but I couldn't find the entrance:

For those of you born before 1985, you might remember these dinosaurs being featured in the movie "The Wizard" with Fred Savage. It involves a kid with superb video gaming skills traveling to California for a completely different purpose. Check it out if you have time; it's a nostalgic, touching movie.

The dinosaurs were originally built over 30 years ago to draw attention to the Wheel Inn Restaurant where I had dinner. It took 11 years to build Dinny the Apatosaurus (who is the largest dinosaur in the world) and 7 years to build Mr. Rex.

As Cabazon is somewhat east of LA, I still had a 2 hour drive south. I took the inland route and got to see some of the rolling green hills:

After almost 2 full weeks of driving, I finally made it to San Diego that night. I was able to get to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park in Point Loma to take these photos of the Pacific:

I want to thank everyone who followed and supported me on my journey westward! It was an amazing trip and I am so happy I finally got to see many things I've always dreamed about. While I am very happy to be in San Diego, I am also kinda sad that my trip is over; a part of me wishes I could stay on the road and be a vagabond forever! I just fell in love with the freedom of it all and I hope to do more traveling again in the future. I've gotten a taste of life on the road and I want more...

Here's to the next adventure in San Diego as I work to build a life in this beautiful, vibrant city! Thanks again everyone!


In this needle and haystack life
I found miracles there in your eyes
It's no accident we're here tonight
We are once in a lifetime, alive...