We’re Back

See we actually (may) have some sort of excuse for our untimely manner and negligence of this blog. Back in the Grand Canyon (some two weeks ago) the apple struck us on the head and we suddenly realized that we had a short amount of time left. We grabbed a map, sat down to drink some hot cocoa (naturally its monsoon season at the grand canyon and when those puppies strike we found you want to be inside) and started planning the rest of our route. We are sorry to all of those who lost faith in us after not having a blog post for over 2 weeks, but shamefully we pick our heads up and make a promise that from now on there will be a post at least every 3 (to 4) days. We’re sorry but please understand we have been in mostly national parks which (thankfully) are still disconnected from the rest of the world.
So let us begin where we left off. The Grand Canyon. “Well it’s not small” was our running joke at this larger than life canyon, We’d repeat this as we dodged European families who were taking advantage of the dollar and spending their summer vacations in American hot spots. They’ve been everywhere. And really the European families are not as cool as say the backpackers we ran into at the beginning of this trip. But ah, the Grand Canyon, what a view. We spent 3 days there hiking up and down the Canyon (unlike most hikes, at the Canyon its ten times harder when you’re walking back up). Here we went to a ranger talk on stars on the 3rd  and celebrated the 4th of July by going to a parade in the small town just outside of the Canyon. Really our pictures and videos can paint a better picture of the Canyon for us than our words.
After the Petite Canyon we wound up damning the man at the Hoover Dam and then found ourselves in Vegas. Not really a trip we had in mind, but because we were driving threw it we decided to stop. Well we spent 12 whole hours in Vegas and decided that was quite enough, its not really a great town to go to when your living off a limited budget. But we spent 4 dollars and made 4 dollars thanks to Kenny’s excellent poker skills. We did decide to get married though, and if anyone is interested we registered at Shell gas station. We tried to sleep in Kenny’s car here, but were woken up by the parking lot security worker at 6 am.  After being informed that we couldn’t stay in the lot, we decided to just scadadle out of Vegas and move onto our next stop. Joshua Tree California.
We spent 2 days in Joshua Tree, a rocky desert national park in California. Along the way many of our campsite do not have water, but we find ways to manage (who needs to shower?). Here the case was much the same, but we often forgot how fast the desert could suck the H2O out of you. Elly got loopy a couple of times (or maybe that was her normal self), and Kenny thought he saw an Olympic sized swimming pool somewhere out in the middle of the desert. These mirages made the journey much more interesting. In Joshua tree we….saved a half smashed lizard on the side of the road, hiked up to the top of Mount Ryan, watched the stars shoot across us from the top of these huge boulders by our site, made popcorn over a fire, bought our first (and probably only) pile of camp wood (Kenny normally takes a small axe and tries to find the wood in nearby forests like a “man”) and began the never ending search for In N Outs. After getting all we could out of this small national park we headed on over to LA to see Lauren, one of our best friends from school who is leaving soon to study medicine in Australia for two years.
LA was “hott.” Lauren showed us around , introduced us to her friends and brought us to the ocean. Here we dashed in and out of the waves, which were as cold as those in Lake Superior and chillaxed with Laur. That evening we all attempted our culinary skills and made some grub. After doing a couple of loads of laundry we packed up or things the next day and left for Sequoia. Not knowing when we would see Lauren again, it was difficult to say goodbye to Miss Schiff and her family.
Before we completely got out of the area, we went to see our mentor Kristin, who has been guiding us along the way from Roadtrip nation. She showed us around the office (we’re we got to see the green RVs) and then took us out for ice cream with some other roadtrip nation employees. We loved how excited everyone was at this small independent company and how great the work environment seamed. It was awesome to meet Kristin who we’ve been in touch with since we got the grant in April and everyone else who was more than helpful, giving advice from everything to what roads we should take when driving up to Oregon to Charlise helping Elly get acquainted with London (she had also gone to London to get her masters a few years before and her advise was exactly what Elly needed to hear).
And before we really really got out of LA we needed to make one more stop to see some of Ellys friends from her Thailand semester. Naturally we met Dancer, and Tess at a Thai restaurant near Occidental College (where Dancer goes) and spent a dinner catching up. After spending such an intense amount of time together in Thailand (4 months with only 33 kids in the program means everyone knows everyone inside and out) it was great to see Tess.i.lou and Dancer again in America and talk about how different life is after our Thai experience and how difficult it was (is) to get back to a normal American lifestyle. Knowing we’d stay in touch we left Tess and Dancer and began our journey to what we though would be the sequoias.
But we didn’t realize that Sequoia national park does not have an East entrance until 2 am when we thought we were almost there. Whoops. We spent a night in the car and decided Sequoia wasn’t worth the effort, so the next morning we opted to spend an extra day in Yosemite and trekked it straight up the Sierra Nevada. Luckily Elly’s Aunt Di (who was also planning a trip to Yosemite) had given us a book on this national park last Easter when she discovered we would be going. The book was a life savor and brought us to what we may consider the most beautiful place in the world. Just outside of Yosemite there is a walk in campsite (cars are parked a couple of hundred yards away) that only had ten sites, each about an acre big. At our little site there was a river that cut below us in the rocks, on the other side of the river, across from us was a green valley full of critters and beyond that were mountains with snow on their tops. Well we just thought we were in heaven (especially after traveling inside Yosemite and seeing the family vacation infestation of Yosemite in the summer). We took our time in Yosemite and made sure to see everything. We went on a 18 mile hike, and many other smaller hikes, a play on the buffalo soldiers who once worked there, and finally got to see those Sequoias! Our only blunder was the small fact that one day we forgot to close the windows in our tent and it rained. It got below 50 most of the nights we were in Yosemite, making us wish we had our long underwear and some hot cocoa.
And from Yosemite we put flowers in our hair and headed beyond San Francisco to our good friend Woody’s in Santa Rosa. First though we had to come back through the Sierra Nevada, with its windy roads and sharp turns, this was the first time in the trip that anyone got car sick. After Elly lost her lunch on the side of the road, we thought the worst of the journey was over, however we were mistaken when later we experienced another first and lost a tire. It was quite the tragedy, but thankfully there was In N Outs and the promise of seeing Woody which kept us on the move.
And there you have it, right now we are staying at Woody’s parents home in Santa Rosa. Yesterday we went to our first winery and knowing nothing about wine besides how to open it from out of a box, we  pretended we could taste the difference between the Merlot and the Zinfendel. We will be staying with Woody for a couple of more days, and then drive up the coast to Oregon. From there we are headed to Seattle and then over to Glacier National park. Then Yellowstone, the Rockies, Utah and then a straight shoot over to Chicago by August 15th, and finally up to good ol’ Cheboygan by the 17th where the roadtrip will inevitably have to end.
But before all of that we still have lots more adventures. We’re sorry if anyone has been having a hard time getting a hold of us. For most of the past two weeks we have been out of cell phone reception range. Our cells will most likely continue to be dodgy for the next couple weeks as we head in and out of the mountains. But we promise to update this baby  every couple of days from now on.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Eric Lee said,

    A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

  2. 2

    Emily Camm said,

    hey! i was just in yosemite, saw the big trees, was in santa rose drinking wine at wineries and in San Fran! i hope you had a great time too…and im jealous of your yosemite experience…cause i saw too many tourist the whole time….boo.

    Travel safe and put up some more pictures!

  3. 3

    Dave said,

    The photos are BEAUTIFUL!!! What an experience. Thanks for sharing them.

    Love ya both,


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