Road Trip 2007 in 100 Pictures
Tina and I went on a road trip in late April of 2007. We drove through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and even hit parts of Montana, Utah, and Nevada. Total time was 2 weeks and we drove over 5,000 miles. We now present to you 100 pictures from this trip (actually less since I removed a few, but close enough)...
Our first major stop as we headed out of California was Joshua Tree National Park. Here is a picture of a baby Joshua Tree. The biggest one in the park is about 40 feet high and is estimated to be around 300 years old. These trees do not have growth rings, so the estimate is determined by average annual growth.
Although named after the aforementioned tree, this park is best known as a rock-climbing mecca. Pictured is "baseball cap rock". This picture doesn't show it very well (took it from the car), but you can see how that single flat boulder just out over the large, round boulder below it.
This is called "skull rock".
The rocks here vary from easy (pictured) to brutal. There is one I remember called "the burrito" and it was pretty much a vertical climb many stories up. I should note that the texture on the rocks is very rough like sandpaper, so be careful even if you are doing casual climbing.
Our next stop was Saguaro National Park in Arizona. You will probably think of this cactus as the cliche type that you see in cartoons and such. There were thousands of these here - it's kind of unreal how you will be in a plain desert with nothing and then suddenly you are surrounded by these things as far as the eye can see.
Here's my ugly mug - we're inside a rock picnicking structure we randomly found in the park. Note that Tina was in charge of the camera 90% of the time (I was in charge of the camcorder, which you can see on the table). This means that you will find a lot of shots of me (often candid and from behind) and you will see lots of pictures of...
...our litttle dog Atty! Here he is surveying the area from the high ground (for him).
Our next stop was White Sands National Monument in southwest New Mexico. These are white sand dunes that were formed from gypsum accumulation.
It was very windy there...
...but our little dune dog enjoyed it nonetheless. Atty is very much at home in sand dunes (he has semi-webbed paws) and I'd go so far as to say it is his favorite environment.
This is a good sampling of the vastness of the dunes. What's interesting is that you will see areas that are slightly darker in color. Walking over them (barefoot), you will feel dampness underneath. Although most dunes are associated with dry desert, this area was very damp (some areas were flooded and uncrossable). The whole thing is sort of a water basin. This was one of my favorite places on the trip because it really was amazingly different than everything else.
Here is the main entrance to Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico). This was one of our main goals of the trip.
One thing that is really neat about Carlsbad Caverns is the amount of very distinct formations they have and the clever names they come up with to represent them. One of my other favorites was "mirror pond" because the sign was printed backwards so that you could read it properly in the pool (sorry, no pic of that one).
What really sets CC apart from other caves we've gone to though is the sheer size of the chambers. This particular picture came out great - you can really see the density of the "straw" stalactites.
This just looks weird, so I thought I'd post it. The top almost looke like a baby "Aliens" head.
Another weird formation. Note that I had to toss about 75% of the pictures we took since lighting made it extremely diffucult to get clean shots.
Does this qualify us as an adult website?
This is one of the original ladders used to explore the caves. Yeah, that looks safe.
One thing I really love about caves like this is how organic and alive they feel.
It's almost like you can imagine those things as feelers wiggling. Or the mouth of something, dripping saliva.
Another great shot detailing some nice columns and other formations. On a side note, Tina lost her wallet while we were exploring the caves. Let me tell you, that is a really easy way to put a damper on a road trip. Luckily, it turned up in lost and found the next day (we camped close by, so we just came back to get it).
Here's Tina at a resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico called La Posada de Santa Fe. We actually visited four resorts from the same chain through a special promotion they were having. This was by far the worst of the four, despite the fact that it looks nice here. I wouldn't recommend it. In fact, I'd recommend you stay away from Santa Fe altogether if you could avoid it. Expensive, snooty, and dirty about sums it up.
Here's me making s'mores in a kiln. Yummy!