Sunday, April 25, 2010

Desert trails

Just 40 miles west of Gila Bend, Arizona, the Saguaros in my rearview mirror provide a pleasant, friendly foreground to the fading desert mountains.


Yes, friendly! See them waving to us?

Wow, we just realize we've never seen this desert decorated with such fresh vegetation and blooming flowers. {Deserts recommended time of year to travel, Springtime!}

I've never really appreciated the desert setting to the extent that my friends and family have. As we sit in this Blue Honda Element coasting the hot desert interstate, I now see its beauty. Yes, you desert, you won me over on this drive. Even with your gusting winds catching every square inch of the box-like Element and creating challenging conditions for my captain here, Dana. Killer Dana, they call him. I know him as my brother but for many, a long story awaits those curious of how he got such a nickname. You should see him on the dancefloor... and I digress.

Here we are, on Interstate 8 Westbound towards San Diego from Tucson. Wow, what a trip that wedding was. All you need to know is that both sides of the wedding were Irish, 'nuff said. Top o the mornin to ye! Perhaps it's the remnants of an Irish Wedding weekend in the desert that resembles all the symptoms of a hangover on this drive. Regardless, this is a beautiful drive, blue skies with Walt Disney-shaped clouds and a rainbow on the ground with every color of the spectrum illuminated through wild desert flowers.

We chase the sun at a rate of 75 miles per hour and are all smiles..

The wind finally calms with every inch the sun creeps towards the horizon

We approach San Diego and my new appreciation for deserts settles into my skin. The ideal beginning to a road trip. Now lets see what the coast offers for us 'Zonies'! (a term San Diegans use for Arizona visitors who flood the coast every summer to escape the desert heat)

How do you do San Diego?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On the Road Again...

Scores are settled, jobs completed, gas tank is full, bags are loaded and we have snacks and supplies. One grand road trip awaits. How did this come about?

It all started with a wedding invitation and has evolved into the makings of a 2 week road extravaganza with my brother and good buddy Reed. There is no better way of kicking off two weeks on the road of freedom from any commitments or accountability by going to a wedding, right? Marriage is one of humans' most sincere commitment, or at least it used to be. Needless to say, I wish Moira Murphy Cairns and Sean McGovern all the best in their own upcoming adventure! Now back to our little adventure celebrating bachelor-hood.

My brother and I figured that we would follow up the wedding in Tucson by taking the short 6 hour drive west to San Diego like any other Arizona resident would do. Then we figured, since we'll already be in California, we might as well just see all the great parts of the state while we can, after all we're young and single bachelors right? Let's take advantage of this. The timing couldn't be any better as Dana, Reed and I have just completed a long winter of working at local ski resorts. We must transition into summer by partaking in some quality beach and desert time. Reed, my current roomie here in CO, has hardly ever seen any parts of California. Dana and I, looking for any excuse for extra travels, presumably designed the rest of the trip as tour guides catering to our friends' needs, discovering all that is California. Being a Cali tourist instead of a resident will be a nice change of pace. You mean I don't have to pay twice as much rent per month as anywhere else to fund my landlords' Mercedes?? Count me in!

The current itinerary from San Diego consists of driving up Pacific Coast Highway, Hwy 1 all the way to San Francisco with a quick pit stop in Los Angeles to see a few friends. Wait, quick pit stop in LA? Not possible, ok so a day long pit stop in LA indulging in smog and traffic, sweeeet! Then we'll continue up Hwy 1 to Big Sur where we plan to camp for a night on the coast. This will be a nice intermediary between LA and San Francisco. Then we continue North to SF, my personal favorite U.S. city, to visit friends and see all of the great landmarks. After a few days of the most beautiful city on this trip we'll follow it up by heading East to Yosemite National Park. This part wasn't in our original plan but we caught wind that its Free National Parks week the week we'll be there, its a sign! Yosemite will be a first for all 3 of us, thus we plan to set up camp and spend 2 days there. Then we plan to venture through Nevada and Utah on Highway 50, loneliest Highway in America, how can we skip something that significant?

With all this said, you all know I love to document my travels more than my complacency, thus I will have more blog posts coming soon sharing our ups, downs and in betweens with pictures and all. So please stay tuned if you wish to vicariously experience this with us! Ciao for now amigos :)