Well we've made it to San Francisco. And according to local accounts we've come at perfect time. with temperatures reaching a sweltering 95 degrees Fahrenheit, I've decided it was the wrong time to come. oh well.
We left Colorado...duh. And it was a real nice and relaxing stay with Evan's Aunt and Uncle and Cousins and his sister as well, so it was a genuine Doering reunion. So I applied make-up and a fake mustache and played along.
It was a healthy and revitalizing stay of a full week, which is longer than we've stayed anywhere else. After a happy and sad departure we said farewell to Colorado, the place where we were proper raised, and made course for the untamed and Mormon state of Utah. We spent our first night in the parking lot of a Best Western, and were passed by countless milk trucks, much to our delight.
On the second day we made our way to Zion National Park where we back-countried our way into the back-country, slept by the foot of a canyon wall (pictured), and I had my stay with hopes of seeing a Mountain Lion/Puma/Cougar, however all I saw were several small lizards and a ground-squirrel, both of which were presumably very endangered and incredibly rare.
We headed out of Zion (which was an extremely beautiful drive for the record), and rolled on down to Californ-I-A. But first I should mention that we went through Arizona, and Nevada (totaling four states in one day), and strayed off the Interstate with high hopes of winning big at the Bellagio. Turns out that Vegas casinos aren't as interested in our business as their Native-American and Canadian brothers, and enforce a 21+ rule. Anyway, we made it to North Hollywood that night, and our buddy Emily graciously put us up for a couple of days.
Los Angeles is a bizarre place. You really need to hang out with someone who knows what they're doing, because we found that it's not that hard to end up driving through the Topenga National Forest if you're looking for a coffee shop. But we did have a great time. We me up with Ben's (this is Evan now, by the way) childhood friend Andy, who moved out to Tinseltown and started working for a company that makes such shows as "Robot Chicken". We grubbed on some really great vegan, and got a complimentary tour of his studio. Really sweet. Lots of dolls, spaceships, and Mac Pros. Also, we were introduced to Seth Green ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001293/ for those of us who live under rocks) and he was very interested in our trip. According to him, Alcatraz was a must see in SF. I don't know that we'll be going though.
So we had a lot of fun with Emily and her ever-so-lovely mother, Marta. There's a lot to do in the city, but at least I feel like we had a successful visit. We didn't go crazy sitting in traffic.
We hit the road on friday afternoon, heading north up Highway 1. Beautiful. I drove the first half of the day, so Ben got to start right as the fog was rolling in and the sun was going down, which made for un-drivable conditions by his standards. Se Tres Wimpé. But I guess it was good and safe to stop after all, we cooked up some beans and fresh tomatoes we picked up from a stand off the highway, and reclined the car seats for yet another terrible night of sleep. The area where we stopped for the night was some sort of parking area right off the highway, it was kind of creepy at night because we had no idea what all a bunch of empty cars were doing in the middle of nowhere. But we woke up to find that we had slept in the car directly next to at a trail that took you right to a beautiful, free campsite overlooking a waterfall. I'm not sure if that's some sort of Karma-related thing, but regardless, it stung.
It didn't take too long the next day to make it to San Fran, we had a tank full of excitement. Since we've been here we've just been bopping around. Valencia St, has been our base camp in the city so-to-say. There's great coffee at Ritual Roasters--a place we were excited to get to since before we left Ann Arbor, cool shops, and cheap food. Everyone is pretty attractive and hip in the city, it's really great. We've been staying with my family friends Dan and Sarah, who have a great place right outside of the city. They have been treating us too well, it's been truly lovely. Who knew the food in California was so good? Most people, I guess.
Anyway, the plan now is to hang out here for a couple more days, then go up to Portland for a couple of days, then Seattle for a couple of days, then potentially Glacier National Park for a couple days, then shoot on home through the UP. But who knows. We haven't really been sticking to any plans, which is how it should be in my opinion//
Overall everything is going well. Ben and I are still friends, which is impressive seeing as we've spent essentially every minute of the last 30 days by each other's side. We're not completely out of money, though it does go fast. We're just enjoying the country. It's a strange and wonderful place. It's a good trip.