Go, Kristi!!!

My travels through life and the world.

Days 21-23: The Grand Canyon July 18, 2014

Filed under: Countryside,Hiking,Tourist attractions,Travel,USA — Kristi @ 9:18 am

I left Phoenix and headed north on Monday. In Flagstaff I stopped for some groceries, as I was camping, and when I walked outside there was a torrential down pour. Ridiculous, it’s Arizona, people!!


Anyway, I made it safely to the campground and set myself up. Luckily I was getting used to the afternoon thunder storms so I put the second layer on my tent.


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I then took the shuttle bus to the edge, this was my first view.


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Then I saw this sign, which as a medieval historian made me smile. It also made me warn a couple people not to feed the squirrels. The plague is not fun and because it is so uncommon it is often misdiagnosed. This was definitely something I didn’t think I would have to worry about on my trip.


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On my way back to my camp I saw this guy on the other side of the road. Isn’t is grand?

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The next morning I decided to take the shuttle to the beginning of the rim trail and hike back to the village, it was about 8 miles. I started at Hermit’s Rest and went from there. Here are some pictures of my hike (It was difficult to choose which ones to use because they were all so similar HA!)



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It took me hours, but I made it. Then dinner and sleep, I was exhausted! The next morning I got up early and went back to the visitor’s center took some more pictures in different light. There were also a pair of crows that I thought made a nice picture.


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On my way out of the park, I saw my elk friend again. So handsome!


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I also stopped at the tower at Desert View, which had a really nice view.






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I’ll post about the drive out and the petrified forest later. This is enough for one post. 🙂


Days 20-21: Phoenix, AZ July 11, 2014

Filed under: Countryside,Hiking,Tourist attractions,Travel,USA,Writing — Kristi @ 9:50 am

I decided to drive to Phoenix via CA 78 rather than straight using I 10. It’s all about adventure and interstates just don’t seem adventurous. Anyway, it was a bit adventurous, but we’ll get to that later.


I started through a dry mountain scene, which was lovely but windy so not a lot of pictures.


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But then I got into the sand dunes, which were really cool. I stopped at a pull-off to take some pictures…


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And got stuck in the only patch of sand that was on the parking lot. Luckily just at that moment a Jeep pulled up (with a winch if necessary) and the guys pushed me out. I feel like this was karmic repayment for the overturned Jeep incident last week. In reality I could have dug myself out, but it was nice to not have to as it was 108 degrees. It is also amazing that there happened to be someone at that viewpoint at that time, because I saw almost no cars. So there you go, and here is a picture of the sand pile.


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Then I hit more rocky mountains and my first ever saguaro cacti, there is the picture. When I saw them I started cheering. It was a very exciting moment for me.


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Then I stopped in Buckeye, AZ to check out the local history museum, which was closed, and the Hobo Joe statue that is very large.


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It is monsoon season in the south west, which I didn’t realize, so my wettest time was in the desert. On the plus side, it has created some amazing cloud formations.


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Bryan and I did some work at the local Barnes & Noble.


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And then we tried to go see some ruins but it ended up being much too late, so I went the next day to the Sears Kay ruins. They were built by the Hohokam around 900 years ago. This was my first opportunity to see Native American ruins, but definitely not my last. These were really exciting for me and reminded me of my tour of medieval ruins in the UK a couple years ago.


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It also afforded excellent views of the valley.


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This side trip was on my way to the Grand Canyon, which *spoiler alert* is very grand. I think I took roughly 250 pictures, so I’ll have to try to limit the ones I post. I also went to the petrified forest, which was pretty cool. So you have that to look forward to.


Days 8-9: Portland to California and the Redwoods! June 29, 2014

Filed under: Countryside,Hiking,Tourist attractions,Travel,USA — Kristi @ 9:31 pm

It’s been a while since I posted because of lack of internet, so I have some catching up to do.


I left Portland last Tuesday and drove south along the coast on the 101, it was pretty awesome. This will be the only non-sunny post thus far, but it wasn’t too bad.


I ended up stopping in Port Oxford, OR for lunch and to see the coast. This is where I ate, and this is the view from above the restaurant. Amazing, huh?


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Then I entered The Prehistoric Gardens (duh duh DAAAAAHHHHH!!!). It was pretty awesome!


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It was a rainforest with life-sized dinosaurs. Seriously, it was awesome!


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And I almost got eaten by an elasmosaurus, but I escaped… barely.


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Then I made it to the redwood forest and got the last camp site in the park (I’m a very lucky person). Here is my campsite and my view when I woke up in the morning. Not bad.


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Here are a couple pictures including “Big Tree” which is very big. That picture is terrible, because I asked someone else to take it. Oh well.


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And since I’m not a great camper, I just like sleeping in tents, here’s where I had breakfast. 🙂


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Then I went for a hike in Fern Canyon, near the coast. You see why it is called Fern Canyon. It was really cool, but it was a bit like an obstacle course and I cracked my head on a fallen redwood branch I had to duck under. Ouch! I also saw elk, which was cool.


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This was the view as I was leaving. You’ll notice I don’t have a work picture. I had chosen the perfect spot to work but then it started raining and I figured it would be better to not use my laptop in the rain.


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Next stop, Garden Valley!


Days 6-7 – Portland June 24, 2014

Filed under: Food,Hiking,USA,Writing — Kristi @ 7:36 am

I don’t actually have a lot to post about the last two days, mostly because I kept forgetting my camera.


Sunday we had breakfast at Pine State Biscuits. I had some of the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had, then we checked out of the apartment and went to the Saturday Market on the waterfront. We hung out with my aunt and uncle and then went out to dinner with my cousins. Finally, I met up with my friend Monica (there is a picture of us below somewhere), and drank wine.


Yesterday (Monday) was a bit more exciting. My day started out with productivity! I met up with a friend who teaches in the area and we had a Write-In. Here is my writing picture for the day.




See how diligent we are? This was at a nice coffee shop on Park Avenue.


Then Monica and I decided to do the 4T trail (the 4 Ts are actually: train, trail, tram, and trolly), which allowed me to see a lot of the city including a 4 mile hike. I forgot my camera, but Monica sent me a few pictures.


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We finished up the day with street food (I got Ethiopian, which I have missed since David’s Place closed in Iowa City) and a nice, long dip in the hot tub. I’ve been doing a LOT of hiking and my hip muscles were really starting to hurt. The hot water was lovely!


And that’s it. Today I’m heading to the redwood forest so I won’t have internet for a couple days, and tomorrow to Aunt Kristi’s house in the mountains!


Day 2: Aurora, CO and the Mesa! June 18, 2014

Filed under: Countryside,Hiking,USA — Kristi @ 10:34 pm

First off, this was my work space for the morning. I was productive, YAY! I wrote 587 words and most of them weren’t terrible!




Lunch was a tacos from a food truck. I truly believe that food from the back of a truck tastes better than food from a restaurant. I forgot my camera for that event, so no picture. BUT… when Maneesh got back from his conference we went on an EPIC ADVENTURE!! I learned something today, a “moderate difficulty” hike in Colorado is a bit different from a “moderate difficulty” hike in Iowa. We decided to do a nice hike on North Table Mountain.


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Yeah, so North Table Mountain is, like, a mountain. Granted, it is a low mountain, but still, very mountain-like. And considering there is no air up this high, it was a rough climb. I, of course, was like a mountain goat, or perhaps a gazelle.


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Definitely gazelle. When we got to the top, it was nice and pretty flat. HUZZAH!


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Then it started to hail. BOO! And as you can see, there was no shelter, and hail hurts. We really didn’t end up very far because the sky looked very ominous.  We did climb one more part so I could get a good cliffs view of Golden.


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Finally, we got in the car and came back. About 10 minutes into our drive the sky opened and icy death fell onto the car. Ok, not really death, but it was serious hail and it would have hurt BADLY had we still been on the Mesa. We turned back at the right time. I am exhausted!




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