Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week Three Observations and Meditations

Week Three Observations and Meditations

I think I've only done one horror movie, Psycho III. That was a walk in the park compared to a romantic comedy.
Carter Burwell

Pics: Black-billed Magpie, one of only a few North American land birds whose tail is longer than its body, Gray Jay (Thanks to SP for the bird id’s!!!!)

Observations: Week 3
1. We are still getting along, only 2+ more weeks to go
2. THB is sometimes up before the crack of dawn, so some sunrise shots
3. We are around 2850 miles at the end of week three
4. We have barely seen a cloud since leaving CA. There were some in the sky in CO on day 20, more on day 21.
5. Thankfully, we only saw our itinerary as a plan and adjusted when we finally started to fade. A bit more driving, a lot more pleasurable to be back in the 60s.
6. The food is continues to be mixed, thank goodness for Hell’s Backbone Grill on Boulder Mountain!
7. Costs of hotels/motels: Boulder Mountain Inn - $155; Moab Hampton Inn - $150; Salida Days Inn - $70 (including breakfast); Estes Park Holiday Inn - $205 (suite with breakfast…scratch that, just suite)
8. Finally, a pastry report; don’t miss Salida!
9. The foreigners dominate the parks we visited west of the Rockies, by huge numbers (in Bryce, one woman estimated 80%, unsolicited), and maybe they know this is the best time of year to travel to these spots

GPS Usage: Basically, once we left Reno, we did not need a GPS. The foldout paper maps (remember those?) are amazingly handy when there are only one or two choices in the great empty spaces of AZ or UT. So, the GPS stayed in the glove compartment (though we have another cigarette lighter plug for it in the front). When we are leaving Rocky Mtn NP to the east to find the hotel, DB’s phone has no bars. We don’t know where the Holiday Inn is. So, fire up the GPS and it starts giving directions. Seems so simple, and the voice starts talking to us. In fact, so simple we turn it off; we’re on the right road. Ooops, here is a fork in the road. Which way? Hmmmmmm….turn back on the GPS, it routes us right back towards the fork, and there is the hotel. It’s set back on the curve, so we didn’t see it. A lot easier from this direction! We are such GPS-novices…

Fear of heights vs fear of dying: THB has been thinking (rather than just writing down every little thing that happens, day after day after day after day). What was it about Angels Landing in Zion that intimidated him and many others. Lots of people have a fear of heights, any heights. Put them near a floor to ceiling window in a high rise, even on the third floor, let alone the 50th floor, and it is nervous time. THB doesn’t have that level of fear. And, THB will buckle up to the rail and look over (while holding on) at all these magnificent overlooks, without sweating. So, minor fear of heights. Yet on Angels Landing, it was different. Palm sweating different. One lousy move, one slip on the chain, and that was it, no more blogging. One or so do die every year on this hike, one even from the relatively safe spot right when you get off the trail (this ledge is at least 30 feet wide). Somehow, taking a hike (recreational and healthy) and not coming back seemed extreme to THB. Yes, plenty of people scamper out there (THB knows one personally, and she is an easygoing cheerful upbeat person with extraordinary foot coordination). And, for the most part, they come back. Is it worth it? THB thought it was worth going part way…and then came back. To tend to the blog, to send out thousands of words, to eat pastry again, to hike many a hot, dusty trail with DB (DB may not be so happy about this part). So, more fear of dying than height? If you make it to Zion, give the question a real-life test.

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