Finally, our vacation has arrived. In a couple of days we will be off and away on another anticipated adventure to a far away land. We have no idea what to expect. We cannot speak the language and have no relatives to visit. We are down to the wire. What to pack, what not to pack, how much to bring, what to leave behind. Decisions, decisions.
During the past few weeks I had been mulling things over in my mind and have come up with a simple solution and making compromises. I merely made a short list of must haves like; netbook, main camera, backup camera chargers, cables, spare batteries, tripod, and flash unit. Then I thought what if my external drive dropped on the floor then my photos would be lost, so now I am bringing an external DVD writer and purchased some DL DVDs. I even burnt a DVD to make sure things worked the way I imagined. I put an SD card in the slot and burned direct to DVD as a test. Then I thought what if my luggage got lost and I had no chargers so I am bringing a universal charger in my backpack as a spare. The universal charger is able to charge all the batteries I have, except for the netbook. So after I packed the essentials I started to add some clothes and ended up with 5 T-shirts, 1 extra jeans, shorts and under-essentials and just buy what I am missing, after all, everything is made there anyway.
We have been fairly busy every weekend but I finally had a chance to work on my video to wrap up the Gastown Blues & Chili Festival . There was great music from a few local groups and we just sat there enjoying the music and eating chili . Here is but a small sample of what we experienced.
If you have been following Gary France on his cross country HD tour of the USA you will see some stunning photos he took while in Arizona and Utah. By co-incidence I was trying to clean up my hard drive and was archiving some photos we took on our trip to Utah, Arizona and Nevada . I was looking at my photos and thinking of Gary on his HD and dreaming that I was there too on my V-Strom. It is such a beautiful part of the country and I would like to return again to the Moab/Arches area and spend some more time there photographing.
Actually, I prefer road trips and I always consult a map to find roads that look interesting which I had not taken before. Like a seasoned traveller, which I am not, I like to take the roads less travelled and stop for many photos. It is more about the journey than actually getting there. It is the road and the people you meet along the way that brings back memories of good times and the freedom to decide which way to go every time you reach a fork in the road. While photos invoke memories of the past, sometimes they do no good by just residing on a hard drive or written to a DVD. It is about sharing your experiences and helping others to discover for themselves a part of the country which they may like to experience, first hand for themselves. I enjoy viewing photos taken by others and I have greatly enjoyed the ones that Gary has taken.
Other than arriving at an exotic location, this trip will not be much different than any other trip. I have my camera(s), my netbook, lots of memory cards and a system to back them up. Our flight flies direct to Beijing and after a few days we fly over to Shanghai for the world's fair.
I leave you with the following photos taken on our Big Circle tour of the National Parks of Utah and Arizona. We will be back in a couple of weeks with more stories to tell . (photos in no particular order)
(Main Street, Oatman, Route 66)
We had to drive along the famed Route 66. We wanted to feed the wild Donkeys so we purchased carrots in a supermarket in Laughlan, NV. After we fed one of them, they followed us into the store and it was hard to keep them away. They were very aggressive
(Arches National Park, Spectacle Arch)
I just love Arches NP and want to spend more time there, Next time . . .
(Canyonlands National Park, Mule trail to the bottom of the canyon)
There is over 1,000. miles of roads down in the canyon BUT the roads are restricted to 4x4's only. I think the next time we will rent a jeep from Pink Jeep Tours.
(Bryce Canyon, after an early morning snowstorm)
We arrived early to find the road to the south rim closed due to heavy snow. The Ranger told us they closed the trails due to too much ice and they were tired of having to rescue all the hikers. We had a terrible time navigating to the lookout because of the slippery walkways.
(near Red Rock Canyon)
We were not used to seeing rock formations like these so I had to stop for a photo
Did I mention that it was very slippery there ? Lucky thing we brought our hiking sticks
(South Rim, Grand Canyon)
The Grand Canyon is a magical place. One evening we stayed for the sunset and the next morning we arrived before sunrise and it was spectacular to see the sun creep over the mountain and light up the canyon. It is such a peaceful place and you realize that you are just a small speck on the landscape.
Since we are heading "on the road", here is one for the road
Back soon, stay tuned . . . next stop Beijing, China
will try to post a photo or two if I can find internet access.