Eiko risks vacation!

US roadtrip from October 20 to November 11 2015


  1. Day 21

  2. After a visit to a Starbucks in the early morning for a coffee (there were none in the forgotten parts of the world I stayed in throughout the last week) I drove from Visalia to San Francisco and am staying at yet another very lovely AirBnB. The road trip is over, and I celebrated it with walks on the beautiful beaches of California! Tomorrow will see me flying to Chicago for a conference, so the work part of my trip continues after these 3 amazing weeks of vacation.
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  6. Recap

  7. This is the perfect time for a recap. Overall, I hiked around 350 km. And that is pretty lazy compared to my car, who hiked considerably further, about 6400 km (4000 miles). I visited four States, and was incredibly lucky with the weather: only once did I get wet, and that was on the morning of the very first day in Tucson in Sabino Canyon.

    I visited ...
  8. Arizona
    Sabino Canyon
    Mount Lemmon
    Biosphere 2
    Castle Montezuma
    Westfork Trail
    Grand Canyon National Park
    Meteor Crater
    Navajo Reservation
    Petrified Forest / Painted Desert National Park
    Fort Defiance
    Canyon de Chelly
    Monument Valley
    Horseshoe Bend
    Lower Antelope Canyon

    St George
    Zion National Park
    Bryce National Park

    Las Vegas
    Amargosa Opera House

    Death Valley National Park
    El Portal
    Yosemite National Park
    Sequoia National Park
    Big Sur
    San Francisco
  9. A few things remain to be said.
  10. Californian highways: so the driving in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada was much better than I expected ... Europeans have a lot of stereotypes about Americans that cannot drive. Actually, most Americans complain a lot about American drivers in general as well. All was good until I drove in California ... it's a nightmare here. I've been on highways at least 20 hours in total, and the only judicious model that generates the observed pattern of behavior is this: as soon as there rare 3 lanes and a speed limit of 65mph, drivers seem to (1) choose a lane at random, (2) pick a speed between 50 and 75 mph at random, (3) and stay in the respective lanes and at the respective speed. They do avoid the right lane which is mostly empty, apart from random trucks that are usually quite fast. So the only way to make progress is to pass cars left and right like in a bad action movie, which is somewhat dangerous. Meh.
  11. Best road sign today: "Next stop - Freedom"
  12. Amazing basketball team name: "New Orleans Pelicans" (pelicans??)
  13. Thought of the day: "Woodpecker" is a weird word
  14. Best typo on my trip: "Expresso" on a huge professional Subways billboard in Southern Utah. Note that many Americans for some reason actually pronounce the way with an "x" in it.
  15. That's it folks. Roadtrip Eiko over and out!

  16. Day 20

  17. I left Yosemite veeery early in the morning, and the atmosphere had something from the Blair Witch Project.
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  19. It's a 2.5 hours drive to Sequoia National Park, where the biggest trees on this planet live: giant sequoia! First, I climbed Moro Rock ...
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  22. ... and then I said "Hi" to some well-known giant sequoia.
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