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Road Trip 2011

In April 2011 we did a little road trip over the Easter week, partly as a somewhat late celebration for our 10th anniversiary.

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Started with a full day of driving from San Francisco to Flagstaff AZ which we used as a base to discover the area. Spent a day walking the charming downtown and looking at the old indian ruins at Wupatki and Sunset Crater and the great landscape around there. In the evening we drove down the scenic Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona for a colorful sunset and some food.

The next day we headed up to the south rim of Grand Canyon national park. We hiked down the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point, a fantastic but pretty tough day hike at 12.2 miles and some 3000 feet down from the rim. We were lucky with very pleasant temperatues and slight overcast. I did this same hike almost 20 years ago with my buddy Peter Öhman when we travelled the area and we never made it past the Indian Garden that day due to very high temperatues.

With aching legs we then headed to Las Vegas for some rest and recreation. Watched a great show at Absinthe which was refreshingly raw and real in an otherwise somewhat tacky towen. After we had enough of the neon light we picked up a rental boat at Willow Beach Marina and spent a whole day on the Colorado River exploring and picknicking.

Headed north from Las Vegas into Death Valley. Daytripped in the first day for some great canyon hiking and the badwater salt flats before heading to Beatty for the night. All the park accomodations were booked out so next time I'll try to plan ahead a bit and stay inside the park.

Leaving Beatty in the morning we visited the small ghost town of Rhyolite before driving the Titus Canyon dirt road back into the park. Spend the afternoon climbing the sand dunes of Mesquite Flats before heading west out of the park. We originally intended to head north on route 395 but the weather forecast looked so dire we turned south for Santa Monica instead.

Spent a day exploring the charming Venice boardwalk and charming canals before heading over to Santa Monica Third Street Promenade for shopping, people browsing and the best meal of the trip at Musha Restaurant.

Heading homewards we took the 101 route and stopped by in Solvang, a little Danish village in the middle of Santa Ynez Valley. Somewhat surreal to walk around the place as a Scandinavian because it sure feels like you're back there. Somewhat touristy but well worth the visit.

A great little 2400 miles sampler of the south west, hope to do it again soon.