Sunday, 29 June 2008

Back in the warm
Well, we went through some extremes of temperature in our eight-day trip, from from the dry, intense heat of beautiful Phoenix, Arizona, and the Nevada Desert to the misty chill of San Francisco. I was flabbergasted at the difference!My car has a thermometer which shows the temperature outside in C and F. This was how it registered one afternoon in Phoenix:The light and the heat felt so like home — though Phoenix was even hotter ... ... and of being in Egypt, on the edge of the Sahara, where the air is so dry it almost crackles, and you don't sweat. Or at least when you do, it dries instantly.
From Phoenix, we drove north to Las Vegas for a night. We'd been thinking of driving through Death Valley on our way from Las Vegas to Mammoth, but the forecast was for 130 F (55 C), so we re-navigated and drove a longer way round. Some plans are too crazy-mad even for heat-seeking Australians.On just that one day, we drove from the desert north of Las Vegas (above) up, up into the snow in the Sierra Nevada. It was unbelievably hot in the morning, but at sunset we were breathing in the scent of the sequoias and playing in remnant snow on the side of the road at Mammoth Lake, elevation 9200 feet (2800 m).Yosemite is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been. We had to tear ourselves away. Around every corner there seemed to be another startling view, an even more stunning panorama of Alpine meadows, rushing streams, waterfalls, evergreens and snow-capped mountains.The national parks are so impressive. And they are such a part of American life. Accommodation is made for plenty of activities: you can fish, climb, raft, camp, park your RV, go hiking, get off the beaten track, or just meander about. There are plenty of inconspicuous composting toilets, there's an occasional shop selling refreshments and bait and tackle, but never anything tacky: no kids' playgrounds or souvenir stands.
Unfortunately, soon after the above photo, my dear little Fuji camera went to that big digital lab in the sky, and the rest of my Yosemite shots died with it. But I did get a replacement camera on our last day in San Francisco — phew!

Now we're back in San Diego, unpacking and catching up with the mail and the washing. Lily got back from New Mexico yesterday after a week in Albuquerque with an old friend of hers from Perth, Nathan, who was at Christ Church when she was at MLC. She was desperate for her bed after a week on a yoga mat on the living room floor in a house full of blokes. Lily reckoned their big adobe-style house was great, but not one of the boys had soap or shampoo!

1 comment:

Fairlie said...

You really went to the extremes didn't you!? 46 is a little too hot, even for my liking.

Looks like a magnificent part of the world.