Thursday, 27 May 2010

I missed New York in June

I was lucky with the weather again. Fine weather and hot days.
Yesterday, I walked nearly 200 blocks. Went to Rockefeller center, Grand Central Station, Empire state building and Madison Square Garden. Most of the major sights in the area. Grand central station wasn't the plan but somehow I walked into it. It was big. There were guards with machine gun. Empire state building was too tall that I couldn't grasp the size of it. Standing on a street by it, you can't see the top. Yesterday was the hottest day in my New York days. It reminded me what summer was like.They did something to the air conditioner yesterday and the room was less stinky! yes!!
I went to the Wall street, a park where you can see the statue of liberty, and Ground Zero today. This time, I took the subway. Tall buildings with narrow road is what wall street is like. Many tourist. I thought why not hop on a ferry to see the statue of liberty closer, but since the queue was so long, I decided not to. Again, many tourist. From there to Ground zero was about ten minutes walk. The place where it happened. Very shocking sight. Maybe it was because of the cloudiness in the sky, or because of fewer tourist on sight, I don't know, but the atmosphere there was definitely less merrier than the others. To see it, you have to be there.

Today was my last day in the U.S. So soon. But also, I feel the day I flew in San Francisco was hundred years ago. Many things happened. Thankfully, they are all good memories. Next stop will be London. I haven't decided how long I will stay in the U.K. After America, there is absolutely no plan. I'll stay wherever whenever. If I like the place, it will be a long stay. If not, move on.
I think I'll come back to America someday. There are so many things I missed. It's impossible to see this insanely huge country in six weeks. I'm glad nothing bad happened, and I hope it to stay the same way rest of my trip. Touch wood.
I missed New York in June so I don't know if I like it or not. But May wasn't too bad.

another early rising tomorrow to catch the eight o'clock flight.
photo was taken at grand central station.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

new york

Yesterday's flight wasn't too bad. Five hours and a bit flight didn't feel so long. Maybe I got use to it since I've been driving for such hours on my car.
New York city was humid and warm than I imagined. I had to ride the subway to get to the hostel, and it was more humid and warm in there. Reached hostel around eight thirty. My room was even more humid and hot. And worse, it stinks. I don't know how to describe it, but it's like a stinky sock or a foot. Or an animal pee. The way air flows in the room is so bad that the smell doesn't escape. The aroma is aging. And as it does, the stink gets worse. Every time someone enters the room, they go "phew!". I hope it to go away soon.
I walked to central park today. Goodness of this hostel is it's location. To central park, it's only a few blocks walk. Another nice day. After walking in the park, I entered the metropolitan museum of art. Also known as the MET. Incredibly big. I've been walking in the building for nearly four hours, but still there are things to see. Many famous arts that even I knew.
Going to the MET, I found out one thing today. My experiment to become a Mexican is nearly over. When I entered the museum, I didn't understand what the lady by the desk said, so I asked pardon? Then she answered in Spanish!! I didn't understand what she said, of course, but it sounded like Spanish. I said "what?" after that and she answered "leave your luggage in the room please." okay…strange thing. It never happened before so I was a bit amazed. But a very funny experience. I couldn't help grinning after leaving the entrance.

I'll see around the city again tomorrow. I didn't think New York was this hot. But it's better than a rainy or a windy cold day.

picture was taken at the central park

Sunday, 23 May 2010

hither and thither

As usual, three days in San Francisco went away very quickly.
Yesterday I didn't go out much. Instead, stayed inside and watched the champions league final. I didn't notice that it was yesterday, but my roommate was talking about it excitedly so I decided to watch. At least that was what I thought I was going to do. There is a theatre room here and that was going to be our stadium, but despite the fact that there are thousands of channel, the program we wanted to see wasn't on! Come on!! Forget about the theatre, we decided to move to a sports bar nearby. And yes they were showing it. We missed like twenty minutes, but not a big deal, score was 0-0…well, that wasn't an issue, but we being there was kind of an issue. The bartender said "you two, you have your ID?" us, as we shook our heads side to side "……" bartender "well, you can't stay here then. It says on the front door." Since my roommate is 20 (he sure look older than me), we had to leave the place. We were this close to see one of the biggest match of the year. After that, our final option was to go back to our room and watch it on the internet. Which wasn't so great. Kept stopping because of the slow internet and stuff. Anyway, that was yesterdays high light. We went out a bit afternoon but that was it.
Today, I followed my roommate's advice again. Visit Alcatraz. I wasn't that in to it, but I thought why not, it's famous and it could be a great experience. So after having breakfast, we headed for the port to catch a ferry to go to Alcatraz. But we found out that ticket for today's tour were all sold out. Oops. We decided to see the "America's crookedest street" instead. Very crooked indeed. I can't imagine someone would want to drive that road. Not fun. After that, we came back to the hostel.
It may sound I was unlucky time to time, but I had a good time here. In San Francisco you can just go around the neighborhood to see the city, or do a real sightseeing, such as Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, Cable car, crooked street and so on. Anyways you can see many things in this city. Even now, just sitting on my bed with my mac, I can here a man playing saxophone, and many police cars, people laughing or shouting sometimes… there are many things going on around you wherever you are. Also I had fine weather here too.

Tomorrow I'll fly to New York. Don't know what it's going to be like but I hear many positive things about the city. Hope the weather will be nice again.

not a good picture, but it's a very crooked road.

Friday, 21 May 2010

San Francisco

Morning, I've finished my task of the day, to return my vehicle. I didn't like driving on the freeway in the morning when there are many cars and there were many turns to make to get to the car return station. But after finding the right place, it was easy. What I had to do was just leave the key in the car and done. That was it, bye and thank you my black mazda. Despite the long drive and many rough roads, he did a very fine job. I have no single complaint about the car.
After that, I didn't have a plan. So I headed for the hostel located in downtown. Checking in went okay, and I'll be spending three nights here till Monday when I fly to N.Y.
Since I didn't know what to look, I strolled through downtown. I had lunch at Japanese restaurant! I've always avoided Japanese food, but I heard Japanese food in San Francisco isn't too bad. I had a Japanese curry. That was the main menu of the place, and I love curry. Who doesn't I wonder. It was great! It has been a long time since I had japonica. Which was also great.
After lunch, I resumed my walk. In one street some guy will come to me and ask "could ya give me some quarters man?" and as I walk around the bend, I see big hotel where you don't even have to open the car door yourself. Like Redwood in a way, poor and rich in one sight. Although I wouldn't say it's the goodness of the place in this case.

I guess I'll see around the city again tomorrow, maybe pop into one of the museums.

picture: hare near Point Reyes yesterday morning

Thursday, 20 May 2010

it's a long one

I had an awesome time in Redwood N.P. I left Portland around four in the morning. I was worried if I could have an available camping site, but there was no need to worry. When I asked at visitor center, she said it's highly unlikely to be full. It's not yet the season to be so. As I decided my camp site, I set my tent and started hiking in the woods where the redwoods are. Spectacular!! Those trees are really huge and old. Many moss were growing on them, some had moss all over so that the tree was colored in varieties of green. I like the place so much. It was like a jungle. Cool and wet air but it wasn't uncomfortably humid. I guess the wetness is the key for those redwoods to live so tall and long time. After walking through a forest of big trees, river surrounded by walls filled with ferns, I came out in front of the ocean again. That is the best thing about this park, beautiful jungle and pacific ocean together! And the camping site is by the beach. It's all good out there.
Cooked dinner and went to bed(sleeping bag/tent) as the darkness came. That day was very long.
Yesterday. After the lesson in Zion N.P., I slept okay. Strong winds woke me couple of times, but every time I could hear the sound of waves crushing into the beach. It was nice. Weather wasn't great yesterday. As I finished eating my breakfast, it started to rain. Left the place and headed for Point Reyes hostel. Maybe it was another six-seven hours drive, but it felt very long. Anyhow, Point Reyes was very peaceful place. Thick mist through the hills and forests made the place very mystical.
Today. I heard there was a monster in the room again. But I knew he was going to annoy me, so I had my ear plugs beforehand. But I bet the monster last night won't stand a chance against my monster. He'll breakthrough my ear plugs and shake my brain. Only HE is capable of such an evil deed. In a way, I miss his snore. Maybe I liked it…no, noway.
Gone for a morning hike in the morning and then drove to the next hostel, Fisherman's wharf. To reach there I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge. It was big and red. After checking in at hostel I walked to the bridge and had lunch. There were many dog running around joyfully in the water. I miss my brother Bob…
I'll have to return my mazda tomorrow. Sad, but happy in a way. Since I don't have to worry about a parking space, or a police, speed, traffic, it's sometimes easier without a car. Especially in a city like San Francisco or New York.
Last weekend in the U.S.

picture: the bridge and my bro'

Monday, 17 May 2010

In the City

I looked around downtown Portland this morning as I planned. The weather was fine again!
It was very green. Trees planted on the streets and many parks in or near the city. The thing I was most amazed was that there were electric vehicle charging stations!(picture below) Didn't see any EVs, but the way they are acting is very advanced.
I checked out the Lovejoy fountain park after walking around downtown. One of the few things I remember from my school days. Somehow I remembered teacher talking about Portland and the Lovejoy…. I think because the name was announced more than once, and the teacher was always recommending Portland. I was very excited to see the park, but the water wasn't there and the fountain wasn't fountaining. Still, some were studying, eating lunch, smoking a tobacco, talking…it is very nice that there is a place like that for people to gather.

Got cloudy and it rained a bit in the afternoon. It didn't last more than an hour. Made the street cooler and the temperature low. Nice.

I'm planning to wake up early and head south to redwood national park. I want to camp a night there since there are no hostels around, but maybe there won't be an empty space for me. That's the reason for the early rising, to enhance the chance of winning a space.
picture above: the magical see through building

Sunday, 16 May 2010


I left Boise around ten. Shame I had to leave so soon, it was a very cozy hostel.
About seven hours drive and I reached Portland. It was another fine day, but it rained a bit. I only had storm or no rain at all, so it was very refreshing to have a shower rain. Smell and the greenness in Oregon is very spring like. Back in the west coast area.
I haven't seen the city yet, but the area where the hostel is looks okay. The hostel I'm staying at now is very "green". They think about environment a lot. Recycle, rain water reuse, green roof… it's nice to be green. I hear the city is also like that, so I hope I'll see how it's done tomorrow when I look around the city.

Stay here for two days, and hit the road again.
picture was taken yesterday at Yellowstone.

Saturday, 15 May 2010


I looked around in the Yellowstone in the morning and drove west to a place called Boise. It was about six-seven hours drive.
Another fine day at the park. Many bison(=buffalo. I think…) and mule deers on the rode again. It was in a distance so a bit difficult to see, but the bird like thing perched on a tree on the right is a bald eagle. And her nest on the left. I rode the same road yesterday but there was no sign. Today was the lucky day. No bear though.
Short post. tired from the sun attacking me while driving. I think I'll go to Portland tomorrow. I here people saying it's a nice place. But I won't be spending a long time there since I don't have much time before returning the car.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Yellowstone national park

Yellowstone=incredible. It's so vast. And the park is well managed. They have a warning and stuff going on, but it's all up to us if we want to keep the nature as it is or not. No one would attempt to disturb the nature because it is so beautiful. All the animals are hanging around living their own lives. Buffalo was the most popular one. They were everywhere. Although, when they were walking on the drive way it was kinda scary. They were walking just outside the car, one window between us. They could easily smash a car or a man. So we wait quietly inside the car till they pass through us. So amazing!
Among many famous sites, I went to see the gazer. Cool! Boiling pond and super clear water. Time to time those gazers will burst with a huge steam cloud. Many people wait around it to see the unnatural sight. Groovy!
Also the weather was fine as shown in the picture.

in the picture above, those spots in the middle are buffaloes. beneath is the boiling gazer. there were active ones but I liked it's colorfulness.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Grand Teton

It is winter here. Nothing like Grand Canyon area. I hiked and drove around the park yesterday, sometimes snow was two to three feet deep. I guess it wasn't the best season yet. And also there was no sign of a bear. Maybe I was unlucky, but there weren't much animals about. Though the landscape was beautiful! Mountains covered by snow, blue clear sky, big lake(which is all frozen by the way), nice… I sure would like to comeback someday during the summer. I bet it's even more beautiful.

I checked out this morning, and now here I am at west Yellowstone. I didn't do much today. Tomorrow I'll enter the park and hopefully have another great day. I would like not to have a snowy weather.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

cats and dogs

I was able to book two nights at the hostel I wrote about yesterday, so I left Salt Lake around ten. Weather forecast was right about the weather. Storm. When I started driving I wanted to stop because of the zero visibility. But after a while I got use to it and followed the others. Took the wrong road on the way to the hostel, but luckily the direction was right so it wasn't much of a problem.
It was another driving day so I didn't do much picture taking so the picture above was taken at Zion N.P. I think Teton and Yellow stone will be the place to encounter many animals. It's going to be good. I wish for a fine weather.

only ten days left till the day to return my car! fast!!!

Monday, 10 May 2010


Yesterday, I camped at Zion National Park. Hiked around the camping area in the day time, cooked dinner around six, then tried to go to sleep as the moon rose. Not much to do when it's dark. I cooked soup and ate some strawberries. I didn't have any cooking gear so used the soup can as a pan and just stuck it on the fire. It worked out okay. It was very hot during the day, but the night was freezing. I thought it would be cold but I heard that pair of shorts and a jacket would be fine…No way! I kept waking up from the shivering cold and strong wind. So I moved into the car. Very quiet and warmer. Next time I'll wear more.
Very refreshing waking up in the nature. There were many campers around but the nature made their spaces as an individual world. So, although I could hear noises of car engines or cracking noises of a fire wood, I was in my own space. Just me, myself and I. Awesome! I could do without those woolly worms though. So many of them…

Arrived at Salt Lake hostel around four. I don't know I like it here or not. Smells a bit weird and people are bit strange. I'll leave tomorrow and head for a hostel near the Grand Teton national park(if I can make a reservation), which is located just below Yellow Stone national park. I hope I can see the famous Salt Lake as I drive by, but there is a storm coming so maybe not.

day by day, it seems my appearance is getting closer to mexican. another guy at the hostel said I look like one. very interesting. tans and unshaven beards could make one a different person.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Zion National Park

I finally checked out from the hostel I was staying for six nights. It was a very good hostel. Also it was the cheapest one so far.
Today's plan was to drive to Zion National Park and camp a night there. With my new tent which I bought at Phoenix yesterday.
There were so many amazing sites again. Drive to the park was about five hours. Going thorough those wonderful nature made it very easy ride. BUT, as I reached Zion, I found out that the camping ground was all booked. Forgot that today was Saturday! So I'm staying at a motel near the park. I hope I'll be able to spend a night there tomorrow. If not, walk around the park and maybe stay here another night and head north to Salt Lake City. See how it goes. I really want to go to Yellow Stone while I have enough time in America.
Shame that I can't camp tonight, but just driving through the park was awesome! There is a tunnel goes through a great big wall of rock. Seems like I'm going to have another "great nature day" tomorrow.

picture was taken somewhere between zion and north rim of grand canyon.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


No, I did not wake up early. Apparently, there was a monster in our room. Snoring kind to be precise. No dreamworld for me. Constantly waking up because of the monster's attack. I think he inhales both from his nose and mouth at the same time. That makes it extra loud. Never heard such sound from a sleeping man. Wow! It was annoying, but I was impressed after a while. Anyway, that's the reason why I didn't wake up early enough. Also that made me to go to Sedona instead of Grand Canyon. Thanks to the monster, Sedona was great. I didn't have much information about the place, so
after checking out where is good place to go at visitor centre, I decided to go to one of the famous spot "bell rock". It was very good. I sat on the shady bit of the bell rock and had lunch there. Watching the scenery from a high place and being on a cool rock was very relaxing. Without the shade, it was blazing hot.

Yes, I got up fairly early. I got a couple of ear plugs from the front desk to defend myself. It wasn't perfect, but it worked okay. Got up around five, made lunch, drove to Grand canyon and started the hike about eight o'clock. It was still misty and the air was cool and wet. My aim was to go down to a place called Plateau point. (in the picture, trail is the line in the center and where the trail end is plateau point. about 20km round trip) Going down there wasn't too bad. Seeing the unimaginable sites didn't make the hike so hard. View from plateau point was awesome! Definitely well worth the exhausting hike. Going up was the hardest part, of course. But around one forty, I was at the place where I started the hike.
Gazing up those walls of rock was absolutely breath taking! I think it was a very good way to wrap up my trip to grand canyon. Don't know what to do next. Maybe stay another night if I couldn't be bothered to do something tomorrow.

bit difficult to see the details, but those boots are covered in red sand. done a fine job. well done guys!!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Another day at the Grand Canyon. I was going to wake up early and have a long day but somehow I slept till nine. So I couldn't do an all day hike. But I found a trail which goes down to the Colorado river. Might go down there tomorrow but if I don't wake up early enough, the direction will be changed to Sedona, famous for it's red rock.
It was a hot day again. Tomorrow will be the day to pull out my shorts from the backpack. Although, once the sun sets it's cool. They have a very changeable weather in desert.
Saw those ravens pecking on last night's left over again. Still lot to have. Maybe the carcass will last for a week or so.
Those squirrels in the photo looked like some kind of a bird or something. Maybe they were just showing off because there were so many tourist watching them.
New roommates today. Two Swedish and an Australian guys. Very friendly people. They have been driving all over the place. Starting from Miami and driven through Yellow stone and Grand canyon. After looking around here, they are heading for Las Vegas. Actually,
I think many people goes to Las Vegas after here.

Hopefully, I'll have an early start tomorrow.

Monday, 3 May 2010


Hot day again. Weather here is like super hot winter. Insanely hot sun, but wind is cool. And the air is dry, like winter in Japan.
I arrived at Grand Canyon around eleven. The view from car park was so ordinary that I couldn't imagine there lies the famous Grand Canyon in walking distance. But yes it did. Five minutes later, I was standing on the edge of the rim. Yikes!! Too high! One lady said to me "you made me nervous." Not only you, I myself was quite disturbed being so close to the edge.
The feeling when I faced the canyon was very similar to what I felt in front of the great pacific ocean. Ocean of rock. That's what it was like. So vast. In Grand Canyon you can "see" time from it's layer. Strange…
These are conversation between two old American guys.
"that's somethin' eh?"
Yes sir! Not much you can say about this place. Just stand there and say "damn…" That's the least you can do.
I didn't walk around much today. Maybe like three hours or so. Tomorrow I'll be walking the rim trail all day.
Saw a group of ravens feeding on a deer carcass by the highway. Not a view which you get everyday. It was my image of desert, black birds eating a dead animal in the open. Also known as Death.

I think it's gonna be a hot one again tomorrow.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Longest Drive

I left San Diego around eleven. Thanks again guys, I had great time!
To get to Grand Canyon, I had to drive like nine hours. Super super long. In between, I drove by Joshua tree national park. And very wide area of desert. Hell, in another word. The sun was shining on me nearer than ever, and very windy. Never been in a desert before. It's very hot!
After all, I arrived at hostel around eight thirty. Long! Oh me ass…

Extremely tired. I hope I'm going to have a couple of great days. Short post again, but it was a long day for me.
picture was taken at Joshua tree. It was a very brief stop though.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

San Diego

I had a great time here. You might notice since I haven't been posting for last few days. Having fun too much, didn't have time to post.
I have my cousins here. I didn't use to have any cousin before, but now I do. That's so great! And since they are a married couple, I have two excellent cousins now. I'm so glad that we met. Thank you for being so nice.
They have shown me a lot of the city. I went to the San Diego university, huge zoo, ate great foods and had beer, went to see a movie, saw the big ocean again, had an american barbecue, rode a bus, comfortable taxi…ah so many good memories. I'm so happy. And the weather here is also great. It feels like it almost never rains. Fine day after a fine day. San Diego, place with a fine weather and many gay guys.

Sadly, I'm leaving here tomorrow morning. It was a very comfortable stay here. But, tomorrow I'll get to see the Grand Canyon! It's going to be a long drive, but to see the place, not a problem.

I heard an interesting comment today in a movie called
Exit Though the Gift Shop. I don't remember the exact words, but he said "life is like chess, and I don't know chess". I thought it was interesting. Although he didn't seem to be very serious. Movie had good laughing parts.
It's a short one, but I had a long day again. pictures were both taken in the zoo.