California 1/2

As a colleague and I are presenting a paper at an international engineering conference in San Diego (IDETC09), we extended our stay by two weeks.
We arrived one week ahead in San Francisco and we will be leaving the US from Las Vegas a week after the conference.
So far the trip was really interesting. Starting in SF we stayed in a hostel (Green Tortoise), visiting some touristy places like Fishermens Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, which we even crossed.

From SF we took a rental car to Sequoia National Park, camping in those beautiful forests and going for a nice hike through the Giant Forest and even climbing the stairs up to Moro Rock. Staying in this amazing nature, we saw plenty of wildlife; birds, squirrels and deer. Just before leaving the park we even saw a black bear!

On our way back towards the pacific coast and San Diego, we went for a refreshing swim in a small river coming from the mountains we just crossed (we went up and down all the time, reaching altitudes as much as 2200m). With a short stopover in Ventura, we even spent a whole afternoon at the beach, watching the surfers ride the rolling waves.
 

So far for now, I guess I’ll write the next update when I get back home.
Cheers, Tim

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