After a number of interesting presentations on engineering design in at the IDETC09 conference in San Diego and a successful talk highlighting our paper, we ventured on towards our final destination, Las Vegas.
The first few days we rode along the back country roads of southern Arizona, where we saw the true “Heart of America”, small villages in vast beautiful landscapes offering simple lodging and typical healthy American food (the choice between sandwiches and burgers 😉 ).
The next days we used for some touristy locations such as the former Route 66, the obvious Grand Canyon (with some thunderstorms!) or the less overrun Antelope Canyon. Especially the latter was truely amazing, as one is crawling through a narrow rift with the sun shining in from above. In page we were pretty lucky: As this weekend is the famous Labor Day Weekend, where it seems all Americans explore their own country, all motels in Page, AZ were totally booked out. A friendly receptionist at one of these motels connected us to a local guy, renting out motel-style rooms for a reasonable price.
As I am writing we are on our way to the Zion National Park and are staying in Kanab, which is also dubbed “Little Hollywood”, as many Western movies where shot here.
So far for now, the last bits of information will be posten from home.
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.
Really missing the local schwÃ¤bisches (swabian) Food, I decided to make some myself. The first project were “Maultaschen“, minced meat mixed with spinach and spices wrapped into a layer of pasta dough.
Though it was my very first try, the taste worked out very well, only the pasta layer was a little bit too thick, as we’re lacking a rolling pin.
The next food project will be “Schupfnudeln mit Speckkraut”!
For Independence Day Jana, Anna, Ben and I went to Stone Mountain Park and had a huge picnic in the afternoon, watching the big firework in front of the impressive Stone Mountain later that night.