Thursday, August 27, 2009

The videos...

I have posted tens of photos but, I also have some videos! I uploaded some days ago in youtube. Here they are!

On The Road

My last road trip last for 9 days and was 5000km long. I passed by California, Nevada,Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Not bad!! As you can imagine, I saw many different landscapes and I had the opportunity to take some photos on the road.

State panels:

- Arizona (sorry for this one, not too clear!)

- Utah (click on the image to see it better...)

- Idaho

- Wyoming

- Montana

I passed by Mormon towns in Utah...

... striped hills in the desert...

... and amazing road cliffs in Utah.

I drove so much that, in one night, the landscape changed dramatically! From the red lands in Utah desert to the green scenery in Idaho/Wyoming/Montana. Quite a change!!

And on my way back, I went through Nevada Great Basin and enjoyed the views.

I also found trucks which can be driven in both senses (forward and backwards) ;P

And had to drive in horrible weather conditions in some mountain passes.

The last night, I could also enjoy a beautiful sunset as I approached Las Vegas.

So many hours behind the wheel give you much time to think and to enjoy the landscape. You can empty your head and just enjoy the drive. Quite a nice experience!

Great Basin NP

In the middle of the Nevada Great Basin, that is, in the middle of nowhere, lies an interesting National Park: Great Basin NP.

I had been driving all evening, night and morning and I was still more than 9 hours ago from home. Therefore, this was a necessary stop if I actually wanted to get back to LA alive! ;) After getting our of I-14 and getting in two-lane roads in the middle of nowhere, I had to drive for around 100 min in roads where you could see tens of km completely wild, uninhabited. No gas stations. Nothing. The Great Basin.

The Great Basin is the name given to the depression that goes from Sierra Nevada Mountains in California to the mountains near Salt Lake City in Utah. The park is located within it but it is quite an oddity in the area! I did not know what to expect and was really surprised to find out what the park really is!!

First of all, the most important place in Great Basin NP is Lehman Caves, one of the best caves in North America. I went for a 90 min tour there.

After visiting the caves, I continued the road into the park. It went up and up towards some mountains not too far. The view over the great basin was pretty good.

These are the mountains. The highest peak is called Wheeler Peak, rising 13063 ft. I wanted to climb it but there was a menacing thunder storm around and it was a bit too late.

I went for a nice hike instead. The one recommended to get a good understanding of the park. And it was quite surprising!! One hour before, I was down in the basin, in an unforgivably dry desert and up there, I was in alpine climate!! Not kidding!!

There were even 3 alpine lakes up there, not too far from Wheeler Peak.

And what was my surprise when I found a trailhead leading to a glacier!! In Nevada (my idea of Nevada was Las Vegas so far...)!! The trail to go there got pretty rough from the beginning, which was good! I was a bit tired of the paved trails in Yellowstone...

After a while, I got to a place with one of the highlights of the park: the Bristlecone Pine, the oldest living thing in the world! Check out the explanation.

And these are this kind of pine trees:

A bit further up, the glacier.

Not the largest glacier, but down in the basin, it is so hot! It was pretty cool (temperature) and surprising!

Finally, on my way back, great views again. Not bad.

I continued driving and got to LA at around 2am that night. The longest drive in my life. More than 5000km!! Insane. Since then, I do not want to use my car. I feel tired as soon as I get into it!! My craving for road tripping was more than satiated. I was fed up!! ;)

Yellowstone NP (VIII). More geyser areas...

There are many geyser areas North of Old Faithful area. There is where I spent my last hours in Yellowstone. I think the next photos are self explanatory and not much rests to be said about this wonderful place Yellowstone is. Therefore, I left you alone with my shots ;)

Black Sand Basin:

Biscuit Basin:

Fountain Paint Pots and Lower Geyser Basin:

Firehole Lake Drive:

After that, it was around 6.30 pm and I was more than 22h away from Pasadena!! I started my way back... quite a LONG way!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yellowstone NP (VII). Old Faithful

Old Faithful is one of the most predictable geysers in the world. It erupts around every 90 minutes and predictions for the next eruption are really accurate. Check this one out: they give a time plus minus 10 minutes!! That's accurate!

Of course, many people gather around the geyser waiting to see a safe eruption. Safe because you know it will happen, unlike most of the other geysers.

After some waiting, the geyser went off in time. Good! Faithful! ;) The eruption was really high. Not only is it really regular, but also quite spectacular.

Near Old Faithful, there are many geysers and pools with beautiful colors.

Some small geysers went off as I passed by!

More pools and nice scenery:

Some geysers are also quite regular but the possible time for eruptions is quite long... I do not know if I would feel like waiting for 4 hours...

This one is Beauty Pool...

... and this one Chromatic Pool.

Some strange shaped geyser whose name I do not remember, with some smaller one erupting behind.

Grotto Geyser also started erupting when I passed by! That one was pretty cool and long!!

At the end of the hike lied one of the most beautiful pools in Yellowstone, and one of the symbols of the park: Morning Glory Pool.

Back towards the trail head, I passed by Castle Geyser, which has a nice shape!

I spent around 90 min in my hike around that area, so I got to Old Faithful in time for another show. :)