Joined May 2020 Message
  • Day15

    Santa Barbara, Malibu, Long Beach

    June 2 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    On the last day of our roadtrip, our first stop on the schedule was Santa Barbara. It was a very nice and sunny day and quite hot. We had some very good burgers with sweet potato fries in the center of Santa Barbara - a cute city with good vibes and a nice city center. After a quick shopping break we continued towards Malibu. The beach houses there were really impressive and showed us the wealth of the people living there, with a nice ocean view and exclusive accesses to the beach. No wonder, that many celebrities have a house in this area. We stopped at Point Dume to take a picture of a filming location of Planet of the apes (which was not easy to reach). Not sure about the rules of the curfew which was set for 6pm in Los Angeles and Long Beach, we left Malibu at around 5:30pm. Fortunately, we had no problems to get back home to Long Beach. As we drove through Long Beach, it was quite empty in the streets though and we saw a lot of police cars (also unmarked cars) and the national guard. After such a long trip we were happy to be back again, to stay at one place and finally wash our clothes. We finished the day with pasta and enjoyed to not have to get up early again the next day.
    We are very very glad that we did this roadtrip. We saw so many beautiful places, escaped the stress of corona, had good experiences and had a nice time all in all.
    For the fact nerds:
    - Days on the road : 15
    - Distance traveled: 4080 Miles (6566km)
    - Hours spend on driving: +80hrs
    - States traveled through: 6 - California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming
    - Photos taken: too many
    - Fun factor: 105%
    - Experiences: priceless
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  • Day14

    Santa Maria

    June 1 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Driving from Monterey to Santa Maria along the Pacific Coast Highway 1, was on our schedule today. At the beginning of the day it was a bit cloudy but luckily it turned around noon. We stopped at several places along the coast, for example at a cove. We also drove over the Bixby Creek Bridge and stopped at a beach filled with elephant seals. We watched them fight with each other and flip sand while resting at the beach. We had lunch around 1pm and arrived in Santa Maria at around 6pm. We quickly searched for a place where we could have dinner, and this day we decided to have Cuban food. It was very good and we both got food coma after it, so we chilled for the rest of the evening with some netflix.
    We drove 7h in total and 780mi (290km).
    Next stop: Santa Barbara, Malibu, and Long Beach.
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  • Day13

    Monterey

    May 31 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    When waking up we had yet another day lf driving in front of us. This day, however, we only had about 3h of driving. Before leaving Sacramento we checked out the Capitol Building in daylight. We arrived to Monterey at around 3, which is the earliest we’ve arrived to a new place during this roadtrip. We were happy to have some more time so we chilled a bit in the room before going down to the harbor. When walking around we started hearing strange noises, what sounded like seals. We followed the noise and discovered Monterey has a lot of sea lions and seals swimming and sunbathing in the area. After walking around in the cosy Fisherman’s Wharf we went back to the motel to shower and book accommodation for the last days. In the evening we went back to the harbor to have dinner. We both had a fried combo basket, which included fries, fried calamari, shrimp and fish. It was veeery delicious, and a lot. Afterwards, we enjoyed a soft ice, one with chocolate and one with sprinkles. We definitely needed a chill day like this after an intense schedule so far.
    Today we drove a total of 3,5h and 290km.
    Next stop: Santa Maria.
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  • Day12

    San Francisco

    May 30 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    As the weather was supposed to be bad in Sacramento we decided to go on a day trip to San Francisco. Due to the corona situation we were a bit unsure if we could enter the city, but when we got closer we noticed there were no controls and we didn’t even have to stop at the toll houses. In general the American drivers are pretty rude when driving as they’re overtaking whenever and wherever. Some are reckless drivers and accidents are a usual sight when driving on the roads. On our way to SF we saw our first accident happening in front of our eyes, when two cars collided and one was spinning from one end of the road to the other.
    However, we drove safely and got to SF at around noon. It was quite difficult driving in the city since the well-known hills make it hard to see and it was pretty busy. Our first stop was twin peaks where we had a nice view over the city. After that we drove down Lombard Street, and then went to see the Painted Ladies and had lunch in the car. The Painted Ladies were a bit of a disappointment, and it was hard taking good pictures of them. After this it was time for the highlight of the day, the Golden Gate Bridge. We parked our car and walked along the beach to get as close as possible. It was a nice 20 minute walk and when we got to the bridge we noticed people surfing in the big waves under the bridge. We both agreed that it was fascinating to see such skilled surfers, but it also looked dangerous as the rocks/cliffs were pretty close. We took about 100 pictures of the bridge in different angles before moving on. Next we were planning on going to the other side of the bridge but the viewing points in this area was closed to the public. We expected more things to be closed in the SF-area, so we were still happy as it looked quite normal in general. A good thing about corona is that it wasn’t crowded at all at the tourist spots, and we could easily find parking spots which is usually impossible here.
    After spending around 5h in the city we decided to go back to Sacramento. We had quesadillas for dinner and then went to the motel room to book accommodation for upcoming nights. After a while inside we went outside again to go have a look at the Capitol Building in the city, unaware of what was happening in the city at the time. On the way to the building we saw hundreds of policemen and cars blocking the freeway entrances, as well as several helicopters circulating above. We started seeing big groups of people wandering around the city spraying on walls of buildings, things such as ”George Floyd”, ”kill the cops”, ”black lives matter, and ”fuck the police”. It was a tense atmosphere and as we got closer to the Capitol Building we saw burning trash bins. The courthouse next to the Capitol Building was covered with spray paint, and the white statues’ faces were painted black. The Capitol Building was surrounded by hundreds of policemen protecting the building while we photographed it. Later we heard that people had been breaking into stores, blocking the freeway, attacking the police, destorying buildings, and the police had been forced to use tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators. However, the area where we lived was calm during the night and we slept well.
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  • Day11

    Sacramento

    May 29 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    On the way from Eureka to Sacramento we chose to drive a few kilometers on the Ave of the Giants to see a bit more of the Redwood trees. We thought we would be a bit more used to the sizes by then but as the trees started passing us we were still as amazed as the day before. We spent some more time looking at them and photographing them before continuing our journey. About halfway we stopped in Willits to have lunch, and since the temperature was around 33 degrees we decided to treat ourselves with ice cream. After being on the road for 6h we reached Sacramento and our motel. We chilled for a bit and then went out to see the historic old town before ordering and picking up food from The Old Spaghetti Factory. We enjoyed the dinner in our room and chilled for the rest of the night.
    Tomorrow: Daytrip to San Francisco!
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  • Day10

    Redwood National & State Parks

    May 28 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    After having breakfast in our motel room and preparing lunch we set off towards the Redwood National and State Parks. This have been on Malin’s bucketlist for a long time and Nils has always wanted to see it but it was always too far away. Even though we knew we were going to see big trees we weren’t really sure what to expect. In the forest when Redwood trees started appearing it didn’t take long before we expressed our first ”woooow!!!”. It was like something out of this world, and it was hard to understand how big the trees were. We walked the Lady Bird Johnson trail and took at least around 50 pictures each of trees of different shapes and sizes. Nils took some drone shots and concluded that the trees were about 80m tall (at least). After an hour on the trail we got back to the car and had lunch.
    We continued to Fern Canyon where some of the Jurassic Park movies were filmed. There was an entrance fee of $8 and as we didn’t really know if it would be worth it we were a bit annoyed to pay for it. However, when we got to the trail we quickly changed our minds. It really felt like T-rex could stand around the corner and start chasing us down the trail. The trail was like an adventure course as we had to jump over the water at several places and balance over slippery stones and tree branches to get over the cold water. However, both of us failed. We both walked some of the trail with wet shoes and mud covered pants.
    After spending about 3h in the forests we went back to Eureka to check out the Carson Mansion. It’s one of the most photographed Victorian houses in the U.S. It looked very spooky already during day, so we decided to go back later to see it during night time to see if it looked even more spooky by then (it did.). When driving around in the city we saw a lot of homeless people, and we later read on the Internet that Eureka has a big problem with this. We were constantly reminded of it as we saw then walking around the motel in the evenings. After exploring Eureka for a while we went to Wendy’s to have food.
    In summary, a very very good day with a lot of fun activities (and wet shoes).
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  • Day9

    Eureka

    May 27 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 38 °C

    We left Susanville after a lazy morning and drove straight to Burney Falls. As the temperature reached 38 degrees celcius it was nice cooling down next to a waterfall with a stream directly from the mountains. We took some mandatory photos and drone shots, before moving on. Our next quick stop was in Redding where we had lunch in the form of hotdogs with garlic sauce, roasted garlic, and sweet potato fries with garlic dip - a very nice (and garlicy) lunch! The next hours spent on the road to Eureka was exhausting as the roads felt like they were wrapped tightly around the mountains. During these 3 hours we didn’t see any straight roads, and it didn’t help that trucks were passing by with 80 km/h. After 7h on the road we reached Eureka. As we came closer to the ocean, a sudden fog appeared and the temperature dropped to 15 degrees. Eureka surprised us with dead streets and strange people everywhere. After doing some quick grocery shopping and having dinner we went straight to bed. In total we drove 450km this day.
    Tomorrow: Redwood National & State Parks.
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  • Day8

    Susanville

    May 26 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Today was all about driving (730km//7h40min). We started the day with a very nice breakfast at the Coffee Mug in Elko. It was a typical American breakfast restaurant which we really enjoyed. Without any notable happenings we drove from Elko to Lake Tahoe. It was pretty crowded there by locals and we just stopped for some good views. It was really hot today. After 2 final hours to Susanville we arrived at our motel for the night, where we ate the leftovers from the previous day’s Chinese food. Highlight of the evening: we got a new friend - a cute, white cat with unique eye color, which definitely enjoyed our attention.
    Next Stop: Eureka.
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  • Day7

    Elko

    May 25 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    After a lazy morning we went to a gas station to fill up our tank before continuing our trip. However, when we went in to the gas station to prepay for the fuel, the employee at the counter replied with a simple ”I’m sorry, we’re out of gas.” This didn’t surprise only us but also all the other customers at the gas station as a mumble of ”Huh? What? You don’t have gas?” appeared. After 5 months in the U.S. we weren’t really shocked as we have also experienced for example that the post office had run out of stamps (we got the last 7)..
    Anyways, after filling up our tank we enjoyed 20 degrees and sun while driving up and down the mountains to get to Idaho Falls where we had our lunch. We only had one other stop for fuel and another one when we took a quick drone shot in the Nevada desert before arriving in Elko and our motel for the night. The town and all motels look like they already had their best days years ago. However, we had a really good take-away dinner from a Chinese place nearby (”dinner for two” that could feed at least 4).
    In total today’s trip took about 8h and we drove around 620 km.
    Tomorrow: Susanville.
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  • Day6

    Yellowstone National Park

    May 24 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    We woke up at 7am to have a quick breakfast (grab and go) before beginning our trip to Yellowstone National Park. It took us about 2h to get to the south entrance of the park and on the way we were passing a lot of bisons.
    After a while of driving through Grand Teton National Park on the way to Yellowstone, we started seeing several cars parked by the side of the road so we stopped as well as we were wondering what they were looking at. As we got out of the car we saw a bear minding its own business, about 20m from the road. We were a bit shocked but very excited and happy to see it. We took a few pictures and then moved on. When we reached the entrance we had to wait for 30 minutes due to the amount of cars that were entering the park. When it was our turn we paid the entrance fee of $35 and found out that the park had been closed the day before due to heavy snowfall.
    After this it was time to start exploring the park. First we went to the Old Faithful geyser. We felt excited, but as it erupted and the water exploded up in the air we quickly realized that our expectations were a bit too high. We checked out the other hot springs and geysers, and walked around the trails for about 45 minutes before having lunch in the car (pre-made sandwiches). Our next stop was the Grand Prismatic Spring. As the temperature was around 7 degrees there was a lot of steam rising from the spring, making it a bit hard to see the colors. We were still happy to see it and the other springs nearby, and here we also learned that the entire park is resting on a supervolcano (which is going to erupt sometime, but it’s impossible to know when). We continued to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and when the time was around 4:30pm we had chicken salad in the car that we had made the day before. As the day went on we saw a lot of waterfalls, geysers, hot springs, mud volcanoes, snow, mountains, beautiful scenery, and, most importantly, animals. During the day we saw bisons, a bear, elks, a beaver, an eagle, a wolf, and deers. Sometimes we got very close to some animals and felt a bit nervous as the park constantly emphasized that the animals look lazy but that their behaviors can change suddenly.
    All in all it was a good but exhausting day. We did a lot of stops and had good weather at the end of the day, and experienced a nice sunset light over the Grand Teton mountain range on our way back to Jackson Hole. We got back at around 10pm and ended the day with food from Wendy’s drive-through.
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