I Know What You Did This Summer – Part 2

… continued from previous post ‘I Know What You Did This Summer – Part 1

McWay Falls at Big Sur

McWay Falls at Big Sur

Traveling around in July within California and a little beyond was all the more memorable with my sister here for her first-ever visit to the United States. A beautiful 4th of July fireworks viewing at San Francisco was followed by a one-day visit to Big Sur on California’s coastline (‘Breathtaking‘) where we stopped to view a little waterfall. While we mostly tend to see big ones, this time I got to admire the smallness and uniqueness of one that fell from a cliff close to the beach directly into the ocean waves below. I jokingly nicknamed the trickle of McWay Falls ‘the peeing waterfall’!

Bellagio fountains

My favorite – musical, dancing fountains at Bellagio!

We then journeyed to enjoy our first time to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. From up in the airplane, Las Vegas looks as if the Golden Goose dumped her shiny eggs in the middle of a lifeless desert. At night, the strip shimmers and glitters to completely dazzle the human eye. The themed casinos with their over-the-top decor make you feel as though you are in a dream. If your purpose is mostly sightseeing and not necessarily partying in one place, you keep walking until your legs hurt and still don’t manage to cover all of the casinos.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

The route to Grand Canyon which was our next destination possessed a strange beauty in its dry, desert-like landscape with bare, rough-looking mountains, flat plains stretching away as far as the eye could see and dreamy white clouds silently casting huge shadows on the shrubby plant covered land. A funny thing was that I kept looking for tall, red mountains as we approached its location since I had mistakenly formed an image of looking down into the valley called Grand Canyon that would be surrounded by those mountains. But before we reached, I realized to my partial amusement and partial embarrassment that it is a “canyon” that is basically a gigantic hole in the ground deeper beneath the current surface level and has nothing to do with mountains at all! And man, what a breathtaking geological wonder it truly is! Indeed, no other adjective than ‘grand’ could have done justice to this canyon.

San Diego fireworks

Fireworks over San Diego

The San Diego visit, which was a second one for the hubby and me, included an enjoyable trip to the San Diego Safari Park that is nestled in a beautiful valley. At night, we strolled along the shores of the Coronado Island admiring the San Diego skyline when, without warning, fireworks began to explode over the buildings in the night sky! What a pleasant surprise that was! After that, Los Angeles, also a second time visit, was all about Hollywood and stardom with lots of fun at Universal studios, the Star walk of fame and Rodeo drive.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe has seen many visits from us but its enchanting natural beauty with pine trees standing tall on the mountains surrounding the silent lake never fails to send out peaceful vibes. A different activity we did this time was rafting over the Truckee River. You settle into a rubber raft, steering your vehicle only when necessary as it gets close to the banks and float calmly downstream over the cool clear water flowing gently over the mostly shallow and sometimes deep riverbed. It is only at the very end when the journey ends, that the river turns a bit angry and gives you a little glimpse of what real adventure white water rafting must be like, when it crashes madly over sharp, protruding rocks throwing the raft around this way and that.

Weeping rocks, Zion National Park

Weeping rocks, Zion National Park

In September, we visited Zion national park and Bryce canyon with friends. The colors that the sandstone mountains display with such splendor (a majority of them being an eye-catching red) makes a visitor feel as though this could not be earth but a planet like Mars that he or she has landed on. Even the name ‘Zion’ seems perfect for a mysterious planet far away in space! There are numerous trails and hikes through Zion valley, one of which involves wading through water since the trail route is actually a stream that flows between two narrow sides of a mountain. A simple hike was to a place called weeping rocks and hanging gardens. I think I was in love with those names themselves, to begin with! It is fascinating to see that as if by magic, the rocks have water dripping out of them continuously due to the presence of sandstone beneath the hard exterior rock.

Weeping rock trail

Hanging gardens – stunning view!

The vegetation on the rocks is part of “hanging gardens” that are created by nature’s landscaping and gardening skills due to the water from the weeping rocks. You stand beneath the shelter of the cave-like structure, water droplets sparkling in the sun, dripping down from the top of its entrance in front of you as if gazing out of a window. You look out at this stunning view of emerald green sizzling up from the valley under red mountains, take a deep breath of the moist air and you want to scream, “Aaaaa! I could stand here turned into a weeping-with-joy stone forever!”

Hoodos Bryce Canyon

Hoodos at Bryce Canyon

Bryce canyon is another example of nature’s unique and skilled handiwork. There are rock formations called ‘hoodoos’ formed due to weathering elements such that they acquire a strange cone-like shape – wider at the bottom and tapering towards the top. They have layers of different shades of color over them and when observed together, the long bands of color come together and ripple across the landscape making them absolutely awe-inspiring.

Milky Way

Speed limit – c

The last beautiful place we visited as Summer 2012 came to a close was when we went to a nearby place from where we live in Bay Area, California to view the Milky Way. These are my husband’s words describing the view and the experience of that magical night along with a very aptly titled photograph “Speed Limit – c”:

“Isn’t it just mind boggling to think that even at the speed of around 671 million miles per hour, it takes years and years for some light to reach us? The fact that we are even able to see the light that was emitted years ago by a star is just so amazing! May be that’s why everyone wants to be a star, so that their light continues to reach others long after they are gone!”

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About Dancing Fingers Singing Keypad

This blogger is someone whose fingers itch to dance, coaxing the keypad to sing. For years, I kept saying that writing for me was a mere hobby. And then, just like the lead characters of a typical romantic movie it finally dawned upon me just how much I love this form of art and how I simply cannot live without it. And then we lived happily ever after ... or tried to, for isn't there the following saying? “Writing is torture. Not writing is torture. The only thing that feels good is having written." Originally from India, I reside in California, USA with my husband and little daughter and work as a software engineer. (I’ve got to be practical, the aforementioned love of my life doesn’t pay for food yet and it doesn’t hurt that I enjoy computer programming.) With the title loosely inspired by the Oscar-winning Chinese film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon“, this blog, “Dancing Fingers, Singing Keypad” welcomes viewers …err… readers to savor the performances of its “characters”.
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7 Responses to I Know What You Did This Summer – Part 2

  1. Pingback: I Know What You Did This Summer – Part 1 | Dancing Fingers Singing Keypad

  2. Nikhil says:

    Deepti and Tushar… you guys were served your ‘Summer Wine’ a la Nancy Sinatra! (In fact the lyrics actually go well, I think!)
    And as usual you have penned down a nice memory for ‘post’erity! ;p

  3. Rinzu Rajan says:

    Thanks for all the visits to my blog. This post was an eye candy for all the lovely pictures and the gorgeous manner in which you described your experiences. I am a lil biased towards travelogues.! Made a wonderful read!

  4. The two parts were a great read, together with the pictures! I happen to live in the SF Bay Area but still a few of them are on my to-do list. Sometime next year, maybe 🙂

    • Thanks for reading the posts! Am glad you liked them. Hope you tick off items on your to-do list next year! 🙂

      Living in SF Bay Area provides so much to see and do. As my husband puts it, from there, you travel a a bit in one direction to get to the ocean along a lovely coastline, some distance in another direction to get to snow and mountains in Tahoe, some distance in a third direction to get to vineyards, yet some more to the neighboring state to get to the desert and casinos…

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