Apr 072007

Trinity Site, home of the first nuclear explosion near Socorro, New Mexico

Cold, windy, grey, and dismal are the conditions awaiting us at the Trinity Site. A record cold snap across the midwest snagged this part of New Mexico near Socorro. This land that experienced the worlds first nuclear explosion is made miserable by today’s weather. I think all 2,886 other visitors would agree from the grumbling we heard. Our previous visit was April 2001, when blue skies and warm weather made the place downright nice. If you find yourself in the area on the first Saturday of April or October between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., stop by; it’s free and you will be one of the approximately 6,000 visitors per year who will visit the obelisk marking ground zero of this historic event. 

After our visit of the Trinity Site, we took a nap as the song birds, wind, and water nudged us to sleep at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. For lunch we returned to Socorro to our favorite New Mexico eatery El Camino Family Restaurant, the day ended with a short road trip to Carrizozo, Claunch, and Mountainair.

This photo was taken by Caroline.

Feb 022007

Hoover Dam at night from the Arizona side

Almost two years ago I took this exact same photo, except back then the water level was higher and if you look into the background of this new shot you will see the construction work going on for the new bypass bridge. This evening we are driving to Shoshone, California, for a night of soaking in the natural hot spring the Shoshone Inn has on tap before driving into Death Valley National Park tomorrow morning. No, we did not stop in Las Vegas for a raucous night of gambling; I suppose the only thing we are really interested in with Vegas is a visit to the Liberace Museum.


Jan 232007

Inside the Desert View Watchtower at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

This is the interior of the Mary Colter-designed Watchtower at Desert View in the Grand Canyon National Park. Prior to visiting the Watchtower we drove an icey road to visit Hermit’s Rest, a first for us – although we have been to the Canyon more than a dozen times. This visit to the Grand Canyon has me thinking of the Rim-to-Rim hike once again. Maybe during our early June visit to the North Rim we can take a couple extra days and hike the north to south trail….

Jan 182007

Closeup of barbed wire fencing at Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, California

The previous two years the photos I posted here on my blog were taken 98% of the time on the day the image was posted. This year it is likely that many photos will not be as timely as after having taken and posted about 700 consecutive photos, I am at times hard pressed to find a worthy picture in my immediate surrounding in my daily routine. And so it is that our trip to San Francisco is being stretched out and is filling in some days where I failed to capture a decent image.

Today’s "Photo of the Day" is from our weekend-trip out to Alcatraz. Heading out to the prison island on the early-bird ferry gives the visitor the best opportunity to be on the island when it is least crowded and the most quiet. We will hopefully one day make the evening visit as I feel that could be the best opportunity to feel the solitude of what prisoners might have felt on the rock many a year ago.

Jan 122007

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

This is the city where Caroline and I, with my mother-in-law Jutta in tow, are beginning the 14th year of our marriage – today is our 13th Anniversary. After a short drive north through the icey central valley of California we arrived in San Francisco at noon, giving us plenty of opportunity to take a walk out to the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge – an absolute spectacular thrill and dream-come-true for Jutta. The weather was slightly warmer than down south and the visibility was the best of any of our trips to the Bay area. After checking into the Nob Hill Hotel we took a long walk through China Town in anticipation of our 7:00 p.m. dinner reservations.

Our celebratory dinner was at Millennium, where we opted to try the Winter Citrus Menu. The three course meal started with a Blood Orange & Shaved Fennel Salad, followed by an Heirloom Cauliflower En Papillote with a coconut-kaffir lime sauce. The third course was a choice between Habanero-Orange Jerked Tempeh with a sweet potato-coconut mash, roasted turnips & chantenay carrots and a citrus-jicama salad or Meyer Lemon Buccatini made of seared maitake & clamshell mushrooms, sauteed escarole, white wine & Meyer lemon cream with crispy capers over Buccatini pasta. Naturally, we tried both. Dessert was an assortment of Satsuma mandarin, ruby red grapefruit and blood orange sherbets with a Champagne-vanilla bean anglaise sprinkled with candied macadamia nuts. What a great start to our 14th year this was.