USA: 25.11.08. - 25.02.2009

Translated by PROMT-Online-Translator

Route: San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, San jose, San Franzisko, Martinez, Stockton, Yosemite, Fresno, Bakersfield, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Kingman, Williams, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Moab
Distance Bike: 3603 Km      Ascent: 28315m

287. Weekly report: 26.11 - 30.11.2008

Route: San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo

Entry into the USA: The border between Tijuana (Mexico) and San Diego (USA) is the most-used border crossing of the USA. Because the days are short at the moment and we do not know how long we have to wait we set off early and already are at 9.00 o'clock on the border. There is already a long queue of cars and people, and thus we join on the pedestrian's queue. Then at 9.40 o'clock we stand already before the irritated immigration official. Nadines passport is scanned and she may enter directly. However, I get said that I, because it is my first entry in the USA, only one more Permit in the neighbouring building must apply. So I go apply for my Permit by bicycle and luggage, while Nadine passes customs and waits in the USA for me. I position myself in the Permitschlange and after 30 minutes then I am limited in the row. The official is very nice and while he my fingerprints takes he questions me like it is to be travelled then so by the bicycle by the world. When then everything is made he believes that I had to pay now only 6 US $. Ordinarily no problem, however, our money always has Nadine and it is already in the USA. I have luckily 5 euro pocket, however, they do not want to have the officials. I ask a few tourists just in the USA want to enter whether they could not inform Nadine, so that she makes me money to strike, however, unpleasantly because of fear here on the border nobody wants to do to me the favour. OK. then back to Mexico to the currency exchange. I leave behind my wheel in the barred area and come along on the search for exchange offices, however, the exchange offices on the border do not want to exchange all my euros! So I run 2 km back to Tijuana, and then the third bank is also to be taken thank God ready my euros. Bathed in sweat I run back to the border where myself again absolutely distraught Nadine already expected. A woman had reported to her about my problems and to pay attention offered briefly to her wheel. However, Nadine had me cut missed and then my passport without me released. A folgenschwehrer mistake, because now had to service them in the border for me, because the officials wanted to keep the passport not for me. Nadine left her wheel in the care of the woman and it did not want to keep waiting them of course needlessly. Nadine asked a border official whether to me could not give my passport on which it was loudly taught by this that cannot say you him here in his country what he deals, and that he can throw them any time again, and then she will never again enter in the USA! Nadine apologised and after some little tear rolled the border official also became conciliatorier again. No miracle that Nadine was quite dissolved as me after more than 1 hour by the currency exchange again came back. Now we were allowed directly along the queue to the control where I also easily was let pass, however, now the border officials Nadine did not want to let pass without Permit, although she had entered, actually, already 2 hours ago (there also helped all begging nothing). While Nadine itself around her Permit concerned I came along on the way around the nice woman who paid attention wheel still to Nadines to release. The woman had waited meanwhile during 1 hour for Nadine and was of course by no means in a good mood as me, finally appeared. I had a really bad conscience ihretwegen, and thus she asks I whether I could do something for them around her my gratitude to point." You can give me 20$" meant them only, and I would have given that to her really with pleasure, however, our money has unfortunately Nadine (why the whole drama has originated) and that would need presumably 1-2 hours to receive her Permit, so that the woman said goodbye understandable-wise irritated. Nadine was known meanwhile, nevertheless, like a coloured bird, so that she became everywhere directly drangenommen and stood after only 20 minutes again on my side. Welcome to the USA!
Jerry and Barbara: There we did not know whether we after the border crossing still enough time would will have to cycle around from San Diego out we have Jerry, to a Warmshowers member (Warmshowers is a worldwide team of cyclists who offer a warm shower and an overnight stay possibility) to other cyclists, from Tijuana we sent an e-mail and asked whether we could spend the night at him. Jerry and his Mrs. Barbara have greeted us in San Diego in the tag before Thanksgiving and have spoilt us beside a warm bed and a hot shower still with a tasty dinner. The salad Jerry has conjured even the tastiest one we was in long long time have eaten. Jerry is himself of eager bicycle travellers and canoeists and thus he has reported to us of course immediately about his newest conquest: A kayak that one can virtually go like a couch wheel. Thanks to polished technology the pedal kayak is as agile even quick as a normal kayak and, besides and is small (
Thanksgivingshopping: Both days to Thanksgiving are the most important purchasing days in the USA. Up to 30% of his turnovers the retail trade makes on these both days and thus it is also not surprising that in Thanksgiving the advertising brochures added the newspaper the newspaper 5x so thick we make normally. For a world stroller hungry for consumption a found food. Then for those which cannot expect to spend her dollars many shops already open at 4:00 o'clock in the morning! However, beside superbargain there are also time-graded discount systems: Till 9:00 o'clock 30%, till 11:00 o'clock 20% afterwards 10%.
Pacific Coast route: One of the most famous bicycle distances of the USA is the Pacific Coast route of Vancouver (Canada) to San Diego (before the Mexican border). Ordinarily one cycles the route of the north after the south, because one has so mostly tail wind, however if one from Mexico comes one has had just bad luck. We want to cycle on the Pacific Coast route to San Francisco before we cycle then on the run before the winter in the inland. Nevertheless, Südcalifornien is extremely strongly settles and, actually, one never is generally in one end wishing town with isolated view possibilities on the Pacific.
Dennis and Diane: Wild tents are impossible because of Überbesiedelung in Südcalifornien absolutely and here thus we spend the night below on state camping sites. However, all around Los Angeles there not even are them and thus we depend again on the help of the Warmshowers. To the south of L.A. we load thus with Dennis and Diane, two teachers who have travelled around him to her free summer months even already virtually the whole world on bicycles. Many places have attended them already many years before us and thus it was to be heard for us very much interresant, how much differently it was former. Diane had just a strenuous day behind himself us so the both have invited us to the Mexican. Diane loves East European folk dances and when we told her that we might dance together them in Serbia and Bulgaria awoken is to new life. Dennis has, by the way, also one of the Hobie kayaks and is also absolutely enthusiastically from his Handling and speed.
Los Angeles: L.A. is endless and to come from from the southern outskirts to Venice, one of the northern suburbs, we need the whole day. 90 km we have on our speedometer stand as us, finally, exhausted from the city traffic in the evening with Dean and Ruth arrive. We have met aria, the subsidiary of Dean and Ruth, on the Baja Californien. Aria is just together with 2 friends on a cycling tour to Panama and around the worries and miseries of cyclists in cities knowingly she has offered us that we can spend the night in her room at her parents. We are recorded by Aries parents extremely warmly and they lead us in a small Japanese restaurant to the celebration of the day. We are completely excited, because with the Japanese we never were, and are completely surprised that there is not only sushi on the menu. Nevertheless, unfortunately, Dean and Ruth in the evening have one more theatrical date, so that to us too little time remains for maintaining. Thank you very much over again for the hearty and generous support!
Christmas tree: Yes also with us weihnachtet it this time. Not to have to have have exotic Christmas under palms again we to us in Mexico a small illuminated Christmas tree of Coca Cola purchased. The coloured LEDs slowly flash, so that in our whole inside tent everywhere stars are to be admired. In another mode one is able to do by means of a small built-in "slide projector" some Christmas scenes to the wall projekzieren. Maybe a little bit in a kitschy way, however after we now our sixth Christmas is of our departure cannot become celebrate a few domestic Christmassy feelings damage.
Jon: Wir are under discussion just with four strollers as themselves Jon, a cyclist dazugesellt. The a little bit peculiar questions of the strollers are a little bit too silly Jon, nevertheless and thus he makes a getaway again. Then, nevertheless, a few miles farther we hit again on Jon and when he to us invites, nevertheless, the night to spend with him we accept. Nevertheless, Jon is, actually, a teacher he has kept free himself just a year to spend it in Italy. However, without further ado the surfing passion has packed him and now thus he spends his time with it the best wave to check out and to ride them. After to us Jon has conjured a magnificent salad to the dinner revancieren we to us while we to him and a friend him just is there, our small slide show show. The next day, actually, we wanted to remain further, nevertheless, after a small lesson in surfing we again, finally, still the second night.
Surfschule: Jon is an ethusiastic surfer and thus it is no miracle that he Martin offers, nevertheless, to ride even a few waves sometimes. Now for all those they are confused: What we as "a surfing" will know in the rest of the world "surfing" called and accordingly our "surfing" then "windsurfing". Then after a short dry training on the beach it already goes well in the water, however, the conditions are anything but. The waves push too little, and thus I get to get up only once and to ride a few metres the wave.
Monarch Butterfly: Already in Mexico City have told us Eduardo and Margarita enthusiastically about the monarch Butterfly (butterflies), they every year to thousands fly from Alaska to Mexico to spend the winter there. Nevertheless, Damal we were still too early in it, however, also here in Calidorie have the monarch Butterfly some Überwinterungsplätze as here briefly from San Luis Obispo. To thousands the butterflies hang in big grapes in the eucalyptuses, however because the park ranger can have telescopes aufgestelt one them trotzem very well observe.
Finding Sarah: We unterhalen to us lively wähend Martin still tries to call Sara and schießlich we also reach them, after we (better in the Chilean Atacamawüste have got to know we about one 1 1/2 years ago Sarah. Northwards our route leads us virtually directly with her at home and thus we want briefly sometimes reinschauen. The first email contact was made quick, however because Sareh just in the middle of your final examinations as a chiropractor stands she has forgotten us to send her address and a small mistake with her telephone number made. Even as we want to call them wilt still the accumulator of ours small eeePc and thus fagen we Steve who stands just towards before his garage whether we can load maybe briefly sometimes the accumulator something. Clear we are able to do this and, finally, we build up even in his garden our tent. Tonight, nevertheless, unfortunately, Steve is booked up, nevertheless, the city administration has a pile of snow to the pier give up, so that the children can let off steam sometimes so properly with a snowball battle (here below it is snowing because never), so that we can show him only our small photo album before he his son in the snow brings.
Dana and Michelle: We have established ourselves just from the local library (libraries in the USA have mostly free of charge Wireles Internet which we can use with ours eeePc and with Skype we can call up very economically) and try to reach still Sarah when Dana all at once and Michelle with her Räden bend around the corner. They have seen bar from to us from a Juice and have found directly the pursuit aufgenommengesagt Dana) the mistake. Nevertheless, Sarah lives with San Franzisko and her parents with whom she just is, still live 25 km farther to the north of
San Luis Obispo. Because it is already shortly before sundown and we into the bargain over a big mountain must arrange to meet we for the next day. This comes, actually, perfectly him already before have already invited to us Dana and Michelle to himself home. Dana and Michelle have purchased two touring bicycles to themselves just quite freshly and want to make her maiden voyage to L.A. in Christmas, so that we do not lack topics really.
Madonna Inn: Together with Dana and Michelle and her niece we go to the Madonna Inn motel and restaurant. Although the Madonne Inn all year round with his different subject rooms visitor from near and far pulls the yule tide is especially attractive. The whole house is decorated all over with gigantic Weihnachtsfigunren, glittering Christmas trees and snow. For our taste, actually, a little bit too in a kitschy way, however, after we for 5 years no more right Christmas had we are totally inspired!
Toilet visit: The men's rooms of the Madonna Inn are a small fame for themselves, because the Pisoir exists there of a small waterfall. Clear also the ladies want to see and thus a bigger team of women on the walk forms and when just no male visitor his call of nature is simply done the Herrentoilete stormed. Nevertheless, the waterfall is steered about a light barrier and there none of the ladies is to be put courageously enough around herself in the foremost line does not come about more than one rivlet
Carrier's repair: Dana is by profession a welder and because 2 days ago Nadines carrier has broken, he is virtually just what was needed. Dana offers us that he could take us with with our luggage with in his workshop, there then fast Nadines carrier would weld and then we could continue our way to Sarah. We think that his workshop lies directly around the corner, so that we are not inspired of it in the VW coach to be puck up, however because we want to waste free Sunday not Danas needlessly we say nothing. As Dana then on the Freeway drives up we become taken aback. We suppose his workshop at the end of the mountain we just start, however, as him alls weiterfähr we ask Dana, finally, where his Werkstad then now is. Halting he moves out that his plant town in Paso Roble lie away would become, so 40 km of his house. We have a really bad conscience, nevertheless, Dana believes happily that he makes it really with pleasure. Because our carriers from very thin steel exist though the welding develops more difficultly than expected, however, leztendlich it shorter lasts than the travel time! Sarahs parents live exactly in mitte between Danas Werkstadt and his house and thus he leaves us on half a distance out. A herzlichens thank-you over again and Dana and Michelle for her unexpected and spontaneous Gastfreudschaft and help!
289. Weekly report: 08.12. - 14.12.2008

Route: San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, San Jose

Meetings with Sarah: After "only" 2 days we have reached Sarah and stand about midday with her parents before the door. Sarah her mother is on the move still, however is at home and informs Sarah we now are there and 20 min late Sarah also arrives. The joy at seeing again is big, nevertheless, we have seen Sarah last sometimes approx. 1 year ago in Chile.

Music evening: Sarah's mother spoils us this evening with a delightful dinner, vegetable quiche and Pumpkin Pie to the dessert. Then after the dinner mood arises so properly. Sarah's friend catches to carols on the piano to play Sarah's mother sings in addition and Martin accompanies the both with the guitar. Surprisingly we know no of her carols what probably does in it it lie for our relations are to be mouldered, or does somebody know with us songs like "granny rocks around the Christmas tree"?
McKinlaigh: The next morning, nevertheless, after the breakfast we decide to remain even 1 day longer and to spend the day together with Sarah. In the morning we drive with Sarah to the ranch where them in her youth has ridden out and later has worked (before she has started her chiropractor's study). Is hardly to be thought that this ranch is at home from McKinlaigh, to the horse with the Olympic Games in China has won the Militäry Silbermedallie. This horse was to be seen really impressive, nevertheless, it is one of the biggest and most proud horses I has ever seen.
Big Sur: After already over 1000 km along the coast of Californien we are limited wiedeinmal in the nature (till then the coast was mostly with houses zugebaut). However, Big Sur should compensate us for it. Here the nature is simply leg-printing. The mountains arise virtually directly from the sea and the street fürht directly in the coasts along.
Deers in the camp site: Here in Big Sur on the state camping site feel fine not only camper but also the roe deer seem to be glad to find, finally, wiedeinmal a piece of vacant nature, and thus 15 roe deer run past in the morning quietly grazing our tent.
Zebras: On a small pasture we see even zebras to see not wildly living, but, nevertheless, fascinating.
Elephant seals: To this coastal segment the gigantic elephant seals are also from December till the middle of February at home. This is the time in them from the long hunting time recover. Then the bulls deliver her fights for the females, the females bear her boys and pair off before them once more then at the end of February again in the oceans to feed search set off. Unfortunately, we were a little bit too early in it and have seen none of the impressive bull's fights. To be honest everybody has lain about only decayed in the sand. But, nevertheless, it was to be seen very imposingly the elephant seals, because, at least, these animals can become up to 2 tonnes and dive up to 1500 m deep!
Jellyfishes: In Monterey there is a very famous aquarium and we decide to invest the 23 dollars per person entry, and we should not regret it. Differently in the world one can nowhere admire so many jellyfishes like there. Gigantically big, tiny small, red, white, light reflective and many more.
Reflective jellyfishes: They produce themselves no light, but they reflect it.

Absolutely brilliant:

Stan: In Big Sur, before a library, we have got to know Stan who has invited us to itself home after Santa Cruz. Stan makes the marketing as well as the Internet site for Big Sur and was just on the way to a meeting as us him have hit. In spite of strong wind by an upcoming storm we arrive 2 days later as arranged with him at home. Stan is a professional photographer, musician and has already co-operated in some Dokomentar films and thus the topics does not go out to us. Only long after midnight and after many interresanten conversations (the charming dinner not to forget) this day should come to an end.
Coach journey: The next day we change on grounds of the upcoming storm (4 days of long-term rain) our plans. Instead of going on on the coast, we rather decide to take the inland from route and Sarah in San Jose for visits. The only hook is which there about the mountain range of Santa Cruz to San Jose only one Freeway is not on the bicycles are allowed. We take "by necessity" the coach :-). Here in San Francisco all coaches have in front a bicycle carrier in the coach and thus the bicycle entrainment completely is without a hitch.
Driver sky: We Germans are pleased about costs of petrol of 1.10 euros per litre. Here a gallon (3.8 litres) costs at the moment just once to 1.69 dollars although them a few months ago still 5 dollar / gallon cost. If here sometimes the government does not apply the old trick of the Romans: Give to the people bread and plays and it is happy.
290. Weekly report: 14.12. - 21.12.2008

San Jose, Foster City, San Francisco, Martinez
Reunion with Sarah: When we early in the evening with Sarah arrive she already waits with newly-wed Christmas little places and a tasty dinner for us. Later in the evening we initiate Sarah still into the art of the colonist spielens and are duffed directly by her.
Shopping Day: The next morning we decide to go shopping of girl without further ado and to let work Martin in rest on the Internet site. Sarah knows a shop him everything has just gone bankrupt and, therefore , cheaper by 60% sold. Welcome to the paradise! I get hold of Levis for 11.99$ and a pullover for 13.49$.
Cable car: Probably everybody knows this picture
Handlabor: At the end of a dead end the streetcar on a turntable is rolled and then the turntable is turned with streetcar by hand (manpower) and afterwards the streetcar is pushed in entgegengesetzer direction again back on the rail.
Golden Gate Bridge: After 4-year construction time the bridge was opened in 1937 and today 40 million vehicles go yearly about the bridge. Of course we have also driven about the famous Golden gate bridge; be around exactly to 2x, every now and then back.

Chinatown: Chinatown in San Franzisko is the biggest chinesiche quarter in the USA. Many of the Chinese living here are ilegale immigrants and spend her whole life in this quarter without ever in English to learn.

Gargi and Rajeev: Our friend Jatinder from Australia has friends in San Frazisko and has provided us for short hand an overnight stay possibility. We have got on with Rajeev and Gargi right away really and now thus we have not only friends in Australia but also in San Franzisko :-))
Indian kitchen: Gargi and Rajeev are an Indian and thus we were supplied during three days with delightful Indian food and tea. First sometimes for months that to me tea has again geschmekt.
Richard: We have got to know Richard approx. 1.5 months ago on the Baja California. At that time we have a night with him on the veranda his summer cottage spent the night and he had invited us to himself home to San Franzisko. 1.5 months and übr 1500 km later we arrive with him in San Martinez (a suburb of San Franzisko).
Sailing: Richard has a friend, that a sailboat in the Bay of San Franzisko lie has. A short phone phone call is sufficient and for the next day at 12.30 o'clock we are arranged with Ray to the sail. The next day, unfortunately, is hardly wind. Though we try, nevertheless, our luck with the sailings, nevertheless, have to go with engine from the bay rausfahren, then to hoist the sails and to stand then for approx. 1 hour more or less right away. Even if it has not worked with the sailings so surely it was a nice tag and a good view of San Franzisko we had in any case. We want to thank again quite warmly Ray who has taken the time with us in spite of prechristmas stress to be a matter sailing.
Chocolate factory: Richard is just as Martin big chocolates fan and thus Richard organises to us a sightseeing date in Berkeley in a chocolate factory. To be honest, the production trial has stimulated my chocolate appetite not exactly. Chocolate is produced from seed of the cocoa plant and goes through a fermentation trial (which really not very appetizing looks) before the chocolate beans are dried and are roasted.
Opera: In a church in Berkeley an Ochester has given a free concert which we of course have not missed. Unfortunately, though the akkustik in the church did not so feel well, but, nevertheless, otherwise very enjoyed very much the parts of operas from Mozart, Beethoven....
291. Weekly report: 22.12. - 28.12.2008

Route: Martinez

Christmas period in the USA: The Americans love during the Christmas period to decorate their houses and gardens with lots of lights. Who wants to see the extreme version, should call in in 189 Corsten Rd, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, the USA. Here one can find from the 1st of December to the 1st of January even the Santa Claus personally and can be taken a photo for a good purpose with him. Moreover, there is hot chocolate to drink and cookies. It is worth the the trip!
Martin at work: For days Martin works day and night on our new Internet site to finish it until Christmas. Actually, he moves from this chair and table only away to get some more black tea not to fall asleep.
Waiting for the presents: We´re waiting for a parcel with winter clothes of our sponsor VAUDE and on the 23.12 it arrives still on time for Christmas. And thus we have for many years once again a real Christmas presents! Many thanks to VAUDE.
Nadine baking Christmas cookies:
Christmas Eve: We were occupied the whole day, even almost in stress. In the morning Nadine has still baked a few little cookies and then there she had to do the shopping and baked a pizzza. Martin has spent most part of the day with sending our Christmas letter. Then about 17.00 o'clock we slowed down and after the dinner we let end the day with a video film.
292. Weekly report: 29.12. - 04.01.2009

Route: Martinez

Rohloff: The office of Rohloff USA lies in just 30 miles from Richards house. We cannot let escape of course this change to let them look at our hubs. However, we needed 2 weeks to arrange an appointment finally with them because we had the Christmas holidays. On Tuesday 30.12 we arrive at the office. Hardly we are in with the bikes that Neil already catches Martin's hub to take it apart. It is cleaned, a ball bearing as well as switch cable and switch clutch is exchanged. After 1.5 hours Martin's hub is ready and Neil catches with the words:" next" Nadines hub and also gives to her hub a checkup. What a service!!! Martin had taken, actually, his tools to be able to help, but Neil is too experienced and fast as Martin would have been able to help. We want to thank again Neil and Thomas for their great service. Already on the way home we both are totally blown away how quietly our hubs now again run and how easily it is again to change the gears. After 75,000 km they are virtually as new again (or even better).
Sylvester: After we are here in Martinez already for 2 weeks we decide that it makes no sense now leave on 31.12 . just to sit at 17.00 o'clock in the dark tent, so we shift (how already so often during the last 2 weeks) our departure onto the next day again. However, to our disgrace we have undertaken nothing at all special in the New Year's Eve evening and Nadine is even sleeping at about 23.00 o'clock and only shortly before midnight Martin woke her up.
Departure: Today is the 1.1.2009 and, finally, we start again. Nadine already starts to pack early in the morning everything and then at 10 o'clock everything is packed and we are ready to leave. Only fast on the Internet check how much it costs the of a parcel which we want to send to Germany. Then there comes the shock, the cheapest one what we are able to find costs floppy 149$!! Nadines sister has a friend who is married with an American and lives in Germany. After a few telephone calls we have Connys address and can send our packing for 10.99$ there. Thanks to my mum, Sandy and of course Conny. The only thing is that we need for it a smaller box which we do not get of course today on the holiday and thus we must shift our departure onto the next day once again. If this goes on we soon have to apply for our residence here :-)

Visitors: We are happy to see that our website is getting more popular. In 2008 we had 61497 visitor and 141.984 hits! Visitors in the last years: 61497 (08), 44853 (07), 31495 (06), 27693 (05), 22345 (04), 12918 (03) = 200801 visitors

293. Weekly report 05.01.2009 - 11.01.2009

: San Franzisco, Stockton, Yosemite
On the road again: Now after the long break in Martinez we are with freshly serviced hubs, new clothes and new snowshoes on the road again. Our next destination is of the Yosemite National Park in which we expect to encounter some now.
Almost bearproof: Here in the Sierra Nevada are still many wild black bears and to prevent that they eat our food we try to hang it about 100 m away from our tent into a tree. One should hang food 4 m high, so several cyclists have told us who have already been in Canada and Alaska. We try our luck and after several attempts I succeeded in throwing the rope over a branch. Because we, already have all food for the Yosemite National Park, our food pockets are so heavy (about 25 kg) that we have no chance to pull it up. At last Martin climbs high into the tree and pulls the foodbag, supported from Nadine who pulls like mad on the rope, a little further up. Nevertheless, after 3 m we both are at the end of our forces and thus we decide that this will be probably enough. If a bear would have seen us in our fight with the food bags, he would presumably have laughed wo hard, that his stomache would have hurt too much to eat some of our food.
Welcome to the Yosemite National Park: Although the Yosemite valley lies on 1200 m we must cycle first of all over a 1900-m-high pass to reach it. Everywhere lies high snow and even the street it icy. Nevertheless, the first sight in the late afternoon of the Yosemitetal was worth the hard cycling!
El Capitan: The gigantic granite cliff face of El Capitan is known to climbers all over the world. Even if the quickest ones manage to climb the cliff in one day most others have to camp in the midle of the wall.
Yosemite Falls: The three-stage Yosemite Fall is the biggest waterfalls of North America.
Deer: Some of the deer here in the valley are not any more completely wild and this one runs a good 1 kilometre comfortably infront of us. It meets every few metres some tourists but he seems not to be impressed or disturbed a all.
Mirror Lake: In winter and spring the Tenaya Creek creates a small lake, ad on the smooth water in the narrow widstil valley all the surrounding mountains are reflected.
Snowshoe trekking: In summer the park is an absolute trekking paradise but in winter with only a few skiers visit Yosemite NP. From the 4 million visitors who come here yearly one sees now nothing, although the park is also extremely attractive in winter for ski tours and snowshoe trekking. We got shortly after Christmas a few snowshoes and now start to a 5-day snowshoe trip. We got our Wilderness Permit easily from the Rangers and although we plan to hike off the routes marked in winter (on the summertrails) they think that we might have no problems. Tough it would become, because we would have only some old tree marks as a guidance and, moreover, the walking is exhausting in the untraced snow.
Dewey Point: On the first day, after we have taken part in a small ranger led snowshoe tour, we hike on our own to the Dewey Point. The 7.5-km-long Trail is the only official wintertrail on which we'll hike the next days and thus we make quick progress. Then shortly before sunset we reach the aimed viewpoint. What a view!
Full moon: The moon is so bright that we have no problems to find the way in the snow-covered scenery. The only bad part: It is very very cold!
Snowcamping: Thanks to our permit we may camp everywhere, but because of the snowy conditions it is a little more demanding than normally. First we have to trample down the snow on the place whrere we plan to pitch our tent. Our Isomatresses are a little bit too thin and on the frosty soil we have quite cold bottoms. We try to help with our rescue foil, but this does also not help very well. Most rivers are frozen and thus we must always melt our water what Nadine always does while cooking. Also gong to toilet is not so easy, because we must dig always half a metre into the snow, before we can put in our small toilet pit. However, we have luck and the nights are not so cold and during the day it becomes even really nicely warm with cloudless sky.
Trail Breaking: OK. though it is a little bit tougher to make fresh tracks in the snow, but it is a marvellous feelings to hike for days through untouched snow!
Tree mark: This is a fresh tree mark, very well to be recognised. Nevertheless, mostly they are years old and many have already grown together again and they are hardly to be seen from a bigger distance. Nevertheless, we manage to find our way with no problems.
Taft Point: Our second viewpoint and overnight stay lies at the Taft Point. We had again a delightfully warm day but after sunses Nadine stays in the tent while Martin again pulls up our food into the tree (what we meanwhile manage pretty well) to protectit from the bears and enjoys again with the bright full moon the viewpoint.
Beartrack: If the snow lies too high the black bears can find no more food and thus they go into the hibernation. All bears up here should already be in the hibernation but like it looks there are apparently some sleepwalkers. All together we see three beartracks and this is the most fresh one.
Sentinel Dome: From the 2500 m high Sentinel Dome we have during our lunchbreak a marvellous 360 ° view which we enjoyed very much.
Glacier Point: Presumably the best viewpoint in the Yosemite Valley lies at the Glacier Point, which is why it is completely overrun in summer. But in winter only one cross-country skiing track leads to Glacier Point. If there would be o ski hut, nearly nobody would come here. After we have hiked completely on our own the last 2.5 days through the park we now meet six hut residents who spend here their week-end. We pitch about 300 m from the hut our tent right at the beginning of the Panorama Trail.

Glacier Point after sunset: Glacier Point with Half dome on the right.
Campsite with view: Our camp site with a view at Glacier Point.
Half Dome at Full Moon: One day earlier we might still have admired the full moon beside Half Dome at sunset, but now he just comes out behind the dome all at once in get dark. Together with the six hut inhabitants and their guide we await in the cold to see this spectacle of nature. Nevertheless, one of the hut inhabitants takes care of us and afterwards brings us a hot chocolate from the hut!
Drying our gear: We are constantly almost about both ears into the snow, and thus it is no miracle that our shoes and socks are always soaking wet. Thanks to the warm Californian sun we are able to dry everything.
Cold feet: For a nice photo one must make every now and then sometimes a small (cold) sacrifice.
294. Wochenbericht 12.01.2009 - 18.01.2009

Yosemite, Fresno, Bakersfield
Offene Ferse: Ob es daran liegt, daß Nadine schon monatelang keine geschlossenen Schuhe mehr getrage hat oder an den Schneeschuhenwissen wir nicht, doch Nadine hat sich bereits am ersten Tag unserer Tour riesige offene Blasen an den Fersen gelaufen. Nadine hat die Wunden zwar etwas verarzten können doch angenehm wurde das Laufen davon noch lange nicht. So hat sie jeden Tag tapfer wieder in ihre Schuhe angezogen und letztendlich sogar die Schuhsohlen rausgenommen, um mehr Platz für ihre Ferse zu machen. Nächstes mal werden wir aber auf alle Fälle Blasenpflaster mit dabei haben!
Panorama Trail: Den Abschluss unserer Wandertour bildet der Panorama Trail, der uns den ganzen Tag mit stets herrlichen Ausblicken auf das Yosemite Tal und die Rückseite des Half Dome verwöhnt. Wir sind wieder einmal die ersten, die diesen Trail seit dem letzten Schneefall gehen und dürfen uns so unseren Weg selber suchen, doch da der Weg meist einer breiten mehrspurigen Autobahn ähnelt (an einer Stelle liegt mal kein Schnee und wir können Teerreste erspähen!!!) haben wir keinerlei Orientierungsprobleme.
Eisiger Abstieg: Neben dem Nevada Fall führt ein steiler Pfad bergab. Durch die warmen Tage und die kalten Nächte ist der Pfad manchmal abgetaut, manchmal jedoch sehr eisig. Dank unserer Schneeschuhe, die wegen ihrer "Krallen" auch auf Eis guten Halt haben, kommen wir jedoch wohlbehalten unten an.
Giant Sequoias: Am südlichen Ende des Yosemite Parks bildet die Mariposa Grove (Schmettelings (span.) Wäldchen (engl.)) die Heimat der riesigen Sequoias. Obwohl die Sequoias weder die ältesten (Bristlecone Pine mit über 4600 Jahren), oder grössten (Redwoods mit 115m) Bäume sind, noch die mit den dicksten Stämmen (Montezuma Zypresse in Mexiko) sind sie trotzdem weltberühmt als die Lebewesen mit dem größten Gesamtvolumen. Sequoias können bist zu 94m groß werden und ein Alter von etwa 3000 Jahren erreichen. Sequoias benötigen übrigens regelmäsige Waldbrände, denn dadurch werden konkurrierende Bäume beseitigt und der offene mineralhaltige Boden und direktes Sonnenlicht helfen den Sequoiasamen zu keimen. Der etwa 1800 Jahre alte Grizzly Giant ist einer der größten Bäume in der Mariposa Grove. Der riesige Ast auf der rechten Seite des Baumes hat einen Durchmesser von 2m und ist somit dicker als alle anderen Bäume hier (außer Sequoias).
Calofornia Tunnel Tree: 1895 wurde ein Tunnel in diesen Baum geschnitten, so daß Pferdekutschen durch ihn hindurchfahren konnten (damals eine grosse Touristenattraktion). Der eigentlich berühmtere Tunnelbaum, der Wawowa Tunnel Tree, lag etwas weiter oben im Wald, doch unter den Schneemassen im Winter 1969 ist er damals umgestürzt
Übernachtungsplatz: Wir übernachten zwar in der Mariposa Grove, doch da wir 30m Abstand von Bächen und Wegen halten müssen können wir natürlich nicht ganz so nahe an einer Sequoia zelten.
Clothspine Tree (li) und Telescope Tree: Viele Waldbrände haben diesen Baum so ausgehölt, daß ein Auto problemlos durch ihn durchfahren könnte. Noch viel erstaunlicher ist der Telescope Tree, der komplett von innen ausgehölt ist. Trotzdem lebt der Baum weiter und produziert auch noch Samen.
Farmland: Nach über einer Woche im Yomsemite Nationalpark geht es auch für uns wieder weiter. Auf unserem Weiterweg ins Death Valley müssen wir über die Sierra Nevada und der im Winter beste Übergang liegt weiter im Süden bei Bakersfield (die anderen Übergänge sind entweder im Winter geschlossen oder Autobahnen). Das Sacramento Tal ist jedoch endloses flaches Farmland und nach der Artenvielfalt in Yosemite wirkt die Gegend hier auf uns fast wie tod.
294. Weekly Report12.01.2009 - 18.01.2009

Yosemite, Fresno, Bakersfield
Open heel: Whether it is due to the fact that Nadine has not used closed shoes for quite some months or to the snowshoes we do not know, however, Nadine has already walked herself on the first day of our tour gigantic open bubbles in the heels. Nadine could fix up the wounds though a bit but hiking was hard afterwards. Thus she has put on every day courageously again her shoes and at last took out the shoe soles to make more room for her heel. Next time we will carry blister plasters with u!
Panorama Trail: The Panorama Trail gives us the whole day always marvellous views of the Yosemite Valley and the back of the Half Dome. We are the first ones once again which hike on this Trail since the last snowfall and have to break the trail. This time orientating is easy because the trail seems sometimes to be more like a big highway. sometimes we even can see some paved parts where the snow was already melted.
Icy descent: Beside Nevada Fall a steep path leads downhill. By the warm days and the cold nights the path is sometimes clear but sometimes also very icy.Nevertheless, thanks to our snowshoes, which have because of their "claws" also good grip on ice, we come down safely.
Giant Sequoias: At the southern end of the Yosemite Park is the Mariposa Grove (butterfly (span). grove the native country of the Gigantic Sequoias. Although the Sequoias are neither the oldest (Bristlecone Pine at the age of more than 4600 years), or biggest (Redwoods with 115m) trees, nor the ones with the thickest trunks (Montezuma cypress in Mexico), but they are world-famous, as the living beings with the biggest whole volume. Sequoias can become 94m high and reach an age of about 3000 years. Sequoias need, by the way forest fires, because thereby competing trees are removed and the open mineral ground and direct sunlight help the Sequoiaseeds to grow. The about 1800 year-old Grizzly Giant is one of the biggest trees in the Mariposa Grove. The gigantic branch on the right side of the tree has a diameter of 2 m and is thicker therefore than all the other trees here (except Sequoias).
Calofornia Tunnel Tree: In 1895 a tunnel was cut into this tree, so that horse carriages were able drive through him (at that time a big tourist attraction). The actually more famous tunnel tree, the Wawowa Tunnel Tree, lay a little further on top in the grove, but due to the snowy masses of winter, 1969 he fell down
Overnight camping: Though we spend the night in the Mariposa Grove, we of course did not stay so close to a Sequoia.
Clothspine Tree (li) and Telescope Tree: Many forest fires have cut out this tree in such a way that a car could drive through it easily. Still much more astonishingly is the Telescope Tree which is completely hollow from the inside. Besides this the tree is still living and produces still seed.

Farm country: After over one week in the Yomsemite National Park we have to keep on cycling again. On our way to the Death Valley we have to go over the Sierra Nevada and the best crossing in winter lies further in the south at Bakersfield (the other crossings are closed in winter or are highways). Sacramento valley is an endless farm country and after the biodiversity in Yosemite here the area seems on us almost like dead

295. Weekly report 19.01.2009 - 25.01.2009

Bakersfield, Kern Valley, Risgecrest, Trona, Death Valley
Television interview: We just update in a residential area where we had found WIFI our Internet site, as two women in their car briefly talked to us. After a while they went on and stoped on the next corner. We feared already that they called the police, however, after 10 minutes they came back and told us, that they had informed the local TV station and they would like to make with an interview with us. The television broadcasting station lies on our way and thus we offer to cycle there. We are welcomed from the program manager and wait in the studio, because no cameraman is there right now. Then, after about 20 minutes, comes the Mexican cameraman and the program manager asks him to film the interview with us, but, best of all outdoors and also to take a few pictures of us while cycling. Unfortunately, no reporter isavailable, and thus 2 girls are sent with us (one has just her first working day). The interview must be formed in such a way that one does not see the girl (as they are no reporters). Because there is also a big Mexican population here the interview is also made in Spanish. The girl with her first working day knows a little bis Spanish, but she has no idea what she should ask, so that at last the cameraman intervenes and interviews us. When Nadine asks the program manager whether he could maybe hand over a copy of the interview (email or post) he gives her merely his bussines card and says we should download it from the Internet ( Now thats how they appreciated that we have given the interview!
Remington Hot Spring: In the middle of the Kern Canyon are the Remington Hot Springs. As the hot springs are rather an absolute confidential tip and thus there are no signs and even some locals do not know them (we had got them recommended already from somebody in the Yosemite NP ). Nevertheless we find finally the parking lot and the small path which leads to them. Here camping is no problem and as there are four naked older men in the pools we scedule our visit for a little later. Shortly after sunset we wobble the 50 m from our tent to the thermal pools only to find out, that here is now the rush hour. About 10 people are in the 3 pools. We start first in the "coldest" pool and work our way slowly further up, until we sit finally, together with the last other visitor, in the hottest pool and enjoy the stars. I can see even two shooting stars. The next morning then we allow ourselves another round in the Hot Springs. This time an old hippie (with catheter) is with us in the pools. The pools are made wonderfully from big river pebbles and small little stones and also are maintained excellent (really clean, no algae and no garbage). The view of the pools on the wild Kern River and the surrounding mountains is quite unique!
Way back: To come from the Hot Springs back to the street is hard work! But together we manage the mountain.
Touring bike: Fully recycled touring bike with even the trailer connection made from an old water pipe. In the trailer, directly on the right beside the wheel, lies a living "guarding cat"!
Kern Valley: On our way through the Kern Valley we are surprised by the rain on the last kilometres over the Sierra Nevada. Then early in the afternoon we are quite frozen and as there is no weather improvement in view we hide in our tent and play the game "Colonist of Catan".
Sunshine capital of the USA: After we had some great weather in the Yosemite Valley we cycle through the sunshine capital of the USA with rain!
Borax: Close to Ridgecrest is a gigantic borax mining area. While about half of the borax is used in the ceramics and porcelain industry borax is also used for: Heat part glass, lenses, fiber glass, as an Antiseptikum, preservative, detergent, fertilizer, playing cards, plasters, colours, rocket propellant, film developer...
Death Valley here we come: Behind the next mountain range lies already the famous Death Valley, and thanks to light tail wind, the bright blue sky and springlike temperatures cycling here is pure joy.
296. Weekly Report 26.01.2009 - 01.02.2009

Death Valley, Las Vegas
Death Valley: During the Gold Rush in California a group of pioneers, against the warning of their leader, took an abbreviation in 1849 through the unknown desert. On the way to the west they came to the Death Valley, where they finally left their carriages, because they and their oxen were already too weakened to cross over the mountains. The group continued on foot and followed about the route we had come (Ridgechrest - Walker Pass). A member of the group died in the valley and when a man looked back from the mountains he said: "Goodbye, Death Valley". The name remained! Although we are here in one of the driest and hottest places on earth, here it is anything but "death"! There are more than 970 different botanical species, from which there are 50 only in the Death Valley. 6 different kinds of fish, 5 amphibians, 31 reptiles and 51 mammals live here! The desert lives!
Really Hot! The Death Valley is the second-hottest place in the world. Here in 1913 56º C were measured , the second-hottest temperature which was measured on earth (the hottest temperature was in 1922 in Lybia with 58 º C). Thanks to some mountain ranges further to the west,which get all he rain from the cloudes which are commming from the Pacific, a very dry climate predominates here. Moreover, the Death Valley lies 86 m under the sea level and is surrounded by high rocky mountains, in which the air warms itself up. The highest ground temperature was floppy 94 º C! Enough to make eggs! On an average the Death Valley is, the hottest place in the world and even at night it hardly cools down to less than, 31 º C. In 2001 the temperatures lay during 154 days continously at over 38 º C. Now, in winter, it is pleasantly warm and perfect to cycle, although we had even a light snowfall at the first night! But the snow has not remained on the groud of course. If it rains here, sometimes one can see in the spring the wild flowers blossoming.
Mosaic Canyon: To reach the Mosaic Canyon we have to cycle up a tough dirt road, with some speeding 4WD drivers which dust us completely in. Then, the Mosaic canyon with his narrow marble canyon is luckily only accessible on foot.
Sand dunes: As in every desert there are also in the Death Valley some sand dunes, although they make out only 5% of the entire Death Valley. Because the gigantic Eureka the dunes (which generate a tone if the extremely dry sand rolls down the dune) are too far in the north for us, we make do with the Mesquite Flat Dunes. Unfortunately, the sun disappears shortly before sunset behind some clouds, and so we take just a few action photos.
Off road camping: If one follows one of the dirt roads for 3 km into the mountains, one may camp there free of charge. Of course we use this possibility, but because the dirt road is really bad clibs quite a bit uphill, the free overnight stay is earned hard! But so we have a nice and quiet camp site
Zabriskie Point: Marvellous viewpoint over "badlands" down into the Death Valley in the early morning.
Good neighborhood: Camp sites cost here 12$ (6$ for retiries) for up to 8 people no matter whether one arrives here by bicycle and a small tent, or with two gigantic caravans or two residential coaches. We get into conversation with Ted (Ted has a huge caravan with an extendable sitting room and bedroom which he pulls with a saddle traction engine) and finally Nadine asks him, whetherwe could pitch up our tent ext to his truck (Ted is travelling with his dog) which is fine for him. Ted is one of many pensioners who have a big caravan (or camper coach) and travel now all over the USA. The campers are rather comparable with a small appartment and are equipped with all luxury: a normal kitchen (normal cooker, oven and double-door fridge), proper shower, spacious sitting room with 2 big sofas, bedroom with normal double bed, normal washing machine and tumble drier, WC, satelitte dish, Internet over satellite, phone, flat panel TV, second car (mostly cross-country vehicle). Thus we also get to know the neighborhood: a Dutch married couple, but all 6 months they must leave briefly for visa reasons, a racing cyclist who won tha race across the USA several times (about 5000 km in 10 days!).. Although they are travelling a litte more luxuriously than we, they are like-minded people, as their home is also the street.
Golden Canyon: It rains hardly in the Death Valley (abot just 63 mm per year and sometimes never), but if, then the country can hardly hold the water. Then flash floods are the results and this forms of course a scenery as one can see in the Golden Canyon.
Broken Silence: What we realy ejoy in desserts iis the silence. If one is a bit off the street the only thing what one ordinarily hears is the wind (if at all). Not so in the Death Valley. Thanks to a nearby military base, fight jets with supersonic speed are thundering regularly above the valley and carry out fights. The noise is ear-deafening now and again. If the pilots have withdrawn finally, then certainty one of the luxury campers thinks, that now the best time to start his generator (not in our neighborhood, but there are more), as comes up at satellite TV. The fact that in the evening no generator is supposed to run is of course as long as posible ignored, until one infuriated neighbour loudly informs the generator owner about the night's rest Many people are only once in their life in the desert, but they cannot properly experience it. How sad.
Artist Pallet: Thanks to many minerals the rock here shine in red, green, yellow, orange and brown.
Badwater: Badwater is with - 85 m the deepest point of the USA and a big salt lake. Bu here differently than in Bolivia (Salar Uyuni) one may walk out only a little bit into the saltlake. Here the small spring got the name Badwater, because the cartographer who had to put down all springs on a map could not even make his horse to drink the water, because it is so extremely salty. Places below the sea level originate, by the way, normally only if the region is also extremely hot. In a normal climate a deep point always fills up with water, but here in the desert the water evaporates simply too fast.
297. Weekly Report 01.02.2009 - 08.02.2009

Las Vegas, Hoover Dam
Hotel of Circus Circus: We planned to spend the night in Las Vegas at a "Warm Shower" member, but unfortunately, he had to cancel us a few days before becausehe wasout of town, and the 2nd WS has not answered our request. Thus nothing else was left to us than to search for a hotel. We had already checked out a few days ago the prices of two hotels on the Internet and were amazed that there are already rooms from 16$ per day(with a reservation of three nights) in Las Vegas. At the first hotel then, however, the disillusionment, this price is to be booked only on-line and as a walk in, the hotel costs 35$ of plus tax. Martin cycles without luggage to the Touristinformation to book the hotel there on the Internet, once more bas news. there is also a booking fee per every day you say and of course he visa fee so that finaolly the price is not that good any more. Completely nerved Martin comes back about 2 hours later to the hotel where Nadine was waiting with the whole luggage. So, sill no room booked, we decide to try out another cheap hotel which is at the "strip". Also this hotel costs 35$, but to be honest, 35$ for a hotel in Las Vegas directly in the world-renowned "Strip" does not feel bad at all and thus Nadine books us into the Circus Circus for 2 nights on the 25th floor. We push the bikes directly through the bombastic hotel lobby into the lift and into our room. Welcome to Las Vegas.
The Strip: Only 2 hours later we are already on the Strip and among the people. 34 million tourists visit yearly Las Vegas.
Pirate show: 3 times daily a pirate show takes place in one of many hotels after sunset. Differently than Odyssoys here a young pirate follows the singing of the sirens and goes onto their ship. In spite of the protest of the young pirate his pirate colleagues decide to free him and fire several cannon balls onto the ship of the sirens. In the defence and counterplot the sirens start to sing and bring the pirate's ship thereby for capsizing. Now all pirates jump into the water and escape swimming onto the ship of the sirens.
Volcano show: Of course the pirate show is not the only show in the Strip. Another hotel has consturcted a huge volcano which breaks out in the evening every hour.
Fountains: The Bellagio hotel has put on a gigantic lake and every half an hour, there is a fountain and sound show.
Slot machines: Of course we also try our luck on one of the machines. Nadine foud where you through a coin onto a plate. If one has luck other coins about the end of the metal edge are pushed down. The dropping coins are the profit. Martin throws his coins: no luck. As Nadine throws in her 2nd coin a corner breaks off: Won! Now, unfortunately, we must find out, that the machine stood in the child area and the profit is paid not as money but with coupons which one can exchange for a price. For our 20 coupons there is of course only nonsense, and thus we decide to give our coupons to a child.
Eifel tower: On our 2 days in Las Vegas we cycle once the whole Strip up and down and who thought, that to see the Eifel tower one must not travel to France is wrong.
New York New York: There is of course also an imitation of the Statue of Liberty on the Strip..
All you can eat: Already we got the advice from Rajeev and Gargi (our friends in San Franzisko), that Las Vegas is famous for it's all you can eat of buffets. I cannot remember everything what we have been eating, but here the things we have eaten for dessert. Nadine: 1 piece of carrot cakes, 1 piece applepie with icecream, 3 pieces of water melon and finally again icecream. Martin: 1 piece chocolate-nut-cake, 1 piece of pudding cream cake with icecream, 2 pieces of water melon, 1 piece of honeydew melon and a coffee.
Downtown Las Vegas: The old city centre (Downtown) of Las Vegas is covered since some years with a huge canvas and every evening after darkness a 6-minute light show takes place here.
Advertisement: In other towns of the USA there are promotional papers for real estates or free newspapers. Not thus in Las Vegas!
Drive-Thru Wedding: Las Vegas is one of the most popular places to be married in the USA, and so one can be married at almost every big hotel. Even in a Balloon or in the car in the drive Thru a wedding is possible. .
"Cycling and paddling around the world" now as a booklet available: Often we are in conversation on the street with people, who are interested in our way of travelling. Actually, all talks run out sometime to the question whether wewant to write a book or have already done it. Up to now we have always answered this question with "no" or "maybe". But in the Death Valley Martin has started to work through the nights and put together a 40 sided booklet with pictures. When we were in Las Vegas we stoped at a Copyshop and printed our first booklet.
The first happy "donators": As we have no work permit for the USA and are not allowed to sell therefore no booklets we hand out the booklet for a voluntary donation to the people. Because this is of course not Martin's thing, we have decided, that Martin produces the booklets and Nadine hands them out. Then, at the Hoover Dam, we are once again asked if we are planning to write a book. Nadine gets out our booklet and says this this is brand new. Both men are interested and would like to buy one and ask for the price. Now Nadine tells them, that we can't sell them in the USA but that we would be happy about a donaion. Both men smile and give Nadine a big donation. 2 days later we get an email of them with a few pictures which they have made of us. Besides the pictures, they mention in the mail, that they are two retired policemen from Illinois and now work for the police as private investigators. If we should come to Chicago we would be warmly welcome at their house (we hoe, that their guest-room has no bars in front of the windows :-)). There we have "sold" our first booklets to two ex policeman.
298. Weekly Report 09.02.2009 - 15.02.2009

Kingman, Williams, Grad Canyon
Route 66: Even if the legendary Route 66 was altered in a multilane Freeways, one can go every now and then, still on the old part. The Route 66 has become of course almost such a thing as a trade name and the restaurant owners and hotel proprietors are creative to attract customers.
Weather change: Together with a storm we arrive in Kingman and find cover in a motel. The motel search was not so easy at all, because whenever the motel operators have seen, that we soaking wet and frozen solid, the prices suddenly went up, although they were advertised differentely. The next day it hardly rains so we continue cycling. According to weather report the stormshould calm down for 2,5 days, but in the afternoon of the second day it starts snowing. It is snowing and snowing and to avoid tha our tent breaks down under the snow, we must shake regularly the snow off the tent. We get just about half a metre of fresh snow in less than 12 hours, more than during the last 20 years like some locals tell us. The next morning then a marvellous winter's day with beaming blue sky welcomes us. Perfect to dig out the tent.
Snowed in: Of course our bicycles are also completely snowed in!
Cargo trains: Parallel with our highway runs the main railway route from the east coast to the west coast. Now several times every hour long cargo trains with up to 168 carriages which are pulled from 6 locomotives are thundering endlessly past us. As if this was not already enough, many containers are loaded even double-storied.
Temperature fall: In spite of fresh snowfall we have a marvellous day with temperatures about 4 °C. 1.5 hours before sunset the temperatures drop all at once to -2 °C and thus we build up our tent in a tunnel under the street. At sunset we have about -4 °C in our tent and thus we hide in our sleeping-bags. About midnight Nadine checks again the thermometer which shows already -13 °C, before it freezes. We hardly freeze during the night though it is damn cold, thanks to our sleeping-bags. Differently the next morning, when Nadine wants to cook our tea. The thermometer is still frozen and after Nadine has warmed it a bit, it indicates frosty -14 °C. It is so cold that our breath air freezes from the inside to the tent and with icy fingers in the morning we try to get the ice from the tent before it can melt and everything becomes wet. It is foggy outside and because is not to be seen that it becomes warmer, we say in our tent. About midday the sun finaly comes with the first rays through the thick fog and thus we creep slowly from our cold tunnel in which it is still -8 °C cold.
Warming up: In Kingman we are picked up by Carl and his girlfriend infront of the supermarket. Carl has been on a biketrip by himself last summer for several months in the USA and knows thus the needs of cyclists. After the last cold days the invitation is more than welcome and thus we can warm up ourselves again. Carl was on the move several years as a bodyguard for the US Army in the Middle East and thus there are of course so many exciting stories to tell that we stsy 1 day longer. Luckily, because at night another small blizzard comes through. Unfortunately Carls dogs discover our food bag and thus we lose some of our food.
Damn cold: Once again the temeratures fall the nigth after the blizzard. We are just 25 km before the Grand Canyon and manage to hide once again in a tunnel, while the temperatures fall down to -14 °C. This time the tent is not frozen from the inside, what allows us to assume, that it was much colder a few days ago.
299. Weekly Report 16.02.2009 - 22.02.2009

Grad Canyon, Tuba City, Kayenta
Grand Canyon: Because the Grand Canyon has cut through the Colorado Plateau he allowe a unique look in the geologic history of the earth. The history of the Grand Canyon began 1,840 million years when ago, two colliding continental plates created the first rock layer (Vishnu Basement of rock). Then many of the next rock layers (the upper 2/3 of the canyon) originated as the area here was on the edge of an ocean and therefore they contain many fossilized sea animals. Then about 70 million years ago, the North American plate moved above the Pacific continental plate to push it up, by which not only the Rocky Mountains were created, but also the Colorado plateau (Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico) was lifted from sea level to more than 2000 m. Just 5-6 million years ago, the mighty Colorado started River his work and carved itself deeper and deeper into the different rock layers, until finally the Grand canyon originated. By the dry climate no humus layers and therefore no flora could develop, to hold the rainwater back, and so with every rainshower more rock was washed down the river.
South Kaibab Trail:Of course we also want to go down into the Grand Canyon. We pack once again our backpacks and descent down to the Colorado riverduring while our bikes are stored in the ranger station. The South Kaibab Trail follows more or less a ridge and thus we can enjoy constantly the magnificent view of the Grand Canyon with his multicolored rock layers. We are pretty fast and although we constantly overtake everybody else we make so many and so long breaks, to enjoy the magnificent scenery, that we are the last to arrive in the camp site.
Good things need time: Quite surprising how many years have pass, until a lot of garbage has rotted. So one can still identify the remains of the nappy in the countryside, while the baby who once carried them a that time long time ago is now already so old, that he wraps his own grandkids. However, the good thing is that, if the menkind should become extinct today, only about 1000 years have to pass that nothing is left from most of the garbage we have produced. And what are just 1000 years if one thinks that the oldest rock of the Grand Canyon is 1840 million years old!
Bright Angel Trail: The next day it luckily goes uphill back to the canyon rim." Luckily" is meant really serious, because after yesterday's descent our calves and thighs hurt so strong, that we could walk no metre downhill. But uphill other muscles are used (presumably the same we also need for cycling) and thus it feels much better. Surprisingly we need just 4.5 hrs (+ 1h break) to hike the 15 km and 1400 m (4500ft). Everybody thinks always that we must be really fit, and we maybe quite fit, but our muscles is trained especially for cycletouring. On a normal cycling day we walk maybe just 200 m and so the trekking trip was pretty tough for us. Nevertheless, we are still fitter than quite a lot of people in the western world who may be walks also only 200 m on a day (bed - bath - car - office chair - car - television armchair - door (to get the delivered pizza) - television armchair - bath - bed)
Rim Trail: If one follows the Rim Trail one has a spectacular view of the canyon. We follow the path with our packed bicycles and are of course constantly involved in conversations by the other tourists (which is of course good for our project "Pamphlet for donation").
Camping: Normally, the south rim of the Grand Canyon is mostly free of snow in winter. But only normally. We have the luck to experiece some sonow and to see many animals: Deer, Big Horn Sheeps, Elks and at night we hear the coyotes howling!
Monument Valley here we come: Already shortly after Kayenta we can already spot the first sigs of the infamous monument Valleys
300. Weekly Report 23.02.2009 - 25.02.2009

Monument Valley
Monument Valley: The Monument Valley with his many sandstone towers is probably one of the best known landscapes in the world. No miracle, as it was brought into nearly every livig room from Western movies with John Wayne . When we arrive it is stormy, but after we have pitched up our tent we cycle along the 27 Km (17 miles) senic loop straight through the rock towers, even if the light is not really good to taking pictures.
Sunrise: Shortly after 6:00 am Nadine opens our tent and the sight takes away our breath. Even I'm leaving my sleeping-bag and spend the next 1.5 hours with taking photos.
Missed Change: The day is so marvellous that we decide to cycle again the 17 miles loop through the Monument Valley. When we're at the "Northern Window" a big German tourist group arrives. I want to push away our bike because Idon't want to block the best photo spot, when we are already surrounded by the whole travel group and are questioned about our trip. Several times I point out the fact, that the main attraction are behind us the red rocks, but this was completely ignored. At last the jeep drivers of the travel group honk to get everybody back on board, without even one having taken a photo (except from us)!
Sunset: While Nadine prepares the dinner we enjoy the marvellous view from our tent. Almost like the Ayers Rock in Australia therock towers start to glow red at sunset.
Again sunrise: To let have a picture with the suns shining hrough our tent we have moved it in the eve to a better place. At the break of dawn then the sky is extremely cloudy and we suppose already, that we are not going to see the sun. But, we have not planned on the wind and perfectly for sunrise he has blown off most clouds.
Due to the many stories I decided to split up the website. California, Nevada and Arizona are on this site. From Utah on all the reports are on the site USA 2



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