more plots of escapism
In keeping with the travel theme I've been on recently, I finally bought plane tickets to get to Vegas and back in September/October. Not that that matters any whatsoever to anyone who may read this, but spending all that money is one of the better things to happen in a while and I need to blog about something, so this is it. (My recent trip to Philadelphia was cool but very brief and a little frustrating in some ways, so it got passed over as a topic.)
This coming vacation should be a great one. I finally met with my homie Tim, who I'll be spending the trip with, and we hashed out some ideas. I knew there would be a few days of hiking and swimming in Havasu Canyon -- hands down the best swimming hole in the States and one of the top in the world, according to pretty much all of those in the know on such things. This is probably due in large part to the fact that it's owned by some wise Indians who have refused to allow the gummint to put in a paved road to their village of Supai and create a tourist trap out of a pristine bit of nature. That was the main draw of the trip for me; I decided I was in the first time we talked about it.
But it turns out there will be plenty more stuff thrown in. On the list so far are an O's game to start things off (Tim already has tix for the night before we fly, so why not make that the official beginning and catch a hotel in Baltimore to save that long drive the next morning?), Flagstaff (which supposedly contrasts with the rest of Arizona in that it has beautiful forests with cool trees and stuff), Petrified Forest N.P. (speaking of old trees, I'll have to drop loads of dough to ship home an awesome slice of a petrified tree for a souveneir), Meteor Crater (a well-preserved, mile-diameter bowl where a rock fell some years back), and a visit to the south rim of the Grand Canyon (a brief stop probably, as the hike in and out with some rafting in the Colorado will have to wait until a later trip). Other stuff likely to be added to the mix includes a Hoover Dam crossing and visit (not to sound too geeky, but it's a real shame visitors aren't allowed to view the guts of the thing anymore) and some hiking in a good slot canyon (them be the very deep and very narrow ones that must invoke that innermost claustrophobia in even the seasoned canyoneer) that Tim's been to.* And, last but not least, I'll have about a day and a half to pad my savings account at the expense of those hapless casino owners on The Strip -- thanks in advance, guys. And we still have some chunks of time left open for other stuff! In the bullpen are a kayaking excursion, stuff in/around Vegas that doesn't require parting with large sums of money, and whatever else on the map strikes our fancy.
So, it's good to finally get the ball rolling and start some planning on that. I've needed something grand to look forward to since returning from the Philippines and this fits the bill. There will be plenty going on this summer, of course, but nothing with this magnitude of awesomeness. And in the coming months a trip to Europe will hopefully begin to materialize. That would be too cool in too many ways...but given the expense and travel time required for that, not to mention the coordination of schedules and interests, I'd better not get my hopes up just yet. No loss for now though; can't complain about "only" a 1.5-week vacation to Arizona.
Looking ahead a bit, the months of September and October will rock if plans stay in the shape they're in now. I'll be out of the office about a third of the time, doing crazy stuff like biking an old canal route, wandering around out west, and sleeping through a week of training in Atlanta while waiting impatiently to ride coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia that weekend. And then I'll only need to pretend to work for another couple of months before Christmas comes around, and then hopefully the Europe trip will land in early 2007. Suddenly, for a fleeting few seconds, the future doesn't seem so bad...
*That's not saying much, though. The dude's been on practically every square inch of U.S. territory between the Rockies and the Pacific Ocean. This afternoon I was pointing out obscure stuff on the Arizona map, like Tombstone and various markings with weird Indian labels, and every time (really, every time) he'd give his impression of it from when he was there. The planning and travel time on last year's Utah-Nevada trip was the same way. Proof that one doesn't have to travel abroad to see tons of cool stuff and keep going back for more. But that doesn't make me want to go overseas any less.