domenica 23 agosto 2009
The day after our arrival, Juan Carlos lent us his car for visiting the town (the U-Haul was a pain in the ass to park!) and we visited the Denver Art Museum (realized by Gio’ Ponti and, for the new part, Daniel Libeskind), the Conference Center and a bank of Charles Deaton. In this last location we found an interesting military shop and we digged in… some hours later we got out of the store with a set of bags full of clothes!
In the evening we met with Juan Carlos and his family for dinner. Then we helped him to move in his new house filling up our U-Hauuul.
Next day we met Juan Carlos at the University of Mines (in Golden) where he works. He was a perfect host and guided us through his department and the University. In the afternoon we visited on our own the University of Colorado in Boulder (the classes start in few days and the campus was in ferment!), the Center for Atmospheric Research (realized by I.M.Pei) and we tried to visit the “Sleeper House” of Charles Deaton but was impossible to reach it because of the strict private property policy around it.
In the evening we moved to “LoDo” (The Lower Downtown of Denver), a very cool area of the city with many old bricks buildings, transformed in lofts, art galleries, pubs, a good place where we drank some beer, played pool and listened to some good live jazz music!
Friday morning we returned the U-Haul and went to visit the MCA Denver (a very interesting museum designed by David Adjaye); after this visit we headed to the Airport to take the new car we rented: they gave us a electric blue Dodge Caliber . In the afternoon we met for the last time Juan Carlos and his family to give him back his car and great them for the last time before continuing our trip.
Now we are on the road again, next stop: Iowa!
mercoledì 19 agosto 2009
Yes… After a fantastic trip in the Monument Valley at sunset and a sleep on a campground inside the valley, the next day we were on the road to Moab when, at 2 p.m., a strange noise came inside the Land and we had to stop in the middle of nowhere!!After some tries the diagnosis was: the gearbox was broken! After some time waiting we received help from the vice-sheriff of Blanding, the most near city to us..a tow-man moved our car downtown.
Arrived in Blanding we couldn’t to do anything ‘cause it was Saturday and all the services were closed. But Fabrizio started to talk with the owner of the motel, a mormon artist who showed him his impressionist paintings and told about their religion. So bad luck sometimes brings good things.
We waited here until Monday, planning how to solve the situation and getting to the visitor center where we searched in internet flights, cars, mechanics and other things…
For short: we decided to rent a U-Haul truck with a trailer to bring the Land from Blanding to Denver where we found a specialized mechanic and rent a car to reach Chicago in time.
Monday we moved to U-Haul Office in Blanding but apparently there was no reservation… After a long morning we discovered that our U-Haul was waiting for us in Monticello, 22 miles north to Blanding. Fabrizio decided to hitch hike at the gas station and, after a wonderful ride in the back of a red neck’s pickup truck , he reached Monticello and came back with the U-Haul.
When he returned we had our last lunch in Blanding and we talked with the owner of the motel (and the restaurant, and other properties in Blanding): he is an old man, very interesting and full of ideas about create an art museum of the town: he asked to send him some ideas or projects about it. Great occasion! Isn’t it?
After a long trip on the U-Haul (and our last night in the tent on the Land’s roof, over U-Haul trailer beside the Colorado river) we reached Denver where we left the Land in the mechanic hands; after a complete checkup the guys from JC rover 4x4 confirmed our original impression: the gearbox needs to be changed. It worked without oil for miles, and it died after a legendary ‘20 years’ of service. Fabrizio will send parts from Italy and come back to Denver in October or November for bringing the Land in New Jersey and shipping back (maybe) to Italy.
This evening we met a friend of Fabrizio, Juan Carlos Madeni - they met each other in Bolivia on a previous travel- who lives in Denver, doing research and teaching at the University of Mines in Golden: we had a very good speeking with him about university system in US and we’ll meet him again tomorrow in his office.
The Land may be over (just for the moment) but off course not our trip!
venerdì 14 agosto 2009
We had a great time in Grand Canyon, looking at the beautiful panorama and go thru a part of the trial that descend to Colorado River.
Maybe we waited a bit longer in the trail because on the road to Page we encountered the sunset! After a run against time, Fabrizio drove for half an hour with only the emergency lights (the only ones working properly)!
After a restoring night in Page, in our plans was the visit of Antelope Canyon and Bryce Canyon. But, sometimes, plans don’t work as well as on paper… We arrived late for our reserved tour at Antelope (we arrived in time but the clock in the Tours Office was 10 minutes in advance!) and the only chance was to wait for the 3.30 p.m. tour… We decided to wait for it and for passing time we visited Glen Canyon Dam (I wanted to visit Hoover Dam but it’s out of our itinerary… So we take the opportunity to look at the second dam in USA).
The Antelope Canyon is a stunning show! After the visit with the trip in the Navajo Guides’ cars (Fabrizio was sad he can’t use the Land for it) we decided to stay in Page for the night but in the camping of the Glen Canyon National Park, just out of the town; a very beautiful place on Lake Powell; we were blessed with a night sky full of stars and falling stars!!
The next day we leaded to Bryce Canyon, opting for a “little” offroad trip (more than 100 kilometers) taking the road thru Johnson Canyon… We are having a good time when, unfortunately, in the middle of nowhere, we found an hole in one of the tires!
We changed it like professional pilots of Camel Trophy and arrived at the Bryce Canyon just in time for a visit and preparing the tent for the night.
And now we leaved the spectacular hoodoos of Bryce Canyon with destination Kayenta, where we plan to start our trip though Monument Valley to Moab and the Arches National Park.
martedì 11 agosto 2009
sabato 8 agosto 2009
giovedì 6 agosto 2009
mercoledì 5 agosto 2009
We have to thank a lot Yen for his help in Austin, for sharing his home with us and for guiding us in the city especially at night!!!
Before leaving Austin (it was Sunday) we had lunch with him at Rudy’s “The worst BBQ in Texas”… what a fabulous meal: the meat was delicious and the sauce was rich and tasty…very fun people there!
After lunch Yen helped me satisfying my curiosity about comic books in USA bringing us in a comic bookstore near his house. After that we greated him and left Austin for Fair Oaks Ranch, near San Antonio, where the relatives of Fabrizio live.
Our next stop was on the road to San Antonio: a big store named Cabela’s… Here Gianpaolo had something to do for his cousin…But this is another story.
Near San Antonio we met with Yen’s sister, who is also a friend of Fabrizio. We had a nice talk in a very hot starbucks café then we get again on the road to Fair Oaks Ranch.
Here the relatives of Fabrizio were waiting for us and we had a fabulous dinner: Allison your dinner was great (the best meat I have eaten in a long time)! All the family has been so kind to us and for a little while I felt like being a cousin or a far relative coming from far far away.
Next morning we had a Texan-mexican breakfast and then, after a strong wii session, we left for Fort Davis.
In Fort Davis we found Fabrizio’s Land Rover, at the mechanic’s garage and then started to prepare it for the next miles of 3overland.
domenica 2 agosto 2009
sabato 1 agosto 2009
Dopo la giornata di ieri trascorsa in volo e l'arrivo a Houston sotto la pioggia... Ci sentiremo piu' avanti per un aggiornamento piu' corposo... Appena riusciremo ad avere una connessione stabile ad Internet.
See you later!