Sunday, April 29, 2007

I made it!

After some 2300 miles, a few wrong turns, running over a squirrel and
smashing countless bugs , I finally made it to Seattle safe and sound.

It was a lifetime experience adventure and was worth every mile. Driving
on the winding road up and down the cascade mountains was such a
wonderful entertainment on the road. Going on the mountain top, seeing
snows and green pine trees, listening to the nature and looking down from the
mountain top really lifted my spirit and made me feel I was on top
of the world at that moment.

The wildlife, Geysers, canyon and Yellowstone were
very charming. The park is in high elevation, huge, full of wildlife and hot
springs and picturesque. I can't put enough into words. Let the
pictures speak their thousand words.

Check out more pictures from the trip.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mount Rushmore and Devils Tower

April 26th: I got up early and headed to Mount Rushmore around 8 am which is only 2 miles from the motel I stayed at.

The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. I finally got to see this famous giant sculpture of presidents' faces in person and was impressed by it.



After Rushmore, I headed to Devils Tower which is about 2 and a half hours away. As soon as I got close to Devils Tower, it drizzled down. It's amazing to see this giant of rock column stand out among other mountains. According to the information, the rock was formed 50 million years ago by magma. On the top, it was the size of a football field where ants, rats and an occational snake can be found.


Two climbers almost made their way to the top. I wish I had a zoom lens.

Then I continued my way to Yellowstone. I decided to take US-16 highway recommended by the sign on the road that I would get the most scenic view and get there fastest.

The guy at the Information Center adviced me to take I-90 instead because US-16 is a winding road going up the mountains and it might snow up there. But I decided to take US-16 anyway because I wanted the best scenic view while driving. As I drove up the mountain, it got more and more cloudy. Then it showered. Then it turned to be slightly snow. This didn't look good. My rear-wheel drive car would just make things worse if it snowed more later on the winding road. My instinct told me to turn back and forget the scenic view. So I did and took I-90.

It's snowing slightly on the mountain.

Then an hour and a half later I saw another route to Yellowstone, US-14. It's still a winding road going up and down the mountains but the condition was much better than US-16. It looked sunny over the mountains this time. I took US-14 and it was a beautiful ride all the way. On mountain tops, there're still snow covered the ground but the pine trees were all green.


I drove on the elevation as high as 8400 feet and the temperature dropped as low as 28 Fahrenheit, below freezing. Felt like winter again.




Now it's 12:30 am. Time for bed. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.

Kansas City, Missouri to Keystone, South Dekota

April 25th: I left KC around 12:30 pm. The weather was cloudy and looked like it was going to rain.

Indeed a couple hours later after I got into Iowa, it showered, though not heavily, for like 2 hours on the road. But that didn't delay my trip I had planned.

11 hours didn't seem too bad. I like the open road that seems endless. Plus, talking on the phone with friends, singing along U2, Red Hot Chilli Pepper, Jack Johnson... and chewing on Sunflower seeds helped keep me entertained. Got in Keystone around 11:00pm, mountain time.

A scenic Rest Area in South Dekota

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Adventure


My road trip plan:

Transportation: Car.
Destination: From Kansas City, MO to Seattle, WA.
Stops on the way: Mount Rushmore, Devil's Tower and Yellowstone.
Total hours of driving: 30 hours.
Total distance: 2000 miles.
Total days: 4 days. Plan to get there by 29th.

Here I go...I hope to get internet access to keep you posted on the way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Downtown Chicago

Downtown and Lake Michigan. View from Shedd Aquarium.

Concrete jungle. View from Sears Tower.

Cloud Gate (The Giant Bean) at Millennium Park. A great piece of art!

Interesting Architecture.

Looking up.
Picture 108

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

The time was 2:30 pm on Sunday, 8th. It was a cloudy freezing day for April in Chicago. The temperature dropped to a little below 0 celcius. As Chicago is known for "Windy City", the wind from Michigan lake, which is right in front of the Aquarium, added the chill to our already-chilled bones. Our ears and faces were numb. Yet my friend and I decided to stand and wait on the long line outside the Shedd Aquarium. I guess everybody thought it was Spring. Like other tourists, we were pretty excited to get in despite waiting in the frost-bite cold. It's supposed to be one of the best Aquariums in the country.

After 45 minutes and some jaw rattlings later, we finally were able to gaze at the fish, reptiles and mamals inside the Aquarium. It was worth the wait though we wish we had more time to spend there. But I will probably go back there if I have a chace to visit Chicago again...

School of fish. Can you spot Nemo?

Anaconda. Still growing!

A family in tuxedos ready to party.

Playful dolphins put up the show.