Ben’s Posts

San Francisco II – Images

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Muir Woods.

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View from a street below Coit Tower down through the Italian neighborhood and up the hill.

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Big tree.

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Panorama across the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Garden in Golden Gate Park.

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Boats.

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The City from the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Bridge sidewalk.

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Alcatraz from the boat.

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The City from the boat.

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Bay Bridge from the boat.

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Bikes and the Bay Bridge.

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Sausalito from the bus.

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Golden Gate Bridge behind hills.

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City and Bay Bridge from boat.

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Shot of Virgin Atlantic A340 from inside an Alaska B737-700.

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Golden Gate Bridge in the clouds.

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Muir Woods.

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Cool shot of bridge towers.

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Bridge from car.

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Coit Tower.

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Shot of sky, clouds and sun behind a blended winglet/wingtip fence combo on an Alaska B737-900.

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Painting of Coit Tower and Golden Gate Bridge.

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Road leading to the Bridge on the City side.

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Close-up of fog over the south tower.

Stuff 3 (Hotel/Casinos and Regular Spike)

I am currently posting from McDonald’s in Mesquite, Nevada, that failed attempt at a mini-Vegas between Vegas and St. George on the I-15.  Seriously, as you ride through the endless desert between there and Vegas, you see all these ads for hotel/casinos in Mesquite.  And then you get there, just to get gas and lunch or something and you see all these desolate buildings and broken signs for these huge attempted resorts.  I think their main source of revenue is really just weary travelers who need a place to crash for the night and take advantage of the dirt-cheap hotels.  I know we always did it when I was a little kid.

So yesterday, out of seemingly nowhere we decided to leave the beach near Oxnard and go back to Farmington because of non-significant reasons, but the whole thing was still an overall good experience and it ended well.

We ended up getting to my Mom’s friend’s house in Las Vegas last night at around 9:30.  We just crashed there.  So last night I ended up stealing this little kid’s room, even though I was like, “No, seriously, the floor is fine…” and there was this really clingy cat named George that kept me up for half the night.  It was just like living at my house in Farmington.  My cat, Regular Spike, has a nasty habit of yowling at my door several times early in the morning.  I let him in, and then he just wants to go back out again.  Rinse and repeat.  But the thing is, he doesn’t want to do it when I want to get up.  He wants to do it when he wants to do it, which is generally about 4:45 a.m. pretty much every day, like clockwork.  He eventually gets bored with it though, thank God.  So yeah, good times.

And then we got back on the freeway, but my Mom had pre-scheduled a screen-share with a co-worker before we had known we were gonna screw it and book it, because we really did just do that out of nowhere.  And now I’m at McDonald’s in Mesquite.

I’m at Starbucks

I might just do the exact same thing I did yesterday.  And the day before.  Probably not Monday though.  I think I did something different Monday.  I don’t even know, I can’t remember what I did this week, or what day it is most of the time.  I think I went to the beach for a bunch of hours yesterday and the day before, but not Monday.  I suppose it’s not going to matter.  Unless I get interrogated.  I’d be like, “I swear I’m clean!” and they’d be like, “Oh really?  Then what were you doing on Monday?  “Ohhhhhhh crap….”

It’s pretty windy outside.  Maybe I can order another box kite and land it in the ocean and end up swimming after it in my jeans like yesterday.  Or land it on some dude’s roof-deck and spend twenty minutes trying to hoist it out.  See, I can’t even do something normal without failing in some sort of outrageous manner.  I need to come up with a job where that doesn’t matter.  Maybe professional caveman or hermit would suffice.

I am trying to write more, I have a really good sequence of ideas, it’s just hard.  I tried writing the same thing before, and I just went straight into writing it in novel format and I got about 75 pages in and then realized it was mostly garbage.  And I lost that flash drive anyway.  But I figured I could tweak the story a little, make it less dark and more original and change some plot elements just a little, as well as doing more brainstorming beforehand.  I made this decision officially a while after I got to California, and so far I have about 3.4 pages of comprehensive plot summary.  I would share more about what the story was about, but it would actually be quite difficult due to its complicated nature.  Explaining the story would take forever.  I am working on that plot summary, but it probably would not make sense to other people because I designed it as a reference for myself and it’s full of these weird anecdotes that represent plot elements.  But if it ends up being good and is worth continuing to work on, I’m sure anyone who reads this will hear more.

That’s all I really got for now.

Experiences in Solitude

So yeah, nothing very dramatic happened.  But I did go to McDonald’s today.

But then the WiFi didn’t work so we ended up just going to Starbucks again.  This particular one that we always go to and work at has amazing WiFi.  I could experiment with Pandora’s heavy metal and load music on YouTube stations without cyberspace collapsing into itself.

I tried to fly a box kite for the sixth time today (it had actually flown three of the times before, none of them ended well, and it wouldn’t fly at all for the other two).  It ended ended considerably badly this time, as the end of this event included me looking up box kites on Amazon.

I have continued to to text my friend from Utah, just a little bit, for the past few days.  Also, today my friend from camp last summer called me for a few minutes.  To put that into perspective for all you “regular” people, that’s more social life than I’ve had in quite a while.

I also went to the beach for…. probably at least two hours today.  Same yesterday.  It hasn’t really been good for boogie boarding for the past few days, as the waves have been very huge.  They were like probably eight feet high above the regular ocean level sometimes (which I guess is normal or smaller than normal in some places but generally not with my experiences at my beach) and you could see the curl, like the one in my featured image (I seriously love that picture.  It could totally be someone’s post-rock album cover….. and it was just on some free wallpaper website, I didn’t even plagiarize anything.).  There were waves with these big curls a lot closer to the shore than usual.  And I was swimming around by them and basically body-surfing (I’m not sure if there’s one right way to do that).  At the beach by my house you walk in and it’s pretty rocky, and then there’s kind of a ditch formation where it gets about a foot or two deeper with the rocky ground on one side and smooth sand coming up on the far side, and then it gets pretty shallow again.  After you get past that spot you can body-surf easily.  Right before the huge ones flip over you can dolphin-dive right under them and come up the other side.  Or if you time it right you sort of ride the crest of it right as it’s breaking, and then it will roll out from under you so you don’t get sucked in.  If you ride it as it flips you risk getting violently thrown to the bottom sometimes.  Or you get sucked in and the wave tosses you around erratically before you can swim back up and get air.  I did it a few times.  The last wave I messed with today was huge and I got thrown straight to the bottom and scratched my back up a little and hit my head, fortunately not too hard.

That’s when I decided I was done with the ocean for today.

Stuff 2 (Cherry Coke, Mountain Dew and Post-Rock Music)

I had something I was gonna talk about it and then I forgot what it was.  Oh well; if it was important it will come back to me.  I shall now document whatever comes into my mind for the next several minutes:

Today I relived my memories from our excursion from San Francisco to Monterey Bay, in which I drank about two quarts of cherry Coke from Carl’s Jr. and made myself sick.  Oh, nostalgia.

In the past 24 hours I’ve had a faint glimpse of a social life, in which I texted my friend from Utah for a while.  It may be gone now, I don’t know.

I might go to the beach today.

I can’t believe I’ve been spending two bucks on a small bottle Mountain Dew from the corner store by our beach house when I can get two liters from VONS (Is that supposed to be in all caps?  That’s how you usually see it.) for the same amount of money and it lasts multiple days.

Over the past few days, I have become very addicted to the style of music that is referred to as post-rock.  It’s very hard to explain the music, and especially the feeling created by this music, you just have to look it up and listen to it on your own.  The style is exemplified by artists such as Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky.  It usually is done with rock instruments (guitar, bass, drums and sometimes piano and electronic features) and starts out soft then either remains soft or escalates to a more intense version of whatever is generally being vamped throughout the song.  Like I said, difficult to explain.  Some good songs I have found include “Stop Coming to My House” by Mogwai, “Connie” by El Ten Eleven (I dedicate that one to this article) and “Snow and Lights” by Explosions in the Sky.

How I got into this was that I was trying to find some softer music, generally from artists like U2 and Pink Floyd (“Marooned” by Pink Floyd is amazing), indie acoustic guitar players and also some softer stuff from heavy metal bands, like Opeth’s album Damnation (although that has a much darker ambient feel to it).  All of that music is good though and I would recommend it.

More random crap tomorrow maybe, unless something very dramatic happens.

Stuff

So I came up with that idea, for going on a trip to the northern West Coast, but it was really just an idea so the time-tables came up with don’t really mean anything.  I tried a bunch of ideas I had to make it cheap, but it was pretty much really expensive no matter what.  The cheapest idea I had was just to go back to San Francisco for like a week, which I personally would love to do, but I don’t think everyone else would want to do that.

What have I been doing?

Um…

I don’t know, I go to the beach sometimes, but I still prefer to hide in dark rooms and watch sketch comedy and listen to heavy metal.  I have become very addicted to this one song, originally just because it had amazing music (because it’s like straight up death metal vocals and you can’t understand hardly any of the lyrics until you look them up).  But then I looked the lyrics up online, just out of curiosity, because although generally hard metal vocals and lyrics are awesome, they aren’t very relatable, like “Blackwater Park” and “The Winter Eclipse” (although both of those songs are awesome).  This particular song’s lyrics were also very cryptic, but for some reason they perfectly described a situation that I was in at one point.  Even the title.  But unless someone directly requests it I won’t share the song because most people would just be like, “Um… what?  This makes absolutely no sense.  And…. why…would anybody ever want to listen to this?”.

BECAUSE, it’s awesome.  And I don’t care if you don’t like it, as long as you understand that it is musical art.  My junior high art teacher had this poster about modern art and it said “You don’t have to like it, just try to understand it” and I think that applies to all forms of art.  (Although I will say there is certainly a lot of things that are just slapped together and require no skill, especially in the area of heavy metal.  But it creates a bad reputation for good heavy metal.)

I have made a little progress on a plot line for a story that I already tried to write last year, but my newer version is actually not that bad and the one from last year was super lame.

I have basically no contact with people, but I did get a text message yesterday that said, “So, do you have a special beach babe yet?”  There are……. so many things I could say to that.  Too many.  Like, I know there are no stupid questions, but… that’s a @#$%ing stupid question.

We went to the iFLY in Universal City last week.  That was pretty fun.  If you don’t know what that is, they describe it as indoor skydiving.  You put on a skydiving suit and goggles and a helmet and you go into this jet engine wind tunnel and the air current is powerful enough that it lifts you into the air if you are in the right position.  It was fun but it’s also really expensive.

Yeah so that’s pretty much it.

Edit: “Blackwater Park” is not an unrelatable piece.  It has been argued as an allegory for the world tearing itself apart, which I can’t say I entirely disagree with.  “The Winter Eclipse”, a very progressive black metal piece, probably has some sort of meaning, but nobody on songmeanings.com has elaborated so that would be kind of a project of its own.

Proposed Northern West Coast Trip

This is mainly for the use of people in my family, but I suppose there’s nothing wrong with posting it to the general public.  I mean, I guess some wise guy could see this and then jump on and buy all the plane tickets or something but I really don’t see that happening.

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The triangle-oid on the map shows approximately what we would be doing, except we would fly, on Alaska Airlines, to San Francisco (Seriously, those guys are giving all the other airlines a run for their money.  You can fly to SFO for 59 dollars from Utah on Alaska, and freakin’ Delta wants to charge you like 200…), and then ride the Amtrak Coast Starlight train line (yes, Amtrak still exists) north to Portland, Oregon, chill there for a few days, and then continue on northward to Seattle, Washington on the Amtrak Cascades line.  We would remain in Seattle for approximately a week and then return by air to Utah.

The point of this was to outline transportation and lodging costs in my proposed trip itinerary, so it might get boring.

We would depart on Alaska Airlines flight 743 (an approximate $290 total in airfare….I don’t have much experience in air travel but I think for five people on an airplane that’s like way cheap) early in the morning on Monday, March 23, (about three weeks after we return from California), and arrive in San Francisco (of course he planned San Francisco as the first stop… XD) at a still very decent time in the morning, with that extra hour on our side.  We would rent a car from the airport (on the house rental I found for Monday night they said that discount car rental was available) and then head across the bridge to the northern peninsula, to the Muir Woods and Beach, just like last time.  Maybe even go to the same phantom Starbucks and 7-11 as last time.  And then stay in our vacation rental in the northeast section of San Francisco.  It’s listed on VRBO at about $159.  Also we would need to acquire Muni (which is San Francisco’s equivalent of Utah’s UTA) passes (17 dollars each for a one day pass) the night before to avoid the outrageous downtown parking costs.

Still following the general plot of our last excursion to San Fran (which can be viewed on my homepage), the next day we would leave our car at our rental house and ride Muni into downtown and go from there.  We would just need to get the rental car back to SFO in the evening and catch the BART train (BART airport line is $8.50) per person from the airport to The Embarcadero, where we would catch a bus at the Ferry Building to take us to the train station to catch 14 Coast Starlight, on which we would ride through the night and until it arrived in Portland the next afternoon.  For all five of us, the total cost for Coast Starlight to Portland overnight and the shuttle bus to the train is about $388.

I found a vacation rental in Portland, listed on VRBO for $150 per night, where we would remain for three nights as we did whatever people do when they go to Portland.  I think Mount Hood and Mount Rainier are near the area, and I like mountains but I don’t know if everyone else in my travelling party could relate.

After our Portland experience, we would board 516 Amtrak Cascades to Seattle, and my plan is that we would stay there from Saturday the 28th through Friday, April 1st (and I think my dad would come and meet us either on Friday night in Portland and ride the train with us to Washington State and stay in Seattle with us for a short period, or maybe meet us in Seattle Saturday night), and then fly back to Salt Lake Friday night.  I found a very nice rental house in Seattle, listed at $119 for March.  We would do whatever one does in Seattle. (Seriously I don’t know hardly anything about these places, they just sound appealing.  I know Oregon has forests and mountains, as well as Washington State.  I also know that Seattle is near the ocean and has this fancy space needle building.  And that’s pretty much it.)  And then we would go back to Utah on Alaska flight 706.  The über cheap fares no longer apply, so to get all five of us on that flight would cost about $621, but that’s still cheaper than anything I found on Google Flights, as well as Southwest and jetBlue, which I always thought were also supposed to be affordable but, like I said, I don’t know much about airlines.

So there you go.

Anacapa Island Mini-Cruise

I can actually remember this one pretty well because it happened yesterday.

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The marker on the map is pointing to Anacapa Island, a small land mass at the end of the Santa Barbara Channel,  about thirty miles off the coast of Ventura, California.  It is one of the five islands in the Channel Islands National Park (as well as San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Islands).  The one to the left of Anacapa on the map is Santa Cruz, the largest island.

Yesterday, we took a four-hour cruise from Ventura around Anacapa Island and back.  It was actually a whale-watching tour, but I personally was more interested in seeing the island.  We did see a few graywhales and several dolphins near the beginning of the cruise as we started to cross the Channel.  The whales never showed more than their tails and blowholes, but the dolphins were surfing in the boat’s wake.

They sped the boat up and we headed toward “the Gap,” which is what the crew referred to the channel between Anacapa and Santa Cruz as.  They said they usually see whales there, but we didn’t see any.  I guess the whales prefer Old Navy or J. Crew.  It was cool though, because we got pretty close to the island.  It’s really more of a series of large rocks; the highest summit is about 800 feet above the sea, with steep grades on both sides, pretty much cliffs in some areas.  The island is pretty narrow.  The rest of the islets are pretty flat on top with cliffs going straight into the ocean.

When we got around to the easternmost side, they took the boat really close to the rocks, so we could get a good view of seals and sea lions laying on the rocks.  We were pretty close to the Arch Rock as well, and we got a good view of the lighthouse, which apparently was the last lighthouse to be built on the West Coast.

I found pictures…

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We went around to the side facing the mainland and saw the buildings on the island, some of them were old, but there is a new dock system attached to the cliffs.

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These are the old buildings that are still left.  I also found a picture of the boat:

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That may not be the exact boat that we were on, but we were on an Island Packers boat exactly like that one.

We started heading back toward the coast.  It ended up taking more like four hours instead of three hours because on the way back, they had to navigate to avoid hitting boats and oil rigs that I guess were doing something weird that day.  There are quite a few oil rigs in the ocean near this part of California.

The ride back was nice though.  I was riding up on the front of the boat and stuff… but anyway, I would recommend this, it was fun.

Yellowstone

Last Memorial Day, we went to Yellowstone National Park.  Actually, we left on Sunday morning.  It wasn’t really planned, we just kind of decided to do it.  Just kind of a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing.

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If you really have no idea where Yellowstone is, it’s in the northwestern-most corner of the state of Wyoming, with thin strips of the park lying within the eastern border of Idaho and the southern border of Montana.

We drove there from our house in Farmington, Utah; so we took the Interstate 15 north pretty deep into Idaho, until we had realized that we missed the turn and ended up getting off the freeway and going to this tiny “service station” in the middle of nowhere to ask for directions.  It was really just an old house that reeked of that old house smell and cigarette smoke, with two old ladies working there, but they told us that we could go east on a dirt road that would take us pretty much straight to West Yellowstone.  And they had cold Mountain Dew, so it was all good.

We took our minivan down the dirt road, which worked out fine because it was actually fairly smooth and well graded and we could do like 40 or 50 mph on the straight parts.  There were still the remains of dirty snowbanks on the sides of the road in some places.  Actually, most of Yellowstone still had a lot of snow left.  When we were up on the Beartooth Highway, the mountains were still covered in a few feet of it.  But anyway, the road took us through forests and past some ranches and wound around quite a bit before we actually got to West Yellowstone.  But I think it was still pretty early in the afternoon when we got to the park entrance.

On Sunday, we basically drove from West Yellowstone, Idaho, to Gardner, Montana, so we were going through the northwest area of the park.  It’s actually a very large park; one Yellowstone documentary I saw said that it is technically big enough to be its own state.

A fire a few years back had swept through most of the park, so most of the forests are not very tall and very light green.  But the ones we saw as we first started into the park still had the old, tall trees.  The few hours we had on Sunday may have been the best part of the whole thing.

Most of the stuff we saw wasn’t super noteworthy, but it was still a nice place.  We ended up in Gardiner by the time it was about to get dark.  Gardiner is this redneck town right on the northern entrance to Yellowstone, in southern Montana.  All the buildings have those wooden false fronts, and I swear every business also had a bar.  Like, at the end of all the place-name signs you would almost always see “& Bar.”  We ended up eating at this pizza place, which was pretty good, and then getting a single small room in the Best Western.  They had a hot tub, which was nice, but I didn’t get much sleep that night.  But when I don’t sleep, I think.

Since about the Summer after eighth grade, I’d had these fantasies about being a music artist.  They were really just fantasies, though; not much aspiration.  More just random stuff I came up with, and I was really just fantasizing to pass the time.  I just remember, when I was laying there, unable to sleep due to the crowded conditions, I was thinking about this remix that was on the radio (I listened to the radio a lot more last summer, but that’s unimportant).  I was really thinking about the lyrics of the song that was being remixed and they kind of applied to a situation I was in.  I started thinking about what I could do with that particular song, to make it cooler or personalize it or something.  (I don’t actually do stuff like this, I just come up with ideas all the time.)  Then I’m like, what if I came up with my own lyrics to build on what they’re saying and then, like, rapped them over the electro-music that had been remixed in.  And then after every rap-verse the chorus of the song would play… And what if I had some stage name…what about my Reddit username?  That would be really cool…..

Obviously, I never actually did that.  I don’t really even listen to that kind of music now.  But that idea was, as far as I can remember, the first real aspiration I had.  I’ve always had a small aspiration to be a music artist since then, although it has evolved quite a bit.  I’m just not sure exactly what to do……

Anyway, Yellowstone.  I don’t know… the next day we got up and went to the breakfast buffet that was complementary with the hotel.  That was good, because an unlimited amount of free food is always good.

We went back in the North Entrance and the drive for a while from the entrance was beautiful.  I don’t remember what everything was called, but there were some cool waterfalls and forests and mountains and lots of wildlife; mostly buffalo, deer and caribou.  I do remember that we took a side road to go see this petrified tree and there were a whole bunch of cars lined up, and I’m like, “Is a petrified tree really that interesting?”… Turns out there was a black bear, down the hill in the small valley, not more than maybe three hundred feet away from us.  It was just chilling out, messing around with some log… it took a swim in the creek (which, for your information, is pronounced “creeeeek”, not “crick”) and floated down the river until we couldn’t see it well anymore.

The Beartooth Highway was also cool, I think it’s like the highest paved road in the United States or something to that effect.  It went up the mountain and over this pass, and like I said, there was still at least a few feet of snow left up there.  I don’t know if that’s normal for the end of May?  I guess at that elevation it is.

I found a picture…

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So that’s cool.  Another cool place was this canyon, called “The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River”.  I think this place is why they called the park “Yellowstone”, because the cliffs are made of yellow stone.  And there’s a bunch of these waterfalls… I’ll find a picture for this one…

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I got that one from Wikipedia.  I don’t care what your English teacher says; Wikipedia’s the best.

We drove around this area and checked out some of the viewpoints around the area.  It would make sense to see formations like this in a place like southern Utah, but in a place like this it’s kind of weird.  But still really awesome.

We drove down from here, past the Yellowstone lake, which is apparently the largest high-elevation lake in the United States (Yellowstone has a lot of those high-elevation records I guess).  It looks exactly like you think it would look, just like a big lake in the mountains.

Before we hit the road for the long haul back, [It was getting late in the afternoon and we wanted to be back in Utah and have some time to sleep before we had work and school and stuff the next day (but let me just say, I would have definitely rather stayed in Yellowstone than gone to school those last few days.  I pretty much had almost no social life at that point.  It really never got much better from there; as I’ve been in California this past couple of weeks I feel like the last little bit of it just kind of melted… but ninth grade… ugh.).], we hit the Old Faithful Geyser, because you can’t go to Yellowstone and not see that…just in case nobody’s seen it or seen a picture or anything, I’ll find another Wikipedia picture.

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Perfect.

We had enough daylight left to see the Grand Tetons on our way back (we took a different route back).  We ate at Wendy’s in Jackson Hole.  As we passed through Jackson, I was a little bummed that the pizza place we would always go to when we were up there on my birthday was no longer there.  Mountain High Pizza Pie will be missed. Anyway, we drove down from Jackson down the canyon along the Snake River (which brought back some good memories because my extended family used to have this big family reunion every couple of years where we would go river rafting in that canyon) to Star Valley.  The sun was going down as we were passing through the valley.  Star Valley is a nice place.

We went down through Montpelier, Idaho, and passed Bear Lake (I guess one wouldn’t know where those places were unless they lived in the general area.).  We drove down Logan Canyon, which is pretty treacherous in the dark, especially after the summit near Bear Lake.  We didn’t end up getting back to Farmington until around 1 a.m., so I’m glad I picked up that Mountain Dew Big Gulp during that last long haul to save for the next day.

So yeah, Yellowstone was cool, 10 out of 10 would recommend.

San Francisco – Day 4 (Saturday)

Last day of San Francisco…

Our objectives for Saturday were to see the lighthouse and go to the beach.  This was a bit more of a chill-out day. Our plane left in the evening.

The first thing we did was drive across the bay from Benicia to the northern peninsula.  The lighthouse is on a point northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge (the land extends a lot farther out into the sea from the Bridge on the north side than on the south).  The point is on the side of a large mountain, overlooking the bridge and the city from a deceptively high point, as waves crash and roar at the cliffs several hundred feet below.  As you hike to the point where the lighthouse sits, you walk right along cliffs that drop straight down into deadly surf and rocks.  The path leads to a crag.  The lighthouse is on the other side of the crag.  There is an old door set into the stone.

When we got there, an elderly park worker talked for a moment, and then opened up the door, which led into a short, crude stone tunnel with a low ceiling that was hacked out of the stone by hand many years ago.  After exiting the tunnel, you walked across a rickety bridge to the lighthouse (Okay, it wasn’t really rickety, it was  actually built like a mini version of the suspension bridges they have around the area, but it was still freaky to walk over cuz it bounced and stuff and if you look at a the picture it’s right over the spine and the cliffs.  Walking across it could be compared to the moment of suspense when you’re about to walk through the metal detector at the airport, like “Am I gonna make it? Am I gonna make i- YES!!!”).  All around this area, strangely enough, especially within the tunnel, I felt so strange, almost, insecure, on this small point, so high up above the roaring ocean.  I don’t know, it’s weird.  You’d have to go there yourself.

Like they say, pics or didn’t happen.

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I never had a mullet, the hat just kind of makes it look like that in this particular picture for some reason.

You can see how far away the bridge is in the second picture.  I know my Mom has pictures that show how high this place actually feels and the treacherous ocean far below (edit: I added the “featured image,” which I found on Google Images, and I think better shows that), but they aren’t uploaded to WordPress right now.  I think I will do an image-oriented post about this whole trip at some point and try to get some other ones on.

After the lighthouse, we headed down the other side of the seemingly huge crest into a canyon, at the end of which there was a sandbar and a small beach.  It would have been a very nice place if there were not about six thousand hornets there.  But we chilled there for a while.  We ended up eating our Subway sandwiches (which I had failed to mention that we had acquired before ascending the mountain to see the lighthouse) as we drove out of the canyon. But they were still good.

We ended up going back to downtown, because my sister insisted that we go back to the Aquatic Park to go swimming (if you don’t know what that is, go find my Day 2 post and read it).  I didn’t go swimming myself; I preferred to listen to some Three Days Grace and walk around the Aquatic Park and the Fisherman’s Wharf a little. We all have our own ways of relaxing.  Mine usually do not involve associating with other people.  Usually, complete solitude is preferred.  I suppose one would think that that isn’t exactly synonymous with the crowded streets of the Fisherman’s Wharf, but strangely enough, I guess, being on crowded streets where I know I don’t know anyone (Although I swear I saw this one dude that I sat next to in my ninth grade math class.  That was weird.)

We hit Ghirardelli one last time, and then took the long way through downtown to the freeway so we could drive down Lombard Street.  I remember that the drive back to the airport was especially nice for some reason; we were driving along the bay and the urban outskirts in the late afternoon sunlight.  One of those moments where you just kind of need to live in your own mind for a while…I don’t know that probably doesn’t make any sense.  But it was nice.

Did I mention that I actually found the airport interesting?  SFO is huge; I think it’s even bigger than LAX.  I think I might be the only person who finds airports actually very satisfying, something about an organized process maybe. And then there’s the fact that you get on to a metal flying machine, which I guess is mundane or something for most people.  But I like it.

We ate dinner at the airport.  We ate at a place called the Firewood Grill or something like that, which isn’t really that noteworthy but I thought it was pretty funny because I’m pretty sure they had a gas fire inside their fancy brick oven. I looked at it for some reason.  But they had that traditional Italian pizza stuff and it was good.  And maybe that’s all that matters in life.

We got on our airplane as it was getting dark, and got one last view of the area as we flew out over the Bay.  It was actually kind of sad.  I wasn’t really even there for that long, but I really still miss the place.  And that was like, what, October?  And now it’s the last day of January.  Dang, that time went by fast.  And all of the time I was in Utah I was just thinking, “Dang, why am I here?  Why am I not in San Francisco?  At Muir Beach?”  (But then it’s weird though because, like, right now, now that I’m in California and staying here for a while, after being here for longer than a normal vacation’s time, I kind of almost wish I could go back to Farmington and just hide in my house and be antisocial for a while.  Nobody will even know I came back; I don’t think anyone even knew I left in the first place.  But I don’t know, that’s a completely different internal conflict.)

When we were eating at the Propane Grill at the airport, we were discussing what we thought the best part of the whole thing was.  And I said Muir Beach and the woods and pretty much that whole area, for reasons I cannot explain.

I don’t know what I’m writing for; maybe nobody, myself, a black void, I don’t know.  It’s weird though because I don’t know if anyone’s ever gonna see this; or if a thousand people will, or ten thousand… but like, when I wrote that first article, it was just a rundown.  And coincidentally that was when I talked about that place that I said I liked.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  And that’s how I thought all of these articles would be.  And what’s changed since then?  That was Monday, the blog wasn’t up then, and now it’s Saturday and the blog still isn’t up.  All I had was time.  Time to think.  But I think all the time.  But even in the time I was writing this article, my voice I was using changed.  The amount of emotion I was using changed.  Maybe it’s just because I’m by myself and it’s 11 p.m. and that’s when most deep thought happens.  And I forget that I’m writing about a trip I took for a website about our family travel.  But I have to get it out somewhere.  All of this stuff I all of the sudden just want to say, that I just want to get out…

But I probably should stop before I say something I may regret.  I probably already have, but I dwell on things I have said that I regret too much.  I don’t know who or what I’m speaking to and for, so why would it matter?

I was gonna censor this and then I’m kinda just like, meh.