Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Photo's Grand Canyon North Rim

You can find some photo's of our hike on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon here.

Valley off Fire

Today we visited the "Valley of Fire" in Nevada. As you can see here, there were some nice color differences. We were a bit late around 7.30, but the red rocks still looked like they were on "fire". Or maybe that was my optimistic view...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We made it

This morning the alarm of my phone went off at 4u45 a.m. You might thing that is 13u45 Belgian time, but after a bit more then two weeks I'm totally adjusted this time zone.
When we drove to the trail head we saw a lot animals more then 20 deer, one wild turkey, and one URA (Unidentified Running Animal)
We began our descent at 6u15 a.m. to Roaring Springs. That is a descent of 3050 ft (1066m) and back up, and that in 9.4 mi (15km). We arrived at Roaring Springs two hours later. We stayed there for half an hour resting/eating/drinking a bit. After that half an hour we started the climb, hoping to be back up three to four hoers later. It was a 7-8 hours walk they said. But two and a half hours later we arrived back at the parking. A bit burned out but not too tiered ;)
After the hike we visited the visitors center and drove to Overton, close to the next destination Valley of fire.
After that we will be heading to Death Valley.
Today we reached a new temperature record 108°F(42.2°C), I can ensure you that 108 °F is hot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Luxor here we come ;)

We just booked a room in the Luxor hotel for the last two nights in Las Vegas.

Grand Canyon, South Rim

Today we visited the South Rim 'the American way' not too much hiking but just taking the car and the shuttle. Not that we really wanted it, but I sun burned my feet yesterday at Powel Lake :(
It was less impressive then I expected, maybe because we didn't do any hiking, but I found Zion much more impressive. Maybe my expectations were too high.
We left the South Rim around noon and drove to Jacob Lake (the North Rim) that was a really nice drive definitely the views when driving on the 89A highway.
Tomorrow we will try to hike down on the North Kaibab Trail we are not sure how far we will go, this will depend on my feet and how well we manage to survive the heat and hight difference.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Page, AZ

Today we went to the Antilope Canyon. We took a 1 ½ hour tour together with 8 other people which started at 8u30, so the famous light beam wasn’t there yet, but the colors and the shapes of the canyon wall were awesome. We definitely have no regrets that we visited it, the only downside was that you are no longer permitted to visit the canyon on your own and that it was a bit crowdie.
After visiting the Antilope Canyon we went for a swim to the Powel Lake at Lone rock. Of course the weather was really nice and water was warm. After two hours we left for Grand Canyon South Rim. We stayed at the Quality Inn at Tusayan.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bryce Canyon to Page

Yesterday we visited Bryce Canyon National Park. We did two hikes, the first one to the Queens Garden at the sunrise point was an easy one. For the second one we hiked 1h1/2 down on the Riggs Spring loops trail and back. This one was quite hard, we were really tiered when we arrived back at the car. The main reason was the temperature (32°C and burning sun) and the difference in hight (500m).
Today we wanted to take a day off, but due to the recommendation of both Klaas (a colleague of mine) and my brother, we are going to visit the Antelope Canyon today. I hope it is worth it ;) You are no longer allowed to drive or hike to that canyon by your self. There are some local agencies that have permits and those are the only ones that can take you in the Antelope Canyon and its area.
This evening we will be driving towards the Grand Canyon.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Damn recharger!

This morning around 7 a.m we left Cedar City and drove to Zion National Park. Correction 50 minutes later, when we wanted to take our first picture we discovered that there was no battery in our camera. And it was then when I realized that it was still in the charger at the motel. Oh my god, we just drove 50 minutes for nothing, in fact 2 times 50 minutes because now we needed to drive back also.
Two hours later then planned we arrived 'happily' at Zion National Park. We parked our car at the visitors center, and took the shuttle into the Canyon (no cars are allowed in the Canyon). We got out of the bus at Zion lodge and did the Emerald Pools trail to 'The Grotto'. After that we took the bus to Weeping Rock and did the hike to the Hidden Canyon. That hike was really nice, a bit difficult but rewarding, there were not a lot hikers on this trail and the narrow Hidden Canyon was really beautiful. You can find the photo's that we took today here (not yet complete due to bad internet connection at the motel).
Tomorrow we will visit Bryce Canyon National Park.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Photo's Yellowstone National Park

A selection (164 out of 955) of the photo's we took in Yellowstone National Park are available at

The Great Salt Lake area

Today we visited the Great Salt Lake area, unfortunately we only had time to visit Salt Lake City and the Kennecott Copper Mine.
In Salt Lake City we visited Temple Square and the Olympic Legacy Plaza. Here are some pictures that we took.
Kennecott Copper Mine, is the world's largest man-made excavation and is the second largest copper producer in the United States. After visiting this amazing site we managed to drive to Cedar City. Tomorrow we will visit Zion National Park.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Safely arrived at Ogden

Yesterday evening we arrived safely at Ogden after 3 awesome days in Yellow Stone National Park. You may expect a lengthy report of those 3 days, but our schedule is so busy that I hadn't had time to filter the more then 1000 pictures and write something down about it.
Today we are going to visit Salt lake City and the Salt lake area, and hope to arrive at Cedar City.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Yellow Stone here we come!

This morning the alarm of my cellphone went off at 3u25 a.m. We needed to get out so we could be on time at the Newark International airport (New York) to catch our flight to Denver. When I booked the flight to Denver of 6u55 I didn’t realized that we needed to be at Newark 2 hours before the flight (yes even for a domestic flight) due to the crazy security rules, and that it is a one hour drive from our hotel in Hawthorne.

The plane arrived in Denver at 9u00 Mountain Time, 40 minutes before schedule. After that we collected our luggage we took the bus to the Avis car rental place. We got a nice Chevrolet, but with some tire pressure problems. First we got an alert that we lost the pressure of the front right tire. But after a check this turned out to be a bad sensor. And after that we got a message that the pressure of the left rear tire was too high, this we will check tomorrow. Nevertheless we arrived at the Super 8 motel in Dubois after a ride of almost 8 hours. It was a nice drive, see map (photo’s will follow but not today, we are going for an early sleep, we are already 19 hours awake).

Early tomorrow morning we will leave for Yellow Stone. This will imply a three day internet stop. But you can expect a lengthy report of what we did in Yellow Stone when we return back to civilization.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Photo's New York 2007

Some photo's of our New York trip are available at .

Chapter two : Hawthorne

Today we arrived at Hawthorne, the second chapter of our trip, the work part… Tomorrow I’ll start working at the IBM Watson Research Center together with other the members of W3C’s Forms working group. And try to tackle most of the last call comments of the XForms 1.1 specification.

We took the train from Grand Central Terminal (New York) to Hawthorne because a taxi was a bit more expensive ($165 + tip) compared to the $14.50 (two train tickets) plus the $15 for the cab from the station to the hotel. Taking the train was also much faster, getting in and out Manhattan is hell, it is one big traffic jam…

The last two days were so filled that I didn’t had the chance to blog about it, and therefore I’ll just give you a small résumé. On Sunday we went to the UN headquarter, the Puerto Rican parade, walked through Central Park (starting at Central Park South to Central Park North). On Monday we took the subway downtown and vested Little Italy, China Town, Brooklyn Bridge, the financial district (including Ground Zero), Staten Island Ferry… Today we went back to the UN headquarter to take a guided tour inside and visited the New York Public Library.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

New York day 1

Yesterday we arrived at Newark at 1u45 pm (local time) and took a shuttle to our hotel. We arrived at the hotel around 3u30 pm. Man I like the New Yorker taxi drivers' driving style. Our taxi driver managed to cross more than 8 lanes in only a couple of hundred meters. It was even more impressive because all the lanes where mostly filled with other crazy taxi drivers doing the same thing. After a wild ride of a bit more then an hour we arrived at hour hotel.

We decided to go for a short walk. We were so impressed that the short walk turned out in a walk of 4 hours. We saw some interesting places, namely the Empire State Building, New York Public Library, Bryant Park, Central Park, Rockefeller Center... (see map).

We also went in some really big shops. If you never been to an M&M's world you probably won’t believe it, it is an M&M shop of three story high (+23.000 m²) where they sell everything with the M&M logo on it. They have more the 4.000 different gifts and souvenirs, starting from funny collard M&M’s, shorts, towels, cups to clothing for dogs.