Home for the Holidays, 2001

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I decided to drive home for Xmas of 2001. What with all the hassles of flying now I figured... Ok, not really. My company decided to shut down entirely for the week of Xmas - without pay for the 26th-28th. Then, since there were only 3 work days the following week, I got to thinking, "Hmmm. This might be a good time to take a little trip." (Well, a big trip I suppose.) And then I figured that if I took some time off the 2nd week of January too I could have 3 weeks off all together! So that's what I did. I told 'em at work that I would be gone for 2-3 weeks because I was going to drive home for the holidays, visit my family and friends for a while, then work my way back doing what I like to do best - Exploring! They said no problem. (Aren't they great?) So after wrapping my gifts and things up at work I took off for the east coast (from the office mind you) on Friday, the 21st, at 12:30pm. Twenty seven hundred miles and 57 1/2 hours later I pulled up in front of my parents' house in Falls Church, VA. Quick trip I know, but the idea was to spend the bulk of the time exploring on the way back.

I celebrated Christmas with the entire family, including all 7 nieces, delighting them all with my take on Emeril Lagasi's recipe for Brine Turkey, and updating their wardrobes with the latest from Big Dog. Before departing on Saturday I visited each of my siblings' household (except for Tim in NY), imparted some computer and audio/visual advice, induce some to go out for sushi, and got a rare chance to spend some time and interact with my nieces. Already feeling a bit antsy, I departed about noon on Saturday, the 29th.

The rest of the trip back is chronicled on the following pages. On the way back to California I visited some extraordinary places, and hope that I am able to convey at least a sense of their wonder and beauty. So once again, if you wish, travel vicariously with me as I first head from northern Virginia to Big Bend NP at the bottom of Texas, and from there to...  Well, you'll just to have to read and see where for yourself.


Big Bend NP Boquillas Canyon Santa Elena Canyon
Closed Canyon McKittrick Canyon White Sands NM
Chiricahua NM Echo Canyon Saguaro NP