(Almost) A Hero's Life

Thursday, November 25, 2010
This evening while walking Goomba in penis-retracting temperatures, I noticed a house whose smoke alarms were going off. I blew it off as somebody burning Thanksgiving dinner and continued walking.

I went around the block where the house was beeping. While on the other side of the block, I could still very faintly make out the smoke alarms still. "Huh," I thought - I would have expected them to be off by now. A bit concerned, I decided to circle the block again.

I arrived at the house in question, and it was obvious there was no one home. I checked out the place and saw no signs of smoke or flames. However just to be sure I called a fire department. After describing the situation, they advised me to call 911 to have an engine sent out from the correct company.

I called 911 and they sent out a truck. I stood by as some fire fighters scoped out the building. They managed to open a window and ......... there was nothing. No smell of smoke. Just a false alarm.

They thanked me for being vigilant and headed off. I did not rescue a family from near death or save a building from destruction this time. But my day to be a hero will come eventually!

It's vacation time!

Monday, November 15, 2010
Have any of you noticed I haven't posted any big trips this year? That's because it's a very late one! All my flights are booked now, so I think I can safely announce that I will be spending nearly four weeks in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and other surrounding countries!

Since a few of you seem to fret whenever I leave for places unknown, here's my flight itineraries. I'll be checking in as I can to let you know I'm still alive.

December 24
Delta 170
Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) to Paris-DeGaulle, France (CDG)
Departs (SLC) at 05:00pm and
Arrives (CDG) at 11:20am (next day)

December 25
Air France 2310
Paris-DeGaulle, France (CDG) to Hamburg, Germany (HAM)
Departs (CDG) at 03:25pm and
Arrives (HAM) at 04:55pm

(Here I will meet up with my friend Saskia and see Hamburg for a day.)

December 27
KLM 1776
Hamburg, Germany (HAM) to Amsterdam, The Netherlands (AMS)
Departs (HAM) at 06:25am and
Arrives in (AMS) at 07:40am

KLM 591
Amsterdam, The Netherlands (AMS) to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB)
Departs (AMS) at 10:20am and
Arrives in (JNB) at 10:20pm

(Quick overnight stay in a hotel by the airport.)

December 28
South African Airways 401
Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) to Port Elizabeth, South Africa (PLZ)
Departs (JNB) at 05:50am and
Arrives in (PLZ) at 07:30am

Here we will rent a car and drive along the southern coast of South Africa over the next several days until we arrive in Cape Town.

January 3
South African Airways 306
Cape Town, South Africa (CPT) to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB)
Departs (CPT) at 07:00am and
Arrives in (JNB) at 09:00am

Air Botswana 214
Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) to Kasane, Botswana (BBK)
Departs (JNB) at 11:30am and
Arrives in (BBK) at 01:50pm

Kasane is the gateway to the Okavango Delta, where animals come to drink during the wet season. We will be doing a short safari here, then spending a day driving up to Victoria Falls on the Zambia/Zimbabwe border.

January 7
Air Botswana 213
Kasane, Botswana (BBK) to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB)
Departs (BBK) at 02:40pm and
Arrives in (JNB) at 05:00pm

From here we will be renting a car and driving east, hitting up game parks in South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique.

January 15
Air France 995
Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) to Paris-DeGaulle, France (CDG)
Departs (JNB) at 08:20pm and
Arrives in (CDG) at 05:55am (next day)

January 16
Air France 1410
Paris-DeGaulle, France (CDG) to Hamburg, Germany (HAM)
Departs (CDG) at 07:30am and
Arrives in (HAM) at 09:00am

(A quick day to drop off Saskia and maybe do some laundry.)

January 17
Air France 2511
Hamburg, Germany (HAM) to Paris-DeGaulle, France (CDG)
Departs (HAM) at 07:25am and
Arrives in (CDG) at 09:00am

Delta 171
Paris-DeGaulle, France (CDG) to Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC)
Departs (CDG) at 10:22am and
Arrives in (SLC) at 02:00pm

Dead Horse Point Trip - The Other 0.5

Thursday, November 11, 2010
On the way home from Arches, my friend Mary was telling me about a ghost town I had never heard of. It was just a short detour on the way home, so why not check it out?

The winter of 1982/1983 was a very wet one, with above average snowpack. A sudden warm spell cause the snow to melt rapidly and caused flooding throughout the Salt Lake City area (which I remember very vaguely). Further south, the mountains around the town of Thistle, Utah were saturated with water, causing the land to slump and destroying almost the entire city.

Today there are just a few random outbuildings and houses remaining.

A few more photos can be found here.