Time is flying by. San Francisco was amazing – and the Northumberland-beach weather made us all feel at home. A highlight was our trip to Alcatraz, which seemed to fascinate all members of our party. When the road trippers caught sight of the island from the steep city streets back in 1958 it was still a functioning prison with one of its most famous inmates, Robert Stroud, aka the Birdman, still living there, though as a fan of the film I was disappointed to learn that he wasn’t actually allowed to keep his beloved birds on Alcatraz. I think that’s known as artistic licence – not that I would know anything about that.
Our next main stop was Flagstaff, Arizona, our base for the Grand Canyon, where we made the most of its great selection of eating places (and fantastic margaritas) – though I couldn’t help feeling I’d have fitted in better if I’d been 30 years younger and had a few tattoos. Gwenda and her gang camped at the canyon and she and Celia hiked to its base but I think we’d have been mad to contemplate that at this time of year, and it did give me the odd funny turn looking down at the trail from the rim. We actually took a tourist train there which was very relaxing after so many hours spent in the car on this trip, and being held up by cowboys on the way back was a bonus!
Now in Mesa, part of the vast Phoenix conurbation, and meeting Cleo tomorrow. More on that later.