Through the Gate

Fort Bragg is a rather unremarkable place so we took aim for Mendocino a bit further down the coast. We also wanted to see the ‘Pygmy Forest’ at Van Damme State Park (no, not that Van Damme), and after a while we started seeing signs for it. It turned out to be a bit tricky to find the forest though, but after some more dirt road rallying we finally found it. We walked out and found a sort of bridge walkway leading around the area; supposedly the soil and the roots were too brittle to be walked on. It wasn’t all that interesting really though, looked mostly like a regular Swedish bog (mosse), albeit dry. There were some really good berries though and a tree which trunk was scarlet red.

We get back on the road and continue towards Mendocino (which is supposed to be a very pretty little town that has banned fast food chains and all such stuff and has featured in ‘Murder She Wrote‘ according to the guidebook). And we drive, and drive, and drive. after a while we make the annoying discovery that Mendocino was actually before the Pygmy Forest and we’ve missed it by… well, a lot. We had planned to stop for lunch in Mendocino but since that wasn’t likely to happen anymore we stop at a very oddly placed Indian restaurant (a mile south of nowhere really, well Jenner to be specific). The food was great and we tipped profusely before getting back on the road.

This portion of the coast sees the road snaking along up and down steep hills resulting in a road so tightly winding so that the GPS thinks we’ve turned around when we’ve simply rounded a very tight curve. So the afternoon is filled with an incessant ‘Recalculating’ heard from the GPS. After a while the road turns inland and the landscape shifts to big grassy hills with lots of cows. After a while we realize that we have missed yet another turn since it’s now only interstate all the way to San Francisco. Defeated, we decide to just take the interstate and it’s not long before we see the Golden Gate. We exit the interstate just before the bridge and get a few pictures at sunset in front of the bridge (from that viewpoint where everyone take their pictures).

Afterward I face that rather frightening prospect of navigating to the motel in San Francisco rush hour traffic. It goes rather well though (despite me running a red light when desperately trying to change lanes) and we find the motel (good thing we got the GPS though, I doubt it would’ve been as smooth if we were driving by map.). But the motel we had a good coupon for was of course full, so we had to head out once again to check out our backup alternative. This took us more or less to the other side of town and it too turned out to be full. But since parking was free after 6 pm we decided to walk to the next one (it didn’t seem that far). The map though, only showed major streets, not the minor ones, and we ended up walking almost a mile before finding out that this one was full as well.

After getting back to the car (and getting a compliment for my green pants from some homeless guy) I finally realized we have phones here in the 21st century. The first place I called actually had a vacancy and we immediately headed over there. We had to haggle a bit since the guy wouldn’t give us the coupon price for all the five night we had planned to stay. But in the end we got a rather good price; $87 including tax on average for five nights, including a Friday, which usually is when they charge premium, especially since the guide book reckoned that we’d have to pay over a hundred per night (excluding tax, which is to be the usual way of displaying prices here, seems odd to me).

To our annoyance the WiFi didn’t turn out to work (for us at least, the manager had a WinXP laptop that worked), so that’s why there hasn’t been much posting lately.

Some random observations

First off: A bunch of photos and yet another travel account can be found over at Jonnas blog.

American toilets have lots of water in the bowl – This makes you sit really close to the water and you run a higher-than-usual risk of getting splashed when taking a dump. And why doesn’t the seat go all the way round?

What’s with the pickup trucks? – I’ve never seen such an abundance of huge pickup trucks! It seems like the average Joe feels the need to be prepared to move a piano about. They even have two kinds of parking spaces, one that says ‘compact’ and one unmarked (it’s a bit telling that the bigger is the unmarked one).

The roads are huge! – A normal road can be over 20-30 yards across and still only have two lanes. That’s just wierd. And it’s surprisingly often that a turning lane (a lane in the middle that you’re only allowed to enter if you are turning off the road) goes on for a few miles instead of just popping up when there is an actual road to turn to. The roads are very well kept though, at least the ones we’ve been travelling, almost all of them have had asphalt that is so new that it’s still black, even the backroads. The only really bad road so far was the interstate, which they seem to make entirely out of concrete for some reason.

The bills are all the same color and roughly the same size – This makes it really hard to distinguish between the different bills. They also seem to be made of rather flimsy paper. Annoying and really easy to fix.

Trees are really big – I thought it was only the Redwood trees that were big, but it seems that a lot of other trees a big as well. Especially in the parks we’ve been to, it’s not unusual that the trunk is two yards in diameter. Maybe it’s the mild climate. That’s another thing by the way, I would’ve though it would be much colder, at least up north. In Sweden it was around 10 degrees (Celsius that is) when I left, but here it’s more like 25 (and rising as we go south).

People are really friendly – I didn’t expect that, and I also didn’t expect to like it. But it feels really good when they wish you a good day when you leave a store. I guess I’m just used to surly swedes…

I’m overwhelmed by choice – I guess that’s capitalism for you, but when you’re facing a row of shelves with 80 different kinds of juice at Safeway, that’s just too many choices for you to be able to make even one.

Towns are often a bit wierd – Often a town is just a collection of fast food chains spread out along a main road, sometimes making the town go on for miles and miles despite having only a modest population. I heard about Vegas being built like that, but I guess the phenomenon is more widely spread than that.

Road signs are very talkative – Most signs have a lot of text on them, requiring a good deal of attention before you get what they mean. Take the speed signs for instance, they say ‘Speed 55′ instead of just being a certain shape and color and just saying ’55’.

Most people actually drive according to the speed limit – It seems strange to me as in Sweden the speed limits are seen more as suggestions. What makes it even more strange is that the limit seems to be even a bit lower than in Sweden. But maybe all this is because we’re driving along the 101 that is more or less designed for cruising and not for people wanting to get from A to B in a hurry.

Wood shingles – Frankly I don’t understand the point of them. A lot of the houseswe see have them both on the walls and the roof and almost all of them look like crap. It makes the house look like the owl in the dutch show De Fabeltjeskrant (Fablernas Värld) when they’re new and it’s only downhill from there. The shingles seem to deteriorate rather quickly (either that or people here just don’t care for their houses as much as they should) getting cracked and overgrown with lichen.

What’s up with all the Tsunami signs? – Oregon is littered with Tsunami Hazard signs. Is it really an issue in Oregon? After some digging though we found out that the guide book says that Crescent City was almost completely destroyed in a tsunami following an earthquake off the coast of Alaska in 1964.

Even more Giants

Eureka turned out to be a rather cozy little town, so we spent the morning walking around town. It turns out that Eureka has a very artsy population and there are plenty of murals and posters for dance auditions around town. It also has a charming ‘Old Town’ where all the houses have been preserved and now houses various art shops and galleries (and for once not of the incredibly tacky variety that we’re used to), but most of them were closed as it was Sunday. After seeing a few seals in the harbor and being verbally molested by the Zoltar machine at the dock we head off down the coast again. We miss the exit to Ferndale however (which would have taken us out to the coast again) and are forced to drive the rather dull interstate.

After a while we come upon signs talking about ‘Avenue of the Giants‘ and we realize that we’re not quite yet out of redwood country. We pick up a guide leaflet at the first stop and find that they have eight ‘Points of Interest’ along the avenue and we stop at about five of them (did I say that I can’t get enough of redwoods?). We walk a few trails and learn some more things about redwoods in general. There is one trail that leads down to the nearby Eel River (which is all but dried up this time of year). I take off my shoes and walk around a bit in the stream that is rather warm, probably due to its shallowness. We spot a frog, a lot of larvae-thingies that I don’t know the name of but somehow recognize (they look a bit like ladybugs, in that stage before they actually become ladybugs you know?) and a funky-looking spider running around in the sand with signal-red hindquarters (we tried to get a picture but he was a bit fast and the phone’s LCD screen doesn’t like the bright daylight). At another of the stops we find very large Blackberry bushes (Björnbär) which we feast on, they’re amazingly sweet (and large) but the blazing sun has made a lot of them look like raisins. Even so there are plenty of ripe ones and we get quite a few scratches before we’re through.

Right after the Avenue of the Giants comes Redway, where our guide book had recommended a little restaurant. But, since it was still Sunday it too was closed, so we instead went to the nearby grocery store and got some random goodies out of the deli.

With lunch ingested we continued on down to Leggett where we could finally head out to the coast again on highway one. This stretch of highway one is called ‘The Lost Coast’ and is more or less just a long stretch of isolated coastline. Rather beautiful, but since we’ve just come from the Oregon coast it’s more of a ‘Yes, beautiful, but let’s listen to some music and drive’ instead. We did stop a few times to look at the view though. We also pass through a few small towns on the way, but nothing really catches our fancy and we end up spending the night in Fort Bragg.

Here be Giants!

We set off from Gold Beach and head towards the really cool sounding Pistol River, it isn’t much to see though so we blow right past it and as we come upon Brookings (the last real town before California) we see a sign saying ‘Oregon Redwood Trail’. We take the turn and find ourselves on a winding road that just keeps getting smaller. After a while it’s no more than a gravel road lined with deep, water filled, potholes. After yet another while the GPS proclaims we’re out of road, but since the signs proclaim otherwise we press on. And so, after a good 25 minutes of gravel driving we finally get to turnabout offering parking. We meet a couple of elderly hikers who point us in the right direction and we’re off to see out first redwoods.

They’re every bit as impressive as we’d hoped. It’s a bit like being a kid again, running around, only seeing the legs of the parents. The temperature is very nice, warm, yet shady under all the trees so that we don’t get too sweaty during the hike, which was about a mile and a half I think (~2.5 km) in rather hilly terrain. A thing that struck us as weird was the almost absolute silence; we heard only a few birds now and then. We later saw an informational sign that explained that the lack of sunlight prevented many larger animals from living there, hence the eerie silence.

Once out of the forest we continued on into California. First stop in there was Crescent City where we had our first American Chinese food. Not that good, but not that bad either. We also got our first fortune cookies, Jonna got ‘An interesting sports opportunity is in your near future’ (mmm, right…) and I got ‘Admire those who succeed and learn from their success’. So much for ancient chinese wisdom.

Well, the town also had a small aquarium which touted a shark petting pool so we went ahead and signed up for a tour (you weren’t allowed in if not in a tour because of the shark petting. Most of the tour was more of what we’d already seen at the Seattle aquarium, with the exception of a sea slug (very big!) and a few rather cool deep sea fishes that almost all of them had white eyes because of the rapid pressure change caused by being caught. The guide explained however that the whiteness was only temporary and that they regenerate the cornea underneath and the shed the white cornea. Rather cool if you ask me.

Now it was shark petting time and we were presented with a few small leopard sharks swimming around in a shallow pool. So it was mostly a matter of reaching down as they went by. Kindof cool but nothing extraordinary really.

The tour ended with a little sea lion show, where two very active sea lions did a bunch of tricks like sliding down a waterslide, catching rings and waving their flippers. Good fun!

After Crescent City is where Redwood country really begins and we drive along gawking at the trees that enclose the highway. Amazingly beautiful! We also catch a glimpse of ‘Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox‘, an equally amazingly hideous giant tree carving, as we drive by. We stop a couple of times to walk some of the numerous short trails along the road (I simply cannot get enough of these redwoods!). The whole are we were currently in is called ‘Redwood National Park’ and as we are about to leave it we make a final stop as a sort of goodbye and walk what we thought was a short trail, 3.5 miles later (~5 km) we arrive back at the car, rather spent and drive the last bit to Eureka, where we stop for the night.

Playing with tigers

We started out by doubling back to the Sea Lion Caves. The sea lions however, had decided to go for a swim that day, so all we got to see was the cave (which in itself was a bit impressive). We did however see a couple of sea lions from one of the walkways leading to the elevator.

We drove on, reaching Bandon at about lunchtime. There we decided to fix a picnic bag and headed down to the harbor quarters. There we ate our picnic in a little shelter thing built on the boardwalk by prisoners as some social work program. The shelter was very nice and indeed saved us from the pelting wind. As a bonus we also saw a couple of seals in the harbor basin. We then took ‘Seven Devil’s Road’ out of town (why aren’t swedish roads named like that?). A bit before or next stop, Gold Beach, we came upon a little petting zoo. We decided to go in and found it to be a rather dusty place with a lot of free roaming animals. They also had a little pen where you were allowed in one at a time to cuddle with a tiny white tiger cub, very cute. They also brought out an african lynx that I got to hold. They also had lions, tigers and bears (oh my!). But I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for the animals as they had pretty small cages. Afterwards, we drove the rest of the way to Gold Beach where we spent the night.

Whales Ahoy!

We started the day by driving to Depoe Bay, which is a nice town with a tiny harbor (Guinness say it the smallest in the world). We walked around some and climbed down to one of the beaches (they are generally about 30 yards down from where level where the town and road is). The beach wasn’t that much to look at so we climbed back up and instead found our way out on some rocks where we had a great view of the waves crashing in. We took a few photos and clambered around a bit before walking back to town. There we looked at a little whale museum and learned a thing or two about whales, they also had a board there where it said that there had been three whale sightings today. We didn’t think much of it then and got in the car again and drove off.

After a while we stopped at a lookout point (with the great name ‘Cape Foulweather’) to see the view when a man next to us asked his kid if he could see the whales. He then showed us where to look and we actually saw a couple of whales spouting water. They were kindof small, but still! From where we were standing we could also see something called ‘The Devil’s Punchbowl‘ which was supposed to be somewhat of a sight as well. So we got back in the car and drove down to see what it actually was. It’s a sea cave where the roof has caved in so that you can see down into it from above. The cool thing is supposed to be when the tide comes in and the punch bowl fills up. It was low tide when we were there however and we didn’t feel like spending half the morning there so we moved on.

After getting lunch at a classic steakhouse we arrived in Newport that was said to have a rather nice old harbor. We strolled around the small shops and heard a lot of sea lion noises. We tried to locate them and finally found them lounging at a floating jetty thingy. They were quite fascinating to watch and we probably stood there for a little less than an hour before we finally went to look at the rest of the harbor. They had a triple whammy where you could go to the ‘Ripley’s Belive it or Not’, a wax museum and and some underwater aquarium show for around $20. None of it seemed that appealing though so we decided to leave.

Driving further down the coast presented even more of the breathtaking scenery that we’ve almost gotten used to by now. We stopped at a few scenic points but nothing of note really happened. Before our designated stay for the night in Florence we came upon the famous Sea Lion Caves where you can ride an elevator down into a sea cave filled with sea lions and various seals. It was closed however so we decided to come back the next day instead.

Cape Disappointment doesn’t disappoint!

After our night in Astoria we backtracked into Washington again in order to check out the Long Beach Peninsula. It turned out to be a real drag though, with no real view and just one long straight road. But before we left Washington again we hade one thing left to visit; Cape Disappointment!

To be honest, I didn’t have much hope for this one but as we drove out there (with Billy Idol – Rebel Yell playing on the radio) it seemed that we would at least get a good view. The road finally ended in a parking lot where a trail started that took you out to a lighthouse. We started on the trail and was immediately surrounded by huge pine-looking trees, very cool! We took a few pictures and went on down the trail. There were also a lot of realy big ferns, giving the whole place a really cosy feel. After a bit we came to a sign announcing ‘Dead Man’s Cove’ up ahead. Dead Man’s Cove turned out to be just as cool as the name. It looked like something pulled right out of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ with white sand, lots of white driftwood, steep walls enclosing the beach and loud waves crashing on the rocks outside (wi also made a brief recording). We spent a long time down there before walking up to the lighthouse as well.

On the way back we went up to the little ‘Lewis and Clark Interpretative Center’ that was also there (named after a couple of explorers totally unknown to me but apparenly very famous over here for charting most of the pacific northwest). The center was $5 a head to get in so we skipped that and instead walked yet another trail that took us to what was left of a couple of WWII Cannon installations. After yet another mile or so we were back at the car again and left to resume our trip south. Not before after making another excursion to Long Beach Peninsula. This turned out to be a mistake though.

We drove back over the Columbia river into Oregon again and continued along the coast to make another stop in the kitschy/idyllic Seaside. There we took a walk down their main road, called Broadway. It was mainly a lot of souvenir- and salt water taffy shops but at the end of it was a magnificent beach. We took off our shous and wandered up and down the beach, looking at sand dollars, seashells and tiny ball-shaped jellyfish. We toyed with the idea of spending the night there but decided that we ought to cover a bit more ground before nightfall.

We decided to stay in Lincoln City (since we had a good coupon for that) but it meant a rather long drive. Even so we stopped to see the Ecola State Park, which came highly recommended in our road trip guide book. Admission was $3 per car and was easily worth it. We didn’t have time to walk any trails but we climbed up to a rather nice viewpoint and admired the scenery (as well as filming a bit). We also drove down to a beach where a couple of surfers unsuccessfully tried do something stylish. The thing about Ecola State Park is that the drive to it and between the sights is almost the best thing about it. Lots of narrow, winding roads with beautiful lush scenery and very big trees. Highly recommended!

It started to get rather late by the time we were done with Ecola and we contemplated staying at Cannon Beach. The motels all looked rather pricy though (in fact, the whole place looked upscale) so we decided to drive all the way to Lincoln City anyway. On the way we passed through Tillamook with its, apparently famous, cheese factory. We had no intention of seeing it though (even if all the guide books talks about it) so we weren’t that sad to miss it. After some tiresome driving we finally arrived in Lincoln City at around 9 pm. Lincoln City by the way, is one of those really boring towns that are just a collection of fast food joints and motels along a larger road, not recommended. In the evening I also got to try something something I’d been looking forward to for a long while: Beef Jerky!

Road trip’s starting

Day three was car pickup day and for some reason that I’m sure was perfectly reasonable at the time we’d chosen to pick up the car at the downtown office of the car company (instead of at the airport, which was just next door). So we had to lug our bags to the bus and then walk four blocks (in the pouring rain) to get to the car company.

We got there alright though and was presented with a shiny red Saturn Ion. It was kindof scary to drive an automatic for the first time but I soon got the hang of it and I must confess that it’s very convenient, especially starting uphill is a breeze (although motor-braking doesn’t work that well). Another drawback with picking the car up at the downtown office was that we had to drive an unfamiliar car in through the downtown traffic. Not too fun, so we just drove more or less straight until we found an open parking lot where we could figure out the GPS properly and direct it to an electronics store (at this time we had decided to buy another laptop so that we could get working Wi-Fi). We keyed in Fry’s at the GPS (I don’t know that many electronics stores) and it cam up with ‘Frys Welding’ as its best hit. We decided that this probably wasn’t what we were after and tried ‘Best Buy’ instead. That gave us a hit and we started driving. After whirling around for a good while we came up on the supposed Best Buy which turned out to be just another house out in some crummy suburb. After som cursing of the piece of junk we bough we decided to just key in ‘electronics’ and see what came up. This took us to ‘Renton Electronics’ which was right next to a Wal Mart. We couldn’t resist going in (we had to use the bathroom anyway), and all preconceptions were fulfilled. The store sells everything from laptops to garden furniture. Ah well, to speed it ahead a bit we finally ended up at a Circuit City where we picked up the new laptop and were finally able to start the actual roadtrip.

First stop was Aberdeen, just before the coast. We walked around some, trying to find a place to eat, and the only place that didn’t look outright bad (or was closed) was a Pizza Hut.

After Aberdeen the scenery started to get interesting with a bit of water and a lot of marshland, it was actually mostly like that all the way to Astoria where we stopped for the night.

The Orca trip that went bad

Day two we had reserved a kayaking tour to look for Orcas so after breakfast we ordered a cab to take us to Anacortes (from where the ferry to the San Juan Islands was supposed to go). We had just assumed that Anacortes would be where all the other ferries seemed to go from, that is, just outside the downtown area of Seattle. But when the cab showed up the driver (which we for the intent of this story will call Bogdan) acted rather confused and was questioning if we would make it (the ferry left at 8.45 and we were supposed to be there about an hour before and now it was about 7.20). We thought that he was joking when he said that we probably wasn’t going to make it until we found out that Anacortes actually was roughly 100 miles to the north of town.

So after talking it over we called the kayak tour people and said that we weren’t going to make it. The guy was very apologetic about that he hadn’t made it more clear how far it was and suggested that we give them a call when we were back in Seattle before the trip home and that we probably could do the tour then instead. So we’re hoping for that and we’ll be sure to rent a car for it so that we can get there in time.

Instead we had the day off to explore Seattle some more and we started by going to the tourist agency and picked up a couple of the coupon broschures that are full of discounts for various motels in the state (and Oregon as well). There we also found out that the Seattle Aquarium was open, even though it was Labor Day. So next stop was the aquarium where they had lots of giant starfish and anemones. I had no idea that they had so much exotic looking fish in the Puget Sound, I guess I expected about the same as in Swedish waters. But the had all kinds of Nemo-esque fish and also sea horses and a few sharks.

After that we went to the ‘Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe’, which was your usual ‘we-sell-every-kind-of-ceramic-figurine-crap-that-you-can-imagine’-store despite it’s claim to be more of a freak show store. Afterwards we went and ate an all american burger place called ‘Red Robin’ where they had a giant menu with more kinds of burgers than you can shake a stick at (this seems to be a recurring theme, every menu we’ve encountered so far has been gigantic). The burger was delicious though and so was the fajita-wrap-thing Jonna had.

After lunch we decided to check where the car rental place was so that we wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. It turned out to be not that hard to find so we decided to wrap up the day by going up in the Space Needle. This time we walked there and it was surprisingly far. Feet aching, we went up the Needle ($16 a person, very steep) and looked at the view. It didn’t actually seem that high but it was still a nice experience, especially all the informational posters about how it was built and so on. It was also fun that you could, through binoculars, see the some of the houseboats featured in ‘Sleepless in Seattle‘.

Afterwards we walked back to the center of Seattle and caught the bus back to the hotel.

First day in Seattle

Our plan was to start out by walking from our hotel to the, according to Google Maps, rather nearby Best Buy electronics store and buying a GPS. After a few blocks of semi-aimless walking (in a rather ugly suburb, filled with yardsales) though, we were starting to question the closeness. We pushed on however, and as we were walking down our eight or ninth block we were greeted by a dog. The dog turned out to belong to a lady down the street and we stroke up a conversation. We told her that we were going to an electronics store that was supposed to be nearby and she started to describe the way. Turns out that we were about halfway there and that there is a rather steep hill to go down. We were in luck though, I guess the woman felt sorry for us and she told us that she and her daughter were going to church anyway and they could give us a ride. We figured that since they were good christians and very likable they would at least ask permission before raping and killing us, so we accepted the offer.

The daughter seemed a bit sceptical though but warmed up a bit in the car when we got to talking about the Seattle-native Starbucks and how it, to our knowledge, hadn’t established itself in Sweden. “I mean, they have it frickin’ Africa, it should be in Sweden as well!”. And after showing us where to catch the bus back to the airport they dropped us off at a Starbucks just a few yards from the Best Buy.

We sat down for a coffee to wait for the Best Buy to open (it was Sunday after all, so they didn’t open until 10). We had our mind set on the TomTom One XL, but the tattooed sales guy made a convincing case for the Garmin Street Pilot since they, according to him, came with infinite map updates once you bought a map. So we bought a c330 instead (I haven’t been able to upgrade the map yet though since it wants me to pay for it and then send me the map on a DVD, is that how it normally works?).

With our new GPS we trodded off to get the bus and yet again found out why the U.S. isn’t made for walking. When the bus finally came we found out that the bus drivers don’t carry change, and since we only had $20 bills this didn’t seem like a good deal. The good natured bus driver felt sorry for us though and said that we could ride for free to the airport.

At the airport we went and got change and caught the bus to downtown Seattle. As we were planning to go the Sci-Fi museum (which is up by the Space Needle at Seattle Center) we bought tickets for the famous Seattle monorail (key Simpsons Monorail-song!). Apparently it was build at the same time as the Space Needle, that is, in time for the World’s Fair in 1962, a taste of the future indeed! But, as fate would have it, the train we were supposed to board had a flat tire(!) and was instead rolled away for maintenence. So we got a refund for our tickets and went to get ourselves fed in the food court situated in the same building.

We settled for mexican and I had a Chimichanga (which I up until then, thought was a made-up word). Afterwards we got in line for the monorail again and had some better luck this time. The monorail ride itself is rather, well, short. Only about a mile or so and since that is the only route it takes, it’s kindof pointless really. But it, along with the Space Needle, has served it’s role admirably in putting Seattle on the map.

The Sci-Fi museum was rather cool, it seems like most of the stuff came from Paul Allen‘s collection (which really makes him an alpha geek). We learned all sorts of important stuff, like the costume Seven-of-Nine wears prohibited her from wearing any kind of underwear since the lines would show. Also that the first Superman costume was sown out brown fabrics since the blue and red didn’t turn out that well on a black and white screen. They also had some other cool things like Indiana Jones’ whip and jacket and the hat of the Wicked Witch of the West.

After taking the monorail back we wandered aimlessly around the city center a while before taking the bus back to the hotel.