U.S.A-3 from New Orleans to San Francisco

Trip Start Apr 30, 1970
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, May 15, 1982

this is the story of my travel in 1982 coast to coast from N.Y.C. to Los Angeles by Greyhound.
I just use my memory without the help of books or internet and without any translator, furthermore I try to remember the feeling that I hade in that time.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas does not recall me much except for the things:
1- the aspect of the center or a particular district was of a Mexican city with white houses
2- we had our dinner in a mexican restaurant where we ate well but at a certain moment I was curious to try the mini-vase with little pieces of vegetables that the man at the tabel close to our was eating, so I ordered to the waiter one similar and......5 seconds after I had some pieces in my mouth I could not breathe anymore, my face became totally red and my girlfriend Rossella shouted Help, he is dying, we need a doctor, ahahahahahah!
I survived.....but after that accident I have no more tried anything like that!

El PASO was the next stop. Similar to Berlin or Gorizia, the italian city divided in two by the border.
No, I remember the name of the Mexican city: Ciudad Juarez
we crossed the border by foot along a bridge and after it there were a lot of shops selling leather and clothing. I bought a pair of red boots that I have tried to use only a couple of times as it is very difficult for me to walk, ahahahaha I remember the song These boots are made for walking by Nancy Sinatra, but not those that I bought in Ciudad Juarez
I also remember a the remaining of a broken house,  just a piece of wall with the red symbol of the communist party (hammer and.....) and the writing Lucha (fight). I took the picture but it is in a file that does not allow me to post it here, what a pity, I was such a pretty and young boy!

From El Paso we arrived at FLAGSTAFF a very pleasant town in a green district, hills and forests, a mountain town and the centre for a lot of excursion that we made in the region.
Painted desert, amazing place with sand dunes of different colours and created by wind and rain;
National Petrified Forest, pieces of trees changed in  brown and red stones because of chemical phenomenons
Meteor Crater, impressing large crater created by a meteorite fallen on earth millions of years before
GRAN CANYON amazing wonder of the nature, one of most beautiful sight in my life
we stayed at Gran Canyon Village, very well organized close to the south rim and we went down by foot upto Indian Gardens a plateau from which we could see the Colorado river down below
I remember the bus drived by a nice old woman, about 70 years of age; she drove, spoke on microphone explaning the tour and sold the tickets, smiling and joking
I think that was the best imagine that I have of the United States
in Italy for the same job three different people and all nervous and with no professionality
that's the difference!
I also remember that at the selfservice of the village we knew a nice waiter who invited us to a private party at a close house of her friend
when we arrived they accompanied into a bathroom inside whiche there were dozens of beer cans among ice into the water
well I enjoyed the party and .....I said crazy banana, I do not know why, but I repetead those words a lot of time obtaining always a great success as everybody was laughing except Rossella

DEATH VALLEY had become famous in Italy because of the movie Zabriskie Point filmed by italian director Antonioni at that valley. I rember Dante's view, many sandy hills and arid deserted valley, but also a lot of flowers and even a little resort village with green yards and a swimmingpool , incredible! the business arrive everywhere!

LAS VEGAS it's strange because I have criticized some kitscy american stuff and Las Vegas is the maximum of the Kitsch but I liked and enjoyed a lot but.....I did not spend a single cent at Casino while I ate very well in a luxury restaurant and I payed only 10 dollars. There were three waiters around us and we had a lot of glasses on the table and did not know with what we had to drink! We visited the two district: down town and the Strip? the long boulevard with many giant thema hotels on both sides: Caesar Palace and Circus Circus....I remember other hotels but because I returned in Las Vegas in 1990 and all these were built after my visit in 1982
we stayed in a motel with swimmingpool and we slept by day and strolled around by night.
There were slot machines even in the bathrooms! I really do not understand the American people who work hard for a lot of time and then they go to Las Vegas and spend everything in a couple of hours! Anyway that's american way of life! Not everybody I hope.
It is a big business started hundred years ago when people going west passed that region and someone found a good idea to stop some of those people: if you stay here one week or less you can get married without any problem of bureocracy. The casino came after and now is maybe the American city with the greatest rate of development and had become a metropolis aroung 3 million people live there but when I visited it in 1982 there were about 600,000 inhabitants, if I remember well
We also visited a wedding chapel, it was possible to get married paying about one hundred dollar, all included and my parents believed that I had gone there to get married with Rossella as she had divorced in Italy and had to wait some years in order to celebrate a new wedding

Next stop YOSEMITE VALLEY, wonderful place with high waterfalls from the mountains, a river in the middle of the valley, a wooden luxury hotel used even  by the President of U.S.A.when he received Heads of State coming from abroad and the Half Dome where the free climbing had been invented and practiced for the first time
some years after I had an excursion in a little valley in northern Lombardy: Val di Mello and I remained astonished as it was a little copy of Yosemite Valley. Infact when I told this impression to the owner of a local guesthouse, she went upstairs and came back with a magazine inside whiche there was an article that reported my same impression with photos and some American climber had come in that valley and found a school of free climbing!

Last but not least SAN FRANCISCO the most beautiful American city: wonderful!
First of all the Bay, the bridge fo Sausalito. I have an incredible story about it. When we were in New York City we walked along the Brookling Bridte and we met John, an english thin boy who was travellin alone and with only a little sack.
One month later, on the other side of the U.S.A. we met him again on the bridge over the bay of San Francisco! the world is really little! wow!
Anyway Sausalito is really nice, a town for artists, very fine!
We also went by boat to the famous island of Alcatraz (in Milan is the name of one big concert hall!)and visited the famous prison where a lot of movies were filmed (Clint Eastwood was one of the actor of one of it?).
And then  Height Ashbury? the hippy street of 1968, Citylights the bookshops of the writer Ferlinghetti and the CAFFE TRIESTE, my God! yes, opened and managed by a man of my city!  the Transpyramid America, a modern styled skyscraper, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Noble Hill and the murales of the Mexican artist Diego Rivera, the Golden Gate Park and the beach with some men surfing, the Pavillon of flowers, the bysont? American native bull.
And of course....the  cablecar, the symbol of San Francisco and its amazing houses, each different of the next one, most made of wood.
I remember at the last stop of the cable car, in front of Alcatraz, a classic tower and a nice park along the bay, a former chocolate factory converted into a shopping center
Have I forgotten anything? Yes, we stayed at a little hotel and....in the room next to our, there was a lady, let's say she was ...a prostitute as boys and men were coming and going inside her room! Another surprise was the 24 hours non stop shops and the cheapy and excellent chinese restaurants that for us were a good alternative to the usual hamburgers and french fries or tasty pizzas, maybe the best in the world! yes, bettern than in Italy, especially in N.Y.C.
What else? I do not remember anything else, but I think that it is enough!
Bye to the next!                                     
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