Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Grand Canyon and Las Vegas!

We left Glenn's house on Sunday morning, and since it was Father's Day, we snuck out early in the morning so they could serve their dad breakfast in bed. Unfortunately we only got to spend one night at the Grand Canyon because you apparently have to book WAY in advance for the campsites in the park (which we didn't realize). Our one night came from a cancellation, so we got lucky with that. We got to the park fairly early, driving past the Mojave desert and dirt-caked hills. We set up camp and ate a snack before catching a park shuttle to Hopi Point to watch the sunset. The shuttles are nice because they reduce car traffic and they're free! We explored a part of the South Rim and found a great spot to watch it. The canyon is seriously one of the coolest things I've ever seen. It was so awesome! After it got dark, we headed back to our campsite, where Melanie fixed some delicious chili for dinner. We decided to go to bed early so that we could get up early in time to do some hiking before we made our was to Las Vegas.

Yesterday morning, we packed up our stuff and parked our car near a shuttle stop, and rode the shuttle to the trailhead for the Bright Angel Trail. The whole trail goes all the way down to the bottom of the canyon and all the way to the other rim, but we clearly did not have time to do that. We chose the 3-mile option. The trail has several rest-houses with bathrooms and water along the way, the first of which is a mile and a half down. It was a fun hike, but very hot and kinda grueling going back up. We stopped in a few shady spots to rest on the way up, but we finished the hike in under 2 hours! I was really sad to leave, but Vegas awaited us.

We took route 93 into Vegas and went past the Hoover Dam. There was a lot of construction going on around the dam so it took a while to get through. Our air conditioner also started acting up, so we had our windows down. The dam was pretty disappointing. I mean, it was kinda cool, but it's not as big as you would expect, and it's really not that exciting. Vegas, however, was AWESOME. We stayed at Bill's Gamblin'Hall & Saloon, and it was great! It's right in the middle of the strip! And it's a great deal, only $60ish a night! We spent the night hotel/casino hopping, and it was great! One of my favorites was the Bellagio fountains. They go off every 15 minutes, and I think they do different songs, but the one we caught was "Proud to be an American." I'm not gonna lie, it was hilarious! But also awesome at the same time. At a bar we visited in MGM, the music randomly got loud and all the bartenders preceded to jump on the bar and dance. We spent most of the night at Mandalay Bay because the bar there also had a dance floor (no cover charge!). We tried a few slots for fun, but none of us are really big gamblers. I won $4! Wooooo! haha.

Today we started driving to Zion National Park, but stopped an hour short because the AC was completely dead and we wanted to see if we could get it easily fixed. Driving through a desert with no AC is not pleasant. We took the van to an auto repair shop, who originally thought it just needed more freon. But it turned out a part of the actual system was broken. The repairs would cost more than what the van is really worth (it's on it's last leg and this trip was kind of its last hurrah). We've decided to suck it up, but went to a local wal-mart and bought a bunch of fans. We ended up staying in St. George, Utah (where we stopped) because we were all tired from the night before and very hot. So we're in a cheap hotel for now and will head out to Zion tomorrow! We will most likely not have internet for the next 4 or 5 days since we'll be camping in various places around Utah, so I think this is my last update for now. At least I caught up!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Good to hear from you last night but sorry to hear about your AC troubles. I'm guessing the fans you purchased were the battery-operated 'personal' fans. Remember the ones you had (with sprays attached) for really hot, nasty summer days at GS camp?
Sounds like there is no problem finding great food! My mouth was watering just listening to your descriptions.
Pack lots of water and ice and enjoy the next few days' travel. Guess we will hear from you next when you arrive in Denver. Until then, stay cool. MOM