Day 4 | Grand Canyon road trip

What seemed like an early start didn't quite work out. With a trip to the Grand Canyon (about 4 hours from Las Vegas) planned we needed to get on our way. However after a stop of fuel and a stop at a Jack in the Box for breakfast we lost that valuable time. We had got some food the night before that could have served for breakfast but neither of us wanted it in the morning. 

Getting petrol in the western states usually requires pre payment so you have to do an estimate of what you are going to need and then go in before the pump will release. After filling up we both went in to check out what else is for sale as we wanted some water and Angus wanted a bucket of the cheapest/worst coffee for the journey. Of course, other people’s snacks are interesting. The unhusked sunflower seeds were notable. The drinks fridge ran the whole length of the service station (which also had the Pokie machines because it’s Vegas). The incidentals were all cheap, 12 waters for 2.99 and the coffee for 1.29. 

One more stop to get something for breakfast. We tried a waffle bacon and egg from Jack in the Box which was a taste combination that also included maple syrup and cinnamon. Then came the drive out of Vegas which is served by highways north, south east and west and we were off east towards Lake Mead and Hoover Dam and Arizona. 

Most of Nevada east of Las Vegas seems to be boring rocks but this impression is overwhelmed as about 40 minutes east you descend the hill seeing the blue Lake Mead (which is held back by Hoover Dam). We stopped here to get out as it is an impressive sight. To get to the Dam area requires a Parks checkpoint but there was no delay even though it was busy. 

Next stop was the walkway over the Tillman Bridge that overlooks the Hoover Dam. This reinforced concrete arch road bridge only offers the walkway a view of the Dam from above. The barriers on the roadway are too high to reduce crosswinds off the lake hitting the cars and gawking. It wasn’t too busy or scary. 

Then, off to the South Rim Grand Canyon, another three hours out east into Arizona. Gently rising up in elevation from 2000 to over 7000 feet meaning it got colder. Stopping in Williams the shorts and tee shirts seemed a bit light even though the car warned us it was 52 deg F we had no idea how cold that was (11 deg C, brr and windy). Driving up to the Canyon was into the Park which was $25 for the week. Lots of campers and RVs around and placed for them to stay. 

Parking at the top we changed our warm clothes and set off. The views are all along a hand-railed footpath on this, the South Rim. With the sun dropping the shadows mixed with colours of the peaks was amazing. Unbelievable is the only description of the Grand Canyon. It is like all the perspective and scale rules don’t apply.  The casual path along the rim is populated by us tourists almost giggling with the awe at the view. It really is a great atmosphere with people chatting and taking each other’s photos knowing that they can’t capture the feeling of this view.  We were told on more than one occasion the Canyon was not the place for selfies (lol). This is was we met Steve, Kathy and Marcus from Seattle. We got to talking after being able to take photos for each other. They gave us some tips for things to see in Seattle when we are up there and we may be even be able to catch up when we are up there. That’d be great. 

Oddly there were more than a few people who had bought their dogs along to gain inspiration from the experience. Most were sensibly wearing vests. 

As the sun got even lower we started back towards the shop and back to the car. This trip out was worth the journey. Thousands come here every week to get the feelings that this place makes and most come back. 

Back down we chose to have dinner in a western themed restaurant Yippee Ei O Steakhouse. The food as good but again we didn’t share. We both got steak (delicious), biscuit (scone?), beans (why?), potato (OK) and voluntary additional broccoli spoiled by nacho cheese with a side of hot wings. Again while we were taking photos of food a couple of Canadian ladies helped out with our couple’s picture. They both know of Australia as they had worked for a year in Perth and loved it. 

With sun set it was a dark drive back to the City of Light, Las Vegas.