Saturday, September 10, 2005

Day 91 - Grand Canyon - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Day 91 – 7th September 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 15797

Got up very early, it’s only 4:30am…. Drove down to the Grand Canyon Village area and caught the bus to Powell Point where we sat in the dark and waited for the sunrise.

Jill 5:55am

Sunrise 6:00am

Sunrise 6:04am

The Grand Canyon 6:04am

Sunrise 6:06am

The Sunrise was well worth the early morning as it rose between two peaks on the Canyon. After several photos we walked along the rim of the canyon and viewed the canyon from the other lookout points on route and then went for food.

Sunrise 6:20am

A Squirrel

The Grand Canyon Village

We checked out of the hotel at 9am and then drove west along the I-40. We stopped at the Hover Dam and walked along it and took photo’s of the dam and Lake Mead, we also got some food in the Café too.

The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam

The Hover Dam is an amazing site, I had never seen the water level so low before as it was about 30 feet lower than anytime I had previously been there.

Lake Mead

The Hoover Dam

Me at The Hoover Dam

After an hour long stop we carried on til we reached Las Vegas. We checked into the Imperial Palace on the strip which is going to be our home for the next 7 days. I thought I’d best check out the casino so proceeded straight to the Black Jack tables. A couple of hours later I grabbed Jill and we walked along the strip to Treasure Island and went to Kahunaville for Dinner. We had the biggest cocktails I had ever seen let alone drank. Mine seemed to have it’s on smoke machine.

Our Cocktails

Treasure Island

After Dinner we walked over to the Wynn and looked around as this is the newest casino to be built on the strip. Jill and I hung around and got some free bottles of Corona before heading back to our hotel for the night.

Day 90 - Tucson - Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Day 90 – 6th September 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 15505

Set of at 9:30am and drove North on the I-17. We drove through Phoenix and onto Flagstaff. We stopped here and bought some sandwiches which we ate a short while later when we stopped in the Kaibab State Park. After a six hour drive we arrived at the Grand Canyon and stopped at the first lookout point to take in the spectacular view. Since this was my fourth visit I was not to bothered about coming but it is just spectacular and I am glad I did return.

The Grand Canyon

We then went to the village area to arranged a hotel room for the night within the Grand Canyon Park, we were told at the time that no rooms were available and to come back in 30 minutes to see if any off the other hotels had released rooms. So we took a walk part way down the Angel Trail, which is the route down to the Colorado River.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

A Condor

Me on the Rocks

The Grand Canyon

After about an hour we went back to the Village Area and they had a room for us at Yavapai Lodge. So we checked in and dropped off out bags. We then caught the free shuttle to Hopi Point where we stayed for an hour or so and watched the sunset over the canyon, what an amazing sight.

Jill and I

Sunset Over The Grand Canyon

Sunset Over The Grand Canyon

Sunset Over The Grand Canyon

Sunset Over The Grand Canyon

We then went and got some food before crashing out for the night.

Day 89 - Tucson, Arizona, USA

Day 89 – 5th September 2005 -8:00 GMT

Jill and I had a long lie in, so when we eventually got out of bed, which was after the Music Video Awards ad finished on TV, we drove in the centre of Tucson. Reece had gone out for the day with his friend who lives here. Jill and I walked along 4th Avenue as that had lots of cool shops. Unfortunately it’s Labour Day so nothing is open.

4th Avenue, Tucson

4th Avenue, Tucson

We found a coffee shop and had soup and a sandwich for lunch then drove up to the University district and had a look around. Then we drove to Foothills Mall which is about 10 miles out of the city we walked around for about an hour then went to the cinema to see 40 year old virgin. This film was hilarious. We then drove back to the hotel got a bite to eat and just watched TV and played on my PSP. Reece came back about 9:30pm.

Day 88 - Truth or Consequences - Tucson, Arizona, USA

Day 88 – 4th September 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 15111

Woke up early, Jill was a bit hung-over so we hung around the Hostel, Jill and I made our regular phone calls home and we eventually set off just before 12pm. We drove down the I-25 then cut across highway 152 as driving through the Black Ridge Mountains would be a much more scenic route.

The Black Ridge Mountains

We drove back through Hillsboro where the apple festival was still going on. Then we started to climb, the road got very windy and we climbed up to over 8,000ft. The views were spectacular but the drive was slow going, especially as the hairpin bends had huge drops at the side of the road and no crash barriers.

The Black Ridge Mountains

The Black Ridge Mountains

After a couple of hours we got to Silver City which has the biggest quarry I have ever seen, we stopped here for lunch. After a short way down the highway 90 we joined the motorway again. Another 3 hours driving along the I-10 we arrived in Tucson and drove around until we found a reasonably priced hotel. We checked into the Days Inn and Reece arranged to meet one of his friends who lives in Tucson. I decided I would take the opportunity to try my luck at the local casino. Unfortunately it was not my night, nor anyone else at any of the tables, everyone seemed to be losing. I headed back to the hotel and got some food for Jill and I. We watched TV for a bit and then got some sleep.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Day 87 - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, USA

Day 87 – 3nd September 2005 -7:00 GMT

Decided to do our washing first thing so we have the rest of the day to go out. So we drove to the centre of town and found a Laundromat and did our washing. Reece and I played on out PSP’s and Jill read a book whilst waiting. After we had put away our washing back at the lodgings we went back into town and visited a Vegeterian Restaurant for lunch called White Coyote Café. I had the Carrot and Ginger soup with a freshly baked mini loaf of bread followed by a Humus and salad pita bread with Crisps and a nice cup of green tea. The food was great and very filling.

Riverbend Hot Springs Lodging Posted by Picasa

Now we have eaten we decided we would have a drive through the Black Ridge Mountains. So we drove down the I-25 and along highway 152 to a town called Hillsboro where they were having a Apple Festival. We then drove south along Highway 27 and visited a Ghost Town called Lake Valley. The town had a population of over 4000 people between 1850 and 1912 when a epidemic hit the town and most people died. The town grew due to silver mining there. Now it is just a collection of buildings in the middle of nowhere.

Lake Valley Ghost Town Posted by Picasa

We carried on along highway 27 until we reached Nutt which consists of one building which is a small restaurant. We now dove back along highway 26 towards the motorway and passed through a town called Hatch which is the Chili capital of the world and due to it being Labour Day weekend they were holding their annual Chili festival. I have never seen so many Chili’s people had the roofs of their houses covered in them.

Hatch Chili Festival Posted by Picasa

Anyway we made our way back up the I-25 detouring for a scenic route along Lake Caballo. We got back to River Bend Lodgings at around 6pm and sat out by the hot tubs and after a few minutes had yet again attracted a crowd.

Jill by the Rio Grande Posted by Picasa

Jill on the Pier Posted by Picasa

We had Joe join us who is Ex Marine and used to do secret missions all over the world. Then Albert who was with us yesterday. Then Ben joined us who used to Live in England very close to Aylesbury and he takes city slickers out across the Utah dessert on 14 day packages where they hike and ride horses along trails each day. Several other people joined us throughout the night as we had 32 bottles of beer and we were freely sharing them. By midnight people had donated more beer, a bottle of Irish Whiskey, a single malt scotch, a bottle of Rum and a top bottle of Tequila. Which was all gone by 2am. After a quick dip in the Hot Springs we all called it a night.

Hot Springs by the Rio Grande Posted by Picasa

Hot Springs Posted by Picasa
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