Road Trip – day 2 – Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

After a very nice visit with friends in Las Vegas I got a very early start, I left the house by 7 am and was in St George’s Utah by 9 am with the goal of making it to the North Rim if the Grand Canyon. Driving in the desert is an odd experience . The road is usually straight and uneventful and the in the midst of what seems to be an endless plain it will drop into a hidden green valley as it did outside Mesquite. Mesquite was a small oasis, complete with green fields, even a few silos and of course Oasis liquors that will help you “stock up” before you cross into Utah. Or the road will seem to approach a shear wall of mountains and then snake through a narrow opening carved by a small river as outside of Littlefield, AZ.
Leaving St George I travelled into the Arizona strip, the part of Arizona North of the Grand Canyon. It is filled with sage and little else. When I didn’t like the station on the radio, I hit seek to find the next station. The radio went all the way around the dial and back to the same station. It was fairly easy to find an empty part of the FM band to use for my iTrip iPod FM transmitter. I was traveling across a plain, but are at 4000 feet of elevation as I was now on the Colorado plateau. I missed the patrol car with a dummy in it that I am told stands in one of the small towns on the way. The road to the North Rim changes from sage to dessert trees and then almost without notice to loge poll pine trees and aspen. The large open meadows that remind me of Twolomee Meadows in Yosemite.

At the gate of the park I decided to buy a Golden Eagle pass for $50. The bad news, the cannot sell me one because their computers are down. The night before my arrival they had a thunderstorm and 3 inches of rain. The good news, they can’t take money because the computers are down. Today, the Grand Canyon entry is free. But what turns out as good luck at the entrance is bad news at the campground. They cannot tell if they have spaces left and cannot offer any space for someone without a reservation because, the internet connection is down. They do offer me an overflow space for hikers and bikers and for only $4. It is far from the restrooms but at the very lip of the canyon. The view of the canyon is breathtaking, as is the short walk to Angel’s point. Of course, at over 8,000 feet most everything is breath taking. The weather is still very stormy with strong cold winds. The drive to Cape Royal was particularly interesting as the wind has downed a couple of trees into the road. The ranger’s talk on the geology of the canyon is interesting as is the campfire talk on the history of the place.

Author: chris2x

One man's view of life in Silicon Valley from Chris Christensen - a podcaster, blogger, programmer, entrepreneur

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