AK2VA Summer Cross Country Road Trip Update : Our Kind of Fun in Las Vegas
Hi again! It has been a task to get this post uploaded – but finally here it is! 🙂
We are currently still on our Grand Canyon tour, but here are some highlights of the past couple of days. The drive from California to Vegas was cool because the further we drove, we saw the landscape change to mountains and desert.
We made it to Las Vegas, Nevada and settled into our campground by Lake Meade quickly before heading back to the Las Vegas strip to check it out.
It was fun to see the iconic downtown area lit up and busy, but we didn’t stay long because we knew the next few mornings would be early ones. (We’re not drinkers, smokers or gamblers anyway – just sightseers!)
The next morning we were up at 4:45
and headed to the North Vegas airport for a scenic Northwestern Grand Canyon flight to the Bar 10 ranch.
Although the flight was delayed about 3 hours, we enjoyed talking to the gift shop owner and sipping some (caffeinated) drinks. And then we boarded our tiny plane.
Let me just tell you this was the craziest flight we have ever been on. The wind and turbulence were unreal the entire 40 minutes and it must have been similar to how salad must feel when you toss it in a container. 😉 Bryan has never been motion sick on a flight or boat before, but even he was woozie by the end. Fortunately, I was all medicated (and determined to take photos for you all 😉 !) since I get motion sick anywhere. It’s a wonder how I didn’t break my nose on my own camera as we tossed near the window, but here are a few pics that made it. 😉
We arrived to the Bar 10 Ranch (in the middle of nowhere on what they call the Arizona Strip near Utah). This ranch is a working cattle ranch in the winter and a great family base camp to visit and experience the Grand Canyon as well as some western fun all other times of the year.
I was tickled to see all the tumbleweeds! They make me think of the movie “Feifel Goes West”, plus I just love that word :). We were so excited for an ATV drive into the canyon. Our tour was only a group of 6 – a couple from the UK and a couple from Australia…which was perfect and totally uncrowded. I rode with our tour guide and the ladies in the stretch ranger while the men played on the 4-wheelers.
The tour led to a beautiful overlook where we relaxed before heading back for a homemade BBQ lunch.
Again, it was great to have taken Dramamine because right after lunch we were back on our crazy dropping and tossing fight in full force.
Though we had seen some beautiful scenery all day, NOTHING was a wonderful to see as this guy!! (Ignore how tired we all are! 😉 ) I am beyond tickled. What are the odds that my BROTHER would arrive in Las Vegas to train with his F-16 squadron all the way from Italy at the same time we were in Vegas for a few days! Despite the fact that all three of us were wiped out from busy days, we found time to get together for dinner at a Mexican restaurant Tommy’s buddy recommended. It was amazing! The made us fresh guacamole right at our table (so I shamelessly took photos). Sooo good!
At dinner we told Tommy about our flight and he laughed saying “You know I never really feel turbulence in my plane, but flying over the canyon today I did feel it, so it must have been quite a bit.” So you see people? We have our story confirmed by an F-16 pilot himself! 😉 Since he has been in Italy a year and a half and we are always moving, I treasured this random moment I could spend with him. Plus it was wonderful to congratulate him in person on becoming a Dad!!!
Our next morning was another early one…but such a fun experience!! We went with a group of about 10 kayaking down in the canyon/river that feeds out of the Hoover Dam.
Our guide Rod was super knowledgeable and fun, and he took us on short hikes to hot springs, a steamy cave, and the beautiful Emerald cove. I think this was my favorite excursion out of our entire trip so far!!
All of these drops seeping out and the waterfalls were warm and relaxing! Love the Geothermal activity here.
We parked here for a fun jump off a rock! We weren’t up for it ourselves since the water was around 55 degrees.
We spotted a few Bighorn Rams. Funny little things!
After a long nap, we decided to rest at our campground a little more for the night rather than head back to the Las Vegas strip. One of my favorite things about camping at Lake Meade is the beautiful skyline at night…nothing but mountain silhouettes and a sky full of stars!
After some much needed rest, we are headed into the South Rim of the Grand Canyon…and cannot believe we have only seen a tiny piece of it so far!
As usual – our road trip story is “to be continued!”
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