Friday, August 27, 2010

Grand Canyon Road Trip

We woke up bright and early yesterday morning, ate breakfast, packed the cooler, loaded ourselves into the Suburban and hit the road ... heading toward our first stop, Hoover Dam.

Lake Mead is SO blue! 

We stopped at an overlook to marvel at the view and take pictures. 

Above the lake is a compound of houses, originally built by Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, so they could live their party lifestyle outside the confines of Las Vegas proper.

Hoover Dam is a marvel.  It's so high, and so wide, and so long ... and I cannot fathom what it took to built it in the 1930's.

I have watched cable TV programs about the building of Hoover Dam, but it's impossible to convey the scale of this marvel on a TV screen. 

We walked across the Dam, shopped the Gift Shop, took scads of photos, piled back into the Suburban, and headed toward the Grand Canyon.

Burgers at the Last Stop Restaurant were delicious!

We were going to the west end of the Grand Canyon, on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.  The last 20+ miles of the trip took us through a ranch with Joshua Trees and free range cattle. 

It was strange to me to see cows (bulls, in this case), wandering on the side of the road.  I kept making wise cracks about 'feral cows'.

As we arrived at the entrance to the Reservation, we got out of the car, and four of us HAD to have our picture taken.  Nothing says that we had to do it seriously.

Storms were off in the distance, and the temperature up here was MUCH more pleasant than it had been at the Dam.  Our first stop was to buy our tickets, board the shuttle bus, and head for the Skywalk.

This marvel of engineering is to be avoided by everyone who has any sort of fears of heights.  The U-shaped Skywalk is 1200 meters above the Canyon floor, cantilevered over the cliff, with a 2-inch-thick glass floor and glass railing. 

(Arizona tourism photo)

I have no photos from when we were on the Skywalk, because personal items (including cameras) are not allowed.  It was incredible to walk out over the edge of the Canyon, and see beyond and below through the glass.  There were guides to point out items of interest in the Canyon, and tell us about the building of the Skywalk itself.

Unlike the portions of the Grand Canyon that are owned by the National Park Service, there are no railings or barricades along the West Canyon on the Hualapai land.  We could go as close to, or as far away, from the Canyon edge as we were comfortable with.  It was pretty cool that we were trusted enough, and no one felt they had to protect us from ourselves.

(this is my new hat)

My poor husband was getting the willies as I was standing here while Kim took this picture.  Despite my discomfort with having my picture taken, there was NO WAY I would leave the Canyon without a picture of me at the rim.

I took so many photos, I wore out my freshly-charged camera battery again.  Fortunately, this time I brought along the spare.

I coaxed the Husband over to the edge with me, so we could have our picture taken together.

The layers of mountains in the distance were beautiful as sunset approached.

As the sun got low in the sky, it fell below the clouds and created a beautiful red glow on the far side of the Canyon.

I took a few last photos of the beautiful sunset over the Grand Canyon right before we had to board the shuttle bus.  We piled back into the Suburban, mindful to dodge the bobcats, and 'feral cows' on the gravel road through the ranch.  It was a long day ... a wonderful day ... a day that I will never forget.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog.)


  1. Wonderful photos. And, it looks like you had the canyon all to yourselves. I always seem to get other tourists in my photos... The looks on some of their faces is sometimes better than the scenery I was shooting!

  2. OOOh, I'm loving this trip, never been to any of it..thanks for taking us along!

    And look maaavelous. Congratulations for getting in front of the camera :-)

  3. what an awesome adventure! Your pictures are breathtaking..well, the feral cows are interesting:) You are beautiful, mah dear! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Looks like quite a trip. Your photos make me a little sentimental for Arizona - I grew up there.

  5. How fortunate you are to see this, and thank you for sharing.

  6. Such wonderful photos. Welcome to Arizona.

  7. What great shots. Love the sunset photo. I am going to have to tell the hubby that we need to make this trek. We leave Thursday for Vegas for five days. We need to go sightseeing while there and not give all our money away. Thanks for the idea.


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