Canyons 2015: road trip

I may be getting tired…I didn’t get up until 8am, although leaving the Grand Canyon probably doesn’t inspire me to be up and out as much as staying and hiking! We are obviously getting the hang of packing up though, as it didn’t take too long before we were fully packed, car loaded, checked out and…sitting in the lodge, drinking coffee and eating a croissant, waiting for the slow wifi to upload the blog photos.

Eventually, that task accomplished we set off, only to stop at Yavapai point for our traditional last look at the canyon. One day I will do the rim to rim hike…but not today.

 The landscaped changed as we headed south towards Williams, from pine forests on snowy ground to more open ranching land, looking across to the San Francisco Peaks. 

Once on I-40 we turned west and climbed over different mountain ranges. I was fascinated by how they conducted roadworks and road maintenance (would never be allowed at home). Last time we were on this road we had to pull over in a torrential downpour; and then move off again to avoid a building flash flood on the shoulder. No such problems today. With the sun, dry weather and wind, the only thing to look out for was the occasional tumble weed. We stopped at Kingman for lunch at Denny’s, instantly noticing how much warmer it was. This was a welcome break in a long journey and I then took over the driving.

 The route from Kingman goes north up to Las Vegas (unfortunately you have to go south, west and then north again, due to the presence of this really large canyon, which is in the way…), crossing the Colorado River at the Hoover Dam. 

 Once past there, the traffic started to build up and by Vegas it was very busy, although all still moving fast as we were just ahead of the rush hour. I got us through the city and headed outbound towards Pahrump, California. We stopped briefly there, mostly so I could check the directions, and Andrew took over for the final 50 miles in to Furnace Creek. The sun was setting on the mountains behind Pahrump and the sky was illuminated as we headed west towards Death Valley.

 On arrival we checked in and they managed to give us a room in the block I was hoping for – out of the way and hopefully with a nice view of the mountains. I will have to let you know tomorrow, as it was already dark. We settled in quickly and walked to the cafe for dinner. An early night is probably in order as it has been a long day, both in terms of how it felt and in reality…we have gained an hour so it will be a 25 hour day.

385 miles of road trip. Across 3 states. Starting at 6,800 feet and finishing at -180 feet. And it’s a fair few degrees warmer here than where we started…

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