Return to the Red Rocks. Day 15: Life is a highway.

(Grand Canyon, Arizona – Las Vegas, Nevada)

8 December 2022

We were awake before 8am, and I got up and made coffee, before we headed for an early (for us) breakfast. It was about -6C, and the paths were partly icy. The car was still snow covered. The trees looked glorious against the morning’s blue skies, lit by the bright sunshine. In the cafeteria, an area that had been curtained off all week was finally revealed to be the Christmas decoration.

Back at the room, we got ourselves ready, and I repacked the cases, ready for our return. Hiking boots are packed back up, along with our rucksacks, maps, head torches… Andrew went out to clear the snow off the car, and shortly came back with frost bitten fingers (I’d packed the gloves, too) to report that it was frozen solid. We had one final trip out into the balcony to watch the train and admire the trees. We then put the cases in the car and I went to check out and borrow an ice scraper, which I was sure that they would have. Better equipped, it didn’t take long to get the car ready to drive, and we were on our way by 11am.

We stopped at Yavapai Point on our way out, to have a final look at the canyon. It was beautiful. Even the car park looked beautiful!

As we drove down AZ-64 south towards Williams. The snow gradually disappeared from the surrounding land, and from the roof of our car. We watched it go through the glass sunroof. The fresh snow was apparent, though, on the tops of the San Francisco mountains. We stopped in Williams at the Route 66 diner for lunch.

Then it was onto I-40, which was very busy with trucks (although the photos were timed to avoid the traffic!).

After a brief stop for toilets and to buy vanilla lattes at Kingman, we followed US-93 north to the Nevada border at the Hoover Dam, and onward to Henderson. As we descended, we could see the smog of Vegas hanging in the valley. We arrived fairly quickly at the Holiday Inn where we checked in. I’d booked a large room, as usually I end up repacking, but hopefully this time I’ve already done most of that. We were going to go shopping, given the time zone change meant it was still quite early, but I was really tired, so instead we decided just to get dinner. We walked (yes, I needed to get my step count up!) to Denny’s, which wasn’t far, but in typical American city style has absolutely no pedestrian access. That didn’t stop us. We just walked across the landscaping…

There’ll be time for shopping tomorrow, but for now, time to relax and sleep.

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