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Roon the Globe Nadia's trip around the world in 365 days :)

En Route to the Grand Canyon

USA | Thursday, 30 June 2011 | Views [362]

On the Friday we had to head to the airport to pick up our car which we'd be spending the next 2.5 weeks driving around the West coast in..it was a nice silver Ford Focus, bigger than we expected and had aircon..thankfully! I had actually been finding it quite cold in LA cos it's next to the sea, but i knew as we headed into the desert the temperatures were going to be pretty unbearable and i was right. On the first day we left LA and headed inland to Joshua Tree National Park, since our original plan of San Diego was scuppered due to it being the weekend, summer holidays and very expensive accomodation. The temperature on the car thermometer went from 77 deg in LA to 112 at one point during that drive..crazy! The landscape changed so much in the 2.5 hour drive and we eventually arrived in Joshua Tree, we actually stayed in the next town, 29 Palms, in a motel. Laura had been the pilot all day because i was a bit nervous about driving on the WRONG side of the road initially but took a turn when we had to go along to the wee town for dinner. It's actually ok driving here because there are no gears to worry about but you just need to really concentrate when turning corners! We found a wee Western saloon bar and ate some typical American food - burger and hotdog, while some really bad karaoke singers entertained us!

The next day we shot off early to try and beat the heat and explore Joshua Tree National Park for a bit. We drove along a loop road in the park and the landscape was unreal. The wierd looking trees and the massive rock formations looked like something out of a film! It was already hotting up at only 10am so we started heading further East towards Grand Canyon territory. The landscape was just incredible in the desert and feels like you are driving on the moon sometimes as it's so vast. It was still quite a long drive so we had planned on stopped off at a wee town overnight but unfortunately when we arrived there it was Saturday and a rodeo was taking place so all the motels were booked up. We had a pitstop for food and continued on to a wee town called Cottonwood where we stayed the night.

The next day we were planning on heading to the Grand Canyon which was about 2 hours away. First we passed through a beautiful town called Sedona which is full of massive red rock formations in the shape of teapots, Snoopy and a massive boat and loads more. We had a wander around to take some photographs then headed back on teh road to the Grand Canyon, unfortunately this didn't last long as we drove over something on the freeway which punctured our tire and we had to pull over. We were so glad that we'd paid for roadside cover at that point cos neither of us knew how to change the tire to the spare and a guy was with us within the hour. That kinda ruined our plan of going to the Grand Canyon as we still had over an hour to drive, but luckily it had happened just outside Flagstaff which was where we had planned on staying that night after a trip to the national park. We headed to the only garage open on a Sunday and got the tire repaired, it turned out the tire pressure sensor had snapped inside the tire aswell so was giving us an error message inside the car. We just decided to camp up for the night and spent the afternoon chilling in the park in Flagstaff then went to an Irish pub for some dinner.

We started fresh on Monday morning driving up to the Grand Canyon national park which took just over an hour. It's strange driving in there as you don't see anything until you park up and start walking towards the canyon itself. We were on the South Rim and it was already getting quite busy, but as you head through the trees onto the main walking path and see the canyon it is totally breathtaking. It is so big that it just looks like a massive sheet of scenery painted in front of you. It's hard to get any perspective because it's so vast and apparently the people who discovered it thought that the Colorado river flowing below was only 6 foot wide when it was actually about 90 foot wide at some parts. Since it was so busy at the beginning of the main pathway we started hiking along the rim path which calmed down as it was so hot people struggle to do much walking. We got some really great photos without any fences in the background and managed to catch 2 interesting talks along the way about the geology of the canyon and about California Condors. It's amazing that all of the layers have been formed over millions of years by sea, wind and mainly by the Colorado River's erosion over the years. It was unbelieveably hot by lunchtime so we just made sure to make loads of wee stops for water but we managed to last about 6 hours in the park itself so that was pretty good going considering it was about 35 degrees!

We still had a bit of a drive between the Grand Canyon and Vegas so after our day exploring we headed Westbound and stopped off at Denny's on the way for dinner - and we had breakfast though haha! French toast, eggs and pancakes yum yum! We made it along to Kingman by about 9pm and stopped there for the night before our drive to Vegas the next day which we were so excited about!

 

Tags: grand canyon, joshua tree, sedona

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