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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

LV to the Grand Canyon (first day of train trip)

USA | Wednesday, 13 August 2008 | Views [896]

Shirley took us to the Las Vegas airport at 9 to catch the 10pm Amtrak coach to Kingman (google it). Sounds simple? Noone knew where the coach left from, noone knew Amtrak even has coaches, it took a while but we found it, on Level Zero if you ever have to go looking! An hour and a half ride took us to Laughlin where we stopped for a milkshake and a walk. We were sitting on a small stone wall and noticed we had company, cockroaches about the same size as our NZ ones but with wings and not at all shy! There were so many of them we moved on.

Next stop Kingman where we waited to catch the 2am train arriving in Flagstaff at 5am. It took us a while to locate our motel, it was right beside the tracks where we got off but as the double decker train was between us and it we walked away from it and into town. It was ok tho as noone was up that early, so we filled in some time while the sun came up. Once we found the motel we sat in their yard until someone got up, then we just shoved all our gear in a store cupboard and went to catch the bus to the Grand Canyon. Neither of us could tell you much about the trip out or back as we were fast asleep but the Canyon itself was magnificent. We caught a free shuttle to the fartherest viewpoint and walked about 4 ½ miles back along the rim of the canyon.

Unfortunately both of our cameras had a hissy fit at the same time so we were unable to take any digital photos but had to go and buy a disposable camera which we will get developed as soon as we can. So if you can imagine in the meantime a HUGE and we mean HUGE rip in the earth where it has been pulled apart (approx 10 miles) leaving each side absolutely level. Looking down into the valley that has been created there is a river (looks small, is that just perspective?) about 1 mile down at the bottom. The walls of the canyon are lined with different colours and layers, with trails going here and there and not much vegetation. We managed to get a bit of a tan along the way even tho the sky was nicely overcast and Carol had a sun umbrella for when the sun did show itself.

As we said, we slept the journey back to Flagstaff and sorted the gears then fell into bed...

Did we mention the trains? They are very long and quite high, even the goods trains carry containers stacked two high. When they travel through a town they blow their whistles almost continuously and it is horrendously loud. Our motel was right next to the tracks so our 4 hours sleep, after packing and getting up at 4am to catch our 5am to Raton, was filled with noise. Funnily enough we did sleep a bit altho Carol kept waking to check her watch in case the alarm (3 of them) didn't go off.

Tags: flagstaff, grand canyon, kingman, raton, train


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