USA 2013 – Sept 3rd Day 3 – Sunrise, Route 66 and Vegas (Baby)
Miles covered today = 301 Miles so far this trip = 575
The first thing we heard today was a sound we normally hear when getting up for work. My alarm. I grabbed my phone and looked at it with disbelief. 3.55 am. We are on holiday and getting up before 4am?
We had to have left our hotel room by 5am to ensure we made it to the park by 5.15 to get the shuttle bus to Yaki Point which was the suggested place for the sunrise.
As we pulled into the car park, driving slowly as it was pitch black, we realised how much more popular the sunset was than the sunrise. There were only about 5 other cars in a car park that yesterday was packed to capacity. Surely we are not the only nutters!!
We jumped on the bus with about 10 other people, all mostly with back packs, and geared up for hiking. The bus stopped first at South Kaibab trial, and all but us and one other person got off to start a hike of some kind.
Less than 5 minutes later, the rest of us jumped of the bus to what appeared to be a a pretty deserted Yaki point. We had a choice of spots, but chose not to climb down into the Canyon and sit on a big rock (see picture below) enjoying what I'm sure were beautiful unrestricted views. We decided to stay safe and high, and enjoy what we considered to be great views, and equally as un-restricted.
We were here for about an hour, and saw a lovely sunrise, got to take some great photos.
It was also nice to just sit there, in the peace and quiet, at one point in total silence, just an occasional blow of the wind. No people noise, no car noise nothing.
After about an hour, we jumped on the next available bus, and headed back to the car park (which had slowly started to fill up) to get back to our motel to check out. An hour later after a quick stop for coffee, we were heading back south, down Route 64 to join up with the i40 west, to head to Vegas. At this point I still don't have a charger for my camera, and am already a battery down so I was snapping away with caution.
We joined Route 66 at Seligman, and so wished we had stopped. We had planned on stopping at Peach Springs, but when we got there it was a tiny deserted town, which may have had the history, and the abandoned Gas Stations, but had nothing else. Perhaps this was the real Route 66 and Seligman was the “tourist” Route 66?
About 50 miles later we left Route 66 behind, and joined the US-93 North, for our next stop, Hoover Dam.
We parked up ready for a walk across a bridge to get some great views of the dam. After enjoying totally pleasant 80 degree heat at the Grand Canyon, stepping out of the air conditioned car into 98 degree heat with a steep climb to the bridge came as a bit of a shock. We made it, saw the impressive structure and got the obligatory photos including one with the Welcome to Nevada sign.
Back in the air con, and after cooling down, we set off for the final part of our journey to Las Vegas, and very soon we began to see Sin City on the horizon. At a previous stop, a guy we spoke to mentioned there was a big electrical store right near Vegas, so we stopped by hoping to get a battery charger for my camera……..success, $16 dollars later we had one, and I can safely say it charged the UK batteries, so we are good to snap away without fear!!
We could see our hotel New York New York in the distance, and the sat nav took us right to the car park. We parked up, grabbed our bags and headed off to check in.
As soon as we stepped through the doors from the attached car park, the sense of grandeur was overwhelming. Lights, noise, people, slots, games, bars, restaurants, more people, more slots, the roller coaster going above our heads….it goes on.
Everywhere you looked there was a way of someone taking your money. It's no wonder the rooms are only £37 dollars a night. and these are nice rooms. a huge bed, a 32″ flat screen tv, views over the strip. considering we paid £80 for one night in a box standard motel near the Grand Canyon…..
We checked in, headed off to the 28th floor to dump our bags and head back down for a beer and a cocktail in the Broadway Burger Bar & Grill, while watching the roller coaster overhead!!
Our next challenge was to decide what to eat. Sounds simple enough? No, not when there are hundreds of places littering not only our hotel, but The Strip itself. We left our hotel, which was a challenge in itself, finding a door to the outside world, and started walking.
Within 20 yards there were 2 guys and 2 girls wearing Girls Girls Girls t-shirts handing out leaflets and cards. We passed on these, and headed off in the evening heat to see what we could see.
We did a bit of a circuit, stopped by the MGM Grand, and decided to eat in the hotel and explore the strip properly tomorrow. We had a decent meal in a Mexican, and after one last drink, headed off to bed to catch up on some sleep ready for a full day of exploring in the 100+ degree heat!!