The day after Russ' birthday we reluctantly checked out of our comfortable hotel and took a cab out to Las Vegas Airport. There we were dropped off at the Rental Car Centre and picked up our car which we were going to drive all the way to Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Following the directions of the Budget staff, we promptly got lost, and drove around a little before finding our way onto the highway!!!!!
Our plan had been to drive across the Hoover Dam but they are in the process of building a new bridge. In Vegas we had been warned of 2 hours of standing traffic in the road works so we went the long way round. That involved heading South from Boulder City into the sunshine state of California. It was a long way down until we reached the Interstate 40 which runs alongside the historic Route 66. There we found the small town of Needles and promptly "got our kicks" with a delicious lunch at a scenic restaurant.
I-40 runs for hundreds of miles West to East (and vice-versa!) so getting to Flagstaff wasn't a problem. It just took a long, long time. About 5 hours
to be precise! We decided it wasn't worth going up to the Grand Canyon immediately so we had a night's rest before venturing up into the hills to see what all the fuss was about. WOW! AWESOME!! AMAZING!!! FANTASTIC!!!!
Sorry, I don't have the words to describe this natural wonder of the world. It's just a shame there were so many other people there as a little peace and quiet wouldn't have gone amiss!!
We took the time to take a stroll along the South Rim path. Not all of it, it's a very long path! We did a few miles each way and took in the wondrous views. We just didn't have time to venture down into the canyon itself, and anyway, the warning signs put us off a little! See the photo for more details!! We then drove Eastwards and stopped off at a few viewpoints to take yet more photos. At the "Desert View" we climbed up the watchtower and looked at the great native American artwork which reminded us so much of the indigenous South American art we had seen in Argentina. It was great to see and a potent reminder of the people
who lived here before the settlers came.
Our drive then took us beyond Arizona and into New Mexico, through Indian reservation country where we were not allowed to stop and take photographs. It was a fabulous drive through breathtaking scenery, but after a couple of hours the landscape flattened out and it got a bit tedious.
Darkness fell as we cantered into the town of Gallup. We stayed there for the night, changing our plans and missing out on staying in Albuquerque. The next day 6 more hours of driving along the I-40 lay ahead. That, for us, was the way to Amarillo!!!!
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