Jul 2, 2012 - Trail Tales, Wanderlust    No Comments

Leaving Las Vegas for National Parks and beyond

My Las Vegas tour was a bit different than most people’s experience in Las Vegas.  I spent a few days in the city, and for me, that was more that enough.  I did some cool things [Area 51, the Las Vegas 51’s, Stripper 101 and Bite], but I was ready to get the h*** out of Dodge.  I found an awesome deal on a rental car, and got out of town.  I went to Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, rode on Route 66, saw Hoover Dam, and made my way to the majestic Grand Canyon. [Grand Canyon posts coming up soon]

There should be a ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ sign instead of just a welcome sign.

At first I was iffy about visiting the Grand Canyon. It was further than I wanted to drive, but I found a open spot in a group  hike and said what the hell? It’s not as if the Grand Canyon is in my backyard. And so, like with most things in life, a spontaneous hike was in my immediate future.  And a trip to the gear rental shop because although I had my sleeping bag and hiking boot, I did not think to bring a tent, sleeping pad, water storage, or other hiking essentials.

My first thought was the Grand Canyon was just another hole in the ground. After all, I’ve been to Cloudland Canyon in Georgia, Colca Canyon in Peru, and Copper Canyon in Mexico. Why did I need to see yet another hole in the ground; but the Grand Canyon is more than just a hole in the ground.  It’s other worldly.  It is so different from other part of the US.  Its almost as if I have to ask myself  where am I?

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved out by the Colorado River and its tributaries which cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. Recent evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago.

Surrounding me is barren, red landscape stretching out as far as my eyes can scan; random alien-like rock formations are peppered throughout and clay colored mountains are in the distance. There are no trees, instead green bushes pop up and vie for my attention as if they are begging for liquid attention among this dry landscape. It looks like no one lives here… nature is king of this land. I look at the asphalt road ahead of us stretching into horizon and wonder how this land remained so untouched.

That is the amazing Grand Canyon… It makes you feel as if you are in another world.


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