Our extra day stay in Las Vegas mean that we had to be mindful of the time we had left and we now really had to push on to somewhere in the Grand Canyon, which was our next planned stop.
After another hot night we could not resist having another cooling swim before we left Las Vegas. On our way out of the city, our trusty SatNav (Garmin iPhone app!) was constantly trying to get us to turn left to the east, but I’d decided a daytime tour along the Strip would leave a suitable impression, and it was worth the detour, as the children were amazed by the sights including the Eiffel tower, Pyramid, Sphinx, the giant Harley Davidson we had seen the night before, the New York buildings; they were snapping away on their iPod cameras.
It was a short trip east to the Hoover Dam which is another incredible sight but it was again very hot, and appeared to have been the same for a few months as the water levels were many feet below the top of the spillway – even the mighty Colorado River which feeds the dam, has not been immune to the recent hot weather in the US. It is amazing to think that, once plans had been drawn up and agreements reached, it only took 3 years from first concrete laying to final concrete and power generation – all of this happening during the great depression of the 1930’s. We parked up and walked back across the dam and took pictures to try to record our memories, and then I went back to get the RV to meet dad, Liz and the children on the other side.
We carried on back past Lake Mead, the lake created by the dam, which is also very beautiful and an oasis in the Nevada desert, but even here the water levels were very low after long warm summer.
We stopped briefly for lunch in Boulder City and a few more provisions before we went to the airport at boulder city to enquire about flights around the Grand Canyon, which we were hoping we’re going to be cheaper than in Vegas!
It was a fairly easy, but long, journey to Williams, just south of the Grand Canyon, and we had to contend with the first rain of our trip as we drove through thunderstorms, which were a fascinating sight as we approached from the arid conditions of Nevada. It was sometimes a bit hairy on the roads with the large trucks passing though, especially with the RV struggling up the hills!
We steadily increased in altitude again, and the scenery got a lot greener as we made our way east across Arizona, along what was the most southerly part of our journey through the States, almost at 35°N latitude compared to our starting point of 45°N at Salt Lake City.
Eventually, after a couple of rainstorms, and some rainbows and brilliant displays of lightning across the mountainous plains, one of which Liz with a lot of patience, managed to get a photo, we turned off the I-40 and stopped at the Grand Canyon Railway RV park, in a place called Williams. This turned out to be one of those places that was originally on Route 66, the ‘mother road’, which stretched across America before the introduction of the interstate highways. The town was steeped in memorabilia for the old west, route 66 and Indian Navajo crafts, all remembering the bygone eras before 1984, when the town was the last on Route 66 to be bypassed. We even saw a reenactment of an old western gunfight between bungling bank robbers!
Williams Cowboy Gunfight
After a bit of shopping, we retired to a good old 60’s style diner and while the children had their now common chicken strips, dad and I had a local Grand Canyon beer and barbecue spare ribs!
I’ll need to run tomorrow 🙂
RV Trip, Day 11: Las Vegas, NV to Williams, AZ via Hoover Dam
Day Mileage: 240 miles
Total Mileage: 1655 miles