Hoover Dam

Day 74 – Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

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We left Vegas at 9am to make the fairly long drive to the Grand Canyon, stopping on the way at the Hoover Dam, as you’re supposed to. The Hoover Dam is quite impressive, but very very empty at the moment, which is sad to see – I come from a farming family and I fully understand the importance of water! The area and mountains around the dam is quite interesting with really dark, almost black mountains that look completely dead, with no vegetation growing on them at all.
We were staying inside Grand Canyon National Park, which was the first time we treated ourselves to staying in the actual park we’re visiting – at $200/night though! We were lucky to get a room in the Yavapai Lodge as rooms are booked out months in advance. We got to the park about 3pm and dropped our stuff in our rather expensive room, which was actually good despite some of the very bad reviews I read about the place. In Grand Canyon park there are limited options for self-drive and you can get anywhere by using their very efficient shuttle system. We decided to do the Orange Route first and went to Yaki Point, which has absolutely stunning views of the canyon, and which was also my first proper view of the canyon. I was suitably impressed and snapped away merrily, until we caught the bus back to Pipe Creek Vista to where we got off and walked back along the rim to Yavapai Point. Grand Canyon is of course massive and it is hard to comprehend the scale of it.
Along the walk we saw loads of people leaving the trails and trying to outdo each other on how dangerously they can pose for pictures. It was a bit sad that people seemed to be more interested in how far out they can get on overhanging rocks or outcrops for selfies rather than actually enjoying the view and being there. Sometimes I despair of the human race! While I wasn’t doing anything silly like a lot of the people there, Brian is completely paranoid about heights and kept trying to get pictures while staying as far as possible from the edge – or maybe he was just worried that I’d push him over!
From Yavapai Point we took a bus back and on to the old village, where I was hoping to get some pictures of the sunset. Sunset wasn’t as spectacular as I’d hoped so I had to console myself with a drink at the Bright Angel Lodge lounge. A guy next to me at the bar had the biggest portion of chicken wings I’d ever seen for less than $10 so I had to try them as well! I ordered them nice and spicy and really enjoyed them with my ranch dressing – another thing I am becoming way too fond of! We had another couple of drinks and then decided to catch the shuttle back, which involved standing outside in the cold for half an hour and then a very tedious half hour journey back on the bus, to our room where we went straight to bed! The bar where we spent the evening was very quiet and on the way back to our room we walked past the Yavapai Lounge, which looked a lot better and more inviting with lots of people in there – is there something like Fear of Having Missed Out (FOHMO)!?

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