Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon

Trip Start Dec 28, 2007
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Trip End Aug 28, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, July 19, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas was more of an auf wieder sehen than goodbye as we knew were returning there to return the car and get our next flight. Even so it was strange to think that we might not see this spectacle again, or if we did it would be dramatically different. We headed southeast along the highways towards the Hoover Dam and you knew you were getting close as not only did the landscape change and the roads rise and fall but the traffic got heavier. As we approached Chris was confused by the development around the dam and surrounding area. There are major works in place to build a bypass or freeway on big stilts across the span downstream which kind of makes the area look more like a big building site than a place to appreciate a piece of historical engineering. We drove over then dam wall (it would've cost silly money to park close and take a walk - besides it was very hot) as slowly as possible to get a good view and then continued up the windey exit road the other side. We paused for a while to take in the view and Lake Mead before continuing on towards the Grand Canyon.


We based ourselves at Flagstaff for the two nights as not only does it take about 4 to 5 hours to reach it from Vegas, the GC National Park is an hour and a half from there or any surrounding town. Up early Friday morning and on the road we were in the park before it got too hot and headed for the viewing areas at the south rim where there is a definate wow moment as you see it for the first time. We took a walk along the rim and over to the visitor's centre to learn about the amazing statistics of the canyon itself before continuing west. Each few miles there were stop off points where we took in a different view of the enormous void that stretches for miles and miles across a hazy sky and tried to get some photographs without getting too close to the edge! After a look around the village and witnessing the daily 'Grand canyon' train pull into the station we headed back along the south rim and headed out the eastern exit, stopping to take more pictures of course. This place is definitely a unique one to visit with it's contrasting layers of rock formed over millions of years, great valleys and streams/rivers you can just make out on the canyon floor. We then headed back to Flagstaff for a well deserved drink having been driving, walking, looking, driving some more and taking pictures for about 8 hours!
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