It was a hard decision whether to self drive or bus tour to see the Grand Canyon. It is difficult to make the choice when you just havent been to a place before. We had to consider the desert heat, accommodation, navigation and all that jazz if we were going to drive. So we decided to take the tour. It was 15 hour round trip on a guided tour bus from Vegas out to the Canyon and back again. Hindsight is a great thing… once we got going we realised we could have easily drove and made a few days of it. Bugger…
We left at 6am and got back at 10.30pm. Yes a BIG day. On the way we made several stops. One being the Hoover Dam. It was pretty neat. A big ‘engineering’ structure if you are into clever things made by humans. We got to see cool ‘just like in the movies’ scenes like the silver trailers (caravans) parked in the open desert plains. Cheap land in the desert trailer life instead of a house. The other sneaky human made thing is the mobile phone towers we see are made to suit the environment so people dont notice them. They are made look just like a tall palm or pine tree.
The scenery kept changing from flat rocky desert to mountainous pine forrest. We thought the Grand Canyon was going to be stinky poo desert dry hot and dusty however it was far from it. Instead it was interesting diverse vegetation and a beautiful landscape. The temp was pleasant with loud thunderous rain storms rolling in around us. Our bus driver Harold said it was monsoon season. A word I would have never associated with the desert!
The Grand Canyon of course was nothing short of amazing. One of the seven wonders of the world was like a post card. Harold said the only ‘bad’ thing in his opinion about the Grand Canyon is that it doesnt look real. And he said it doesnt matter if you spent 2 hours or 2 days you just cant get enough of it. This was true. I could have sat and soaked it in forever. There was one particular stop that was beautiful and we just didnt get to stay long enough.
Gracie was happy as we seen lots of friendly squirrels and a few cute chipmunks. We called out ‘AALvinnnnnnn’. We also seen some Elk on the road out. Like a big brown raindeer.
We also got to visit ‘Radiator Springs’ on Route 66 from the Cars movie. Historic shops and giftware to reflect the movie and this famous road and its story of the new highway superseding the old. One shop was full of skins like ‘wear the fox hat’ by Dan Boon. Skunks, raccoon, bobcat, fox and other Arizona desert animals. We seen some real hillbilly hicks along the way like the lady with no front teeth directing me to the toilet ‘out back’. She also said ‘the bar is open if you wanted a beer or somethang to eat like a hot dawg’.
We also visited shops cashing in on the Native American thing with ‘made in China’ indian wears. We did however love the locally made REAL Rattlesnake key rings. I bit like how in Australia you can buy a Kangaroo scrotum coin purse, a crocodile skin belt or a whole dried cane toad bottle opener. I could have picked from a real Rattlesnake head or dried tail that still rattles. Pitty that Australian customs wont allow dried snake or I would have had one in a flash.