Day 9 – 24 June 2013
The area we are travelling in now, the first half of our road trip, is known as the Grand Circle and encompasses parts of Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah and is centred roughly at Monument Valley. On this road trip we can only consider the western half of the Grand Circle. But who knows we may return for some of the eastern part some time in the future. Pádraig is already talking about returning and taking out a houseboat on Lake Powell so that we can see some of the rest of this huge resource, for example Rainbow Bridge in Utah, 50 miles up-lake from Page. Other curiosities might include the Four Corners National Monument where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah all meet at one point thanks to the straight lines which constitute US state borders. And the enormous Rocky Mountains of course.
We left Tropic and spent the morning at Bryce again.
We were thinking of going to Zion National Park, but we’re having an extra night in Las Vegas instead – next time perhaps (see above)? On the way to LV we travelled the lesser used Cedar Breaks National Monument route through Dixie National Forest – this added some miles but was worth it. This included the our highest altitude so far. We lunched in Cedar City, Utah. Yes that’s right: two canyons before lunch (delicious pizza) – our last canyon for a while.
Bryce to Vegas via Cedar Breaks is 257 miles. After all the forest and canyon before lunch, afterwards this was mostly through desert with lots of cactus and some Joshua trees lining our way. We cut through a corner of Arizona and entered Nevada. The biggest clues that we were in Nevada were all the billboards for fireworks and gambling. This is not the weirdest combination of products we’ve seen on our trip: that honour goes to Page where a shop proudly provided both guns and liquor.
We are staying at the Baymont Inn and Suites, 30 minutes walk from the “Strip” and with a swimming pool!!! Weird thing about relying on tech – our GPS brought us right to the hotel, but said it was on the left. 10 minutes of confusion later and we copped that it was on the right. We always say BE OBSERVANT!!
Our 1st night is just to relax. Íde was not feeling the best and we both need sleep. We stayed very local, had a pint and went to bed.
It is so hot here with temperatures over 100F day and night – Buíochas don air conditioning, here more than anywhere else so far. And this is just the start of a local heat wave.