Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Las Vegas to Arizona Road Trip: Exhilarating South Rim Nature Trip (Fabulous Las Vegas Series 7)

Las Vegas to Arizona Road Trip 
Exhilarating South Rim Nature Trip 
(Fabulous Las Vegas Series 7) 

On our third day in Las Vegas, we booked a tour to the 
Grand Canyon in Arizona located about 250 miles away.

We took a huge bus with panoramic windows which
afforded a wonderful view of both sides of the road,

We took highway 93 south from Las Vegas,

…that took us to Boulder City after about an hour. 

Boulder City is a charming city located at the peripheries
of the State of Nevada, and unlike its flamboyant neighbor,
the city of Las Vegas, it remained rustic and more laid back. 

Boulder City is a city that Hoover Dam made.

The building of the massive dam during the era of depression
needed thousands of laborers who together  with their families,
migrated to the worker’s dwellings located on the present city.
This is apparently the only city in Nevada where gambling is illegal.

Shortly, we caught the sight the lovely Lake Mead,
an artificial man made lake created by the rising
water when the Hoover Dam became operational.

One can see how the water level of the lake
had fallen to critical degrees, by the sallow
discoloration of the lakeside cliffs and rock face. 

Lake Mead is also a major tourist destination in the 
State of Nevada  for watersports enthusiasts. Had
it not been a winter season,  we would have visited
the place, as my daughter is an avid wake boarder.

The bus then cruised leisurely at the brand
new highway leading to Hoover Dam,

…and the security was tight.

The Hoover Dam was a sight to behold,

…and apparently, just like the Great Wall of China, 
which we also had a chance to visit in the past, is one of 
the man made  structures in Earth visible in outer space.

It is difficult to find words describe the massiveness,

Source: LINK

...and no picture could justify the immensity of this humongous
 structure, and staring at its vastness would make one quiver 
with vertigo, with an overwhelming reality that with the power 
it generates,  the dam is actually, a living and breathing entity.

The water level had receded significantly for
the past few years and just like the Lake Mead,
as shown by the discoloration made by the receding
water the rock face of the on the river’s cliff side,

…and the overflow outlet has been
apparently dry and empty for years.

Hoover Dam lies at the between
Nevada and Arizona borders,

…and we were glad that the tour company
that we booked included this as one of the
stopovers on our way to the Grand Canyon.

We got down from the bus for about 30 minutes and
had a chance to take photos of the dam’s environs.

We then proceeded with our trip
on the vast Arizonian desert,

…and immersed ourselves on the beautiful
and rugged rustic western topography.

The limitless sight of the parched and arid desert during
the winter season was mesmerizing  as it allowed some
greenery to thrive on the otherwise hostile environment.

We arrived in Kingman, Arizona,

and stopped at the  rest at the Castle Rock Diner,
a rustic countryside restaurant that offers excellent pizza,
and the restairant also had a awesome souvenir shop.

Since we were not hungry me and the kids  decided
 to take some photos of  the scenic desert  environs
while my wife went on souvenir hunting at the shop.

We left after 30 minutes and the roadside
view slowly turned from parched brown, 

 …to a totally contrasting refreshing green.

Acres and acres of pine trees,

…and beautiful multi- colored brick- like
mountain sides dotted the scenic highway,

…until we arrived Williams, Arizona,

…just in time for lunch.

Our lunch was at the Grand Depo Café,

…a beautiful and historic structure of the
old Williams’ Grand Train Depot Station, 

…converted to a beautiful buffet restaurant,

…and souvenir shop.

The Grand Depo Café, had a massive spread of
all time favorite American Dishes on the buffet,.

There was nothing fancy about the food, just good 
old American fares, and as what our friendly driver 
and tour guide described as “…good chow”.

The restaurant lies on the famous Route 66,
America’s iconic and most historical highway,

…and appears like an outdoor museum, as it is a 
repository of some of the oldest trains in America.

From Williams, it was only a short drive
to the Grand Canyon National Parks,

…where we walked our way
to the Mather Point overlook.

Despite with all the previous photos we have seen, and tons
reading  materials from  travel books, encyclopedias and even
old issues of National Geographics Magazine, that we have
read and researched prior to our visit to the Grand  Canyon, 
we were still not prepared of what we were about to see.

The Grand Canyon is probably
one of the most beautiful,

…and one of the most spectacular sights in the  world.

The awesome display of different
linear hues of natural earth colors,

…each representing billions of years
of the earth’s archeological history,

…drawn along the earthen cliffs
by the receding Colorado River.

From the Mathers’ Point we drove
to Bright Angel Lodge view deck,

…for a different perspective of the
breathtaking Grand Canyon.

The temperature had dropped to 1 degree,
so we went to the restaurant to warm up,

…and had some pretzels, chips, sodas and coffee.

We left the Bright Angel Lodge at dusk,

…and had a dinner in Kingman, where the brightly
 shining star of Carl’s Jr, was a welcome respite,

…as we were all tired, weary,

…and starving.

After dinner, the bus drove us back
to the glittering city of Las Vegas.

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