Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Road Trip!

Almost 1500 miles later, we successfully completed our southwest road trip. Something that was on my 2012 Get 'er Done List

The original plan was:

Las Vegas
Zion National Park, Utah
Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona
Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

We managed to squeeze in some other small adventures, including Window Rock, Flagstaff and Sedona. 

We started with one night in Las Vegas. What can I say about Vegas? It is about the weirdest place I've ever seen. A place where you go and look at other hotels. Well, that's all we did. Being too cheap for gambling, too cynical for flashy shows and too old for clubbing, we are probably not the Las Vegas Tourist Board's target market. I did lose $5 on a slot machine while H. sneered next to me.

Should read: "College kids welcome!"

Just like home!


From Las Vegas we drove to Zion National Park in Utah. Zion was a highlight for both of us, I think. It's gorgeous, and we managed to fit three hikes in. We also had some tasty meals in town.






 And there were goats at our hotel!


From there we went to Monument Valley, which you may know if you - like H. - have watched lots of westerns.



Dusty!



And, there were goats!


We also managed an early morning trip to the amazing (and completely empty) Goosenecks State Park in Utah, which had an incredible example of erosion and a "meandering river".



And we saw the "Mexican Hat" rock that the town of Mexican Hat is named after:


From there we went to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, where you can only enter the canyon with a Navajo guide. our guide, Ben, told us about how he was born in the canyon, and he and his family still live there. Built into the canyon walls are ancient ruins from Ancient Pueblo peoples.






As well as wall markings dating from about 300 AD:


Right through to the 19th Century:






Next up, we went on a whirlwind tour of the utterly bizarre and eerie Petrified Forest National Park and looked at some trees that are 220 MILLION YEARS OLD. Unfathomable.






220 Million Year old TREES. That's older than the Rocky Mountains! And they still look like trees. Weird.

Finally, the Grand Canyon. What can you say about the Grand Canyon? It's amazing? Everything they say about it not being properly captured in photos or descriptions is completely true. It's massive.




And we even saw some locals!

Camera shy.

Literally outside our hotel window. 

And thus ends "How I spent my spring vacation".


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