Thursday, 26 September 2013

Heading Out

It was early afternoon by the time we left Las Vegas. The white yank tank was armed to the teeth with camping gear, food, water and our entire luggage, yet still being able to comfortably sleep myself and Chris, all 6’6 of him.

The sweet sound of a big American V8 resonated through the cockpit as we pulled out on to the 215-E. Still with no real route planned, we grabbed the torn up A-Z Mike had given us and set our sights on Las Vegas Bay and then to follow Route 94 out to the Hoover Dam. It was not long before the chaos and the bright lights disappeared in the rear view mirror and Lake Mead national park opened up in front of us. To say that the views were breath taking would be an injustice. The tranquillity and vastness of the desert was awe-inspiring. Progress was slow as we stopped at almost every rest stop and picnic area to take in the never ending beauty.

A few hours later we made our way out of the park and on to the Hoover dam, just after the visitor centre had closed. Luckily we were still able to walk across the dam and into Arizona. While the dam was a lot smaller than I had envisaged, the scale of the engineering behind its creation was immense. Unfortunately due to our late arrival it was only a brief photo opportunity and back onto the highway. We stuck to route 94-E and the blues of Nevada slowly changed to the red hue of Arizona. Another rest stop break was required as the sun set over the mountains and an almost perfect day came to a beautiful end.

All we needed to do now was find somewhere to camp up for the night. A 30 mile jaunt off the main drag led us to Temple Bar, a small lake side town in the middle of nowhere. The drive was surreal; it felt almost like a movie. We idled our way playing music, singing along and just feeling on top of the world. We were quickly brought back to reality though as a herd of cattle appeared out of the darkness and Chris was forced to take evasive action to avoid disaster. With our chests still pounding we arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, cooked up some funky tasting soup and hit the hay.

We woke at 7, which was a bit weird considering we were no longer in the comfort of our hotel rooms, from which we awoke both mornings at 5am. After a quick fuel up we made our way back onto the highway east towards the Grand Canyon or as Chris prefers to call it the Grand National, idiot. 300 miles went by and the desert slowly became greener and greener before we hit up a small town on the historic route 66, which is now nothing more than an overpriced tourist attraction. A few miles North on Highway 64, we entered the Kaibab national forest and decided to camp down for tonight. We’ve built a campfire, cooked some dinner and wrote this post. Living the dream!