Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hoover Dam and the Grandest of Canyons

Very relieved to be back in our trusty Sheila where hot water and electricity always exist! We high tailed it straight out of Vegas after we got off the plane from NYC. Had a lovely night stay in Lake Mead recreation park. An early rise took us on our first bit of exercise for quite a while - woah we are unfit - America has finally got to us. We then headed on out towards Hoover Dam. Built during the Great Depression, Hoover Dam is the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, standing at more than 725 feet above the Colorado River. Quite the structural feat and what surprised me is that they even managed to include a bit of style with its Art Deco theme.

Then it was a 5 hour drive over to Grand Canyon which involved some very straight roads and some shuffling on the iPod which is always fun.

Very happy to be behind the wheel again and in his dags.
On the road again....
Arrived at our campsite in the Grand Canyon to an Elk bull. Spend the next three nights surrounded in a whole herd of elk. Very magical. Was also fantastic to get back into the trackies and have a crackling fire every night.

Pretty cold over night here - about -6c! So we rugged up, packed our bag full of goodies and headed towards the rim where we were about to embark on the 20km walk to Plateu Point right above the Colarado River. What a walk - definitely one of the highlights of our trip. Mother Nature really outdid herself here. Can't say it was the easiest walk we have done, infact probably the hardest with that big climb back up!

Our first glimpse as we look over the rim
And so we start. Grant is pointing at the point we are heading to. A little worrying.
And the switchbacks continues...
Reach the relatively flat Indian Garden which is a little oasis before the final hike down to the bottom.
Heading out to Plateau Point.
And these she is - the mighty Colorado.

Necessary cup of tea before the hike back.
And we turn around. I have to be honest with you, I started this no carb diet and perhaps didn't give my body enough energy because 1km from the top my body almost gave up, got very cold and dizzy and it took me a few hours to recover. I believe it is called exhaustion. A bit embarrassed but wanted to tell you to remind you that carbs are your friend on a strenuous 20km walk!

Behind us is our challenge!
The Oasis at Indian Garden.
GW misbehaving already.
And again...
Go on, gimme a ride. These were actually doing trail maintenance where they lug up gravel from the bottom in those packs, then drop halfway up track.
Yes - I had enough.
Looks hot and arid here but quite chilly. Ice still frozen by the afternoon.
Big Horn Sheep not too far from the top.
Makes me feel like not a complete hopeless when I see that it is not recommended to do Plateau Point in one day!
Amazing amazing walk and next time I will eat carbs! Would love to come back and do the overnighter all the way down to the bottom. Always have to leave one rock unturned so you have an excuse to come back!

Next day we were feeling a bit sore so headed on the relatively flat 12km Rim Trail. Most of the track was right on the edge which gave Grants fear of heights a good run for his money.


There is yesterday's track...

Hot soup with a view.
Hold onto that tree!
We head out of Grand Canyon National Park the following day on our way to New Mexico. Not before checking out the Dessert View Watchtower though, located on the Eastern side of the South Rim. The four-story structure, completed in 1932, was designed by American architect Mary Colter.

Then it was a long drive though Arizona on the I-40 with a short detour through the Pertified Forest.


We have now arrived in New Mexico where the petrol is cheap, the people lovely , the adobe structures fascinating and the landscape out of this world.



  1. How absolutely amazing. Congratulations on your completion of the stunning trek!
    Love mum

  2. Awesome trek, good to see you two are roughing it a bit and its not all glamping! Say G'day to elmo in the centre console for me.