Wow, so much seemed to have happened since the last post. So let’s see we went to Zion but had to stay in St. George (west of Zion) for a night as there were no accommodation available in Zion. It was excellent timing as by chance we came across their first friday of the month street market with live band. Not sure what the Father Christmas statue is about but the band was good and so was the home made lemonade – Americans really know how to make good lemonade! Although the bread hasn’t been that awesome, we tried sourdough and ciabatta at a couple of famer’s markets and they don’t have any flavour or texture to them. It was disappointing.
The next day we moved closer to Zion and stayed in this little RV resort park in Hurricane (with campsite), which had amazing wifi everywhere outside and a clubhouse where we went to hide from the heat (it was 35 degree plus). We met this really cool couple from Kansas (hi there Sheila and George!) who gave us a couple of bags of freeze dried camping food (we haven’t got round to trying it yet). It came from a dude who was a survivalist but died unfulfilled before he could use any of his end of the world stash, sad times. Funnily enough we bumped into them again the next evening at the Thunderbird restaurant as if we were stalking them and George showed us a video of him moving a dazed rattlesnake off the road (it was clipped by a car) with a stick whilst filming with his other hand…some people eh :p Well Hurricane turned out to be an awesome place for making friends and we also met this lovely family, Denise, Don and Shannon on vacation from Philadelphia! (Bonus points because they like sTar Trek, Sherlock and dogs). We exchanged numbers and met up with them for dinner the next day (yes also at the same restaurant for those eagled eye readers), which was really nice.
Zion itself was nice but we used up our quota of National Park enjoyment and in the summer you have to catch the shuttle to visit scenic stuff as private cars aren’t allowed due to the crowds. We spent 45 minutes queuing to get on a shuttle… I didn’t learn much about this place so don’t have anything to impart, sorry but you can look at the pretty pictures.
This was supposed to be lower Emerald lake, but was more muddy than a nice green…
We saw a couple of things but didn’t bother doing any hikes. When travelling is your life, it’s important to just chill out – you can’t quite treat it like a holiday and do a ton of stuff in a couple of weeks and then go home to rest because home is always on the road. So the next day we chilled out using our skillz to hide in the shade.
A small but important lesson: don’t use the car to charge your phone (Chris).
We did more resting in Las Vegas, and we really looked forward to staying in a hotel (what a luxury after camping in the dusty desert). It was strange as we approached it because it’s just desert and suddenly there’s this city appearing out of it and you can see the Strip with its famous highrises. We stayed in Luxor, the big pyramid. The Bellagio had a weird fish thing going on. Gambling is everywhere even The Walking Dead is involved. There’s also slot machines in gas stations. We thought we’d go a little crazy and we gambled one dollar and sadly we lost, no more luxury lodgings for us.
A Zoltar machine! Bonus points if you recognise which film its from!
The Strip was interesting, there’s a ‘rich side’ and a ‘poor side’ to the Strip. The best time to see the Strip is probably at night because it’s cooler and the lights are prettier at night. It was so cool to recognise where the Bourne car chase was!
Chris went to the Hoover Dam (I stayed in and watched a lot of Netflix whilst I had the chance. I’m one of those people who need time alone).
Tip: Chinatown (if one is available) is always good for a cheap meal, far cheaper than eating in the Strip. Also ice machines in the hotel is a good source of free cold water.
Well we had to leave at some point and visited Death Valley on our way to Yosemite. Let me just say, don’t bother visiting Death Valley in the summer – it was 120 F, which is equivalent to about 47/48 degrees celcius. Outside of a car with air con or a building, it’s like you’re walking in a massive sauna – there’s heat coming from the ground, heat from the sun and you’re breathing in such hot air. The reason this is because the sun heats the ground, the heat is reflected off and rises but doesn’t dissipate but goes back down again and gets heated up again and repeat.
Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. It’s covered in salt!
Even though its so dry here, there’s water (although it gets less than 2 inches of rain water each year because rain clouds meets 4 mountainranges before it reaches Death Valley) and life around. I think the mammals come out at night when it’s cooler (for example the Kangeroo rat comes out at night and produces all its water from the food it eats) and there’s a unique species of fish that only live in some of the water here called pupfish? There’s really cool plant that flowers at night and there’s a moth thats perfectly suited to pollinating it.
It was a good week for making friends 🙂