Wow you are really tanned! No, we're just dirty!

Trip Start Oct 04, 2008
Trip End Nov 08, 2008

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Where I stayed
South Campsite, Zion Natl. Park
Desert view, Grand Canyon
Boulder Beach, Lake Mead

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, October 27, 2008

Going through New Mexico, Arizona and arriving in the Grand Canyon!
So we left Round Rock rather sad than happy, but there is so much more to see...
Leaving through Fredericksburg and seeing a lot of German places out there made me feel a little homesick but only as long as it took us to drive through. Sights were awesome, but we soon hit I-10 again and we floored it towards El Paso...which we unfortunately didn't make that day so we camped out in the Desert at Balmorhea, TX. Nice place, 11.5 mil gal. Pool and Coyotes howling at night, the sky in the desert at night is unbelievable beautiful.
The next day started with a strong wind that nearly blew our tent away- I left Robin to handle that, while I paid the park- after I stopped laughing and helped Robin with the tent so we could leave for El Paso, were planned to have lunch. Unfortunately we both didn't like El Paso at all, sorry Bill, and so we hit the I-10 again and drove towards Tucson, AZ. We had a boring day in the car without any bigger incidents, but this one: Does anybody know Fanta Apple? It is totally awesome and super nice.  We arrived late in the outskirts of Tucson, had dinner at Denny's and got a room in the Red Roof Inn.  Unspectacular day, as I told you.
The next day was about to be as boring as last one so I wrap it up here real quick: Tucson to Phoenix, passed Phoenix, headed over I-17  towards Flagstaff, nice town,  got Camping gear(Cans of Chili and Lentil soup, Beer, Fire Wood) some Comedy CD 's and left Flagstaff again towards the Grand Canyon Camp Ground "Desert View". We arrived late, and the darker and higher we got, the colder it got outside. We still camped since we had a tent and sleeping bags...heck yeah, we camped out....boy, did we not know about cold mountain nights....well more about that later. Just once again the skies are awesome, no light pollution at all, one word: totally awesome!
The next morning.... 
It is an early morning, sunrise woke me up at 6.44am and since I was still wearing Jeans, Socks, Shirt and Sweater, because it was sooooooo fricking F*#@ing cold- we have proof it was 25F/-5C (please take note that my sleeping bag is made for temperatures down to 40 only!) I got up and watched sunrise...Everybody who knows me, knows how much I love to get up early, but sunrise was worth it. We left soon and checked out the Grand Canyon, unfortunately without a shower since National Parks do not provide them (well what is one day without a shower, so we thought....).
So we started driving through the park and pretty much hit every other scenic view. Absolutely amazing! Although I've been here before it was still great to see such natural beauty. We spent about 3 hours driving through the park. We then moved on to Tusayan where the airport is and went to Papillon Helicopter Tours. Very expensive, but since we probably won't be back here again it's worth it. So we took the 50 min tour. After watching the safety video together with a bus load of Germans we went outside and waited for our Copter. We were in a group with just four people (they weigh you and then distribute the weight accordingly over the Copter, so I guess we where kinda heavy..) so we had relatively a lot of space. After takeoff and flying at the height of the tree tops we narrowed in on the edge of the canyon. The pilot started a very dramatic (imagine apocalypse now when they blast that music from there helicopters) tune and then all of the sudden from tree top height you are sitting over a huge gap! Awesome, we flew around for a while, the copter descended a bit so we could really get close to the action. Somewhere halfway through my camera battery was down. So we used Krautz camera that was also running low, but made it through the flight. After landing we hit this little tourist town where Krautz insisted on buying some tourist crap.
From there on we drove out towards a camp ground at Lake Mead just past the Hoover Dam. We ended up hitting the dam at dusk, but it was still very cool to see. We got through the police checkpoint without any trouble (we were expecting to stand there and having to unload all our crap). Then drove over the dam and hit Albertsons in Boulder City for some much needed firewood, chili & beans, lentil soup and beer. Then drove out to the Lake Mead campground. It wasn't the greatest spot ever, but since we have our camp routine all worked out now, within 20 minutes we had the tent and sleeping gear setup and a nice fire going while the cans of food where sizzling away in the hot cinders and we were enjoying a cold brewsky. Around 10 one of our tent camping neighbors started snoring like a frigging ox. Next day we packed up (funny detail was that the snoring neighbor asked if were leaving because they were too loud..) and headed out to the dam to see it by daylight. We did the dam tour which was really cool. Of course couldn't help but make a lot of lame dam jokes (when does the "dam" tour start..). After this we flew through Vegas and headed up on I-15 towards Zion Natl. Park where we spent the evening camping out again. At this point we haven't showered for 3 days and starting to wonder if our flip flopped feet are really that tan or just dirty... Feeling like a hobo we had another classic camping experience with me (Klompjes) eating chili & beans for the 3rd day in a row and Krautz luckily stepped off his lentil soup routine (let me just say that ain't good for the air quality) and had some Mac n Cheese & Sweet Corn.
Next day we were in dire need of a shower, so we zipped through Zion, which is beautiful. And are now in a Best Western right outside of Bryce Canyon Natl. Park. Never knew a shower can be that good! So after scrubbing of the dirt and change into clothes that don't smell like camp fire we are now spending about 4 hours updating our blog (Yes we were very behind!). So please enjoy our stories and pictures and keep on giving us those great insider tips!
Laterz! Klompjes & Krautz.
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