Visiting THE Canyon!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Seeing as we were in Las Vegas there was no way that we could miss out on one of the natural wonders of the world when it was only a few hours away. I didn't even think I would be going to Vegas so I never thought I would be visiting the Grand Canyon. The question was, "how were we going to get there?".

Walking past the reception in the hotel we spotted a company called "Dollar Rent A Car" and thought it would be a great idea to rent a car for the day. We didn't think it would cost too much, they were advertised as $20/day, so went to enquire.

We ended up renting what the called an "Intermediate" car that was slightly more than the budget version and so a little faster. However it cost a lot more than $20. The car came to $22, for being under 25 we had to pay an additional $25 and with tax and insurance it came to $75! Far more than we had expected and that's before you add petrol costs into the equation!

So, at 7am we were in reception and eager to get on the road. Had to stand around waiting for someone to appear for 20 minutes before we were good to go. Before we set off we were starving and grabbed a Mc Breakfast (there was a McD's in the casino!) before hitting the road. The breakfast was the most greasy, unhealthy food I have ever eaten. I tried a McGriddle which was a normal McD's sausage/egg muffin wrapped in 2 pancakes coated in maple syrup! It was a very strange combination but surprisingly wasn't too bad.

Feeling fat we headed to the car park and located our car, a Chrysler PT Cruiser, that really didn't look like an Indermediate car to us but would do for the day. It would be a long drive to the Canyon and we wouldn't be going above the speed limit.

We found it a nightmare trying to find our way out of Vegas and onto the main highway to the canyon. It took us an hour of going in circles before we finally managed to find the correct road and when it takes 4.5 hours to get to the destination that's not really a good start. There were no road signs anywhere and when you're driving on the wrong side of the road it makes it even harder!

About an hour into the drive and we arrived at the Hoover Dam. The road actually goes over the top of the dam so we stopped to take a couple of quick pictures before trying to make up for lost time. The Hoover Dam also marked the spot where we crossed over into the state of Arizona.

It seemed like forever before we finally got to the Canyon. We didn't arrive until close to 2pm because it was so far and we had to stick to the limit. Was incredibly boring driving along a straight road at 75mph on cruise control with absolutely nothing to do. As it was so hot outside we had the air con on the whole time and so had to refuel at the town before the canyon. Petrol in the States is dirt cheap at about $3.20/gallon! Wish it was that cheap back home but they were still moaning about the price on the TV all the time.

One fact that might not surprise you is there is a McDonalds at the Grand Canyon. Well not actually on the edge of the canyon but in the town down the road. Didn't feel like another McCoronary just yet so carried on until we got to the entry gate and paid the National Park fee.

It was absolutely packed at the first viewing point and it was an amazing view! Hadn't expected it to be so huge and it was nothing like I imagined. I expected just a massive hole in the ground but it was covered in loads of giant mounds. Spent a while admiring the view before jumping back in the car and driving round to all the other viewing points. All the view points gave a different view and it was well worth the money! In all we spent about 3 hours touring round the park but probably could have spent more time if we could but had another 4.5 hour drive back to Vegas!

By now we were starving so gave in and went to McD's again. The dollar menu was my saviour and a couple of spicy chicken burgers and a coke later and I was good to continue the drive. Well for an hour or so anyway...

We were both totally knackered but needed to keep going. I couldn't drive any more and had to hand the wheel over to Dave. By the time we got back to Vegas we were both falling asleep so it was just as well that we didn't spend any longer in the park. We were also suffocating in the car as it was so damn hot outside! We had turned the air con down to conserve a bit of fuel (had to return the car with a full tank) and it was 103F outside at 9:30pm! It was great to be back at the hotel in the air con and the prospect of dinner. But, we couldn't be bothered to go anywhere so for the third time in one day we went to McDonalds, this time with a beer. My own version of super size me and I felt just as bad as the guy in the documentary! No more McD's for a while thanks!!
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