A Travellerspoint blog

DAY 21,Tuesday 21 May LAS VEGAS-CALICO-LOS ANGELES

Las Vegas to Calico Ghost town to Los Angeles

Last night we topped off a wonderful morning of landing in the Grand Canyon by helicopter with a show at the Venetian by the Australian quartet Human Nature performing Motown hits. they had an excellent band backing them. The audience participation was matched by the energy and non stop performance of Human Nature.
Human Nature at The Sands Room at The Venetian on The Strip

Human Nature at The Sands Room at The Venetian on The Strip

Human Nature at The Sands Room at The Venetian on The Strip 12

Human Nature at The Sands Room at The Venetian on The Strip 12


The Venetian -Las Vegas Boulevard - aka The Strip 1

The Venetian -Las Vegas Boulevard - aka The Strip 1

After the show we had a late supper at Dal Toro, a superb Italian restaurant where we had arguably the best meal in the last month. We walked down The Strip to watch the fountains display at Bellagio.

Las Vegas Boulevard, The Strip 9

Las Vegas Boulevard, The Strip 9

Las Vegas Boulevard - aka The Strip 1

Las Vegas Boulevard - aka The Strip 1

Bellagio,  Las Vegas Boulevard, The Strip 16

Bellagio, Las Vegas Boulevard, The Strip 16

Bellagio,  Las Vegas Boulevard, The Strip 2

Bellagio, Las Vegas Boulevard, The Strip 2

Today we have a late start as we leave Las Vegas at 9.00am. We head into California with a stop at Calico Ghost town to relive the wild, tough days when miners struck it rich. Before we left Las Vegas we stopped at the Welcome sign for a picture.
Welcome sign 3

Welcome sign 3

Calico is a ghost town and former mining town in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Located in the Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert region of Southern California, it was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, and today has been converted into a county park. Located off Interstate 15, it lies 3 miles (4.8 km) from Barstow and 3 miles from Yermo. Giant letters spelling CALICO can be seen on the Calico Peaks behind the ghost town from the freeway. Walter Knott purchased Calico in 1950s, architecturally restoring all but the five remaining original buildings to look as they did in 1880s. Calico received California Historical Landmark in 2005 was proclaimed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California's Silver Rush Ghost Town.
Calico - 1880s mining town 15

Calico - 1880s mining town 15

Calico - 1880s mining town 7

Calico - 1880s mining town 7

We drove through the Mojave Desert and over the San Gabriel Mountains to Los Angeles which is written (Los Ángeles, Spanish for The Angels). Officially the City of Los Angeles, often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in the US after New York.

Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.

Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research and has been ranked sixth in the Global Cities Index and 9th Global Economic Power Index. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas.

The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 12,828,837 and nearly 18 million people respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world andq the second largest in the United States.

Tonight we had dinner Bubba Gumps Shrimp Restaurant on Santa Monica Pier.
Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles 15

Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles 15

Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles 14

Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles 14

Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles 9

Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles 9

Santa Monica Pier marks the end of Route 66 which starts in Chicago.
Julie & Philip at Santa Monica Beach, LA 1

Julie & Philip at Santa Monica Beach, LA 1

Posted by Kangatraveller 23:30 Comments (1)

DAY 20, Monday 20 May LAS VEGAS - GRAND CANYON

Helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon this morning and a show last night

Last night we were booked into a Buffet Dinner and a show at the Rio. The show was The Rat Pack is Back. It was very entertaining and starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior and Joey Bishop look alikes complete with the 60's style of culturally inappropriate humour.

Later on we went to Fremont Street for the Experience - a laser light and sound show on the half hour utilising the canopy over two city blocks. There are quite a few picture I could post here but good taste denies me the opportunity (or at least Colleen would advise me).
Fremont Street Experience Downtown

Fremont Street Experience Downtown

Fremont Street Experience Downtown

Fremont Street Experience Downtown


Fremont Street Experience Downtown

Fremont Street Experience Downtown

This morning, Phil and I (along with four other tour guests) met in the lobby at 5.15am for our pickup to take us to Boulder City Airport for our helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon . Our flight was in a Eurocopter EC130 and we flew over the Hoover Dam and Lake Meade. Built in the 30's the Hoover dam was an engineering marvel; however, workplace health and safety was not as tight as these days and 350 workers died on the job.

We had absolutely spectacular views along the way. The helicopter flew at around 240kph and it took about 35 minutes to fly us to the Grand Canyon floor. We had champagne and some snacks and time to explore before our return flight.

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Lake Meade Hoover Dam

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Lake Meade Hoover Dam


View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Colorado River inflow

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Colorado River inflow


View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Lake Meade

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Lake Meade

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Lake Meade

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Lake Meade

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Colorado River inflow

View from Eurocopter EC130 enroute to Grand Canyon Colorado River inflow


(img=http://photos.travellerspoint.com/568282/large_Landed_bes..nd_Canyon_4.jpg caption=Landed beside the Colorado River Grand Canyon]Grand Canyon view Phil in the Eurocopter

Grand Canyon view Phil in the Eurocopter

Grand Canyon view - intrepid travellers

Grand Canyon view - intrepid travellers

Landed beside the Colorado River Grand Canyon

Landed beside the Colorado River Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon view

Grand Canyon view

Chipmunk in the Grand Canyon

Chipmunk in the Grand Canyon

Breakfast in the Grand Canyon

Breakfast in the Grand Canyon

Flying back to Boulder City over Indian lands

Flying back to Boulder City over Indian lands

Posted by Kangatraveller 12:28 Comments (1)

DAY 19 Sunday 19 May NORTH RIM GRAND CANYON to LAS VEGAS

From National Parks to the Gambling Capital of the United States- LAS VEGAS

Yesterday afternoon we arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in the State of Arizona. We were entranced by the splendour and grandeur of the Grand Canyon.

The North rim of the Grand Canyon is in Arizona and is far less developed than the South Rim. There is only one lodge with many cabins and an RV Park. The area was only opened for the season about five days ago and is already booked out.
We stayed in Cabin number 46 - out of about 200 cabins.
The Lodge, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

The Lodge, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

View from The Lodge, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

View from The Lodge, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

View from The Lodge, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

View from The Lodge, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

]

We took the nature trail to Bright Angel Point. This was a walk of only a quarter mile but it was an up and down trail that was perilously close to the edge on one side and on occasion both sides. What a view!
Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon


Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Nature Trail, Bright Angel Point North Rim of the Grand Canyon

]

We were able to take in fantastic views at sunset after which we had an excellent late dinner at the Lodge. The dining hall was reminiscent of a dinner we had in an Irish Castle with its large banquet hall.
Sunset North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sunset North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sunset North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sunset North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sunset North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Sunset North Rim of the Grand Canyon

]

This morning we woke early to an amazing view of the Grand Canyon in the time just after daylight. As we are around 9 700 feet the morning was quite cool.
Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim - trees can grow out of rock

Early morning Grand Canyon, North Rim - trees can grow out of rock

]

We travelled through the Piute National Monument on our way to Las Vegas. We went through a number of small towns settled by the Mormons.
Drive out of Grand Canyon - deer

Drive out of Grand Canyon - deer

Town of Hurricane on the way to Las Vegas

Town of Hurricane on the way to Las Vegas

]

Mid afternoon we arrived in Las Vegas. Our accommodation was at Harrahs on the Strip. We signed up for The Rat Pack Show with dinner.

Posted by Kangatraveller 17:16 Comments (0)

DAY 18, CEDAR CITY - ZION NP - GRAND CANYON NP

Cedar City to Zion National Park to Grand Canyon National Park

Excitement is building as we head towards one of the seven great natural wonders of the world, but first a visit to Zion National Park.

Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.

In 1909, U.S. President William Howard Taft named the area a National Monument to protect the canyon, under the name of Mukuntuweap National Monument. In 1918 the acting director of the newly created National Park Service changed the park's name to Zion.
Road into Zion NP

Road into Zion NP

Road into Zion NP

Road into Zion NP

Shuttle bus to Temple of Sinawava in Zion NPimg=http://photos.travellerspoint.com/568282/large_Shuttle_bu..n_Zion_NP_8.jpg caption=Shuttle bus to Temple of Sinawava in Zion NP

Shuttle bus to Temple of Sinawava in Zion NPimg=http://photos.travellerspoint.com/568282/large_Shuttle_bu..n_Zion_NP_8.jpg caption=Shuttle bus to Temple of Sinawava in Zion NP

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava

Walk to Temple of Sinawava, Colleen, David, Julie

Walk to Temple of Sinawava, Colleen, David, Julie

Zion Lodge

Zion Lodge

Riverside Walk

Riverside Walk

Phil taming the wildlife - the squirrel at Temple of Sinawava

Phil taming the wildlife - the squirrel at Temple of Sinawava

Julie & Philip at Temple of Sinawava

Julie & Philip at Temple of Sinawava

David, Julie & Phil at arch on walk out of Temple of Sinawava

David, Julie & Phil at arch on walk out of Temple of Sinawava

David & Colleen at Temple of Sinawava

David & Colleen at Temple of Sinawava

]

We left the Emerald Pools area and drove out of Zion National Park through some quite different country. We travelled through two tunels and the road built in 1930 to open up the park. On our way to the Grand Canyon, we passed through Kanab, a town with a very long list of credits for movies starting in the 1930's.

Road out of the Zion NP heading towards Grand Canyon NP 13

Road out of the Zion NP heading towards Grand Canyon NP 13

Road out of the Zion NP heading towards Grand Canyon NP

Road out of the Zion NP heading towards Grand Canyon NP

Road out of the Zion NP heading towards Grand Canyon NP

Road out of the Zion NP heading towards Grand Canyon NP

Kanab, Arizona

Kanab, Arizona

8]

Grand Canyon National Park is the United States' 15th oldest national park. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the park is located in Arizona. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The park covers 1,217,262 acres (1,902 sq mi; 4,926 km2) of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties.

Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation in 1906 and Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. Further Senate bills to establish the site as a national park were introduced and defeated in 1910 and 1911, before the Grand Canyon National Park Act was finally signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The National Park Service, established in 1916, assumed administration of the park.

The Grand Canyon, and its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for its combination of size, depth, and exposed layers of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. The canyon itself was created by the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted, causing the Colorado River system to develop along its present path.

Posted by Kangatraveller 16:43 Comments (0)

DAY 17. Friday, May 17 SLC - BRYCE CANYON NP - CEDAR CITY

Bryce Canyon National Park west through Dixiie National Forest and Cedar Breaks National Monument to Cedar City

A bit later start this morning - well when you are on a long tour like this one, half an hour really matters. It was a few hours travel to Bryce Canyon through irrigated pastures and ranches. We followed the Sevier River into Dixie National Forest.
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City


Driving south of Salt Lake City

Driving south of Salt Lake City


Sevier River driving to Bryce Canyon

Sevier River driving to Bryce Canyon


Sevier River driving to Bryce Canyon

Sevier River driving to Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park located in southwestern Utah. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors.

The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874. The area around Bryce Canyon became a National Monument in 1923 and was designated as a National Park in 1928. The park covers 35,835 acres (55.99 sq mi; 145.02 kms) and receives relatively few visitors compared to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, largely due to its remote location.
Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point -  David, Colleen, Julie and Philip

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point - David, Colleen, Julie and Philip

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point - Scott, our Tour Director

Bryce Canyon NP, Inspiration Point - Scott, our Tour Director

Bryce Canyon NP, Sunrise Point

Bryce Canyon NP, Sunrise Point

Dixie National Forest is a United States National Forest in Utah with headquarters in Cedar City. It occupies almost two million acres (8,000 km²) and stretches for about 170 miles (270 km) across southern Utah. The largest national forest in Utah, it straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River. In descending order of forestland area it is located in parts of Garfield, Washington, Iron, Kane, Wayne, and Piute counties.
Road out of Bryce NP

Road out of Bryce NP

Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest

Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest

Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater, stretching across 3 miles (4.8 km), with a depth of over 2,000 feet (610 m). The elevation of the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level.
Cedar Breaks National Monument - road is 9700 feet altitude

Cedar Breaks National Monument - road is 9700 feet altitude

Cedar City is located in the southeast Great Basin, and is about 20 miles (32 km) north of the northeastern edge of the Mojave Desert. Its elevation of 5,840 feet (1,780 m) gives it a cooler and less arid climate vis-à-vis nearby Dixie, but it retains its cultural ties to St. George—the two cities, for example, share a daily newspaper.

Posted by Kangatraveller 18:16 Comments (1)

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