This, dear reader, is a small summary of a road trip in the South West United States, a few photos from our driving holiday. Travelling the tourist traps including Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California. A couple of hints for you not found in any tourist book…
- Romantic visions of driving on Route 66 have been completely dismissed by how mind numbingly boring it was to actually drive a part of it. Even the signs on Route 66 urged you not to stop but just carry on.
- Gas stations in America are the greatest source of food and fizzy pop.
- Friendly dogs at gas stations will follow you across 6 lanes of main interstate traffic, mainly because you are the greatest source of food.
- Americans cannot make tea but make up for it with corn dogs.
- It is easy to get particularly sunburned in Monument Valley where there is no shade.
- American customs, immigration and TSA officers obviously think a pasty faced sunburned Englishman looks like a terrorist and should be searched at every opportunity.
- Flagstaff (Lowell Observatory) has great dark skies.
- Las Vegas is over rated.
- Meteor Crater is better than expected.
- The Grand Canyon is big, really big.
- The Hoover Dam is an impressive engineering marvel.
- British Awfulways, formerly known as British Airways, will forget to feed, water and entertain you, either that or they just don’t care. I am not yet sure which it is.
Saying that, the South West United States has a lot to offer and absolutely should be on your travel bucket list.
Abandoned car at the Painted Desert at the site of the old route 66 parallel to Interstate 40
Black Canyon and narrow river like portion of Lake Mohave
Twilight moon by the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
A baby Brown bear cub at Bearizona wildlife park.
Sam in the mining tunnels of Calico ghost town. A pretty rubbish old time western experience. Can’t believe they charged us for going in. Don’t be sorry to miss it.
Controlled burning on the east rim drive of the Grand Canyon. the road is closed off due to the smoke.
Not exactly America, but we flew over Greenland on the way. It looks stunning,
200,000 gallon aquarium and pool at the Golden Nugget hotel casino. This could only be bettered by a James Bond baddie style trap that releases sharks into the pool.
The many varied colours of the Grand Canyon just before sunset.
A 30 second exposure showing The Milky Way and the naked eye visible Andromeda Galaxy (as marked). Taken in Williams, Arizona.
Lions at the MGM hotel in Vegas. Don’t like seeing lions in a glass cage even if its for only a couple of hours. No wonder a trainer got attacked in 2010.
A wide angle view of Monument Valley from Goulding’s Lodge.
Mugshot near Black Canyons
Forget any romantic visions of driving on Route 66. It’s pretty boring. Unless you are on a chopper/Harley Davidson. Which we weren’t.
The Painted Desert. Comprised of stratified layers of easily erodible siltstone, mud and shale of the Triassic Chinle formation
The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. Fine grained rock layers contain abundant iron and manganese compounds which provide the pigments for the various colours of the region.
Paris hotel on the strip in Las Vegas.
Petrified logs in the Petrified Forest. These fallen logs are from the late Triassic period approx 225 million years ago.
A close up of petrified wood in the Petrified Forest National Park.
San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm. This is about the only interesting thing on the drive from Phoenix to L.A. It’s also the worlds most straightest and boring road.
Downtown Scottsdale where almost every shop is the same and they all know how to charge
Stratosphere Hotel in Vegas. there are fairground rides on the top that your sister will bottle out of.
Once a tree littered flood plain in the late Triassic period. Sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the Chinle formation.
Nearing the way to Monument Valley, Welcome to Utah.
Wigwam Motel on Route 66 at Holbrook, Arizona.
Hand blown glass flower art work chandelier called the Flori di Como inside the Bellagio hotel