Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, as the sign on the way into town says. Yesterday was primarily a travel day, leaving Seattle behind and flying into Las Vegas. I took a chance in the afternoon to get a little acquainted with the local area. Also finding my way to a supermarket to get some supplies for the next ten days I will be here.
Grand Canyon Tour
While exploring the area yesterday afternoon I found a stand selling tours and decided on a Grand Canyon Tour. I have already had a little experience with long tours with 10 and 12-hour tours in both Vancouver and Seattle.
The tour to the Grand Canyon is around 14 hours and travels nearly 600 miles (1000km) round trip. To put this into perspective, today was almost like driving from Brisbane to Sydney. There is around 2.5 hours at the Grand Canyon itself, and two photo stops along the way.
First up was a photo stop at the sign mentioned above. The “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” was funded to be built in May 1959, and soon after was built. It was a brief stop while everyone filed in to have their photo taken with the sign. As you can imagine it was not easy even this early in the morning to get a photo without anyone in front of the sign.
The second stop is a part of Route 66 in Williams, Arizona. Again this is a photo stop with the Route 66 Shield. There is an oversized one perfect for a photo opportunity here.
After these two stops, it was non-stop to the Grand Canyon. On arrival, the weather was not the best with light rain, and there was mention it had snowed earlier. However, the weather soon changed and the clouds mostly disappeared, and the sun came through.
Above you can see the Grand Canyon, including both South and North Rims. Most of the pictures are just as spectacular; there are very few bad views of the canyon.
Trail Of Time
With just a couple of hours to fill in, there are limited options for what to do. My choice was to take a walk along a section of the South Rim. The trail is called “Trail Of Time” and each meter equals a million years. The return walk was around 2.5 miles (4km) and was great to be able to stretch the legs after sitting in the bus. Along the path are a series of tokens set into the ground identifying where you are.
Grand Canyon Wildlife
The Grand Canyon is in a National Park and is in the wilderness. As such there is plenty of wildlife around. I got to see some deer, squirrels, elk, wild sheep and many different species of birds. I am just a little disappointed that all the animals were not as keen to pose as this little squirrel.
One aspect of the Grand Canyon that caught my attention was the range of interesting dead trees. It is easy to understand why they are dead, even though it rained the sun soon dried it up. But they do add a little something to the dramatic views.
Today’s tour was an excellent way to spend a day, even if most of it was on a bus. I still have quite a few things I want to do in Las Vegas over the next couple of days. Including sightseeing, checking out some of the casinos and some shopping. So keep watching for some more updates.
A quick note, though, I am staying in Las Vegas for ten days. However, I do have some plans to attend a conference over at least three days. As such there will not be daily updates over the entire stay. There will probably be two more daily updates and a third post to cover the other days.