Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grand Canyon, Las Vegas Road Trip: June 30th, 2008

By the time we started driving on I40, my eyes were becoming foggy. I decided to increase my speed from a speed-limit induced 65mph to a break neck 90mph. I didn't hold out long though. Around 2am, we stopped for gas in Kingsman, AZ.

Rohit and I were debating whether we should continue on route towards our campground, or if we should spend the night somewhere closer. We drove by one of the local motels, the Arizona Inn, and Rohit got out to talk to the innkeeper. He came back and told me it would cost $39 + tax to spend the night. We proceeded to get gas, and then had a makeshift dinner of fruits, vegetables, and peanut butter across the street from the Chevron gas station. Although we could’ve stayed at the gas station to eat our food, there were too many bugs around, so we headed over to the jack-in-the-box parking lot across the street.

After we finished our food, the decision to sleep in Kingsman was final, and we drove back to the Arizona Inn.

The hotel was nice; it wasn't fancy by any means, but the sheets were clean, it was air-conditioned, and of course it was very cheap!

The following morning I made peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for breakfast. I also made some bagel sandwiches so that Rohit & I would have something to eat a few hours later.

We continued on our journey and finally got to Williams, AZ.

We walked around a bit and ate some pizza. Then waited in some really annoying traffic on the way to the Kaibab National Forest, to set up our campsite at TEN-X campground.

After setting up our campground and gathering some firewood & pine cones, we drove about 5 minutes to the nearby town of Tusayan, to find out where the showers were, and discover the different stores in town. The showers were right behind the general store in the RV Camper Village compound. To take a shower, all I had to do was insert 6 quarters, and I was instantly given 6 minutes of shower time. I would deposit more quarters at any time, and would be given another minute for each quarter deposited.

That evening we barbequed a lot and went to sleep...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Grand Canyon, Las Vegas Road Trip: June 29th, 2008

Packing & Leaving
We left San Jose at around 1pm from Rohit’s apartment. We’d stayed up ‘till 3am loading the car with goodies and making sure we had everything we needed for the long drive. We tried to plan ahead as much as possible. A few days before our departure date, we had compiled a somewhat comprehensive list of everything we needed to bring with us...

Initially, I was thinking we could take at least another two people with us, so I posted an AD through craigslist, however, nobody replied and that turned out to be a good thing, since there was zero space left in the trunk and no room to sit in the back seat.

As part of our planning, we had picked out three spots to stop at along the way to the Grand Canyon.

San Luis Reservoir
Our first stop presented us with an opportunity to do a short hike to a place where I’ve driven by many times over the years. We initially wanted to stop at the trail head for the main trail in the area, but we didn’t feel like wasting our time searching for it; instead, we settled for a parking an alternate route.

After hiking for a few minutes, we had an opportunity to walk where water once covered the ground just a few years ago.

Following a brisk descent, we started walking on sediment to the water source in the distance. Along the way, we found old beer bottles that were probably tossed by fisherman when water covered the ground, and other miscellaneous items.

And it was really hot down there…

We finally made it to the shore, where we had some snacks and rested for some time. We saw a huge bird in the water and as we looked back at the beautiful landscape behind us, I was gripped by an overwhelming feeling of regret… I reminded myself that our next stop would be Harris Ranch and suddenly, the thought of their mouthwatering burgers gave me the courage to trek back to the parking lot.

Our next stop would be Tehachapi Loop, one of the seven engineering wonders of the railroad world. After taking an exit marked for Tehachapi Loop, we came upon what I labeled a “wild horse.” I honked at it a few times, but it didn’t seem to be affected.

We stayed at Tehachapi Loop until after sunset, and then resumed our journey.