Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Travel Blog

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9.24.08 Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon


The kids enjoyed a brief dip in the pool this morning before we left the Las Vegas KOA.  It was an easy drive on the roads and highways out of Las Vegas, which was a welcome relief in a city.


Just 25 miles down the road was Hoover Dam, with a quick RV inspection by nice officers, who told us where to park the RV for a visit to the dam (Lot 13).


We enjoyed walking down along the dam, visiting the gift shop.  But the Visitor’s Center required $8 per person and tours required security checks before info could be obtained about timing, etc.  Since we wanted to get to the Grand Canyon tonight, we decided to pass on those options.  We then walked back up the hillside to the parking lots and it was HOT.  I mean, hot, hot, HOT!  It didn’t look very far from above, but if we hadn’t taken water, I’m not sure we’d have made it.  Maybe we’re just wimps after spending the summer up north. 


Regardless, we were thrilled to get in the RV and rev up the generator for the coach air conditioner too.  Cold drinks and a rest break and we were blowing down the road.  Although initially a bit hilly, there are easy roads east to Williams, AZ and then straight north to the Grand Canyon.


We lost an hour with a time zone change when we crossed the Hoover Dam from Nevada into Arizona, so we arrived at the South Entrance of the Grand Canyon just as the sun was setting at 7:30 pm.  The entrance Ranger told us that Mather Campground was full for RV’s by noon today.


So we reversed course 4 miles to the Ten-X Federal Campground, http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai/recreation/campgrounds/TenX.shtml which has plenty of spots in a beautiful, wooded location.  The Campground Host met us in the road after we stopped by the self-pay station.  He just wanted to give us a map and welcome us- one of the nicest and most impressive welcomes we’ve received at any campground.  Just $10 per night, it is a wonderful, safe place to stay.  They have 2 smaller loops closed for the season and the rest of the campground will likely fill tonight.  I forgot that we could go to Trailer Village in the Park itself, but we don’t need hookups for 3 times the price.  The elevation here is about 6600 feet and it is delightfully cool- about 70 degrees outside at 10pm.


We have a week before the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, which we are really thrilled about attending again this year.  We only got to stay for about 4 nights last year and now we get to attend the whole event.  We cannot wait to see our Lazy Daze friends again and make new friends.  Ned may be able to join us some, or he may just wait until we catch up with him after that.  We hope to see him ASAP!


So we’ve plotted out a few nights at the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelley, and Chaco Culture beforehand- we missed them on the way up.  We counted that we’ve been to 30 National Parks.


We passed 16,000 miles on our trip today and Ciao Baby will likely cross 119,000 miles when we leave the Grand Canyon!  This is the end of our big loop, since we came through the Grand Canyon around June 15th.  It’s been a terrific journey and we are having so much fun.  We are a little road weary and will enjoy our time at home, but we are also eagerly anticipating our next adventure south.


Happy Birthday to Camille today!  Hope you had a super-dee-dooper day!


The rest is a kid-report so skip if you want:


Jazy finished her history book today- American History!  We’ve so proud of her as she’s been reading 30 pages a day, 7 days a week, which took several hours each day.  But she stuck to it and finished 950 pages!  (Althogh school technically skips some chapters, we could find none that seemed unworthy of learning, so she agreed to read it all). 


Now she asks insightful questions and I’m so impressed.  Ned’s got her writing a paper on President Hoover, probably because she complained so much about him- haha!  Today she said that Hoover Dam was named such “because Hoover didn’t give a … “ (hoot or otherwise). 


Reading history has also led to Jazy questioning religions who have done such horrible things in the name of religion.  That’s always a tough one to learn.  She did note that Quakers were one of the few religions who did as they professed to believe.  Growing up Quaker, I had to admit she had a point!


She’s telling me now that “Tomorrow I’m going to write a paper on scandals in our government!”  That should take awhile… 


We’re trying to get her to take responsibility for her learning and plot out consistent effort as is done in college - it seems to be going really well.  She also has finished all but one of the literature books for school, completing “To Kill a Mockingbird” today.  We also intersperse historical novels related to the places we visit along the way.  Jazy’s next book about a pioneer doctor will bring to life the struggle of strong women in the Wild West!


Lia is still working on her Flashmaster on multiplication and division, along with some math book work.  She also is really taking off on the reading and I need to order her more books now for our next leg.  We buy books along the way, but we need more now.  She has also written a few stories and blogs, which we need to get uploaded. 


Charles finished reading “The Journals of Lewis and Clark” and learned so much from that!  He is our resident expert on their Expedition and quirks of the times, most of which I will not mention here, but let’s just say that we really have become more civilized people for the most part.  He has blown through nearly all his reading books as well, with more bought along the way.  It is really true that kids become *voracious* readers when they travel.  I can hardly buy them fast enough.  He is also working through his math book, getting help from Jazy and Ned along the way.


I still spend most of my time as driver, tour guide leader, and activities coordinator.  Blogging takes time, but I look forward to printing the record for us for later.  I’m also reading “RV’ing North America” by a lady whose husband died at age 47 and 4 years later, she bought an RV and went fulltiming- such a spirit and love of life!


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photo by: Sunflower300