Our Southwest Travel Adventure, Part Five
Two Paradise Valley Estates residents took a two-week driving tour of several national and state parks in October 2020. They covered Utah, Arizona and California on their trip. In this series, they share some of their pictures, relate impressions of each park, observations about traveling in the age of COVID and some of the interesting people they met along the way. Read their first, second, third and fourth posts in the series.
We hope you didn’t trip and fall off the cliff at Cedar Breaks so you can follow us to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and back home to PVE.
On October 11, 2020, we arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. For those of us who have been to the North or South Rim before, it was a much different experience than we’d previously encountered. There were few people there! We spent a few hours there before heading to Las Vegas for the evening. What makes the Grand Canyon unique — aside from its beauty — is the fact that “Nowhere on Earth’s surface are the secrets of its structure so revealed.” It shows shallow sea environments, sandy beaches, mud flats, and swamps or coastal plains over a period of 70 million years.
As we were driving to Zion National Park, heading to Las Vegas, we encountered a herd of buffalo. Needless to say, we stopped to take a few pictures, just as many people do. It was a beautiful Sunday, and everyone had decided to visit the park, so the traffic was sloooow! We finally arrived in Las Vegas and had arranged to have dinner with a dental classmate of Dick L.’s who lived there. His name naturally is: “Richard (Rich).” The three of us met and, after introductions, Dick L. sat back and listened to the other two Richards converse about Vietnam. It was also a wonderful way to celebrate Dick L.’s birthday!
Leaving Las Vegas, we stopped for breakfast at a casino that had an International House of Pancakes. On the way out, the walls had pictures of the history of the “mob” in “Vegas.” The pictures referenced “Bugsy” Siegel opening the Flamingo hotel in 1946 for several million more than his bosses had in their budget; he was shot dead a year later in California. The history was fascinating and, apparently, gambling is not good for your health.
Arriving in Kings Canyon, we visited the General Grant Grove, which is known for its giant sequoia trees. “General Grant,” the third largest tree in the world, is “The Nation’s Christmas Tree.” We also were returning to where we saw the bicyclists mentioned in the first post. Looking at the picture of one of the bicyclists, it was noted that the trail sign stated, “Paradise Valley — 6.5 miles.” We had overlooked the shortcut to get back home to PVE.
We also took a break for a Marilyn Byington old family recipe (her father’s) of peanut butter and banana sandwiches — lots of energy! Driving out of the canyon, we stopped for “gas” (aka: ice cream) at a gas station with “America’s Oldest (1928) Double Gravity Gasoline Pumps.” Stopping for some final views at the canyon overlook (pictures do not do it justice) we headed toward Fresno and then back home to PVE.
We were already talking about where to go next: Yosemite.