Saturday, March 19, 2011

Death Valley and Vegas

The road to Death Valley gave me chills, not because of where we were, but because of the blowing winds literally attacking our RV.  The usual road to the park was closed because the winds were too strong for anyone like Rv’s or trucks.  We saw one truck overturned.  So we decided to take an alternative road only to find out the authorities probably didn’t have time to shut that one down.  It was bloody scary!  A stressful drive along a desert highway with winds and gusts of winds ready to make you tip over!  Boyan was a champ driving through it.  Sophie and I were safely buckled down in the back waiting for him to get us into the mountains to find some shelter.   Another steep drive over a mountain range to then drop below sea level into Death Valley!  When we got there, there was still a lot of wind and because our first stop was near sand dunes, there were sandstorms around us.  Made for a unusual eerie scenery.  We slept the night at the campground, which felt more like a parking lot in total darkness since we were in the desert.
The next day we walked in Mosaic Canyon, a beautiful canyon made of polished granite and went hiking in the sand dunes.  A lot of fun, but quite the workout!  The weather was gorgeous with a high of 26 degrees.  It is after all the hottest place on earth.  Summer is deadly over there. The following day we changed campsites and went further south to Furnace Creek where even more gorgeous views awaited.  Death Valley has a nasty name, but truly is beautiful.  A whole new scene unravels just by driving a few miles.  With every turn, the unexpected is revealed.  We spent two more nights there and headed out to Vegas!

Two days of walking up and down the strip in Vegas.  We were pooped at every end of day.  I would have loved to been able to party a little, but with Sophie it wasn’t possible.  Still the second night there, we treated ourselves to a delicious dinner at the Aria Hotel.  A brand new hotel with all the fixin’s.  We hit the buffet.  I tasted crab legs for the first time.   Imagine a mountain of Alaskan crab legs just waiting to be eaten.  We also had lobster and ate way too much of everything else they were offering.  But oh boy was it worth it. Wine, à volonté too!  We watched three rounds of the fountain show at the Bellagio and walked the strip at night.  Sophie partied as best she could before passing out!  A trooper!
On our way out of Vegas, we stopped at Hoover dam.  A marvel of engineering and drove east to Sedona.

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