Hoover Dam - Grand Canyon
There were two major sights we missed while cycling from Flagstaff to Las Vegas. Firstly the Great Canyon - one of Americas most famous sights and Hoover Dam - American engineering at its finest. We did not really miss them on purpose. The Grand Canyon simply wasn't on our route - and unfortunately we were not able to get a car in Flagstaff for a short daytrip. Hoover Dam was actually directly on our route, however we tried to reach Las Vegas during daylight hence we just drove by it.
But since we are well ahead of our riding shedule we were able to get ourselves some days off which we used to get back to those sights - this time by car (yes this strange 4 wheel, gasoline powered thing we know from the highways). Although to be precise, we just had 1/2 of a car - it was a Hyundai AND a 4 zylinder which made 43 miles to the gallon - ridiciulous! Anyways, it was able to do more then 15miles per hour - which was perfect for the task.
The first day we were heading to Hoover Dam. Some of you might know it. It's situated right on the stateline of Nevada and Arizona and was built during the great depression. The tour started off with a very patriotic movie about the history of how it got built - to be honest I didn't realize that apparently the Americans are the only ones who were able to built such an impressive structure that is only compareable to the pyramides in egypt. (and might even be a little bit more impressive). What really was impressive though is the design of the whole thing. Art Deco - I simply love it. From the doorknob to the columns, everything is in one design and makes the building quite unique. Furthermore being able to stand in the turbine hall and just realizing how big the maschines are - incredible!
The second and third day were dedicated to the Grand Canyon. Which is actually situated around 400km eastward. Yes EASTward! (for the geographically challenged - it's the right side on a map). So we were right into the direction we were coming from. Which was weird. Knowing how many days and how much sweat it took to get from the eastcoast to the westcoast it was very strange that in a car it's just a matter of some hours to cover the distance. We were driving by places we had to change our flat tires - in a sense it was like having a constant dejavu.
As we really wanted to get the whole Grand Canyon feeling, we decided to camp out and used our tent the second time after Cave In Rock. The sight at the Grand Canyon was mindblowing. On day one we were only able to see the sunset, but on the second day we hiked down the Blue Angel Trail - which took us around 1000m (change in altitude) down into the canyon. Expecting a very difficult decent (the trail was marked as "difficult") we prepared ourselves with a serious amount of food and water. However it seems that hiking in the US means something different then in Austria. While back home hiking trails are mostly narrow and not very well developed the American trails are kind of a luxury hiking trail. Pretty broad, not very steep and nicely maintained. However we won't complain since it helped us to experience the Grand Canyon in a way we will always remember. It's just a powerful place!
B & L
PS.: Don't forget, we are supporting Wings For Life with our adventure. Every € or $ you donate is going directly into spinal cord injury research. Please donate here! Thank you!