Day 8 – Death Valley to Pahrump (via tow truck!)
The day started off at Badwater Basin, elevation of 282 below sea level. The next stop was the Natural Bridge trail. From there we were going to continue working our way out of Death Valley making a few stops, but with the breakdown, that plan was scrapped and we just enjoyed the tow straight to Pahrump. We checked into the Saddle West Hotel which was conveniently located right across the street from where the van was towed to, and wasn’t going to break the bank (since this was an unplanned hotel stop).
Day 9 – Pahrump
Today was spent dealing with the van getting fixed and Michael taking advantage of being in a place with no too much going on to get caught up with work.
Day 10 – Pahrump to Las Vegas
We happily left Pahrump and headed to Vegas. On the way we stopped at Red Rock Canyon, which was absolutely beautiful. We found a trailhead with internet service so Michael could work while Tracey went for a hike (literally!). From there we took a little drive down memory lane and and tried to find the apartment where Michael lived briefly many moons ago.
Day 11 – Las Vegas
With free points from one of our credit cards, we stayed at the BlueGreen Vacation club….in a two bedroom, two bath suite that may have had more square footage than our house back in Portland! But the best surprise was to find that there were two washer/dryers! We were able to do four loads of laundry for free in the comfort of the hotel room (and not have to deal with a laundromat). What a treat. And with the kitchenette, we were able to make a bunch of meals to freeze and have ready for us while we’re exploring the Grand Canyon.
Once Michael was done with work for the day we headed out to the strip for dinner. It was hot and very windy…so windy that the fountain show at the Bellagio was cancelled!
Day 12 – Las Vegas to Henderson
After saying goodbye to our huge suite, we headed slightly outside of Vegas to Henderson where we had another free hotel night (again, points from a credit card!) at the Comfort Inn, right across from Sunset Station Casino. The hotel was very clean and service friendly, especially the free happy hour and cookies they provided!
After dinner we headed over to the casino to try our luck a bit…unfortunately, it was not our night. Maybe next time…..
Day 13 – Henderson to Grand Canyon
From Henderson we made our way to the Grand Canyon, stopping at Hoover Dam on the way – such an impressive masterpiece. Just after sunset we made it to the Grand Canyon. Considering the long day and drive, we set up camp and then called it a night.
Day 14 – Grand Canyon
Today we hiked the Rim Trail from Hermits Rest to the Village Transfer center to get our bearings of the canyon. After having lunch and a bit of a rest at the campsite, we went back to the Canyon to catch sunset. The wind was blowing and it was very crowded, which took away a bit from the whole experience, but it was still an amazing sight to see.