Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon RoadTrip – Traveling Robert



We drive fro Las Vegas, Nevada to the Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona, passing by Hoover Dam on the way. February 2013.
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Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas So, we are landing at Las Vegas McCarran airport
and as we land we can see The Strip from the air. The Strip just in case you don�t know, is
the main boulevard where all the big hotels are, such as the Stratosphere Tower, The Circus
Circus, the Winn and Encore, the Venetian, Paris, Aria, the green one is the MGM Grand,
where we�re staying. We have arrived at Las Vegas
As zoos as you enter the terminal you realize you are in Vegas. There are slot machines everywhere. We take a taxi to the MGM Grand, which is
normally a rather pricey hotel, but during the weekdays it is very reasonable. The weekend, however, is another story, so
we�ll stay somewhere else then. But for now let�s live it up and enjoy. Las Vegas hallways give me a headache. We get a pretty good room. And of course everything outside is free,
because the hotel is green. I have a nice TV and most importantly, minibar. And finally our restroom. Hello everybody. We are at the MGM Grand. Yay! Electric shades. I know I get silly sometimes. Good night. Good morning Vegas. We go out to explore the strip a little bit. We take the bridge to the Tropicana. And then the New York, New York. And the Monte Carlo. We haven�t been here for a couple of years
so some things have changed since the last time we visited sin city. There is this new complex called City Centre
with street art, restaurants, a shopping mall, and a couple of new hotels such as the Aria�
quite nice actually. This is the mall inside City Centre. It is the Chinese New Year so everything is
decorated accordingly. We see something odd with the strip, helicopters
flying around. We don�t really know what it is until we
realize that there is no traffic. The strip has been closed by the police, as
there was a horrible shooting the previous night between two guys who left a hotel in
their cars, which resulted in a fatal accident with a taxicab. Talk about being in the wrong place at the
wrong time for the poor people in the cab. Very sad. We, the tourists however are taking advantage
of the situation, taking pictures, having the strip all to ourselves. At the Paris hotel we take a taxi to downtown. Here in downtown we visit the recently opened
Neon Boneyard. The Neon Boneyard is a museum dedicated to
Las Vegas history through the evolution of its neon and other electric signs. Our guide, a fellow named Troy is really passionate
about his job, and the history of Las Vegas, a city where old buildings are quickly replaced
by shiny new ones. We lean about the evolution of signs from
small ones designed for people arriving on horseback and how they evolved so they could
be seen by people driving at 60 miles per our on the highway. The built taller and shinier signs as times
change and the old hotels are demolished or renovated. I fully recommend this tour. Part of the museum building itself was originally
the lobby of the La Concha hotel, which was transported to this location piece by piece. After the museum we walk a few blocks to Fremont
Street. The walk itself is a little scary due to all
the homeless people hanging around. This large canopy above on Fremont street
above becomes a large screen at night displaying a great audiovisual show which is called the
Fremont Street experience. Many of the great old style Las Vegas casinos
are still here. Lets go inside the Golden Nugget. The Golden Nugget is one of the oldest casinos
in the city. It was built in 1946. A section of the aquarium facing the swimming
pool actually contains full grown sharks, no kidding. We continue walking on Fremont Street until
we reach the Plaza, perhaps one of the most iconic hotels in old Vegas. Ok, time to go back. Some of this neon signs on the street are
classic originals, which have been restored by the Neon Museum. Last but not least try our luck at El Cortez,
which is probably the last casino that still has slot machines that accept coins. Ok, we are leaving Las Vegas, like in the
movie. The first stop in our road trip is going to
be Hoover Dam. On the way we pass by Boulder City and the
Lake Mead recreational area. As we arrive, first we walk on the Mike O�Callaghan-Pat
Tillman Memorial bridge, yeah that's a mouth full also known as the Hoover Dam bypass. We get a commanding view of the huge concrete
structure that creates lake mead also known as Hoover Dam. The bridge opened in 2010 and was built to
bypass the old section of the highway down there which went over the dam. This is also the border between the states
of Nevada and Arizona, and the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones. It has the widest concrete arch in the western
hemisphere and it is the second highest in the United States. Next we proceed to visit the dam itself. Hoover Dam was considered and engineering
marvel, and the largest dam in the world at the time of its construction in the 1930�s. 96 workers lost their lives during the construction
but contrary to urban legend, none of them were buried in the concrete. It is also famous for the art deco design
of its four towers, spillways, and power plant. As we walk back and forth, we encounter this
small monument that marks the border between Nevada and Arizona. 1pm it's boo, it is 1pm, it is noon. There are also these Illuminati looking statues,
a monument dedicated to the triumph of scientific accomplishment. It is considered good luck to rub their feet,
so if you believe in that, rub away, and go right back to Vegas and hit the roulette. We drive on top of the dam onto the Arizona
side. Wait lets take a picture with the Arizona
sign. C�mon, come on people, lets move it along
lets go. Finally. Oh crap! We almost ran them over. We park to get this great view of the structure. And further up we get an even better one. OK, it is time to hit the road again. Lets continue towards the Grand Canyon. We continue due east as we immerse ourselves
into the heart of Native American land the Hualapai, the Havasupai, and further down
the Hopi and Navajo. A quarter of Arizona is American Indian reservations,
did you know that? We stop for this scenic view of the Colorado
River and to buy some Native American jewelry. We take route 93 and then interstate 40 for
the long drive towards the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It was our original intention to take historic
route 66 but it is getting late. We are driving through the desert towards
the Grand Canyon. I made a small navigational error, not navigation,
time error and we are going to arrive there right at sunset. I didn't take into account that the Grand
Canyon was in Central, I mean Mountain Time, and Las Vegas was in Pacific Time, so there
you go. The sight of the Red Butte in the distance
tells us we are almost there. It is getting dark as we arrive to the Grand
Canyon National Park. We do get to see some wildlife on the way. We are practically racing against time to
reach the south rim before sunset. And we finally make it to the Bright Angel
Lodge. The first view of this wonder of the world
is at sunset is truly breathtaking. We have arrived to our cabin here at the Bright
Angel Lodge, close the door behind me because it's freezing outside. And we've got a partial view of the Grand
Canyon. That night we have dinner at the Arizona room
right on the Bright Angel Lodge, which is where we are staying. It's southwestern inspired food with some
great Arizona Wine, actually I didn't know Arizona made wine, so it's a pleasant surprise. After dinner I take some night photography. Taking all these shots I break my travel tripod
in the process actually taking this vertical picture, it's a disaster, and boy it is cold,
but it�s even colder in the morning. We wake up to a beautiful sunrise. We would like to stay but we can�t, we check
out of our rim side cabin at the Bright Angel Lodge, which by the way was originally established
in 1896 at the head of the Bright Angel Trail, and renovated in 1935 by architect Mary Colter. We take a short drive to the visitor�s center
for one of the most breathtaking views of the canyon, which at this point is ten miles
wide and one mile deep. We are at Mather Point, named after Stephen
Mather, first director of the national park service. We continue driving on the East Rim Drive. We are now driving towards the Desert View
Watch Tower, to get on a last breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon. And the it is back to Vegas on Route 66. The Desert View Watch Tower was completed
in 1932 and also designed by architect Mary Colter. And we have arrived. The views from the top are truly breathtaking. The Painted Desert to the east, then a big
bend of the Colorado River, and the North Rim over 10 miles away. We take in the view one last time from the
bottom. We stop on the way back at the Navajo Point
looking back at the tower. We have made the big traveler�s mistake
of planning ahead. We always seem to do that, I don't know why? We have tickets to a show tonight in Vegas,
so we must be back at a certain time, so we reluctantly start driving west, still stopping
here and there but unable to linger much. One last time we approach the south rim of
the Grand Canyon. After this last stop it is virtually non-stop. We spice up the long drive by taking route
66, which set us back about half an hour but makes for a more interesting drive at least
we hope it will. First impressions, I have never seen a more
desolate road in my life, we drive for miles without seeing another human being, well maybe
one, this hitchhiker. Not even the Dalton in Alaska felt this isolated. There are a couple of roadside attractions
we want to visit such as the Grand Canyon caverns, but it feels so deserted to desolate,
it is kind of creepy so we ultimately decide not to go in. Even at the motel, there is not a soul. Actually, lets get out of here before a long
bearded guy playing a banjo comes after us. It is surreal, it�s like we�ve gone to
another dimension, an alternate reality. We�ll at least there are cows. Yup, we are certainly getting our kicks on
route 66. We go through Peach Springs in Hualapai Country. We encounter some rugged terrain along the
way. Another point of interest along Route 66,
according to the guidebooks is the Hackberry general store, here you go. A few miles further west we also encounter
the Ranchero, another attraction of the past with this green statue, which disturbingly
resembles Fidel Castro, I don't know why. We also pass by the Outpost Saloon, and finally
we reach the town of Kingman where we divert from route 66 and take state route 93 straight
to Las Vegas. We once again pass by the Hoover Dam bypass
bridge and into the state of Nevada. We are almost there as we see the skyline
of The Strip in the distance. We arrive to Vegas admiring this beautiful
sunset. This time we are staying at one of the classic
Las Vegas Hotels, the Riviera, which dates back to the 1950s. The hotel is a little run down as it has been
in financial trouble for a while, but if you are on a budget go for it, it's not pricey. Once in Vegas we enjoy Sin City. We go to the Cirque du Soleil show Love�
not my cup of tea really. Actually the highlight of the night were probably
the Mojitos and the ambience at the Rhumbar in the Mirage Hotel, and the nightclub of
course. Good times! We can�t show you much of this because as
you know, what happens in Vegas, kind of stays in Vegas, or so they say. On the next day we go to the Bally Hotel where
we splurge at the Sterling Brunch at the Stake house, a decadent experience in gluttony you
should do at least once in your life. It�s hundred bucks for unlimited lobster,
filet mignon, lamb chops, fine champagne, and so much more. I mean, I whish I had two stomachs. After this extravagant culinary experience
we hit the road again, this time we visit the Red Rock Canyon. It ain�t no Grand Canyon, let�s be clear
about that but it is just minutes away from the city and a beautiful place with a bunch
of trails, and this 12 mile scenic drive. We explore the whole 12 miles stopping here
and there for the obligatory photo ops. We should really spend a whole day here, and
explore some of the trails and the natural beauty this place has to offer, but after
passing by the visitor center, we decide it is time to go back and enjoy the few hours
we have left in Las Vegas. After passing by the famous historic sign,
we go to into the Mandalay Bay. A beautiful hotel with an artificial beach
that is unfortunately closed due to renovations and the cold weather. We do enjoy one last drink at the famous Mix
Lounge, located on the 64th floor of the adjacent building and watch the lights turn on as the
sun goes down. As you can see I�m not much of a gambler,
our winnings for the night, seriously. Instead, I�d rather bet that many of you
and your friends are going to watch this video, and all the other ones I�ve posted. I hope you have enjoyed this short trip as
much as we did. Check out part one so you can see the beginning. Coming up next, we will begin our road trip
from Miami to New York and explore many points of interest along the way. Check out the blog for all of our other adventures
at roadnomad.com and subscribe to the YouTube channel, youtube.com/travelingrobert, and
send your comments or suggestions about future destinations to [email protected] I am Robert Morales, your host wishing you
pleasant travels, and as always thank you so much for watching and see you on the road.