The Grand Canyon

I was gonna put some other smart arse title for this post, like I did for the Niagara Falls, but decided I couldn't do it for this wonder of the world. There's no way to aggrandise it, even through sarcasm, that would even slightly do it justice, so going au naturel with the title it is. 


For me at least, one of the main reasons for going to Las Vegas in the first place was to make a day trip to the Grand Canyon.

Sorting out what tour to go on, what it included and where exactly it went was a bit complicated, but we eventually decided on this small one with great reviews; a tour guide comes in a van, and takes about 8 people across the desert, breakfast included, to Hoover Dam, across the desert some more, across a surprise snowy forest, lunch included, hike across the edge of the Canyon, and back home again by 9.30pm.

Had the earliest start yet. 7.30 pick up. It wasn't pretty. 

But oh was it worth it. 

Let's go.

It was a beautiful Nevada morning, and our guide turned out to be a bloke named Alex, who seemed to know everything about Vegas, the Mojave Desert, Culver City, Hoover Dam, Route 66, the Canyon, its history, its future, and everything in between. 

Breakfast at Maccas. Avoided the McGriddle. Had some fruit instead. 

The Van. Fabulous. 

Driving, part 1: going past Lake Mead, the main water supply of Vegas and many places around it.

Complicated highway things.

Part 2: Hoover Dam.

Cue dramatic music. 

White line where the water used to be. 

Because let's go across the Mojave desert in a fuchsia pink stretch Hummer. 

Dam's on the state line. 

Driving driving. 
Part 3: a petrol gas stop in the middle of nowhere. Feels like a cliché movie. 

"I've been to Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tecoma..."

Route 66 time. 

There's very little of the famous road between Chicago and Los Angeles that defined a generation of America, and a lot of what is left is around here, because desert.

The town's called Seligman, and it houses the history of Route 66.

It's a charming hole right on the corner of no and where. 

It was actually charming, that wasn't sarcasm. It was also so quiet, which was strange after so long in big cities. 

The one time a foot shot is actually necessary.

Ellie's excited.

It was all pretty shiny. 

More explanation, from Alex himself:

More driving - Route 66.

So - Mojave Desert - the last thing I expected was bloody snow and ice. But, surprise! Also: pine forest. 

Pretty cold, actually. And pretty.

So you kind of drive for a very long time, as the canyon is in the middle of nowhere even more than the gas station and the Route 66 town combined; there is literally one long road that goes to one tiny village on the edge, and that's it. 

It's also just a normal forest-y, snow-y, flat-y road, when suddenly, 


It's alright, I guess. 

A bit of a better look, despite being unable to edit video to show it all a bit better - 

A stop for hikers, 4,000 feet down. Apparently that's quite a large complex of halls and warehouses. Huh. 

Perspective does funny things. 

The team. 

The silence here is also amazing. It's so unbelievably massive,  it's almost creepy that there's no evidence of it even being there, besides sight. Even then, it looks like a movie back drop mostly. Ha. 

The village here is built in both the style of the 20s (when it was built) and of the native Indians who held this land. Everyone who works here lives here because it's so bloody far away from everything. 

Cozy inside, excepting all the dead animals on the walls. 

As should be pretty clear by now, inside is extraordinarily boring compared to the outside, so you don't wanna stay in there. 

That's better.

This is apparently the steepest and best part of the canyon. Additionally, we couldn't go up the path the tour normally takes because of a gas leak (not nice), but the opposite direction across the edge had what seemed like the best parts, so hurrah for gas leaks! 

Lots of black ice, so lots of going off the beaten track. 

Fun fact: the entire area was an ocean, several times over, so the rock is full of fossilised sea creatures.

In fact, the main reason the Grand Canyon is a natural wonder of the world is not because of its pretty face, but how it's the richest and most informative geological site ever found; no where on earth are there literally billions of years written into the rock in perfect layers of geologists to read.

The edge is lined with these discs that make a geology timeline. The idea is each step represents a hundred million years and you can walk the entire history of the canyon. Side question - did you know the Earth is about 4 billion years old? I hadn't heard that figure before. Da-daaa! 

Slight mishap. 

All good in the end, but there's always more shiny pictures...

Sunset was soon upon us - the reds got redder and the air got colder. We found what Alex said was the best view of the canyon anywhere - a point right where it turned, so you could see the furthest in both directions. 

Walking to the best seats in the house. 




Feet + drop.

Goodbye from us.

Goodbye from canyon.


  1. I feel like there should be a disclaimer attached to every photo where I'm standing like a dick, a la the one of the van, because the sarcasm intended by my posing at the time does not read as well as I had anticipated.

    1. I can totally kind of (*WARNING: intentional dick pose) that shiz if you wanted.

    2. Lol no its fine, I just need to work on emphasising it in future I think.