From the sublime to the ridiculous and back again!
Hi everyone again!
Apologies for taking so long to do another update, we've been seriously clocking up the miles on our last week in the US to try and cram as much in as possible!
We visited the Sequoia National Park about a week ago, leaving the tranquil shores of Morro Bay behind.
As we climbed the 6,500 feet into the park, the windy roads with snow on the sides hinted that perhaps our attire of shorts and t-shirts may not have been entirely appropriate!
Funnily enough, the sun was warm enough to keep us comfortable as we explored the melting winter wonderland of giant Sequoias, including of course the largest tree in the world - the General Sherman.
Following an overnight stay in a quaint lodge-style motel, we hit the road once more towards the Mojave Desert in order to reach the decadance and indulgence of Las Vegas in Arizona!
We attempted to climb the 700-foot Kelso sand-dune in the Mojave during mid-afternoon as the sun beat down mercilessly - we got about a third of the way there before our water supply became depleted and we were both feeling the pace and the heat! So we contented ourselves with running back down some of the bigger dunes and taking some photos of the area.
We then drove through the largest concentration of Joshua Trees in the world en-route to Las Vegas, a surreal sight as it approaches after a long drive through a largely featureless and perfectly straight highway in the desert.
Vegas was everything we expected - an assault on the senses as you wander around in awe of the super-casinos with their themed frontages, water-fountain displays and lights piercing into the Arizona night.
We decided to gamble big-time and tried our hand at the one-arm bandits, raising our stake to a whopping 2 dollars and 80 cents at one point before losing it all on the (not so) Happy Days machine in New York New York - it was a dizzying hour and a half of high-rolling gambling madness!!
After a couple of days, the dubious delights of Vegas began to wear a little thin and so we elected to drive to Flagstaff, which would be our base for 2 days in order to visit the Grand Canyon.
Flagstaff is 6,000 feet above sea level and substantially colder than Vegas, so again we got a shock when we got there! Taking plenty of layers, we headed out to explore the Grand Canyon.
We weren't disappointed by the views when we arrived - the Canyon is beautiful and awe-inspiring in equal measure. At some points you can view ridges 45 miles away as it drifts around corners, while the Colorado River can be seen a mile down and the Canyon itself is 18 miles wide in places.
It's hard to comprehend these distances when you look at the Canyon, and so it's best to walk one of the trails in order to view it from different vantage points. Every corner turned offers a different perspective on one of the wonders of the natural world.
The following day, we chose to drive a whopping 501 miles back to the Californian coast, meaning we had 2 days to chill out by the sea before heading to LA International Airport tonight to fly to Auckland - next stop New Zealand!
Hope you're all well and take care for now!