Arizona-Nevada, September - October 2000
Just a brief introduction to our photo album. We spent 12 days traveling across Arizona and into Nevada. Jen's friend recently moved to the Phoenix area, so we started out from their place, checking out the town and going to a Diamondbacks ballgame.
Then it was time to head north, up into the Sedona area and Oak Creek Canyon. This was a fabulous place to camp...we stayed at the Manzanita campground nestled right on the bank of the Oak Creek. One lowlight: I had decided not to pack raingear as I figured we were going to Arizona...you know, the desert where it never rains? Right. Our second night on the Oak Creek was spent in a consistent downpour.
Next we continued north on our way to the Grand Canyon. But first we made stops at the Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments.
Then the Grand Canyon...a spectacular destination. It's truly amazing how big it is. We had great views on our hikes, including a short descent into the canyon. Camping there was decent but noisy as the many RVs ran their heaters through the chilly nights. One night we had clear skies and no wind, so I broke out the camera and got two nice startrail shots of Orion.
Finally we headed west to see Jen's sister in Las Vegas. We stopped at Hoover Dam along the way, which is cool but expensive to tour. Vegas was interesting...we spent most of the time at Jen's sister's place, but went out on the town one night to the Rio. And spent another morning driving around Mt. Charleston. With our winnings at the airport slot machines, we just about broke even.
It was a fun trip...
I do have to register a complaint regarding the User Fees our government charges to visit our parks, monuments, and forests. On a trip like this, these fees really add up. I don't mind paying camping fees, but paying access fees seems questionable, given that we already pay taxes which should be funding these areas. I am also concerned about the commercial interests who advise the government on these fees.