The next few days of our road trip took us from one extreme to the other. What can I say, the U.S. is a diverse country! Our first stop on after Grand Canyon was Williams, a small, pittoresque town about an hour south of Grand Canyon National Park. Since it was so close to the Grand Canyon, and thereby a stop on for more tourists than Jonas and me, I thought that the town’s main street, which looked like a set from a Western movie, deliberately had been kept that way for the tourists. After passing numerous similar small towns over the next days, I realized, however, that Williams was quite representative for this part of rural America. After spending the night at a motell in the middle of the town (my first night at a motell ever!), our stay in Williams ended with pancake breakfast at Cafe 66, which that morning served an equal number of locals and tourists. There was quite a contrast between the middle-aged local couple that came in to chitchat with the waitress about the past week’s events in Williams and the group of Italian tourists that were trying to get their morning cappuccinos!.
After breakfast, we continued our road trip towards Las Vegas. Although I knew we would drive through the desert, I didn’t anticipate the landscape of the Black Canyon. After driving through dry hills with light-colored soils hills and spares vegetation for miles and miles in Arizona, we were all of a sudden surrounded by black, uneven rocks with no sign of anything living. It was like being on another planet somewhere out in space! And then, just after crossing over to the state of Nevada, was the enormous and very blue Hoover Dam that supplies water to Arizona, Nevada, and California. Apparently, it was the largest concrete construction ever built when works started in 1931, and it is still impressive. I can really recommend a visit to the Black Canyon, it was truly a unique experience!
Las Vegas was the same as always: artificial and tacky, with lots of people that are not used to the social norms of densely populated cities, but with small highlights here and there. We ate well and relaxed a bit at the hotel pool, but I don’t gamble so I am not interested in the casinos (especially since they are more like arcades than the glamorous roulette and blackjack rooms shown in Hollywood movies). Even the first time I went there over a weekend in 1993, I said that “been there, done that – no need to visit again!”, and, yet, this was my third time in Las Vegas. The second time was for the wedding of one of Mr. M’s childhood friends (pics is in the archive from October 2009), and this time because Jonas (rightly so) thought it a “must-see” if in the region. And even though I say that this really was the last time I go there, I am sure that if I ever get married, it will probably be in Las Vegas!
Williams along the legendary Route 66 and driving through Arizona
The Hoover Dam and the rocks in Black Canyon
Over The Strip in Las Vegas