Ok, final set :)
I really tried to soak in every moment of the ride back to Las Vegas. That end-of-day light brought out all the colors of the terrain and draped a sense of calm over the landscape.
There are so many striations, rivulets, grooves, nooks, crannies, and gorges here.
And colorful mineral deposits. It’s very possible that this is somewhere near the Mount Wilson wilderness area, since we took the southern route back (the northern route passing over the Hoover Dam).
What a day. Not so often that a single day gets a 3-part Quelle series!
Here it is! THE GC!As we are coming from Las Vegas, this is the West Rim, home of the Skywalk. The Skywalk is a glass walkway hanging 4,000 above the floor of the GC. It will definitely get your heart going! Although, I was probably more nervous in the helicopter:
Clench those hands tight!
The helicopter traced the CO River, with the steep canyon walls on either side. I recently learned that the deepest canyon in the USA is not the Grand Canyon (but OH MY GOODNESS). Hells Canyon in Idaho is the deepest river gorge: 7,993 feet. And Kings Canyon in CA has a depth of 8,200 feet (winner!). The difference? Kings Canyon is a glacial valley. The depth of the GC is 6,093 feet.
Leaving the GC at the end of the day!
My beloved college roommate got married last year, and her bachelorette party involved —-a helicopter ride to and through the Grand Canyon—- (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).
It’s the most visually overwhelming thing I’ve ever done. It felt so unreal the entire time. I can’t imagine being a helicopter pilot and seeing it day in and day out.
We took off from Las Vegas, and it was 30 minutes one-way.
Here we are passing the Hoover Dam:
Lake Mead, looking low
Sooooo much wild landscape!
Next up…Reaching the GC!
For Halloween 2015, K and I drove out early to Anza Borrego Desert to catch the sunrise, went back west for a 6-mile hike (Iron Mountain), and finished out the day by swimming in the ocean at La Jolla in the evening. It was one of those hot Octobers in SoCal, when the ocean was still that warm!
That shimmering on the desert floor? That’s the Salton Sea.
We hiked our breakfast in. Bacon and eggs on the camp stove! Free Coleman advertising.
As you can tell, the sun got brighter and stronger and increasingly blinding! Time to break from the land of cacti.
From the desert to the mountains to the ocean…in one day! San Diego.
There’s a lot of (well-deserved) hype about this year’s superbloom in Anza-Borrego Desert. The following are photos from a drought year (2015) bloom in Anza. Still pretty good, n’est-ce pas?
Verbena, Sunflowers, and Dune Evening Primrose (white)
Ain’t no bloom like a bloom!