RV Trip: Week 8: Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

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We started our week in 30-degree temps and ended it in the 70s. What a week it has been. We did a lot of walking this week. We also soaked in sights so beautiful that they will surely be etched into my heart for the rest of my days here on earth.

North American RV trip: The Grand Canyon in the snow!

Monday morning we left the Petrified Forest area for the Grand Canyon. We looked at the forecast before we left and found out things were going to be rather chilly during our four night, three-day stay.

All five of us didn’t have clothing appropriate for such cold weather, so we decided to stop in at the first Walmart along our path and see if they had long johns. We seriously doubted we would find some in Arizona, but we lucked out and found them on clearance for just $5 to $7 a piece for the whole family.

After grabbing a set for everyone in the family plus stocking our trailer with food for our entire stay at the Canyon we got back on the road and made our way to the Grand Canyon.

We were greeted by falling snow that continued all night long. When I got up Tuesday morning, I was greeted by the sight in the picture above. There are three stairs into our RV and as you can see the snow came up over the first step. We woke up to over a foot of snow!

5 1/2 month RV trip: Grand Canyon on a cloudy day.

Still, the skies over the RV park looked clear, so we all got bundled up and headed to the Grand Canyon rim trail to get our first look at the Grand Canyon.

It turned out the skies were not so clear over the Canyon as they were over the nearby RV park. We got teased with glimpses between the clouds, but that was it.

We decided to hope that the weather forecast of clear skies for the next two days was right and make this first day hanging out in the RV day.

Our youngest two children got some extra school work done. With no decent wifi anywhere I decided to start writing a new eBook (you are going to have to wait for more details, but if all goes well this new one will be out in 2018). My husband spent the day doing laundry and reading a book.

RV trip with teenagers: Grand Canyon views.

We woke up Wednesday to a frozen water faucet. Thankfully after further inspection, we figured out that the problem was not in the RV, but in the actual water hookup pipe itself. So we decided just to see if the warming temperatures of the day would fix it and bundled up to head out and see if the Grand Canyon would unveil itself to us finally.

And it did!

Over the next 48 hours, I think I said the word WOW 2 million times. Okay–maybe only 1 million.

Several times on Wednesday and Thursday I was doing just what is pictured above, sitting either with a loved one or alone with my feet dangling over the edge of a rock soaking up the majestic view.

If you have seen pictures of the Grand Canyon or watched a documentary about it, trust me–you haven’t seen the true Grand Canyon. Only when you see it with your own eyes, do you truly understand what a marvel it is.

 

22 week long RV Trip: Grand Canyon.

My favorite view of our two days exploring the South Rim Trail was seen from the Desert Tower. The views of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon are best from there.

 

RV Trip: The Grand Canyon melted my heart.

My daughter found this heart-shaped piece of ice during the morning of our last full day exploring the Canyon. I think it is fitting because the Grand Canyon melted my heart.

It took us two full days to explore just the outer edge of the South Rim. We didn’t go on any of the trails that take you down into the Canyon due to the icy conditions. Even if it had been good weather, two full days would have only been enough to do the rim. Of course, if the first day had been good weather we could have hiked into the Canyon a bit on the thrid day.

Still, if you ever plan a trip to the Grand Canyon, give yourself a full week to explore. Trust me, the views won’t get old, and you will leave wanting to explore more.

 

RV Trip: A family's first trip to In-N-Out burger.

Friday we left the Grand Canyon and headed to Boulder City, Nevada which is about 30 minutes outside Las Vegas.

In the 4+ hour drive, the temperature went up by over 30 degrees! We also changed time zones and are now living our days a full 3 hours behind the friends we left in Indiana.

We arrived early afternoon and after a bit of searching found a Starbucks for me that is less than a 10-minute walk away from our RV park. I spent a few hours there starting to scratch the surface of the back up of work that a week of either slow internet or no internet left me with. I am hoping that by the time we leave here I will be caught up again. I am sorry for not posting a saving money post last Friday. Please be patient with me as I struggle to work on the road.

Friday evening we headed to Las Vegas to finally try In-N-Out burger. As I mentioned last week one of our sons is quite the burger foodie, and he has a list of regional burger chains he wants us to try as we travel. In-N-Out was at the top of that list. We all liked the burgers, but none of us finished the fries. If we go again, we all agreed we would order just the burgers and skip the fries.

 

22 Week Long RV Trip With Teens | Grand Canyon | Las Vegas | Hoover Dam |

After our burger stop, we headed down to the famous Las Vegas Strip. We didn’t stop, we just drove down one side and then up the other.  You can see some of the best views from our cruise down the strip on Instagram. I put the top 10 into a slide style post.

 

RV Trip | Week 8 of 22 | Hoover Dam |

Saturday morning I spent the morning working at Starbucks while my hubby did the laundry and went grocery shopping. The two youngest children spent their morning doing school work.

We had an early lunch in the RV and then headed out for the Hoover Dam and surrounding area. First, we walked out on the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge -which is where I snapped this picture of the Hoover Dam.

I have for some reason visited several dams over the course of my life, and by far the Hoover Dam is the most ornate dam I have ever seen.  As we walked across it, there were statues, plaques, detailed trim and all sorts of architectural details.

RV trip | Family with teens | Lake Mead

After we were finished looking around the dam area, we headed out to the start of the Historic Railroad Trail. This was the supply train route that brought in supplies for the construction of the dam.

You can walk through several tunnels, which was kind of neat, but the best part for our family was the view of Lake Mead that greets you after you go through the first tunnel.

The shades of blue in the lake were sparkling in the sun and set off beautifully by the light grey and dark brown rock cliffs that board its shores.

I am typing the last of this post early Sunday morning. Our plans for the day include attending church followed by a day off from sight seeing to watch TV, read and enjoy a bit of down time. I am planning on getting a haircut if I can. Now that we are eight weeks into the trip my hair is getting a bit scraggly in the back where it has the most layers.

Thrifty & Thriving | More Life For Less Money

And in case reading above that, I started writing a new book made you wonder about what was happening with the book I finally finished–well, it is one step closer to being ready to sell! (update you can now grab a copy of my book on Amazon where it is available in both paperback and Kindle format)

My book editor Ann of Annie & Everything got the preview copy of the paperback copy of Thrifty & Thriving: More Life For Less Money in the mail earlier this week. She is going to give it one final read through, final edits will be made if needed and then it will be ready to list for sale in both paperback and eBook format on Amazon! (insert major squeal here–I am so excited about this)

Wisdom Learned On The Road

12 Tips For Long RV Road Trips

10 Things To Bring When Exploring The National Parks

Want to read more about our RV trip? Dig into the links below!

Finally on Our Way!

Week One Update: Nashville and Atlanta

Week Two Update: Atlanta, Savannah and St Mary’s

Week Three Update:  St Mary’s and Little Talbot Island

Week Four Update: Orlando and Niceville

Week Five Update: Niceville, New Orleans, and Sea Rim State Park

Week Six Update: San Antonio, Carlsbad Caverns, and White Sands

Week 7 Update: Gila Cliff Dwellings, City of Rocks & Sedona

Week 8 Update: Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam & Lake Mead (you are here)

Week 9 Update: Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley, Palm Springs, Laguna Beach

Week 10 Update: Joshua Tree, San Francisco, Yosemite, and Sequoia

Week 11 Update: Sea Glass Beaches and The  Giant Redwoods of California

Week 12 Update: Seattle, Port Angeles, & Victoria

Week 13 Update: Nanaimo, Tofino, & Courtenay

Week 14 Update: Vancouver Island & Vancouver

Week 15 Update: Okanagan

Week 16 Update: Okanagan

Week 17 Update: Canadian Rockies, Drumheller

Week 18 Update: Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake

Week 19 Update Carters of The Moon, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton

Week 20 Update Grand Teton National Park, Salt Lake City, and Zion

Week 21 Update Kolob Canyon, Red Cliffs, Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon and Estes Park

Week 22: Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Custer State Park, And Wind Cave National Park

The Final RV Road Trip Update: And Now We Are Home

Visit our RV Trip page for the story of how the trip came to be, a map of our route, and more

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