Wandering West, Day 7, Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Sometimes when you travel you find unexpected gems and are disappointed by places that have all the hype. Today was one of those days.
We started our day with an unscheduled trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. I had honestly never heard of it until Jaci looked up the top outdoor activities to do in Las Vegas. The top three are Hoover Dam (did it), Death Valley National Park (doing it tomorrow), and Red Rock Canyon. So, we added it to the agenda and off we went. Honestly, when thinking about doing a hike in the Mojave Desert, I was not that excited about it. I mean, who wants to hike in desert heat?!?!? Well, I’m so glad that we did!
Red Rock Canyon is gorgeous. We did a 2-mile easy hike called the Moenkopi Loop. It loops you through an area with great views of the red rocks and mountains around you. We also saw several different kinds of lizards along the way which the boys loved. The hike was not without its excitement though. Hiking with kids always has some kind of excitement. Macy, Halli, Eli, and Hunter initially decided they’d make a race out of it and ran ahead of the rest of the group. Well, one problem, they don’t pay attention to signs, and they ended up on a trail that would have taken them 11 miles into the desert! Thank goodness someone noticed they were no longer ahead of us when we made the turn. So, Kevin went running through the other trail to find them and drag them back. Needless to say, they were all put on a short leash after that.
As for the heat, it was practically non-existent. Really, the weather was fantastic. It almost never rains in Vegas, what happens when we arrive? It rains! We were not complaining though. It was just enough rain to dampen everything and drop the temps to a comfortable point. Also, we had cloud cover and a cool breeze through most of the hike. Once we finished the Moenkopi Loop we headed out to drive along the Scenic Loop Drive where we found a beautiful overlook and Petroglyph Wall. Red Rock Canyon was my favorite part of the day, and I would highly recommend it if you come to Vegas.
Now, as for the rest of Vegas…eehh. I’ve never been here, and I had really built it up in my mind. I mean, I love the old Rat Pack movies (and of course the newer version of “Ocean’s 11”) and I guess I was just picturing this place being more like the movies. We spent the late afternoon/evening exploring the Las Vegas Strip. No, we were not gambling, we were exploring the shops and checking out the hotel facades and lobbies that are really just amazingly over the top. The kids were pretty impressed with the Statue of Liberty, the Pyramid, and the Eiffel Tower. Though, Noah informed me that he knows that is not the “real pyramid” because the real one has the Bass Pro Shop in it…LOL!!
Let me start by saying, I know some people love Las Vegas. I totally respect that. However, for us, it’s just not our cup of tea so to say. Big cities make me nervous. I’m really just a small-town girl and the traffic and congestion of large cities makes my anxiety go through the roof. Also, trying to keep an eye on my kids on a busy sidewalk or while getting on/off the buses makes me crazy. So, we did some walking, did some shopping, watched the fountains at the Bellagio (which was pretty cool), then boot scooted our way back to our truck and to the sanctity of our home away from home. Of course, we had to get Chik-Fil-A on the way back!
Tomorrow, we’re ready to get back to our comfort zone, exploring National Parks!