There are many things that are worth waking at 3 am for. There’s a whole list which for some includes large amounts of cash money and fighting off a pack of armadillos—but the one that pertained here was the promise of one hell of a brunch buffet.
Better be a damn good buffet.
The bad news was that this buffet was 1,125 miles away. The good news was that at least that donut shops open at 4 am.
I suppose the donut shop people were the true heroes here waking up at 3 am or earlier every day just to sell sugar and energy to the cranky pre-caffeinated crowd. It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Now would be a good time to bring up why we were doing this whole show in the first place.
Yours truly is normally a-ok at planning travel and navigating the online ticket purchasing process. However, a series of costly mistakes ultimately left us with a $400 voucher for Spirit Airlines and very little time to spend it.
So the voucher took us to Las Vegas for a bit of a road trip across the Great American Southwest. First stop? The Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan.
Since I was too busy eating to take actual pictures, here is someone else’s video:
Hunger satisfied, we were eastward bound →→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→→
The best part about traveling by car over most other forms of transportation is the flexibility. You can stop and go whenever, wherever, provided the law doesn’t stop you first (more on that later). It had been a mere 40 minutes on the 515 when suddenly the Hoover Dam showed up.
WHAM! DAM! Thank you Ma’am!
Looking out at the reservoir and down the steep side of the dam really makes you think long and hard about the limited resources on this planet, engineering, and the desire to observe the Magnus effect yourself, in that order.
An even better view of the dam involves a short jaunt from one of the parking lots up to the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which in addition to being a very young bridge (construction began and finished 2005-2010), also wins honorable mentions for having a very long name as well as delightfully interesting bronze plaques for the casual observer to read as they walk across.
A bonus for walking across the bridge includes a dead end, but also a WELCOME TO ARIZONA sign. As we shuffled back across the bridge, a lone trucker honked in greeting.
Most of the time, driving was a bit of a blur. There was one pit stop at a Scenic Viewpoint where one could gaze out at the wide expanse of chaparral and catch a glimpse of the Colorado River.
There were pass-throughs of towns that fit the mold of classic Americana–gas stations, fast food, knick knacks and antique stores. At some point, we remembered that this was the land of In n Out, and hightailed it to the nearest cross-palms for some fries.
Dr. Pepper and Pink Lemonade should be a new cocktail.
Here’s the tagline —
“It’s not pleasant, but it’ll do.” -Connie, 2017
After miles and miles of one-laned highways and a handful of tumbleweed, we finally made it to the tiny town of Tusayan, right outside the South Rim.
With the sun setting quickly, we delayed our check-in and made it to the Grand Canyon as the light was fading, casting most of the canyon into twilight, mystery, and quiet.
Day 1 Summary:
Mileage: By Plane – 1125 Miles, By Car – 277 Miles
Breakfast: The Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan – Many Things
Honorable Mentions: Eggslut, Holsteins
Lunch: In n Out – Combo #3 with a Pink Dr. Pepper Lemonade
Dinner: We Cook Pizza and Pasta – The Works + Naked Wings