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Hualapai Reservation and Heat Exhaustion - Day 26 & 27



I would like to start this entry out by stating how happy I am to be alive during a time when all phones have maps with GPS. There is no way that I could have survived such a trip without the help of my *mostly reliable* phone.


The next day we headed to "Grand Canyon West". Grand Canyon West is located (you guessed it) on the west side of Arizona pretty close to the Nevada border. It is also located on the Hualapai Reservation. This was my first time ever on a reservation. As you may have guessed, getting to the reservation is difficult because it's extremely far out in the desert.


We left from Albuquerque very early in the morning because I wanted to get to the Grand Canyon when there was still enough light out to avoid long shadows. That night, we were staying in a cabin on the reservation, so I decided to put the cabin's address directly into my phone (little did I know this was a mistake, I should have just put "Grand Canyon West" into my phone and the journey would have been a lot easier).


The cabin's address says it is in "Peach Springs", Arizona. So my phone ended up taking us to an elementary school in Peach Springs. I pulled over to try and look at my map, but quickly realized that I didn't have cell service which made me worried. I decided to circle back and go up the road for a few miles in hopes of a sign for "Grand Canyon West" with no luck. So, one more time I headed back to Peach Springs thinking that someone in the area would have to know how to get there. We stopped at a Chevron. Luckily, my sister was able to access the guest wifi long enough to find the real location of the cabin - we still had over an hour and a half of driving to go. She also took screen shots of the map in case we, once again, lost access to the map before heading on our way. Mistake number two was not buying gas at the Chevron station.


We started following the directions on her phone's map, when suddenly it had us turn onto an unpaved road. A sign warned us that the roads were "rough" for the next ten miles. Next to it was another sign that said we were in a flash flood area. The best part was that there was a notification on her map warning us of a "thunder storm".


The next ten miles were extremely stressful. I drive a Honda Fit which is clearly not built for off-roading. I was worried that a tire would blow out, so much so that I asked my sister if she thought we should turn around. She insisted that it HAD to be better after ten miles, so we pushed forward. The terrain caused my car to shake violently. It was also extremely loud. Whenever I glanced in my rearview mirror, it seemed that the back of my car was moving differently than the front of my car. No matter how slow I went, I could not avoid the bumps. There were also patches of terrain that weren't so bad, but I honestly couldn't tell when the road would be rough again.


At some point, three very large cattle popped out from behind the cacti. They seemed to be just as confused to see us as I was to see them. One even had a pep in his step as he came closer and closer to my car. I was concerned that he was going to run at my car as I slowly maneuvered around him, but he let me pass. As soon I was passed them, I started laughing. I know that I was too stressed to even think about taking a picture, but I really wish that I had a picture of those cows! Unfortunately, after the ten miles of driving, the road was still unpaved, but thankfully it was mostly flat for the rest of the way.


Eventually, we reached a paved road and both of us cheered. There was a Chevron by the paved road as well, so I thought it was the perfect time to pull over and get some gas. I found it odd that the gas station was completely empty because I was sure it was the only one for miles. I pulled up to a stall, swiped my card, and selected regular gas. I then tried to pump the gas, and nothing happened. I asked my sister for help, because obviously I was doing something wrong. She couldn't get it to start either. I headed inside to talk to the person working there. He told me it was so hot that the gas automatically stopped dispensing. I have never experienced something like this before, I am also not sure if it is completely true. If the gas stopped pumping, they would be closed for the majority of the summer since the desert reaches triple digit temperatures often. Thankfully, I had enough gas to get up to the reservation, but because my tank is small I knew that I would have to stop by this particular Chevron on our way back since it was the only gas station in the area.

The rest of the drive was on paved road and actually had signs for "Grand Canyon West". We were both extremely grateful and ready to get out of the car. After some more confusion (including some misinformation from employees at Grand Canyon West) we finally checked into our cabin. Before Covid, the area that we were staying in had an area for restaurants, shops, and a zipline, but, when we got to the area everything was closed and including the restaurants. There were no restaurants open on the reservation. So we ended up eating food from the few vending machines they had. The vending machines ate some of my money, but we got enough food to hold us over for the night.


The view from our cabin was really lovely and the sunset was full of bright colors. We were only able to walk around for a bit because the heat was unbearable, but we were just happy to be there and out of the car.



The shuttles start running from the main building to the Grand Canyon at 9:00a.m. We woke up extra early so that we could drive down to the Chevron station, fuel up, and then drive to the main building so that we would be the first in line for the shuttle.


The shuttle takes you to two stops. The first stop is called "Eagle Point". As soon as we got off the shuttle, my sister felt emotional. It is so surreal to see the Grand Canyon in person, especially on such sacred land.



On Eagle Point, is the Skywalk. The skywalk is glass bridge that goes out over the Grand Canyon. Employees do not allow you to bring cameras, phones, keys, etc. in fear of "scratching the glass". You even have to put shoe covers on your shoes to "prevent scratching". So, I was not able to take pictures of the view looking down. My sister was anxious walking in the middle part where the glass was, so she stayed close to the side and held onto the handrail. I guess I was prepared for the bridge after walking on the glass floor at the Space Needle in Seattle, because I only wanted to walk (very slowly) on the glass part.



The next stop was "Guano Point". Guano Point was my favorite stop. There was more area to walk around and it was a way better view of the Grand Canyon because it is at a point where the river bends, so you can see the Grand Canyon on two sides. Because we were on the first shuttle, we were also the first two up at Guano Point which gave us time to truly live in the moment (I say that like I didn't take a lot of pictures at Guano Point). After we were finished exploring Guano Point, we headed back down to my car so that we could head to our next, and final stop of our trip: Las Vegas.



On our way to Las Vegas we passed the Hoover Dam. I was hoping that we would be able to see it from the freeway, but in order to actually see it, you have to park your car and walk across the bridge. It was already somewhere around 110℉ and we hadn't had a full meal in over 24 hours, so there was no way we were going to get out of the car.



We reached the hotel before check in. Our hotel had a small casino with two restaurants and was perfectly located across the street from the strip. We went to one of the restaurants in the hotel, The Front Yard, and they were still serving brunch. So of course, I ordered lunch food: mac and cheese appetizer with rosé. My sister ordered a salad that she shared with me. The food was really good and I am not just saying that because we were so hungry. After we ate, we were able to check into our room. The room itself was underwhelming and the bed was very uncomfortable. We decided to nap for a bit before going out for the evening. I was unable to nap, so instead I worked on my homework.



Once we were ready for the evening we headed to Planet Hollywood and spent time exploring the casino and enjoying a drink before our show. We were going to see MJ The Evolution at The Mosaic. As we were walking to The Mosaic, I started to feel really ill. At the time, I thought it was from the drink I had before the show, but after being inside where there were fans, I began to feel better. I was once again feeling heat exhaustion and it probably didn't help that I was unable to nap earlier in the afternoon.


MJ The Evolution was incredible! The show was broken up into three different acts and included fifteen different Michael Jackson songs. The first act was when Michael Jackson was in the Jackson five, the second act was Jackson's early career as a solo artist, and the third was his later hits. The third performer who played Michael Jackson was truly amazing! He also highly resembled Jackson.


The show ended before midnight and I was hoping to do more on the strip, but as soon as we left the show, I instantly felt ill again. We walked back to the hotel, where I stayed for the rest of the night and my sister went downstairs to enjoy the live music and get some dinner.


Before heading out the next day, we stopped at Cesar's Palace just so we could go see Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen. Then, we headed back to my sister's in Southern California. The four hour trip took about six hours to complete because of all the traffic going into California. At some point in California I paid five dollars a gallon for gas, not the welcome back home that I expected. What I learned from these two days is not to go to the desert during the summer!


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Sharan Devoto
Sharan Devoto
18. 7. 2021

So many adventures during your travels and glad Sarah was with you during this one! You should write a book as this was so well written that I felt like I was there with you and Sarah! Great, great photos! I especially loved the sunset picture! Being a proud owner of a Honda Fit, I'm really amazed it survived the rocky dirt road! You reminded me that back in the "olden" days, I usually got lost when driving to an unfamiliar place. I have no sense of direction, just like Grandpa and it was hard without having a GPS.

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beckybeckbecca
beckybeckbecca
19. 7. 2021
Reakce na

Thank you 🙂 How frustrating! I remember the days of map quest as a kid, and even that was difficult to utilize at the time. I can't imagine only using a physical map. We are so spoiled with our GPS technology these days!

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hamdmd
hamdmd
15. 7. 2021

A great adventure and wonderful series of posts. Thank you for sharing your trip with everyone. A wealth of memories you'll relive and enjoy (except the 10-mile dirt road) forever.

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