A Las Vegas diary… the group returns in 2008
8 days in Nevada and Arizona…
Days four and five


Our trip takes an interesting turn this morning, as we begin our trek from Sin City to the great outdoors for some majestic, natural beauty…

We’re Grand Canyon bound!

And yet, even with a fantastic destination in mind to end our day (hoping to make a South Rim viewing point before sunset), the first day of the excursion is packed from the very beginning with the kind of experiences you can only hope to have… and the second day includes some fun surprises and unexpected discoveries. From the time we left Las Vegas until our return, this was 36-hours quite possibly unlike any 36-hour stretch we have ever before encountered as a group.

Plans were made… plans were changed… plans were shredded… plans were thrown out the window… and outstanding memories were created.

Day Four ~ Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One of the problems that arises on any journey with the Sabetta’s is tomato juice.

Even with a stick of celery and some vodka, you’d have a really hard time getting me interested in such a disgusting concoction. Bloody Mary or a screwdriver? Yeah… this isn’t even a question… break out the orange juice and let’s get started.

But Ellen takes some sort of perverse delight from her tomato juice. It starts when she spots it on the menu… sees it on another table… or gets confirmation from a waitress that the restaurant does indeed offer such a delicacy. Her eyes immediately glaze over a bit, looking remarkably like a 6-year old that was just offered ice cream, knows she shouldn’t be getting ice cream, and believes that everyone else at her table is going to be jealous once that ice cream arrives.

Yeah… that’s the look.

The problem is… Terry and I figure she’s stoned. Because… let’s be honest… it’s not ice cream. It’s tomato juice!

And it’s not so much that I can’t stand tomato juice. Yeah… maybe that’s part of it… but that isn’t really it. People drink things I can’t stand all the time. I just don’t understand the first taste of the day being a drink you feel better about by adding pepper.

Makes… no… sense.

At Denny’s they bring this situation to new levels of absurdity. For some ungodly reason, they offer tomato juice by the friggin’ pitcher. But whether I like the concoction or not… here we are at Denny’s… and the stars are aligned… and the bright morning sun is shining… and she gets a glass. (I don’t know what we would do if she ever decided to order a pitcher. But, if you ever want to see an act of high comedy the way the lord intended for it to be performed, you need to buy a ticket to see the Ellen and Richard share a drink show… best performances are “tomato juice in the morning” or “did you take my bottle of water” following the last round of service at night. “Why order my own when I can drink yours?” ranks right up there “Who’s on first?” for us. Classic.)

We have the Hoover Dam in our sights as today’s first event. They are offering tours of the place, and we are setting up our timing to arrive around 9am. We are just cruising along, laughing and looking around, when all of a sudden we hit security checks and traffic. And while that doesn’t stop us… we do slow down a bit.

Parking is easy enough… there is a big garage nearby… gift shop included… can’t miss it. We head down to the entrance, buy our tickets, and meander into a theater for a pre-show.

Once done, our group assembles with Tom. He’s our guide for the “Dam Tour”… which is funny for about the first fifty to a hundred times they make the joke. Then… after about 10 minutes or so, you start to tire of the “dam tour” label or the references to the “dam gift shop” and other assorted “dam locations” you might want to look at.

Tom is pleasant enough. I’m sure he’s a nice guy. But has everyone at the Hoover Dam had their dam sense of humor removed? They don’t seem like a lively bunch. Must be the dam coffee… or, maybe… I’ll bet they ate someplace that was out of dam tomato juice.

(I promise… I’ll stop now. Dam jokes. We’re hearing them all over the place. And I think you now understand what I mean about them wearing thin.)

We get on the elevator and travel down 560-feet, where a hallway leads us to one of four diversion tunnels. Impressive stuff. From there it’s back up to a room with eight generators. Tom says something that I have written down as 1935 to 1941 to fill Lake Mead. Is that right? Six years to fill in behind the dam? For some reason, that seems more impressive than the talk of ridiculous amounts of concrete being poured, the thought of more generators elsewhere, and the overall height of the dam itself.

(I went looking around, and evidently this is true. Six years. The initial filling of the lake was begun in February of 1935. From that starting point, it wasn’t until 1941 that the lake was considered full. I can get water in my basement after six hours of rain near the bulkhead. We’re talking six years of running the hose to fill this baby on up. Wow.)

Tom leaves us in a small museum-like area. It’s actually a neat location, providing a really effective bookend of sorts for the tour. Having started with a theater presentation and then toured the underground portions, coming back to this informative and at times interactive segment really drives home some of the history.

We spend some time in the area and then move out to an observation deck. Tom had mentioned additional exhibits across the street, and we begin to move that way.

First up is the Winged Figures of the Republic monument. The main portion of this feature is two winged, bronze pieces, each standing at more than 30-feet. It celebrates the Native American heritage of the regional land as well as the history of the dam itself.

We move a bit further along, down toward a parking lot and set of paths that will lead to a better view of the intake towers and, according to a guide we were talking to, will also allow us to see one of the massive spillways. We stop before reaching that lot though, at an exhibit featuring all sorts of dams in the region that was sort of ok… but nothing too impressive.

In the parking lot we start to see alot of wildlife. Nothing huge… which is kind of funny considering the massive scale of all things Hoover Dam. Antelope squirrels are all over the parking lot. And we spot a few lizards and several types of birds. After a short walk around, and a few minutes looking over the spillway, we head back along the path to the parking garage and prepare to leave.

And that’s when I make a funny decision. It’s the first real break from our plans for this portion of the trip.

I always toss a road atlas into my backpack when I leave on a trip. As much as I love and trust Mi Luv U, that habit hasn’t changed since I began traveling with her as my guide. There are just some things you don’t get from straightforward point a to point b written directions, and those same things my GPS doesn’t tell you at a glance. Some of the details are can be found or are included if you explore different options or settings… but not always quickly or conveniently while you are surfing the internet or driving the car. So… as we prepare to get on route 93 for the first major leg of our journey to the South Rim (and our hotel in Tusayan), I pull out the atlas to get a feel of what is going on ahead of me. I want some idea of the towns we might consider for lunch... whether or not they are far apart… where some roads head… stuff like that. And I spot a section just after route 93, running above route 40.

It’s Route 66.

And it’s not a mistake.

I do some quick math in my head and figure this side trip won’t be costing us much time. An extra hour… perhaps two… it will all be based on speed limits and perhaps traffic, but it can’t be much. And, even before I make the offer to the others to vote on the appeal of driving Route 66 through Hackberry… and Peach Springs… well, it’s too much for me. I open it up for discussion, but the driver has decided to split off to the left. We’re taking Route 66.

Fortunately, I’m not going to be twisting any arms. The vote is unanimous. Everyone decides a chance to drive on the legend for a bit is worth the extra time. And what an amazing stretch it proves to be…

We make our break from the planned path in a place called Kingman. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I stop here for gas.

The opening miles are a visual treat. In addition to the natural beauty, there are tracks running along the road and we encounter a simply jaw-droppingly long train.

We are beginning to get hungry, so we decide to stop at the next place that seems to offer food, regardless of what it looks like or where it is. And, Peach Springs, you don’t let us down.

The Hualapai Lodge appears before us… home of the Diamond Creek Restaurant, great food, and a waitress named Karen. I couldn’t tell you that I’d stay in the hotel rooms here (the place looked fine, but we never saw a room), but I would eat this meal again without hesitation. The portions were generous, and everything we tried was delicious.

I ordered chips and salsa to go along with beef flautas. Tigg had a grilled chicken sandwich. Ellen went with a patty melt. Richard decided on a bacon burger. An order for king onion rings gets placed as well.

Terry and I luck out. We’re dessert people. And once Mumbles spotted an apple dumpling on the menu it was obvious dessert would be ordered. So, we picked something that sounded really good and different… banana foster bites… and…




We pull Karen over to the table. How? Where? What? We can’t form full sentences. Everything was so delicious and now the finish was incredible. She spoils the illusion though…

McCain’s Banana Foster Bites. (We have been trying off and on ever since to figure out how to order them. Seems to be a restaurant supply item. I would have given up completely if not for two funny things. First, I started going through my notes for this travel diary and was reminded of the great lunch. And second, I found out that apparently there is a sister product… here you go Richard… apple crumb cake bites!)

We stretch our legs a bit at the gift shop and make treks through the rest rooms before hitting 66 again. Happy and full, we’re off again.

I’ll tell you now that we weren’t completely aware of how lucky we were as this next event happened. We knew it was something special. But until I got some papers and brochures at the Grand Canyon, it wasn’t something we could confirm. But oh yes… after seeing the pictures… I am almost certain that our identification is accurate…

Up ahead a large bird is on the ground next to a meal. (Terry took a picture of the meal… I refuse to share it with you.)

It’s a California Condor.

I start to slow down. The bird… well… it didn’t exactly take flight right away. It sort of hopped away from us as I pulled over perhaps fifty or sixty yards down the road. Terry and I get out, grab cameras, and slowly begin to walk in it’s direction. We got a few shots from a distance, including a bit of video footage.

We figure the bird is watching us and the meal. At first it was from the ground… occasionally moving a bit further away with sort of a floating jump that mimicked everything you see an astronaut do in a moon walk. The bird would push off, flap once (maybe), and then settle down about thirty to forty feet further away.

Finally it took to the air, and it began circling. A wide circle… a high circle… a not good for us to take pictures because it wasn’t close circle… a perfect for it to watch us until we left so it could go back and eat circle.

Slowly, the bird drifted further away, apparently tiring of staying even barely close by. As the bird descended a bit, it seemed like it melted into the background scenery and disappeared. We waited… Terry using the moment to change lenses to a stronger zoom and hoping for another appearance… but soon decided to move on.

Our journey along Route 66 comes to a close, and we join the main highway of route 40. This brings us to a turn to the north, a break on to route 64, and a fairly straight trip to Tusayan and the Holiday Inn Express.

On our arrival, Tigg and I are sort of going nuts. That fax… package… whatever we had been expecting back in Vegas? Yeah… never got it. All sorts of delays. And now, with only one night being spent in the Grand Canyon area, we needed the package to pretty much be there on our arrival in order to be able to complete things while we’re away. The drive out included some horrible areas for cell phone reception. (The guy in the commercial has definitely not been to Ash Fork, Valle or Seligman.) Rolaura and Ruth Ann did a great job at the Holiday Inn trying to help us (while getting us checked in), but it wasn’t meant to be. (And honestly, it became a bit of a relief to know everything was officially put on hold and waiting for when we got back home. We wanted to wrap it up as soon as we could. But at least the decision was made. No more phone calls to make every day.)

We ask Ruth Ann for some advice about heading to the Canyon for sunset. She breaks out a map and sends us to Hopi Point. She explains that a couple of areas are closed, trams are involved, and there will be a fair number of people already there… but she figures we should be able to make it. We don’t have much time to mess around though, so we drop off our bags, get back in the car, and head to the park’s entrance.

I have two maps open, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to get to the parking and shuttles that run along Hermit Road and out to Hopi Point. The road I’m on is closing in on the rim… not too literally, but the South Entrance Road goes virtually all the way up to the Canyon before connecting with Desert View Drive (heading off to the east) or curling to the west (and ultimately to our target this evening, Hopi Point). As this curve west begins, I spot a parking lot for Mather Point, and… well… I want to see the Grand Canyon.

We get out at Mather Point and spend a few minutes taking pictures and looking around. Stunning… beautiful… and very difficult to explain. We won’t really find out what a few people meant until tomorrow, but several of those we’ve met have already told us that the morning and evening hours of sun bring out a depth of color and shadows that create breathtaking views in all directions. During the day, while still staggeringly gorgeous, the colors aren’t nearly as vivid or diverse.

As we continue on our adventure to sunset, I’m beginning to think I’m not going to make it. I’ve dropped the other three off near the shuttle stop. No need in all of us walking, and I can leave them with some of the items we would normally have to carry along (like a tripod and my backpack). But I’ve got problems… as every parking space seems filled. Isn’t this the off-season? Finally… a spot… and I manage to catch up. The bus driver informs us that we are on the last shuttle that will get out to Hopi Point by sunset.

Terry and I have the tripod out and two cameras in use. I really… really… need to go back and read the manuals for both of these cameras again. We got some great shots, but I know I should be taking better ones.

I’d like to tell you more about the sunset, but I can’t. I was trying to enjoy the experience itself, and beyond that was also focusing on taking pictures, so I never really paid much attention to making notes. After a long day of driving… with some fantastic experiences… all four of us seem to be very content just soaking it all in without much conversation. It is calm. And it is beautiful. And it really defies words.

We pack up and head back to the car. Leaving the park we decide not to make an attempt at returning for sunrise, and instead just meet up in time for the breakfast offered at the Holiday Inn. Now though… it’s dinner time… and there aren’t as many options as you might think. We had spotted something on the way in, and decide to give it a try.

We Make Pizza & Pasta.

I kid you not… that’s the name of the place. (Although, in fairness, I have seen it listed as We Cook Pizza & Pasta around the internet while trying to backtrack things for this article. As I’ve said before in this very trip diary though… when it comes to names, I’m going with my notes.)

Having eaten there I can tell you that there really isn’t much more to say about the place other than the idea that they make pizza and pasta. Their menu seems diverse when you look first at it… one of the pizzas we ordered was a four-cheese with mozzarella, cheddar, parmigiano, and asiago with a white sauce. But the very existence of such a pizza is a bit deceptive. Almost as deceptive as the large menu board. The full menu isn’t nearly as lengthy as any pizza place in your local neighborhood. (I don’t even know any of the places in your neighborhood, but I’ll still take that bet.) Once your eyes adjust, and your mind recovers from having moments before been looking at the gorgeous Canyon to accept the job at hand… deciding on what to order… it occurs to you that the menu isn’t long and confusing, it’s just printed on several boards in really large letters. They make pizza. They make pasta. And that’s about it.

I can’t complain about the quality of the food… it was fine. But it’s really basic. You want pizza and something to drink before heading back to the hotel with the kids? Stop here… order pizza and drinks… pick them up at the counter… eat on the picnic tables in the dining room… head back to the hotel. Pretty simple.

It’s one of those places that I could easily see becoming a tradition for a family that regularly visits the Grand Canyon (appears to be locally owned, not a chain restaurant, and there has to be something on that menu that someone will rave about even though we didn’t find it), but it isn’t one of those places that will be on a list of top items drawing me back to the Grand Canyon. All of my notes said the place was fine, but nothing special. Cost a bit more than you might want to pay, but nothing outrageous considering you were on vacation. Definitely no complaints… but not many thumbs up or pretty-sounding adjectives either.

Day Five ~ Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We start off our day with breakfast at the hotel. It’s nothing too special… the usual hotel continental-themed offerings… but since we were just looking for juice, coffee, muffins, fruit and items like that, it was perfect for us.

What we don’t know as the day begins… checking out, heating up the car, and getting ready to head back to the Canyon… is that Ellen stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night. I mean, yeah, we knew where she stayed. What we didn’t know was that she was about an hour away from being the star of the day by spotting something none of the rest of us saw… and even she wasn’t aware she’d be doing it.

Yesterday afternoon I was driving in weather ranging from 75 to 79 degrees. Said so on the dashboard of the car. As we left the park after sunset, having felt the temperature drop significantly and quickly, the thermometer in the car said 59. This morning? Even colder. It’s 39 as we leave to drive back in, and that temperature is higher than it was when I went out to put stuff in the car an hour ago.

We left all of our maps and other material in the car overnight, and I’ve been looking them over quickly in between the morning jobs involving the car. (Start the car… flip through a brochure. Turn on the heat… read a map. Move to a spot near the hotel’s front door… check out the park guide. Put everything down to go get the luggage.) From the map I’ve seen, I’m suggesting we head out going east for a short trip on Desert View Drive. After that, turn around, back to the west for lunch and some of the views and trails around the Grand Canyon Village. Everyone else agrees and we’re off.

Ellen and Richard have been dubbed The Twins this morning… as they sport a lovely ensemble of matching sweatshirts. (We might be about five years away from matching slacks, which would obviously further the joke and the humor involved. But I simply don’t see a way Ellen would ever fall for matching shoes. I also think early bird, blue plate specials are out. It’s a shame really, because they are just so darn cute together.)

Our first stop is a place called Pipe Creek Vista. I get in trouble by stepping over a stone wall and meandering a bit out toward the edge. Apparently, Terry wants me to know that all the previous people that fell and died thought they were innocently meandering too. (Or something like that. “Blah-blah-blah watch out for the edge”… “Blah-blah-blah don’t you know what a fence is for”… “Blah-blah-blah I won’t call for help if you fall because if I do you’ll never learn”…) Ellen asks her if the insurance is paid, and suddenly Terry isn’t complaining about where I walk. Of course, I was never worried… my insane fear of heights had kicked in and I was being more careful than she gave me credit for. (It’s not really that I’m afraid of heights, just easily scared enough to measure any move I even think of making once I’m more then five or six feet in the air.)

We get back in the car and drive a bit further along the road before deciding to stop and turn around. And then, the first surprises that will rearrange our morning… and day… arrive.

Surprise number one are three deer that we spot in a section of trees when the road swung away from the Canyon. We get out and watch them for a few minutes, then take some more pictures as they jump across the road in front of us. It’s a nice early morning treat. And it wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t at least started moving along with the original “go back west” plan. But then…

Surprise number two is Ellen’s Holiday Inn Express moment. She wants to know why we aren’t considering places like Lipan Point and some of the others out east. My wiseass (but true) answer is that they aren’t on the map. Thing is… Ellen is 100% right… they are on the map. Just a different map, from a different brochure, and in a place you wouldn’t have found unless you were sitting in the back seat reading to take your mind off being cold even though the heater was cranked. (No, she’s not a park ranger, but she did…)

She hands the map to me. I ask her where she and Richard went when they visited the Canyon a few years back. They’ve actually been to most of the views we were planning to fill our day with. So… thanks to a great job by Ellen… we’ve got a change in plans. We’re going to head east and double-back only for the journey home later on. (At least… that was the version of the plan until the fates stepped up again with yet another pleasant surprise.)

Desert View Drive is considered to be an extension of route 64. Over the course of perhaps 30 miles, it ranges from an elevation of 7,100-feet to almost 7,500-feet and offers some simply fantastic views of the Canyon. The really crazy part is how many of them are a tease… quick views that suddenly disappear in a batch of brush or trees as the road ahead veers away… only to then return with another glimpse or two moments later.

We spot a tree with a huge burn mark on it… almost had to be a lightning strike of some kind… and I make a mental note to look for it on our return. In order… we stopped at…

Grandview Point

Moran Point

Lipan Point

Navajo Point

Each of the views presented us with some really interesting scenery. One location might have a better view of the Colorado River… another might have better examples of trees and wildlife. At Lipan Point we find a huge black bird walking along. It has an injured wing and is just moving around, staying near the bushes, but not really acting too afraid of the people. It turns out to be a raven.

Another thing that has become apparent is exactly what was meant by the washing out of color during the day. Everything is spectacular… it’s still visually a masterpiece… but things have a smaller range in their color patterns, with it focusing on shades of browns or earth tones during the day. Depth perceptions are completely distorted and effectively thrown away when gazing in some directions. What seems to be a small flowing river not too far in the distance is actually a raging section of river miles away… and that doesn’t quite connect in your mind. Turn in to the Food Network and they’ll say something like “brown food is good food”… which is very true… but in nature, many brown visuals blend together. Those incredible reds, the brilliant colors and striking shadows from sunset the night before, have been replaced by slightly duller shades and the washout of a sun directly overhead. Dynamic visually at both times, it becomes stunning in contrast. And in a way, I do feel sorry for people that don’t have a chance to see either sunrise or sunset. Those moments are the exclamation point for absorbing the entire experience.

As we enjoy the view from the Navajo area, we spot a tower in the distance. According to the map, it’s part of the Desert View location that awaits us as the last stop. And… would you look at that… seems like a bookstore and other stuff there as well.

We pull in to the Desert View area, park, and form a little progression for our walk around. Not knowing exactly what we’ll be doing for lunch or the drive back, we decide to use the restrooms and fill the gas tank on the car. (And given the opportunities inside the park borders to find a permanent restroom facility or a gas station, you would be wise to do the same.)

Next we head over to the bookstore. Inside we meet Sharon, an incredibly friendly and downright nice woman. We start talking about a few things, and while I don’t recall how, the subject turns to lunch. She tells us it’s shame we’re heading back west and down through Tusayan, as we’re going to miss two great treasures… the Little Colorado River Gorge and the Cameron Trading Post.

Little Colorado River Gorge?

Cameron Trading Post?

So much for checking out the lightning-struck tree.

After leaving Sharon, we stop in the trading post (at Desert View) and look around. They have a display set up offering shots of desert tea and… oh… my… GOD!!! This stuff is sweet and warm and… well… I’m convinced you could have your leg chopped off and this drink would grow it back for you. (As near as I’ve been able to find, it’s actually called Fred Harvey Trading Company Desert Tea, and is available for order over the internet. I haven’t ordered it this way… but having checked the jar in my pantry and recently finished another amazing mug of it, your appreciation for these details is already understood and you’re welcome for the information.)

Eventually we make our way over to the watch tower, and it is pretty impressive. Native American decorations can be found throughout the structure, and there are a few landings and windows with great views. Birds flying outside, apparently enjoying some sort of draft or wind current, can actually be watched… in flight… from a vantage point above them. It’s a perfect location for wrapping up our visit to the Grand Canyon.

We get to the gas, a quick discussion takes place about changing our travels, and Mi Luv U is programmed. Another unanimous change in direction… we’re going out the East Entrance, heading to Cameron. At Sharon’s recommendation, we’re going on a road trip for Navajo Tacos.

Route 64 exits the park and meets up with route 89 in Cameron. From there, we can follow 89 down into Flagstaff, connect with route 40, and for the investment of only a few extra minutes of driving… honestly, not much considering our starting location at Desert View and the experience that will be involved… we’ll get a better lunch than we had expected, we’ll see the Little Colorado River Gorge, and there is some great scenery we would have missed otherwise.

From what I can tell, the Little Colorado River Gorge is part of the Navajo Nation. The portion we see is along route 64, beginning about 8 to 10 miles away from Cameron. We catch glimpses of it from the highway, and I keep speeding up or slowing down… no traffic around… as the ability to see portions of it changes. Or… more precisely, as Terry has written in my notes: “Bob’s an idiot who looks for stuff when he drives!” (Back in October of 2007, during the gang of six trek through northern California, they actually took turns assigning someone to watch me as we wound our way along mountainside roads into Yosemite. If the person saw me look to the left or right… basically off the road… they would shout “Ellen” and then Ellen would reach forward and smack me in the head. It wasn’t the most efficient of systems… especially since the head smack was more distracting to my driving than the visuals… but it worked for them.)

We find a spot to pull over, and I’m the only one getting out. The others insist that the sign saying “Watch out for snakes and lizards” had nothing to do with their decision to stay in the car. I walk a few hundred yards down the path, take some pictures, and walk back. No snakes… and in a really weird way, I’m disappointed by that. I have no idea how I would have fared with meeting a rattlesnake… from five feet away or fifty… but a very, very small part of me wanted the picture of one in the wild. (Preferably taken from fifty feet.)

Back on the road… eyes front… and the Cameron Trading Post.

I’m not sure how to describe this place. On one hand… it’s everything clichéd and touristy that you could ever possibly try to assemble. (And more.) Side of the road. Gift shop and restaurant. Nothing much else around. It almost feels like Arizona’s version of New Hampshire landmarks such as Six Gun City, Story Land or Santa’s Village… but without the city, land or village behind the frontage on the road.

Then you walk inside.

The place has been around for more than ninety years. The gift shop has some nice pieces of Native American and Southwestern art on display and for sale. And the restaurant… well…

The Navajo Tacos are huge and very good. Featuring fry bread… which Sharon told us we had to try (and then a couple of other people agreed when we shared our lunch thoughts with them)… it is essentially what the name implies… a giant taco. But as you might expect, the freshness of ingredients alone makes this taco different than anything we could find in the northeast.

Our drive home is set and we take off. Nothing too incredibly exciting happens… at least not on the level of a condor or a reason to pull over such as looking for rattlesnakes and river gorges and other important things. But the scenery is awesome.

We want to stop for some ice cream and find a Dairy Queen picked out by Mi Luv U. As we begin driving again, we decide to play twenty questions. A problem comes up, more than once, when it turns out the hardest part of the game is trying to agree on the rules. Yeah… I’ll explain…

At one point, Terry asks Ellen if her answer is a pet. Ellen says that it is and counts it as a question. A few seconds later, in response to his own influences (that are still unknown), Richard asks Ellen if her answer is In-N-Out Burger.

Terry and I glance at each other in disbelief as we silently consider where Richard is finding his inspiration for this guess and wonder what kind of pet an In-N-Out Burger is.

Then Ellen tells him yes.

I swear… it was like a Family Guy exchange…

Ellen: “I’m thinking of something and it’s not a kitty.”

Richard: “Is it a kitty?”

Ellen: “Get out of my head!”

I was driving and only have sketchy notes of the debate this created. We never did sort it out.

We reach route 215 and we’re closing in on home. We can’t decide if we’re hungry or not, and don’t know if we should stop to eat… or stop and get something to bring with us… or head back to the rooms and scrounge around the food we have.

As this debate is taking place, we hear a loud whack on the window.

We’ve been hit by a rock… and there’s a crack… and that just ruins my evening. But we’re back in Vegas… and the real fun with the windshield hasn’t even started yet. (Just wait until tomorrow.)

For now… an amazing two-day segment has come to a close. Hoover Dam… Grand Canyon… Route 66… amazing.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com