Waking up at the Grand Canyon is a favorite day of mine. Typically we’ll start the engine to the van/bus bright and early, before sunrise. Those who are ready to head over to the South Rim to check out the sunrise will silently make their way into the vehicle. It’s usually pretty cold in the morning no matter what time of year so it’s a good idea to bring your sleeping bag along with you to bundle up side by side with your tour mates in the quiet moments before the sun comes up.
Slowly moving through the campsite in the quiet morning we take a short drive to one of the many awesome spots for sunrise. There are many well known, surprisingly quiet spots like Yavapai point to sit and wait for the sun. Once we arrive, we walk over to the edge of the Canyon and find a spot to sit. Many people take this opportunity to get some early morning long exposure majestic photographs of the Grand Canyon. When the wind starts to pick up you know the sun is about to come up. As the sun comes over the horizon, the realization of a lifetime slowly comes to fruition. Sunrise at one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World ain’t a bad way to start your day. The energy is permeable with every group I’ve ever experienced this with. Walking back to the vehicle there is a sense of, “Wow, I’m never going to forget that moment.” And you won’t.
We’ll head back to the campsite for a nice leisurely breakfast around the picnic tables before we pack up the stove, the tents and the rest of the camping gear to load into the trailer. Team work makes the dream work! Other campers are always approaching me at campsites amazed at how quickly our groups are able to set up and pack up camp. Traveling in a small group is the best. The amount of work is divided evenly and everyone seems to enjoy contributing. After the tour leader demonstrates how to set up the tents on the first camping night the group takes over from there. It’s always fun to get out and discuss how we are going to set up our tents!
After we pack the van and trailer there’s a quick meeting about the day before we get in to make the drive. On this day we are heading to Las Vegas for two nights. The tour leader will go over the drive time, the stops on the way and what to expect during the day. He or she will go over the route on the map, talk about some natural and human history about the destinations and any other relevant information. Of course there are always always always reasons to make small detours which will happen frequently. That’s the fun part of a road trip!
Heading to Vegas after a sunrise morning at the Grand Canyon is a great day on the road. We’ll stop for lunch somewhere along the Route 66, if that’s your sort of thing, and otherwise blaze a trail to our hotel close to or on the strip. Once we’re checked in, your tour leader will set a meeting time. If you’re not the partying type this night might be the one night you make an exception. Just sayin. Limo ride, clubs appearances and late night gambling if you’re into it. We’ll head out from the hotel to dinner as a group, after a meal together the limo will pick us up and take us on a tour lasting about an hour to a few notable places along the Las Vegas Strip. We’ll be dropped off at the Bellagio and the rest of the night is whatever you make of it. After years on the road we’ve made a few relationships with club promoters around the city. If you’re into getting into one of the world’s best night clubs let your tour leader know. They’ll make it happen. Please drink responsibly.
As you’re dancing to the intoxicating music you might even look up to the disco ball and think about how your day started. Was it worth it? Yeah, it was worth it.
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