Monday, July 18, 2011

Grand Canyon - well not really

Hi everyone,

OMG, we’re leaving in 5 days! So much stuff to do! I’ve got to get my clothes and my husband’s clothes together to see what needs to be washed.  That’s today’s big chore.

To continue where I left off, we’re leaving Las Vegas and traveling to the Grand Canyon.  We’re taking I-93 and stopping off at the Hoover Dam. According to the web site, the highway used to go over the dam itself.  Since 2010, however, the highway was rerouted and takes a southerly route.  If you want to see the Dam, you exit the highway and follow the old road that leads to it.  From the confusing explanations, it looks like you park and then walk over the dam. You and your car get searched – yippee – before they let you through. Then you have to go back the way you came to pick up I-93 in Nevada again.

One cool thing I want to mention. You definitely want to buy the Annual Interagency Pass if you’re going to visit a bunch of the National sites.  It’s only $80 and is good for a whole year.  It’s good for all national parks, national forests, bureau of land management sites, bureau of reclamation sites and fish and wildlife service sites. Ok – I get the national parks and national forests, but bureau of reclamation sites? Really? Well, it just so happens that the Hoover Dam is one of those reclamation sites.  Who knew? Go back and click on the link I made with the Annual Interagency Pass words.  Which reminds me – I hope you’ve all noticed I linked a lot of sites to key places.  I thought they’d be underlined but they’re not.  Make sure you move your cursor over key words (names of parks, hotels, restaurants, etc.) so you can visit their sites.  You wouldn’t want me to have wasted all that time for nothing, would you?

After our stop at Hoover Dam, we’re continuing on to Seligman, AZ for a stop at the Road Kill CafĂ© for lunch. Check out the link.  Who could pass up a place that serves Highway Hash, Swirl of Squirrel, and Splatter Platter?

 As I mentioned in my very first posting (which I know you all read – you’ve been loyally reading everything I write, I just know it), my husband was only on board with this trip if I delivered plenty of awesome road food. He’s a definite foodie.  While he likes really good food, he’d rather eat interesting food such as the aforementioned Swirl of Squirrel. So a large part of my research has been finding great local places with dishes we can’t get in our native state of Virginia. All I can say is that southern Utah, where we’re spending the bulk of our time, is practically devoid of anything interesting.  This is not to say that cool, local places don’t exist, there just aren’t many of them and they’re not always that close to where we’re staying.

Finding restaurants is an art form in and of itself. I went to the ever-popular  It’s an interesting web site with tons of road-food listings and a forum to pick up even more suggestions. When I looked here, there were very few places for southern Utah.  In fact everywhere I looked there was very little positive regard for restaurants around the canyon sites.  But do I give up – never! But mostly because I was desperately trying to avoid hearing the complaints of my husband and children who I’m quite sure would turn on me and make me their next road food meal.

I’ll be happy to mention all of the places we’ll be going and then reviewing them for you once we’re actually there so we can see if all the hype about each place was earned.  Again, I looked for places with good local cuisine that was family friendly and not too expensive.  We’re camping and with the kids.  The last thing I want is some hoidy-toidy white linen restaurant that I have to look clean for.

It’s later than I thought right now so I’ll write more about the Grand Canyon tomorrow and about Zion, too.  I’m seeing that it may be time to actually go on this crazy vacation before I get to tell you all about it. So I’ll step it up and get moving.

Tomorrow – The Grand Canyon (yes, really, this time) and Zion National Park