The first stop on our roadtrip was visiting family in Oregon. Then we shot down into Nevada. We made it to the Bob Scott Campground in the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest. There are no reservable campsites in the area, so we had to just drive and trust our luck. We got the last open spot at the campground, which was surprisingly full for a Monday night. Not too far from the camp is the Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area. We were just passing through and didn’t have time to stop, but if we had an hour to spare it would be on our list because I love things like that.
After a night camping, and waking early with the sun (because it got hot by 9am there), we continued our drive south. We filled our gas in Goldfield, and decided to drive to the International Car Forest of the Last Church. It’s a neat little roadside attraction with old junk cars planted vertically in the ground and then painted. We drove through it and enjoyed the artwork.
From Goldfield we drove into Death Valley National Park. I grew up in southern California, but had never actually been to Death Valley. We ended up being there on one of the hottest days, it as 126 degrees out. We drove down to Badwater to walk around at the lowest point in the US. Being oppressively hot, we were really only out for 5 minutes, took a few pictures and hopped back into the air conditioned car. On the way out we drove through Artist Palette Drive, which was very pretty. We did stop at the visitors center to see the displays, check out souvenirs and refill water bottles. Then, we took a little detour through Twenty Mule Team Canyon. It is a narrow dirt road, quite bumpy, and a favorite of my husband (who is always wanting to go off-roading). Too bad it was much to hot to go hiking, especially with the kids. But I think we got a nice little taste of the park all things considered.
After leaving Death Valley we headed toward Las Vegas. We stayed the night in Hilltop Campground in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. From the campsite we could see beautiful views of the valley below, a gorgeous sunset, and even a family of wild horses that live in the area. The kids were most excited about the horses.
The next day we drove through Las Vegas. I have never actually been there, just driven through it. We stopped an visited a couple of friends, drove down the strip, and then left for the Hoover Dam. My great-grandfather was a plumber, and did some work there while it was under construction. It was pretty neat to drive over it and be able to walk around and see the massiveness of the dam. Although, I think the kids were more impressed with the height of the highway’s bridge going past. It’s funny how different their interests are. I want to see the dam and the lake, they spend their time looking at the bridge.
After visiting the dam we drove straight to the Grand Canyon.