Overland Expo: Day Two

We made it from Rhyolite to Hoover Dam, Vegas, quite a few miles of desert flats and hills, fields of teeny tiny trees, rain and finally Flagstaff. We didn’t stop there but whent on to Sedona to camp and take the trail down to Flagstaff and our campsite.

Rhyolite was pretty impressive. It had the most intact ruins of many ghost towns around here. By that I mean they had more than a couple tin cans and a chimney. Very large buildings still had basic structure, like the bank and the hotel.

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The rest of the desert was interesting and we passed a few small towns or random homes near the highway.

Vegas was by far the hottest place we have been so far. We took a quick run down the strip to stare at all the monuments to everything a human could want outside of just being outdoors.

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We went to Hoover Dam because why not, and Ryan had always wanted to see it. There was a security check point where they examined the contents of our trailer and let us be on our way. The guards were pretty excited to see a landcruiser around.

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Everything between Vegas and Arizona was just hot. It’s not even the dead of summer yet but not having air conditioning really amplifies the issue. The Arizona border, which we crossed a couple times exploring the dam was less flat but just as hot. Yes, it’s still the desert.

During one of our longer flat stretches we saw some heavy, dark rain clouds and were ecstatic! The anticipation even felt great. We didn’t care that the windshield wipers had hardened up to uselessness, rain was a welcome change. And boy did it rain! Super cold, super awesome.

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Later we started to see those monumental earth and rock formations and were very happy to be out of the flat lands. We took a pit stop to see some of them up close.

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The trees turned into little tiny bush trees instead of the prickly ones (Joshua trees?). Just on and on and on. Then some pine trees spotting here and there. It’s starting to look like home! Cold, very cold but we were OK with it. We saw some snow capped mountains and heavily treed but well maintained forrests. The highway was now about the altitude of Donner Summit.

The road down to Sedona was strangely similar to what I think of when I remember the areas surrounding Portland. Ferns, tons of dense foliage and several varieties of trees. And rain.
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A few turns into the road and we started to see tall, red rock faces in the terrain mix.
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Sedona was really beautiful. It even smelled beautiful. We stopped at the trailhead to have a look. No camping there so we decided to double back to the canyon road to find a spot.

Ryan had noticed a weird sound coming from under the Landcruiser, so before heading back out he took a look. Twisted U-joint. Resolving to get it pressed out of the drive shaft in the morning, we limped off to get a camp in the dark.

Sedona is a pretty touristy area and it was actually hard to acquire a camp site so late in the day. It was also just plain hard to see the entrances to them in the dark. But with Ben’s great scouting abilities, and better headlights, we found one. No idea what it looked like but our vehicles fit in the spots and dogs were allowed. Dinner and a tent had never felt so good! Until the next time we are looking forward to it, of course!

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Danielle is a Graphic Designer most of the time and addicted to chocolate all of the time. She works at a marketing and printing company by day and helps design new custom products, website upkeep, and photography by night.

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