We had made plans with Emir's host brother Nat and his wife Eloise to stay Sunday night with them in Redwood City which is just south of San Francisco. In case you are wondering, Emir came to the US in high school and stayed with a family here while going to school. He lived with the same family for several years and we are still close with them. Despite it taking longer we of course decided to take the Pacific Coast Highway from the ranch in Los Olivos up to Redwood City. It was so worth the extra time. I'm fairly certain it is the most beautiful highway I've ever been on. I could have stared at the gorgeous cliffs and ocean views forever.
Monday morning we spent a bit more time with Nat and then headed to San Fran. We had looked up some tours and decided on the Duck Tour so we could get out on the bay. It was at 11 so we thought it would be great to get coffee at one of San Fran's awesome coffee shops. It was DELICIOUS!
We didn't make it to the Grand Canyon until after dark. We drove in and checked the signs however all the camp sites were full. Fortunately, there was a camp site about 10 minutes from the Canyon that we were able to find a spot. When we got to the Canyon in the morning, I was literally speechless. Of course I've seen pictures but in person it's just unbelievable. We decided on a hike on the Kaibab Trail which of course is considered more strenuous than most of the others. Emir really would have loved to hike all the way down to the river and back but as we went it was getting hotter and hotter not to mention we didn't start until almost 10.
In the end we still hiked for over 4 hours and then we had time to eat and rest before coming back for sunset. It was a bit cloudy but sunset was still beautiful.
We camped one last night in "wiser" at the same camp site just outside the canyon. In the morning, we had one more road trip to reach our final destination, Vegas. It was only about 4 hours from the Canyon and we drove through the Hoover Dam on the way.
It was kind of strange seeing Vegas after all the natural beauty in the rest of our trip but I had always wanted to see it and it made sense to fly home from there. We had to return "wiser" when we got there. I felt a bit sad to see him go. There were a few very chilly nights and two nights it rained so it was so great to have more than a tent to sleep in. It was just pretty cool and convenient to have everything "all in one" but yet not have to deal with a huge, expensive RV. I would not even think twice about renting another Escape Campervan for future trips.
So back to Vegas. We checked into the hotel and I decided to go on a short run. It was supposed to be Saturday but with traveling home I knew I wouldn't have time or feel like it. Our hotel was a little over a mile from the strip so I ran to the strip a little down it and then back. With all the crazy sights (people and other things), you wouldn't think I would get a lot of weird looks but I guess it's not often people go for a run on the strip, oh well ;-).
We went to a nice dinner then decided to explore the strip. As Emir said a couple times on the trip "we are not normal." Therefore, our walk ended up being well over three hours. At least Vegas is flat and you can drink while walking, hehe. By 10:30 we were spent (party animals!) and we had a 6:45am flight so we just called it a night.