As soon as I can, I’ll update you on my one year trip. I’ve decided to leave everything behind and spend real time with the people that matter the most in my life: my wife and three children. This is my story, I hope it will inspire you to create yours.
You can read my previous “on the road” articles:
- On the road #1
- On the road #2
- On the road #3
- On the road #4
- On the road #5
- On the road #6
- On the road #7
- On the road #8
Date: from August 15th to August 24th
Miles on the road so far:
States/Province traveled through: Nevada, Utah & Arizona
For this on the road, I think I’ve hit the jackpot… and I’m not talking about Vegas ;-). At the end of this article, you will understand what my “office” looked like for 3 days and I wish you were here with me to share this incredible moment in paradise. This is what I like about the trip so far; it is full of incredible surprises. We are well prepared and have read a lot about what we wanted to visit, but there is always room for improvisation and new found treasures. By the way, if you know of any great places to visit in Mexico and Central America, let me know as we are crossing the border shortly!!!
Now back to the day we arrived in Vegas…
Day #64-65-66-67 Las Vegas… Really?
The first moments we spent around Vegas sounded like a dream. The city was beautiful from our RV and we were impressed by the different and original hotel shapes. You can pretty much find everything from buildings replicating New York City to a pyramid and the famous iconic Ceasar’s Palace. We didn’t go into the city the first day as we setup our RV in a campground for 4 days. Another great surprise, the kids were ecstatic! We never do this, but since my mother was coming to visit, we got into a nice & luxurious campground with a big pool:
I guess you can appreciate more luxury when you haven’t had any for a while. We felt more like being in a resort on the beach than in a city in the middle of the desert. We quickly setup our things in the RV to spend 4 days here and decided to use Uber to get into the city (the regular cab was $30 and we had to order 2 of them since we were 6… it cost us $17 per ride for a Uber XL fitting 6 people… go figure!).
The weather in Vegas was similar to Death Valley… but a bit cooler. After all, it was *only* 40 celcius. We quickly learned that it was too hot for our two little ones as they both got sick at night for spending too much time in the sun… Once we were done cleaning, my mom finally arrived around 9:30 pm. It felt great to see her after 2 months. It felt nice to finally see someone that is familiar, it almost felt like home!
The next day, we went on our first excursion to see Vegas. We were pretty excited to discover this city as many people told us how great and entertaining it was. We started the day by visiting a few hotel lobbies. At first we were very impressed, but the “magical effect” of Vegas quickly faded away. After a few lobbies, we got tired of being harrassed by people wanting us to spend money. Show tickets, Canyon rides, free shots and complimentary gambling money were constantly offered. We then decided to eat at Burgr, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant:
I must say it was enough to put a smile back on my face ;-). However, that was about it. I wasn’t impressed by my first day in Vegas, especially with kids. I know it’s not a family destination, but seeing girls with very short skirts and bras at noon taking pictures with tourists was a bit disgraceful.
The next day was great as it was our “couple day” in Vegas. My mother took care of our kids at the campground and we were off to Vegas for the day. We were excited to spend a night alone, eat at a great restaurant and see a show. For once, we also had an occasion to dress-up:
The night was great! We ate at Emeril’s fish restaurant with wine pairing. For a foodie, it’s like Christmas in August! After a nearly 3 hour lunch (oh boy… we were so full!!!), we went to see KÀ by Le Cirque du Soleil. I felt proud to see a gigantic show produced by people from my Quebec!
The next morning, my mother and children were supposed to meet us in Vegas but we decided otherwise. After walking a bit through casinos and the city, I had enough. I really don’t get the enthusiasm to go play (and waste my money) anyways, and most people looked more like zombies being sucked into their machine than anything else. That was enough for us and we decided to go back to the campground and spend the day with my mother by the pool. After all, the goal of this visit was to spend time together. This is what we did and it was way more fun than going through Sin City again.
I guess the trip is already changing us. I didn’t feel like I belonged in Vegas. Most things that were offered were ridiculously expensive for very limited fun in my opinion. I didn’t feel like spending more time or money there as I definitely prefer the calm of the mountains than people screaming “best tickets in town for tonight” at each street corner!
The next morning, my mom left the campground around noon to take her flight back home. It was hard to see her leave. We don’t have many points of attachment while traveling and it’s always difficult to see someone we love leave. On our side, we left for Zion National Park. I liked the fact we didn’t have much time on the road to do and we got there towards the end of the afternoon. It gave us enough time to get prepared for the next morning and gather all the information we needed. Zion is a relatively small park (compared to Yosemite or Yellowstone) and it is pretty crowded. I recommend you wake up early and hit the park before 8am to have a very special experience. We slept in a Walmart that night. Everything went fine besides that I made a big mistake: I’ve parked right besides another RV with enough room for a vehicle between us. Guess what happen…. Yup, another drunk guy parked between the 2 RVs to continue drinking and talking loud to his dog until 3am… lessons learned; never offer a hiding spot in a Walmart!
Day #68-69 Zion; Feeling Like Home
The next morning, we woke up at 5am to get to Zion. We were told it was a lot more interesting to hike the Narrows when you get on board for the first shuttle. We can’t drive all the way up to the park with our RV and we had to use the free shuttle service. It is well organized and you rarely wait more than 5 minutes to get onboard. The hike this morning is a very special one: we walked in the water for miles (in fact, it’s 16 miles long, so you hike as much as you can and then you come back). As you walk through the Virgin river, you are in the middle of the canyon and you are surrounded by these huge mountain walls:
This is why they call it the narrows. It was so much fun to walk through rocks and a river flowing up to our waist sometimes. We definitely had a great morning visiting this incredible place. When we left the Narrows to take the shuttle again, we were somewhat cold as there is limited sun in the canyon. However, it’s a total different story when you go into the park. It was warm and near desert-like weather. However, the most fun part about Zion is that the Virgin river is never too far:
We stopped many times to play in the water before going back on various small hikes of 1 or 2 miles each. So far, Zion is the most beautiful park I’ve visited. There are mountain peaks everywhere:
It was like walking in a movie… I really felt like home after spending 4 days in Vegas! We liked the park so much we decided to stay another day (and sleep in the same Walmart) to go for another hike the next day. It was incredibly cool to slowly climb-up these gigantic mountains. The view on top was, once again, breath taking:
We finished our hike with another swim in the river before eating and leaving the park. Right before we left, we received an incredible surprise (again!). We connected with the family we first met in Ottawa that was doing a trip similar to ours. It was the first day of our trip and they had us over for supper that night. We had so much fun, it was like we had known each other for decades. They left one month after us and therefore were in Oregon at the moment. However, they decided to modify their itinerary and hit Mexico the same time as we do! We will then meet in about 10 days in LA to enter the Baja together. This was just a great day! The day was already a success and we hit the road to find our next stop to sleep. We had a nice drive throughout Zion park and we passed through a tiny tunnel where rangers have to stop traffic to let us go (so cool for us! Hahaha!). Then, we decided to check out a spot nearby Lake Powell as we wanted to see Antelope park in a few days. This is where we slept…
Day #70-71-72-73 An Unexpected Paradise
All right… I’ve played a bit with the angle of my camera to take that shot. I’ll be honest, we weren’t alone on this beach. But still, there were plenty of room for several RVs and tents to sleep by the beach. Honestly, we spent 4 days here and I really couldn’t believe it (Antelope park can wait!).
It was the perfect time to settle down and enjoy life! I was able to work a lot at this place too. Take a look at my office, it is quite inspiring:
We gathered some wood and at night, ate smores, listened to music and stared at the sky with millions of stars:
We were supposed to stay here 1 night and we made it 4 (at least this is what is planned as I’m writing this post hahaha!). Tomorrow, we are leaving early to visit Antelope. I’ve found a garage for my last check-up before Mexico and I have a feeling we will stay at this beach for a couple of days longer ;-). We will see how it goes in my next on the road!!