We concluded our last post with this paragraph:
We left Parks on June 9, driving up to the [Las Vegas] KOA campgrounds at SamsTown Casino on Boulder Highway. Barb’s dad Cliff lives here in Vegas, as does Barb’s son Jeff. Jeff’s son Zane will join us soon from Utah. Barb’s granddaughter Abigail has already flown in from Rincon, near Savannah, GA. In a few days, Norwegian friends Rasmus and Kari will be here, and we will all attend a Cirque du Soleil performance. At the end of the week the Norwegians will return with us in the RV to Parks, where we will visit for some days before we all head out (in our two RVs) on a leisurely tour of some of the National Parks on the way toward Salt Lake City, from which Rasmus & Kari will fly back to Norway….
We enjoyed seeing Jeff and Zane and Abigail in Las Vegas. Barb took Abigail for several trips to the Strip, and one day we took Abbey out for a quick visit to The Valley of Fire. It was hot, but nevertheless we went for a noonish hike at White Domes. We misinterpreted a trail sign and got diverted onto a long and lesser-used trail that we followed for a time before realizing our mistake and backtracking. Abby was not a happy
We got together with Rasmus & Kari for lunch one day, and we joined Jeff and Zane and Abigail for some bowling. And we all, Rasmus & Kari, Jeff & Zane, Abigail, and Barb & I, enjoyed the performance of “O” at Cirque du Soleil.
Leaving Abigail with Jeff in Vegas, we returned to Parks with our RV and toad and guests Rasmus & Kari. Bill & Colleen hosted them in their home after our arrival. We spent about a week there, during which we hiked every morning before breakfast. Bill showed Rasmus the nearby Lava cave. Colleen took them both to the nearby Bearizona Wildlife Center. And we had many group meals on picnic tables on Bill’s garage driveway, and we all gathered for a movie shown on the TV housed on the outside of Bruce’s RV.
Joined by Buck in his own class A RV, we took our Allegro Buses up to “boondock” on National Forest land just a bit south of Grand Canyon. We spent three days there, taking our toads up to the South Rim. Bill, Rasmus and Buck hiked down the Bright Angel Trail into the Canyon, descending all the way to Plateau Point. And one evening we all splurged and enjoyed a wonderful meal at the historic El Tovar Lodge, which first opened for service in 1905.
We then returned back to Parks so that Bill could get some dental work done in Flagstaff. While headquartered in Parks, Barb & I took Kari & Rasmus to The Walnut Creek National Monument near Falstaff.
Walnut Canyon was formed by 60 million years of water flowing first as a gentle creek across the plateau, then etching and carving its way through steep passes. Deep gorges formed in the sandstone, limestone, and other ancient desert rock some 20 miles long and 400 feet deep.
The ledges formed by the winding Walnut Creek left natural alcoves that were perfect for sheltering native peoples from the wind and snow that reaches the Monument’s higher elevations. Sometime between 1100 and 1250, over 100 people lived in Walnut Canyon.
The Sinagua Indians grew crops along the canyon’s rim and along the walls. No one knows for certain why they left, but they left behind fascinating cliff dwellings that render the Monument well worth visiting.
Stay tuned for Part Two, where we continue our account of our leisurely trip toward Salt Lake City with Bill & Colleen in their Allegro Bus and with our guests Kari & Rasmus aboard our own Allegro Bus.