with 58302291 miles to go to the grand canyon, our heroes press on. Tempers get a little frayed when the car starts to stutter (actually, only one temper gets a little frayed, and we know our cool, calm and collected (and amazingly good looking) hero would never lose his very sponsorable cool under pressure! Latin tempers are fairly… combustible, and I must admit I did ignore the 1000 miles of fire warnings, I thought they were talking about forest fires, not those inside the car).
I suspect for a moment that we might be marrooned in the inhospitable wastes of arizona , (which admittedly is better than nevada, the quality of red-necks is much higher there), but our trusty american steed presses on, and we drive.
10932873 (if youre singing along, thats 10 million 9 hundred and 32 thousand, 8 hundred and seventy three) bottles of beer on the wall, 10932873 bottles of beer… if one of the bottles should accidentally be shot by some inbred redneck wielding an 200 round per minute automatic weapon purely for self-defense…
anyway, its about 4.5 hours from vegas. not that long I know, but Im a busy man. Ive got people to see (no-one), and places to be (grand canyon, which im suspecting to be somewhat mythical now).
And then we hit the grand canyon park. And we can see… short trees. Lots of very non-grand trees. And a park ranger. Brenna, that uniform is rubbish. And we get into the park! Yay! only another 10 miles to go, and look at the view!!! (the view is amazing, simply amazing, if you really like short ugly trees. If not, its rubbish).
And we drive on, and… then we catch a glimpse. And then we park and… we see it properly. Its a canyon, and its… pretty grand. In fact, it is actually one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. It is simply on a scale that doesnt exist in new zealand, and is hard to explain. Other than to say it is really big. With lots of pretty colours. It looks like a painting, and it is very interesting how the mind cant really fathom the scale of the scene (although I am working with somewhat deficient materials, your brain might do better!).
so we did the touristy things (you can all skip dinner at El Tovar, its pretty rubbish for the finest dining at the canyon, but go and have a beer, its a pretty place), watched sunset, watched sunrise, said “thats amazing” a lot. I did refrain from using the word ‘grand’ which should single handedly get me into heaven.
It really is an amazing site. Was it worth driving for 9 hours? definitely. Although I didnt do any driving. I had sufficiently impressed Gisela with my superlative driving skill in new zealand that the closest she would let me to the car was to sit in the drivers seat in an empty car park. So, it wasnt me driving on the wrong side of the road was it? No. I dont think so.
but let me just repeat, the grand canyon is amazing.
And then we drove back to Vegas the next day, passed by the Hoover damn with a snide chuckle at how little it is, and caught a flight to Merced, close to my friend Brenna.
Theres two queues in american airports. Theres one for locals which seems a model of american efficiency, and then theres one for goddammed terrorist type, al qaeda loving, anti-american, hate apple pie, use stars and stripes for toilet paper, greenie, hippy pansy scum tourist types like us.
So it didnt help that Gisela decided to carry some explosives on the plane. I warned her, but did she listen? No. Thats girls for you (ed-apologies to all girls, please buy my book). In any case, we went through the little sniffer thing (which is like a little short air massage that attempts to sniff explosives), and because the security staff were so jealous of my good looks, we got stopped and searched (it might have been the hilarious jokes I was making about the air massage machine. Hilarious!). The cheery guard said “Hello, could you please step over here? Thank you so much” (she actually just growled “dont touch anything” and glared a lot. I coulda taken her, with an elephant gun). And we had our bags swabbed. And then, giselas bag set off the explosive alert, I gave her a told-you-so look that I had been saving, loosened my belt and prepared to bend over… but it turned out to be nothing.
but they let us on the plane… hahaha, freedom! Off to Merced, in the beautiful state of california…