After Arcosanti, we kept on going south into Arizona where we headed to Phoenix and stayed in Tuscon for a few days. It was hot and sunny of course and we loved this part of Arizona.
We went to see the US Army Aircraft Boneyard which is located a bit South-East of Tuscon, in the middle of the desert. Imagine hundreds of planes parked in the sand, waiting to be dismantled !
On the route down from Flagstaff to Phoenix, we stopped and stayed in Arcosanti. This experimental city is a unique place as it was imagined by an Italian architect who began its construction in the 70s with volunteers from all around the world. Today its construction is still ongoing and people come there to contribute for a certain period of time before going back home (we met a French lady from Britany there, this was weird).
The cool thing about this community is that you can book a room there to stay and live among them for some time. We had dinner and breakfast with them, everything was very cool and very tasty ! We didn’t really know what to expect when arriving there and were amazed by the place and its incredible athmosphere.
We had the feeling of being in another world, far from everything we’re used to. This is the kind of place where you can feel far from everything but close from the earth, a unique experience really. I even had the chance to take a dive in the swimming pool overlooking the surrounding desert.
I couldn’t help but feel strange about how the architecture of this place made me feel like I was walking in the video game Riven !
Forget about Marlboro, this Navajo nation area is way more than that. To be honest, you can see the money made from the tax you have to pay to enter the actual park is invested back in the community but I guess there’s more and some drawbacks to it.
Meet the first 10 minutes of rain we experienced during a whole month ! Actually, it was a localized storm and it happened at the perfect moment where we had the most beautiful view. We felt this moment was quite unique and we were excited and glad to experience it. I guess you won’t argue with me after looking at those pictures.
We then headed South towards the North rim of Grand Canyon, unfortunately the nights were already cold out there so the rangers did advise against sleeping in the car. We thus visited Point Imperial and stayed for the sunset. This was our first encounter with the Grand Canyon and it was amazing.
It was dark when we got out of there, we had to drive very carefully to avoid the numerous deers along the road. We had planned to sleep in Page but we hit a detour due to road work and had to take a huge detour which took us to Tuba City.
I could not stand driving one more mile but the only three hotels of the whole area were full. One person from the front desk of a hotel advised us to go to the nearby Greyhills Inn which remains one of the most exotic experience we had in Indian territory. We slept in a room in the Tuba City High School as they do rent rooms to outsiders ! We were welcomed nicely in this old fashioned place operated by the local Navajo people.
We visited Page and its (too) touristic area the next day along with the famous (and so crowded) Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
After the Death Valley, we headed North to reach Bryce Canyon. On the way up, we did take a quick detour to cruise Las Vegas by car but didn’t stop there.
We had a pleasant night in a very old fashioned motel near Bryce Canyon where the tenant asked me if I really was French because “the French are usually blond and don’t have such dark hair as you mister”.
I’m willing to bet a great deal on the fact that the vast majority of us are brown/dark haired… Mister blond @Lujeni is NOT representative of us French people ! 🙂
We started our one month roadtrip in Los Angeles where we stayed 3 days to adjust to the -9h time zone shifting. We had planned and rented a SUV for the first 15 days to tour the national parks (just before the shutdown, lucky us) then we rented a motorbike for the last 15 days of our trip to ride the West coast. Needless to say it was an amazing trip, the photos I’ll post will show it by themselves.
Still, it’s always fun and quite stunning to look back at the odometers of the two vehicles we used to see how much miles/km we drove :
- In the SUV, touring the national parks : 4269 miles / 6870 km
- With the Harley-Davidson Street Glide, riding the West coast : 2175 miles / 3500 km
That’s a nice total of 6444 miles / 10 370 km ! It’s more than the trip from Paris to LA 😉
We headed to the Death Valley but took a detour to “visit” an abandonned waterpark in the middle of the desert !
A part of me is still there, in the wild.
Our USA West Coast and National Parks roadtrip was amazing, surely the most stunning we ever had so far with such a strong feeling of freedom. I’ll give more details about it along with the next photo posts.