Summertime Sadness Road Trip – Summer 2023

Draft version of trip

School is out for the summer and this year we’re loading up the mini-van (Honda Hotyssey) and heading out on the road en route to a Minnesota lake house stay. I’m excited for the trip and have named it the Summertime Sadness tour since I really like the Lana Del Rey remix jam.

Thought I’d document the trip for future reference and reverie with some posts along the way.

Stop 1 – Las Vegas, NV

About 350 miles on the first leg of the trip, with a stay at Luxor in Las Vegas. Had to take the van in to a shop in Vegas due to pretty good shaking on the last bit of the drive up. Front tires a bit too old and starting to separate – better than blowing up the transmission like last time I drove this way.

Oh – and Vegas is insane hot in the summer. After about a day I couldn’t stop thinking about how hard it would be to live here in the hotter months. #SDlove

Highlights: Gelato at MGM Park (Eataly), Discovery Children’s Museum, drinks at Red Dwarf with family, attempted hike at Ice Box Canyon in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area – ended after less than a mile due to children mutiny. Honorable mention: Chipotle – my absolute favorite chain for meals with kids on the road. $5.55 for rice, beans, meat, orange / chips, and drink. Probably helps that rice and beans are our kids’ favorite foods…

Stop 2 – Kanab, UT

First, my apologies to Kanab – I was expecting a dusty small town in the southern-most part of Utah with not much going on. Instead a pretty charming town with lots of red rock mountains rising up around it, a nice Main Street, and a stellar Fourth of July concert and fireworks in the main town park. Main feature of the town is probably proximity to popular National Parks (Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce, etc). About 250 miles from Las Vegas to Kanab by way of Zion National Park.

Zion was our stop on the way to Kanab and wow – very cool. The kids wanted to continue up The Narrows trail – a slot canyon with water you walk / wade through. The drive out of Zion to the east was one of the prettiest I’ve seen and even saw a herd of bighorn sheep along the way.

Next day was a trip to North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Spectacular and impressive views but some of the views were a bit too scary for this family. The lodge looked very cool but was closed for the month due to water issues and a pipe fix. Apparently it’s only open about half the year – not sure why but this area would be fantastic to stay in. I’d like to come back and stay in the park.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park was our outing on final day in Kanab. We rented a couple of “sand sleds” and attempted to snowboard down to limited success. We made it out exhausted and feet on fire as the day was warming up and walking while carrying kids on hot sand is pretty tough.

Overall a really nice time in Kanab area although the kid’s favorite by far would probably be the hotel swimming pool followed by the hotel breakfast (cereal).

Highlights: River Rock Coffee Company west of Zion (really cool views, good food and coffee, great prices too), Zion – The Narrows specifically, drive east from Zion, swimming pool and playing jump-catch a lot, Grand Canyon.

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John P Anderson

Living in San Diego. I enjoy learning about environmental issues and connecting with good people that want to make the world a better place. Cheers!

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