day 4: palm springs, CA

506 miles.

With the shifting time zones and the dog, we have no problem becoming early risers this week and today was no different. We were up at 5:30am which was good because we wanted to get an early start on our adventure to the Grand Canyon. After everyone was walked and fed, we were in car by about 7am with the Grand Canyon in the GPS.

We opted to enter at the East gate which we heard was less crowded and afforded us a more interesting drive. It was really peaceful driving out there and observing the amazing landscape. Once we were through the gates, we made our first stop at the Watchtower which was MUCH less crowded than the rest of the park and made for a pleasant first experience. Since we arrived around 8:30am, it wasn't hot yet so we enjoyed walking around and taking photos.

We then continued along the South Rim to the main Visitor Center which was overrun already and it was only about 9:30am. It was nice to be outside and walk around a bit but it was getting hot FAST. After a few more photo ops, we were back in the car and on our way again.

The rest of the drive through Arizona was nice. The southwest has some amazing landscape and it's sometimes hard to remember we're still in the U.S. We crossed the border into California and started to head slightly south for our detour to Palm Springs.

Driving through the desert was insane. The car temperature gauge read 109 degrees for over an hour. It was so deserted and honestly, slightly creepy. It's a good thing we had a full tank of gas!

Craig got his wish of being on Route 66 for a small stretch as we wound our way toward Palm Springs. We made it to our adorable Airbnb just after 5:30pm.

I'm not sure what I thought Palm Springs would be but it was definitely different than I expected. It's stuck somewhere in the 60s/70s with what might be a cool vibe or just a lame vibe. We ventured into "town" for dinner and ended up at this restaurant/bar that was good but odd.

I'm glad we stopped here for a little "getaway" but I'm not sure I need to come back. Maybe it would have been different if we'd stayed at one of the resorts. On the plus side, swimming around in the pool feels SO good after time in the car.

It's only 7.5 hours from here to San Fran but we can't check into our Airbnb until Friday so we're thinking of splitting today into 2 shorter days. More to come!

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