Just a short sketching opportunity this morning before I fly back to the UK.

Excalibur from the Luxor pyramid

A peaceful Sunday morning at the Luxor tram stop

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My lap of honour around Vegas starts at the Luxor.

I am alone in the pyramid lift and it is making a noise no lift should make. It shakes violent from side to side and the display says ‘EZ’. What does that mean?  Is this part of the experience? I feel claustrophobic.

The display still says ‘EZ’. The doors start to rattle inwards and for the first time in my life, with force, I press the ‘save me’ bell. Nothing happens, but a second later the display says ’16…17′ etc. Soon the doors open and I leap out with enthusiasm.

Near check-in, The Luxor


To my dismay, when I head out, the only available lift is the bone shaker. I hold the doors until a big group of people join me. Their reaction to the shaking and grinding confirms this is NOT part of the experience.

Who can resist the MGM Grand Lion at sunset

I can confirm that women wear far more clothes in the real Paris

Halloween at the Harley Davison shop. Almost as terrifying as the lift at the Luxor.

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I ended my last day in the National Parks at Zion, the most lush and colourful. This meant a very early start, to miss the holiday crowds.

A chipmunk nibbling on a prickly pear on the Kayenta Trail


The Riverside Walk takes you up to the start of The Narrows. Which is essentially a hike in the Virgin river, so you need to be prepared. Fancy shoes, dry pants and a wooden pole can be hired for the occasion.

A couple of people setting off up the Narrows. Would love to have done this but sadly, although I had dry pants, I didn’t have the other necessary fashionwear

Ended the day with The Watchman trail. An amazing view up the valley, although the cloud was setting in.


Goodbye Zion

Now the joy of my world is in Zion

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I’m at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona and it’s raining, which makes it feel like Symonds Yat in the UK.


Whilst I sketch, a Chinese woman asks my partner to take her picture. She gradually edges towards me, until eventually, she squats down right next to me, puts her arm around my shoulder, and grins for the camera. She doesn’t look at me, or talk to me. Now that never would have happened in the Forest of Dean.

Another trippy ink moment

Look no vertigo!

I left Page with some sadness when  the radio announced that I could have got 10% off at the lube shop. Only if I turned up in my Halloween costume though. Still I’m not one to dwell on missed opportunities.

A quick stop at the Glen Canyon Dam. 15 feet shy of the Hoover dam.

A Baby Driver moment, as Stairway to heaven played on the radio, through rippled Arizona plains. The sky was full of little fluffy clouds, which gave an added sense of the sheer vastness out there. The biggest sky I’ve ever seen!

Then just before Zion National Park, the Buffalo came.

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Windows or Mac user? Who cares! Lower Antelope Canyon has wallpapers for both.

The canyon is as stunning as it appears in the now famous National Geographic cover photo. The tour moves fast, so I only had time for a some quick outlines, adding colour later in the dusty car park.

The sandstone canyon was sculpted by water and continues to be shaped by flash floods. Lower Antelope is around 45m at its deepest

Holes in the wall (left) and ropes, were used before the staircases were installed

The car park and Navajo coal-fired power plant

Sunset at Horseshoe bend, hopefully back tomorrow for technicolor

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Walked part of the Bright Angel trail in the Grand Canyon today. I felt quite intrepid until someone overtook me uphill, carrying a baby. 

Almost a private studio at the mile and a half resthouse

Another picture of me looking smug

So hard to capture the light as it shifts so fast


I love that when you enter the South rim of the Canyon, you are greeted with pictures of deer and elk, in ever increasing states of ecstasy.

Should come with an age rating

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Bluff and I got off to a bad start last night. First I mistook the town laundrymat for our hotel (it’s huge). Then I found myself driving through the dark, deserted town on the left hand side. Whoops!

I admit I had fairly low expectations for Bluff fort, but this great museum and its dedicated volunteers really bring to life the story of the town’s first white settlers.

Bluff fort has numerous log cabins, lovingly furnished by the ancestors of the first white settlers

 

I was struck by the Native American attitude to the land, contrasted with the white settlers who literally blasted their way through rocks, adapting the landscape to meet their unbending needs and faith.

Native American teepee and mud hut, frankly much warmer than the log cabins!

Next, a dream fulfilled. A sketch of Monument valley from Forrest Gump point, whilst being circled by hungry dogs. Somebody pinch me!

Pre-colour

Post-colour


The only thing to top that has to be sunset at the Grandview, Grand Canyon. 

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