San Diego, Las Vegas, and going back home | Arizona Trail #12

San Diego, Las Vegas, and going back home | Arizona Trail #12

After finishing the Arizona Trail I need to recover. I’m staying in San Diego and Las Vegas for a few days before going back home.

From Kanab to Las Vegas

At the monument on the border of Arizona and Utah, I am picked up by a trail angel named Lynne along with my fellow hikers Chickadee and Cruise. She takes us to the town of Kanab (where she lives) which is beautifully situated between the bright red rocks. She drops me off at a hotel. I haven’t been feeling well for days and don’t want to get anyone else sick, so I don’t want to stay at a hostel or at a trail angels place.

Then I say goodbye to Chickadee and Cruise. I’m a little sad, it was so nice to share this amazing journey with them. After checking in, I go straight to my room and take a long hot shower. I do laundry, and I feel exhausted. Everything hurts, I feel like I can’t do anything anymore. So I crawl into bed and fall asleep right away.

Did you miss my previous travel journal? Read it now: Hiking through the Grand Canyon to the finish of the AZT | Mile 683-782 | Arizona Trail #11

View from my hotel room in Kanab.
View from my hotel room in Kanab. Beautiful, isn’t it?

After ten hours of sleep, I feel a little better the next day. I notice that I have some missed calls and texts, they found someone to take me from Kanab to St. George, that’s awesome! After a quick shower and a tasty breakfast in my hotel, I check out and go outside. There I am picked up by Lynne, who takes me to Andrea.

This is her boss’s mom and she had to go to St. George doesn’t mind giving me a ride. We speak Spanish and English and she is very sweet. In St. George, she even wants to take me out for a lunch. But I can hop on a shuttle to Las Vegas right away, so I have to decline. We say goodbye, exchange email addresses, and phone numbers and she tells me that I definitely have to come and stay with her when I’m traveling to Kanab again, so sweet!

The shuttle takes me from St. George to my next destination: Las Vegas! I’ve visited Las Vegas three times in the last six years, and it’s always a fun city to explore. Not too much sightseeing this time, since I’m still very tired.

Relaxing in the Bellagio

I was able to book a room in the super luxurious Bellagio through points I had from a game called MyVegas and I am enjoying it to the fullest. I get some takeaway and some wine. Then I lock myself up in my luxurious hotel room. Take a bath and watch TV on the soft kingsize bed. A very different experience compared to my tent with a leaking sleeping pad on the trail!

After another long night of sleep, I have a relaxing morning. I read a book by the pool and around two o’clock I’ll at the airport. I’m going to relax for a few days at Paulos place in San Diego. And he still has my laptop and extra clothes, so I need to pick that up as well.

After a very short flight, I am back at the airport in San Diego. I go to bed right after dinner. What a whirlwind it has been the past few days, I’m glad I can stay in one place for a few days now.

Quarantined in San Diego

The next morning I feel pretty good. However, I’m still tired and I’m coughing a bit. I have a covid test in my bag, so I decide to take it just to be sure. And guess what? Two bright red lines within a minute. Positive for sure. So I wasn’t just tired of the hike, I’ve had covid for a week. I barely even thought about covid these last few weeks. I’ve not been around many other people (except for that morning I did some sightseeing in Grand Canyon National Park) and thought my symptoms were mostly caused by the higher elevation and the cold. I’m pretty bummed since it’s my last week in the US. I’m glad I’ve worn a mask almost non-stop in recent days and kept my distance.

I am therefore forced to move from Paulo’s house (I don’t want to infect his roommates) to a hotel. Boring, but getting well as soon as possible is priority number 1 because I’m going back home next week. Because I have had symptoms for more than a week now and I’m feeling much better, I am allowed to go outside and do things. As long as I wear a mask and keep my distance.

However, I’ve decided to quarantine in the hotel for a few days. Just to be sure. There I do some work, watch a lot of Netflix, and read a book by the pool when no one else is there. Not quite how I imagined my last week in the USA, but better safe than sorry.

After a few days, I barely have symptoms anymore, except for the cough and I’m still sniffling. But since I have a chronic cold, that will probably never go away. I go out to do some shopping, to get souvenirs and new clothes. Compared to the previous times I was in the US, it got a lot more expensive, but you can still find good deals. My bag is definitely a lot heavier for the return trip!

On my last morning in San Diego, Paulo and I go to the beach for a delicious breakfast, and then it is time to say goodbye. I hadn’t planned to spend so much time in San Diego beforehand, but I really enjoyed it. San Diego is a great city and I’ll be back for sure!

Back in Las Vegas

It’s a short but scary flight to Las Vegas. It is very windy, which is why there are various warnings about severe dust storms. Therefore, we have a very bumpy landing and I’m so scared! Fortunately, the woman next to me manages to calm me down and we are quickly on the ground again. Flying will never be my favorite way of transportation.

Sandstorm during the landing in Las Vegas

I take the bus to the Las Vegas Strip, for the next two nights I sleep at the Luxor, one of the coolest themed hotels in Las Vegas. It has an Egyptian theme and I sleep in the huge pyramid.

Since I’m still pretty tired, I don’t do too much in Las Vegas. And that’s ok. I can have a little vacation right? I spend a lot of time reading a book by the pool and try not to walk too much. It feels weird that these are my last days in the USA after my big adventure on the Arizona Trail. On the last day, I go shopping in the Premium Outlets and I visit a show; The Mentalist. Not spectacular, but definitely entertaining.

Then it’s my very last day in the USA. I pack my bags (which is quite a challenge with all the souvenirs and new clothes) and go to Excalibur’s buffet for lunch. Not bad! After a few hours at the pool, I suddenly have to rush to get to the airport in time. Fortunately, it’s only a 10-minute Uber ride.

Going back home

Everything goes super fast and I am at the gate in no time. I fly direct from Las Vegas to Amsterdam with KLM (the main Dutch airline). The flight takes just under 9 hours (an hour shorter than planned) and goes by quite quickly. I watch two movies and doze off a bit. At 10 a.m. Dutch time I am back at Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport). Tired but satisfied. This was an amazing journey!

My brother is waiting for me at Schiphol, what a surprise! We catch up with a cup of coffee and then I take the train to Groningen. As I stare out the window at the green and flat Dutch landscape, I can’t help but think: what will my next big adventure be?

Follow my adventures!

This was the last travel journal of my USA trip in 2022. Hiking for 10 weeks in the incredibly beautiful state of Arizona and spending some time in San Diego and Las Vegas, I had a blast.

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As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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