December 20th to 21st – Grand Canyon

Mom and I got an early start so we could get packed and organized for our road trip to the Grand Canyon.

We hit Lake Havasu around mid day, so we stopped for lunch and I seriously needed a mani/pedi.  I love to be the outdoors girl, but sometimes I just need some pampering.

When we got near Parker we decided to detour via the California side in hopes of seeing some wild burrows.  And we did!  I love these little guys.  They are so cute and so wild.  But joy was soon replaced with sadness as we rounded a corner and saw that one of them was lying in the middle of the road.  Apparently a car just in front of us hit it and kept on going…jerk!  There was no cell service so someone headed to the RV park office to call the police.  It was obvious that one or both of its back legs/hips was broken.  I had flares in my car, so I set them up.  We had planned on staying around for the police, but some idiot from the RV park kept trying to walk up to her and when he did she would try to move.  If he would have just left her alone she might have fallen asleep and passed peacefully.  I yelled at him, but he didn’t care so I packed up my flares and we left.

We arrived in Williams around 5pm.  It was a long, exhausting drive.  We ate dinner at Pancho McGillicutty’s.  This place is towards the top of my list of strange restaurants.  Mexican food in an Irish pub???

The best place we could find to stay was Motel 6 since Kinley was with us.  The room wasn’t too bad.  Our evening was spent IM’ing with Dad and planning for tomorrow.

The next day I made Mom get up BEFORE the crack of dawn.  I really wanted to make it to the Grand Canyon before sunrise in hopes of getting some amazing pictures.  But our first course of action was tea at Starbucks.  We left Williams around 615am.  If my calculations were correct, we’d make it just in time.  And we did.  We arrived at the Grand Canyon South Rim gate at 710am and hurried to Yavapai to take pictures.  The sunrise was just so-so.  I guess I got spoiled by the Belizean sunrises.

We hit El Tovar Lodge for breakfast and Bright Angel Lodge for lunch.  We walked around the rim, but frankly we froze our asses off!  Finally we decided to jump in the car and see how far we could drive.  Turns out we could drive all the way to Hermits Rest.  We got out several times for pictures, but it was so cold that we didn’t loiter around for any length of time.

As we were leaving the park, we came across a small herd of Elk right next to the rode.  What an awesome bonus.

We stopped at National Geographic to watch the IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon.  It was nice to have the additional history lesson, but I have to admit some of the footage was a bit too phony for my liking.

At about 345p, we started the trek towards home (in this case Yuma).  We hit snow on highway 40 going towards Flagstaff.  And we even got the luxury of seeing some guy wreak his car after being an idiot and passing everyone while going way too fast.  I only say ‘luxury’ because no one was hurt and I think he might have learned a valuable lesson.  Once we hit highway 17, the snow let up.  Thank goodness because my Alaska driving skills are not what they use to be.

We hit Phoenix shortly after 6pm and stopped for dinner at Cracker Barrel before heading to my friend Colleen’s house.  It was fantastic to catch up with Brad and Colleen and see their triplets (Emily, Kenneth, and Angela).  The triplets are 13 now and the last time I saw them they were around 5 I think and they were only newborns when I left Alaska.

We hunkered down at Quality Inn in Phoenix for the night and planned to head home the next morning.  We got a lot in during those couple of day…whew!

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