Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bar Trip Day 2

Today, we set out from the Motel 6 in Flagstaff, Arizona, and headed for Grand Canyon National Park. Motel 6 had been a bit of a disappointment, but I guess it's hard to expect more.

One of the things that excited us about this trip was that we would get to spend part of it on the historic U.S. Route 66.

The area around Flagstaff is very temperate. We enjoyed temperatures in the 60s as we headed for Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon is so huge, some tourists take a helicopter to get to the North Rim. For our part, we did the ordinary thing by going to the South Rim, around Mather's Point.

Even from Mather's Point, though, you could get a nice panorama of a large area in the eastern part of Grand Canyon.

Along the Rim Trail, where we were doing most of our sightseeing, the rocks were more of a white variety ...

... and there was no shortage of people getting out on escarpments.

"I'm the king of the world!"

There was an interesting tree, which I thought looked even better in sepia ...

... which was near the end of our hike.

Once we decided that was the farthest we'd hike, we decided to climb it for pictures.

As we prepared to get on the shuttle that would take us back to Mather's Point, we espied the passenger cars of the Santa Fe Railroad. As I would later learn, the opening of the railroad to Grand Canyon Village changed the tourist statistics for the entire National Park, making it easier to see the park from Mather's Point than from Grandview.

After getting on our way to leave the park, we saw a turn marked "Grandview". Knowing nothing, really, about the park, we decided to check it out. We found a trail that would lead us rather far down, although not all the way to the Colorado River. We didn't go all the way down the trail, either; we just went down a bit below the rim, and after we realized we didn't want to get stuck far below the rim at nightfall, we climbed back up.

As we finally got back on Interstate 40, heading toward Albuquerque, we decided to refuel some way outside of Flagstaff. At that point, Dad took over driving for a while. We noticed a sign for Meteor Crater National Monument, and decided to check it out.

As it turned out, though, the price for admission was $15 per person. Considering we had spent $25 per car (which worked out to $25 for two people in our case) to see an even bigger hole in the ground, for which we had gone 230 miles out of our way, we didn't feel like paying $28 for the two of us (Dad would've gotten a $2 senior discount) for a smaller, albeit cosmically caused hole in the ground which was a mere 4-5 miles out of the way.

After we left, about 85 miles before Albuquerque, and safely into New Mexico, we pulled over in Milan, New Mexico, to stretch our legs. I noticed that the convenience store had a lot of Route 66 memorabilia, so I asked about it. The cashier noted to me that there was even a Route 66 Casino down near Albuquerque. On a whim, we decided to check it out and see how the hotel was.

The hotel and casino are run by the Laguna tribe. It was a very nice change from the Motel 6 back in Flagstaff.

In short, it has been a rather long day, and it's gotten quite late now that we're in Mountain Daylight Time. Because there is more driving to be done tomorrow, I will leave with just this video log entry:

Note: There has not been a decision made yet about tomorrow's accommodations; as a result, there is a chance that there will be no updates tomorrow.


tarynkay said...

Yay! You're off on your roadtrip! If you're going to go to any more national parks/monuments/forests, consider getting a national park pass. It's $80, but you only need one per family and they are good for a year.
Looking forward to reading about the rest of your adventures!

Bruce said...

I'll definitely keep my eyes open for that. We've passed by North Carolina already; thought of you guys along the way. Glad we got a chance to hang out beforehand! :)