now a change in direction


as we head north from Canyon De Chelly but because of roads going south is north, when we really wanted to go west, funny how that is in life to get where one wants to go we first must go here when here isn’t where we want to go at all. but we may find something we need of want. oh well.

to go north (really going south) we travel through the Painted desert which is pretty cool. places i had only heard about in school, i was educated in an old school curriculum of geography with wonder and curiosity. too bad the kids don’t get exposed to it now.

painted desert

painted desert

landscape

landscape

Tree in Painted desert

Tree in Painted desert

mesa

mesa

we just follow the roads open to discovery and really in awe of the landscape. what did the pioneers think when they first laid eyes on this scenery.  Then finding this The Petrified Forest wow

Petrified forest park

Petrified forest park

petrified trees

petrified trees

 more trees

more trees

must say it’s pretty impressive just riding around in the car but not much else to do because i don’t think you can wander around certainly not picking up souvenirs.

hillside tree

hillside tree

fallen tree

fallen tree

these two parks flow together as one which is pretty cool. there are plenty of place to buy  petrified wood in Holbrook Az which we didn’t do because it was getting late and we wanted to find a room. we tried finding lodgings at the Wigwam motel #6

wigwam motel

wigwam motel

wigwam motel

wigwam motel

but they are booked far in advance and had no cancellations. there are three surviving motels out of 7 that originally existed. oh well maybe another time and place. we head west to sleep.

the way we were traveling, not knowing what days we would be where pre-booking lodging was almost impossible. the way we did it was booking via my cell phone as we traveled mostly through www.booking.com reading the reviews there and on tripadvisor. we found people write the damnedest things we never experienced. we stayed in quality inns, motel 6’s, red roof inns and a restored Grand Hotel, Big Timber Mt, which they say is haunted, i snooped around but didn’t see or feel anything amongst the antiques. we were in room 8, mary slept soundly. full plate of bacon and eggs for breakfast got us on our way.

the san francisco mountains are sacred to the local native tribes which upon seeing them rise in our front window i fully understand. i can’t really explain it but this afternoon between the lighting, clouds and the road they looked magical and beyond us into Flagstaff nestled underneath.

i got our brakes and wheels checked in Flagstaff and didn’t like the answer on one if not two of our wheels were out of alinement and the shop who could do service us was closed for the weekend.  but we decided to continue our northward journey to the grand canyon instead of staying two more nights.

we arrived safety without an event and checked in to the thunderbird motel with a partial view of the canyon. it’s nothing special room wise but who stays in their room at a place like this? we both have been to the grand canyon before with different people but every time i stand on the edge looking into it i am amazed.

i always wonder what the first person to see this grand canyon though?

lone tree on a ridge, grand canyon, az

lone tree on a ridge, grand canyon, az

as is seeing a place  you’ve seen before though different eyes. mary and i had been here before with other people but now we shared it together making it our special memory.

mary on canyon edge

mary on canyon edge

we had hoped to camp there but campgrounds were full, i understand they are pretty nice but a lot of people use them from all over the world. we carried a full camping setup packed in the car. we learned on our first american journey the importance of have a spare sleeping bag for when the first one gets wet.

colorado river,grand canyon, az

colorado river,grand canyon, az

sunset, grand canyon az

sunset, grand canyon az

sunset with clouds

sunset with clouds

sunset

sunset

then it gets dark along the rim. we ate dinner at the iconic El Tovar restaurant. lovely room overlooking the canyon which was a big disappointment because of the food, ugh. i had fish mush covered in thick white gravy, uneatable. i sent it back not ordering anything else, the manager was slow to arrive at our table but didn’t give me a hassle. eat breakfast there, i had eggs benedict with  southwest spices. odd for sure.

the next night we ate at the bright angel lodge in the Arizona room which also overlooked the canyon was much plainer but what a difference in how the room was managed and the quality of food. the busboy commented that this was the best manager he’d ever worked for. dinner was great and we thanked the manager for all his hard work, he was busy setting up tables constantly moving around the room.

daytime found us walking the rim of the canyon, taking the shuttle bus to the many lookout points and finally after checking out the next day driving out the eastern entrance towards our next destination page az. we were pushing towards seeing the aspens turning color this time which we missed on our last journey along with discovering a new america.

til next time

jene

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