July 25 - 27
July 25 – We woke up at 7:00 and were out of the campground by 8:30, headed to Grand Canyon. Phil decided to go out the way we came in – through the LONG, NARROW, Short (not tall) tunnel. Then we took Hwy. 89A and came through Marble Canyon. There were many ups and downs and curves, but it was a gorgeous drive (see photos). It took a little more than five and a half hours to make the trip. My favorite part was seeing and hearing Hayden when he got his first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. He was really surprised and amazed! It made our day!
After we set up, we ate an early supper and headed toward the Desert View and the Watchtower. Hayden climbed to the top three times!!! That boy is always full of energy! Phil and I made it up to the overlook terrace. I wondered if there are forest fires in Arizona because the view was pretty hazy. We stopped at all the overlooks except one on the way back to the campground. We also rode through Tusayan to check on the price of gas ($4.29 a gallon for 87 octane – YIKES!!!!). We comforted ourselves with a hot fudge sundae from McDonald's. The cost the other two times we have gotten them has been a dollar or $1.29. Here, three were $8.01.
We will be taking the shuttle tomorrow. We also rode through Mathers Campground where we stayed in 1984 with the children. I do not think they have upgraded the road, nor the bathrooms. Also, the road is very curvy with a lot of trees right beside the road. They bear a lot of missing bark from being hit by campers. We could not have stayed there because our camper is longer than allowed now.
We get no TV reception, and Phil is too tired to mess with the satellite, so early to bed we go.
Lights out! Good night!
July 26 – Actually, we are on Pacific Coast time, but we are not changing our clocks or adjusting our routines because we are heading east after this stop. Because of that, we got an early start for our day of shuttle rides from stop to stop in the Grand Canyon. We had a great day with weather and getting on shuttles. By the time we ended our day, the lines for the shuttles were so long that many would be waiting for the second or third shuttle. We just don't have much patience for that!!! The beauty and HUGENESS of the Grand Canyon is striking. We continually thank God for His beautiful creation that He has allowed us to see this summer. I think the Grand Canyon has more foreign visitors than any place we have visited. Most of the time, you could hear at least five languages from the people.
We learned that normally on a summer day, the visability is 94 miles, but while we were there, it was only 39 miles. There was a lot of haze that prevented the best photos.
Every summer we are amazed at the number of foreigners we see. A Grand Canyon shuttle bus driver told us the foreigners were the majority of the business now. That is a sad statement on the economy. We could not believe the number of foreigners with young families. Imagine the cost of taking children elementary school age and younger to Europe for weeks.
After supper, we put on a DVD of the Little Rascals (the 1930's version). Hayden LOVES the Little Rascals. He was still watching when we went to bed.
July 27 – We rode to Williams and got on I-40 to begin the trek home. We arrived at Holbrook, AZ, for two nights. We will see the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest tomorrow. Phil wants to go see the Wigwam Motel that was popular on Route 66 and has been restored for business. Phil is intrigued by Route 66 stuff. We passed some old stores on I-40 and one that has been restored for a Navajo business.
After Holbrook, we head to Albuquerque for two nights. We are not racing back....