Sunday, May 29, 2011
May 14--Saturday: We got up at a reasonable hour to take our Hummer tour, and I polished off Lana’s leftover duck from Rene’s for breakfast. The tour was great. The ride itself was cool. We actually went onto the Navajo reservation and the only road was a rough trail made by the tour itself. The driver had fun terrorizing us but ‘most’ of the time kept all 4 wheels on the ground. The slot canyon was amazing and Lana got many awesome photos.
After, we had a nice lunch at a western themed restaurant in Page with a tour-bus full of French tourists. After that we went to Horseshoe Bend, a very sharp curve in the Colorado River with a huge bluff in the center. It was a long walk to get there in intense heat, with no shade, and both of us were exhausted when we got back to the car. But again Lana got great pics.
We then drove to the Cameron Trading Post where we got a room. I was absolutely floored by how lovely the place was. Our room looked out on a little courtyard laden with flowers sweet little benches to sit on. The restaurant was excellent. I had a “Navajo Taco,” which was so huge it filled the plate. It was pretty much taco fixings on a flat piece of fry bread. As Lana will tell you, I’m a professional eater, but I could not finish my whole meal this time. We then bought some stuff at the gift shop. I got a few things for Josh, and a cool Navajo belt for myself. My only regret was that we went to bed very early, around 8:00 in the evening and didn’t get to sit out in the courtyard. But we wanted to get to the Grand Canyon for dawn. Despite our early retirement, neither of us slept terribly well. Lovely as the room was, the walls were quite thin and there was a lot of noise. It didn’t matter. We were excited about the Grand Canyon.
May 15--Sunday: Up a little after 3:00 and Lana drove to the Grand Canyon, which was about an hour from Cameron. She got some great morning shots of the gorge with the sun coming up, but it was freezing cold. Lana was shaking and her teeth were chattering. She’d warned me it might be cold and I had reluctantly brought a thin windbreaker. I was glad for it, and glad for an extra t-shirt later. We watched two elk feeding on the green grass outside one of the lodges, and we also saw a ‘huge’ centipede that I thought was dead until I touched it with my foot. Turns out it was just really cold. We ate breakfast at one of the lodges and got way too much food.
There’s actually a little town right on the edge of the canyon, a tourist town with hotels, restaurants and shops, and even with its own mass transit system. We rode the shuttles around quite a lot, stopping here and there along the rim for photo ops. By now it was much warmer and there were a LOT of people. I enjoyed the canyon immensely but the crowds were a little much for me. We stopped in the visitor’s center for a movie about the canyon and I bought a couple of books at the bookstore there.
We left around 1:30 and drove a good long ways into Show Low, Arizona. Lana saw a dead elk along the road as I napped. We also saw many large dust devils whirling through the red-dust landscapes. It was a bit eerie. We finally stopped at the Holiday Inn Express in Show Low, which was the cleanest place for the most reasonable price that we’d found. Close by was a New York Pizza place and we pigged out.