On the road at 9:30 am, we were ready for the adventure! It was an bittersweet “see you later” leaving my parents house after a great get together with our extended family.
It started off well and good, and as soon as we were on the freeway, Mollison (one of our kitties) started throwing a fit. So much so, that I made the monumental mistake of letting Molli out of her crate and walk around my feet. After a brief encounter with Joe’s feet as he was driving, she was placed back in her crate. It became her mission for the next four hours to get out of the crate, until she fell asleep from obvious exhaustion and realizing I was NOT doing that again.
From then on, into Williams it was smooth sailing. We stopped at what I believe will be the last In and Out until we come back to California and treated ourselves to a milkshake each and had our lunch meat sandwiches in the parking lot (as to not tempt ourselves for a Double Double and animal style fries).
We pulled into Williams around 4:30 and discovered there were two Motel 6 on the Route 66, and by some miracle we picked the one across the street from a Safeway (Vons to us California’s) and within walking distance of the Historic Route 66. But of course, it was sleep that was our first priority.
After a restless night as the animals were experiencing nocturnal tendencies because they were able to sleep all day in the car! We were awake way to early, but it turned out to work in our favor – we took the dogs on a nice walk up Route 66. They were so happy to be out and in a new place.
The road houses several shops that had been in business since the early 1900’s. It was exciting to image what it was like to cruise along America’s Main street. Surprisingly, it was quiet for most of the day, which is really the best way to experience a new place.
We were also able to make a reservation to do a Sunset Tour of the Grand Canyon – the whole reason we drove there!
After lunch, we had to make the hard decision to leave Miles at the hotel (poor baby is sick still….) and we took Mua on the 54 mile trip to the Grand Canyon. As we exited the hotel and Route 66, it was a completely open road – as in no businesses, gas stations or otherwise for 50 miles. We are taking every chance we have to fill the gas tank for fear of being stranded (as I worry way to much for my own good). All in all, it was a quiet drive with little to no radio reception, which is why we were prepped with our music on my phone. A little cord linked my phone speakers to our car speakers.
As we pulled into Tusayan (just one mile outside of the Canyon) we finally saw some sign of civilization. It’s something I am just so unused to open space, this was a bug deal for me! The name Tusacyan means “city with no water” and this small town of 1500 has to truck in their water every day to a big tank above the Canyon. It’s located in the middle of the Kaibab Forest meaning “upside down mountain” for what the Native American’s saw – the Grand Canyon.
As we walked the Rim Trail, the National Park Serice had installed a “Trail of TIme” detailing the various rocks in the canyon by age.
After a wonderful 2.5 mile hike along the rim, we made it back to our car with every intention to take Mua to her kennel for the night, so we could enjoy a Jeep tour of the Canyon at sunset. And as our luck serves us, our car started to make the most awful sputtering sound and white smoke/steam started to come out the front. Here I am, worry-wart, freaking out with Geico emergency services on the line wondering how to get a tow truck in the park….Whew….
The garage in the park was willing to look at the car and a half and hour later suggested we get a new radiator cap. Well, in this time, we missed the reservation for Mua’s kennel and it was seemingly unlikly that we were going to be able to make it our tour. 😦 This was what Joe was looking forward to most, as was I.
And with the ultimate luck and charm, we convinced the tour operators to allow Mua to come with and even got our very own Jeep to tour.
It was an AMAZING experience that I cannot put worlds on, but the pictures are below. The Grand Canyon looked as if we were looking at a picture. Distance was deceiving and yet, the steep drops were very real! It was a great start to our trip and may be hard to top, but I say that now – not even out of the West coast!