5/7/2014 Williams, AZ (Grand Canyon)

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Itinerary:

Williams, AZ 5/7-5/19

Hollbrook, AZ 5/19-5/24

Gallup, NM 5/24-5/29

Albuquerque, NM 5/29-6/6

We arrived in Williams in a one go drive of 9 1/2 hours. We spent the next day lolligaggling and walking the dogs. The Grand Canyon Railroad RV Park is one of the nicest parks we’ve been in. There is crushed pumice between each site that is level and tarmac. The common planters are wide berms of golf ball sized pumice rock. A gravel dog walk track goes around the whole park, with eight poop bag stands and trash recepticles at intervals. There is a five washer and dryer laundrymat near the center (did our two week load today–and so did everyone else!) with a large picnic area nearby and a very large (gas) fire pit–kind of like the ones in the Santa Clarita Mall, except this one is done up with lava rock and you can sit on the edge to feel the warmth (Saturdays and Sundays only). A forest fire could do no damage to the place with all of the rock interferance. Across the street is the affiliated hotel with an indoor pool (you can hear the kids shouting in there as we walk the dogs outside–we haven’t done this pool yet), a dog kennel, the train depot and lots of shops and restaurants. The restaurants line the old Route 66, and the titles of the shops and restaurants, plus the decor and what they sell, reflect this.  The streets leading away from the RV park took us to a very large elementary and middle school combined. You can tell its a fairly newly built school as ALL of the money went into the construction of the gymnasium and multipurpose room. Across the street from it is a doublewide on a weedy lot which is the District Office. Since there is a lone swingset on the lot, we were wondering if this used to house the original elementary school. The houses around the area are very small–probably two bedrooms/one bath–and nobody has any pride of ownership as seen by the weedy and or dirt yards.

Cold today. I wrote a friend (sounds so much better than emailed) that it was going to actually be warmer in Washington than here, and it would snow if only we had clouds. This afternoon we had snow. It melted as it hit the ground, but it was snow. We’re in May, people. This is why everyone was doing their laundry–too cold to do too much else except walk the dogs. We put in a huge supply of hand creams and chapsticks.

Yesterday we drove to Valle, Tusayan, and Flagstaff. We watched a 30 minute IMAX theatre of the Grand Canyon which was breathtaking. Now I know that rafting and jetboating down the rapids will not be for me. We’re still contemplating the heliocopter trip, but Chris was ill when we did this in Hawaii years ago, so it may not be the best idea. We went into the many and not varied Indian trading posts. We still go by the standby “If you can’t wear it or eat it, don’t buy it.” I bought a beaded hair clip made by the Native Americans. Chris has so many t-shirts that he didn’t want another, although he lost one today to the battery acid gods. I now have seven long sleeve t-shirts so couldn’t justify buying another (yet). If I go a week and wear one every day, then I’ll buy some more. Just off of Highway 64 and Forest Service Road 305 we found a rock building that looked as if built between 1901 and 1905 (just like one of the buildings at Grand Canyon’s south rim). It had one room, a small door… I posted a picture of it on Facebook. We also passed by a huge cemetary (pictures also posted on Facebook) and found some of the earliest pioneer resting places. The cemetary is very much active with year 2014 sites. We finished the drive by getting gas in Flagstaff (about a dollar cheaper than anywhere else) and drive up and down the town’s Route 66.

On Monday we took the train to the Grand Canyon (the dogs stayed in the kennel). Many different cars to ride in, all at different prices. I talked Chris out of the skylit trains–who is looking up?) and got him down to the coach (same windows as everyone else). Our car’s attendent was a one-woman comedy act. Her only mistake was asking a tour group from Ireland if any of them were from Wales or England, even though they made it quite known to her they were all from Ireland. I told her later that this was as offensive to them as calling a New Zeelander an Aussie or a Canadian an American. We saw the south rim and all it’s glory. The further back we looked the more it looked like a painting on canvas–we expected the backdrop to ripple. We ate at El Tovar (I sent a picture of Chris via Facebook) and learned it’s history. We already knew about the Harvey Girls from when we were in West Yellowstone 2012. We walked the path down to the art studio (built 1901–the same stone as the mysterious one mentioned earlier) and visited Hopi House. Over $2000 for a woven blanket that Lucky would probably gnaw on, pottery that would break while we drive,and beautiful jewlery that I couldn’t afford. On the way up and back we had musicians that played everything from country to Rolling Stones. We were treated to a train robbery and Chris was to give a standing ovation to the Sherriff and I was to do my Perils of Pauline “Sherriff–they went thataway!” routine. Saw five antelope through the windows and the old telegraph lines–mostly just the crossbeams as people have stolen the copper wire and glass insulaters. We will drive up to the south rim again and walk the trails with the dogs. As long as we stay “above the rim” the dogs can walk with us. They can’t go into the buildings, be tied to anything, nor stay in the car–even on a cold day.

The clouds have arrived (again) and it will either rain or snow tonight–just about the time we will need to walk the dogs again. They are sleeping longer as we’re letting them back on the bed at night. And the extra warmth is also nice. Funny, when it’s cold we don’t feel we have enough blankets and warm clothes, and when we hit the hot areas, we have too many blankets and sweats to store.

Healthwise the dogs are great, Chris is back to normal, and my double vision comes and goes, mostly goes. There’s NO square (or any other kind of ) dancing anywhere around here. Very small town life. If you don’t work on Route 66, the train, or the school, you don’t have a good paying job.

We’re now into “A Touch of Frost” British police story. Frost is like Columbo except was given a partner to trade jibes with. On my own I’m getting into “How I Met Your Mother” (but may discontinue as the only good actor is Patrick Harris) and an animated series called “Bob’s Burgers.”

I check Facebook to see what my compatriots are doing–and Angie outdid even my accident. She fell and broke bones in her left hand (and yes, she’s left handed) which will put her out of writing commision for months. She posted a picture of herself on Facebook, and as resilient as she is, attending the Sierra Hillbillies’ beginner class. Get better, Angie, the team needs their President!

I didn’t call any family member about my accident as I didn’t feel it was that noteworthy (my eye is almost flesh color again!), but my older sister saw my Facebook commentary and called. Then she told my other sisters/brother and I got a call from my next sister down (who doesn’t do Facebook, and neither does the next sister down after her–heck, I don’t even think they read this blog!). But, now everyone knows.

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