April 16th - 17th
A view of the Grand Canon from south rim.
John and Sissy on the south rim.
Grand Canyon train depot.
A view of the Grand Canyon from the east rim.
Little Colorado River Canyon.
After receiving word from back home that Sissy's sister was in the hospital, we decided to continue north toward the Grand Canyon. If Sissy had to fly home, it would be better to fly out of Phoenix because it was a larger city.
Arriving in Williams, Arizona (just west of Flagstaff) on fumes (they don't have many fuel stops up here) we decided to stay in the Circle Pines KOA. It was a nice little place in the forest just 30 miles from Flagstaff and 51 miles from the Grand Canyon. It sure was windy though (20-35 with gusts to 60). Because of this, we decided to take the bike out of the trailer, but leave it parked while visiting the canyon.
But, before the canyon, it was time to go and visit Amber (Sissy's niece) who lived in Flagstaff. Let me tell you, Flagstaff is a little college town nestled in the mountains with roads designed by a college nerd with coke bottle glasses. You can't get anywhere in that town unless you are high on something! Anyway, our visit with Amber, Chuck (a student at Coconino Community College majoring in Electrical Engineering - he thinks!) and Jodie went very well. John likes that guy Chuck - potential!
The next morning Sissy spent a couple hours on the cell phone with relatives making plans to fly back home with her brother Jerry. She wanted to be with her sister and family during this crisis, and we figured that was the best thing to do. Sissy wasn't going to be able to catch a flight back home until the next day, so we decided to visit the Grand Canyon and make the best of it.
The wind was still kicking so we drove the truck to the canyon. You don't actually realize how high you are while driving because the landscape is mostly high desert, but we were 7,346 feet at our campground. Maybe that's the reason for the winds! Anyway, the drive was wonderful and the traffic was light. As usual, we used our National Park Pass to gain entry into the park and we saved $20.00 by doing so.
Neither John nor Sissy could believe the views from the many lookout points! We visited Grand Canyon Village and the Train Depot, Hopi Point, the El Tovar Hotel, Yavapai Observation Station, Mather Point, the South Rim, the Desert View Drive, Yaki Point and the East Rim. The beautiful views went on and on and on and on!
John found out something about Sissy on this trip that probably hasn't been mentioned yet, and he feels a need to do so at this time. Sissy is afraid of heights!!! Really afraid!!! John tried to get her to go closer to the edge several times for pics, but she refused. She did get closer at the locations where hand railings were visible, and John was able to get some good pics there. When you view them, notice one of Sissy's hands is always grasping the railing.
John elected to take the long way back to the campground from the canyon, so we drove through the Navajo Indian Reservation, the Kaibab National Forest, the Coconino National Forest and Flagstaff (again). The ride was gorgeous through the desert and mountains. We even saw snow atop Humphreys Peak (12,663 feet high and the highest mountain in Arizona) on our way to Flagstaff.
It was time for us to take a short nap before heading back to Phoenix so Sissy could catch her plane in the morning. Up at 2300, it was time for a quick shower, packing for the flight and heading south. We were able to find an out of the way fuel station about half way, so John had enough fuel for the return trip. The trip (at night) was nice and dark (they don't have street lights in Arizona), and we even saw some elk along the way.
We arrived in Phoenix about 0405 and woke Jerry and Cindy up from their hotel room. After meeting them for coffee at the local Waffle House, we headed for the airport. John was unable to walk Sissy into the airport due to the traffic congestion at the terminal, so he took a quick pic of her leaving, kissed her good-by and headed back to the campground.
The drive back (sun coming up) was not too bad after leaving the Phoenix rush hour traffic. It was sun glasses all the way and it still hurt! John crashed the minute he arrived back at the trailer after being up all night. A short nap until 1100 and it was time to fuel the truck and 1 propane tank to get ready for the morning departure west toward Kingman, Arizona.
All photographs are Copyright @ 2002 - 2008 by John T. VanderHeiden.
For information concerning your usage of any photographs, please see our User Agreement.