Travels in the American Southwest

Grand Canyon and Environs

I and Gambling Buddy did this trip in October of '95 but my first trip was much earlier as seen in this photo.

Mother and I

Gambling Buddy and I left on Friday AM (weekend rates kick in!) - Get a map and follow the journey!

Stopped at Hoover Dam. See where giants worked.

Hoover Dam

Stories about Hoover Dam

From 93, headed east on I-40. Was in no hurry and stopped a number of times (I take a lotta pictures). Spent Friday night in Flagstaff. Some hole-in-the-wall chain.

Saturday morning, headed south on 17, hung a right on to 89 and headed for Sedona. Magnificent vistas of Red Rock. Balloons flew lazily overhead...wish I'd taken one of the flights. :>(


Continued on 89 to where it rejoined 17. Headed north on 17 and went right at Flagstaff to Route 180 east. Stopped at Meteor Crater, site of where an asteroid hit 50,004.5 years ago. (When I asked when it hit, they told me 50,000 years ago and that was the 4 1/2 years ago!)

Meteor Crater

We debated on whether to go on to Winslow, Arizona. Wanted to stand on a corner looking for women in flatbed Fords...but we didn't. Instead we headed back towards Flagstaff. Before reaching Flagstaff, we headed north on 89 to Sunset Crater, scene of a dormant volcano. The lava fields give testimony to the devastation the volcano unleashed. Certainly worth the visit.

Sunset Crater

Sunset Crater

Continued north through the Wapatki Nat. Monument where we were able to see the Painted Desert in the far distance. Wanted to get closer but I had promised Gambling Buddy that there'd be no off-road sight-seeing! Hooked up with 89 and continued north turning west on 64 entering the Park from the east.

As I had planned ahead, we had a couple of "rustic cabins" waiting for us. They were clean, basic accommodations. I just had the time to reload the camera and catch the sunset. I'd recommend Hopi Point. As the sun sets, you can look east and see the sun's rays light up the canyon. A quick walk to the other side of the point and you can see the sun slip behind the rim. A fine steak dinner at the El Tovar restaurant rounded out a busy day.

Grand Canyon at sunset

I was up before dawn to catch the sunrise at Yavapai Observation station. Even if I wasn't an early riser it would have been worth it!

Took the helicopter ride that morning. Highly recommended. Spring for the extra cost and take the longer flight. You won't be disappointed. The pilot points out sights of interests such as, Shiprock, a natural rock formation which gives the impression of a Spanish Galleon. You also view the confluence of the muddy Little Colorado River as it joins the mighty Colorado River whichs snakes south to Hoover Dam, providing moisture for the Imperial Valley and ultimately emptying into the Gulf of California.

Grand Canyon from helicopter

A leisurely 4 1/2 hour ride back to Las Vegas and we hit the craps table late Sunday afternoon.

If you make the trip, prepare. I'd suggest you contact:

Arizona Office of Tourism
1-800-842-8257 They'll send you lots of maps and brochures.
1-520-638-7888 park information

Lodging (in park)
1-303-297-2757 Call WELL in advance. They fill up quickly.

More Information
National Park Service-Grand Canyon
Meteor Crater-The Official Website
Sedona On-Line Directory

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