Saturday, October 6, 2007

GRAND CANYON ROADTRIP




Oct. 1: packed up and drove 352 miles to Kingman, AZ. along the way, my mom and i fell in love with XM radio. we weren't aware of this, but our rental car was one of only four cars available with it. lucky us!! we found one alt. rock station named Lucy that we listened to the ENTIRE trip!! i think we only heard 4 or 5 songs ever repeated within the four days we listened.

once we arrived in Kingman, we attended the free beer/drinks/juice and popcorn event at our hotel. after browsing piles of brochures, we went out to eat Thai food (at the only thai restaurant within 32 miles). afterward, i bought a really kewl sterling silver ring at a gas station gift shop (around 9:30 pm). then i stood in the middle of the street to take photos of the Route 66 signs stenciled on the turning lanes. :) when we got back to our hotel, my mom and i watched the hills.

Oct. 2: woke up early, drove to the west rim to the Hualapai grand canyon skywalk. the drive there was actually a lot of fun... with a long segment of windy, bumpy "wash board" roads. there were also a lot of "cattle guards" sporatically dividing the streets. still amazes me that a thin grid prevents cattle from crossing their boundaries. and it was even more odd to see BULLS chilling on the side of the road without being fenced. and of course, i loved all the joshua trees. :)

the skywalk was pretty awesome - it's a glass horseshoe-shaped "bridge" suspended 40,000 feet above the grand canyon/colorado river. the first step was a little delicate but after we got over the fact that the floor is transparent, we were walking around like champs, even lying on our stomachs with our noses to the glass. each side of the skywalk is frosted [glass] so people who are afraid of heights don't actually crap their pants. it was hilarious to see people clinging to the railing and only walking on the frosted section. one Japanese man (there were hundreds there) inched past me and my mother during our photo opp and actually clung AROUND my mother who was leaning against the railing.

we spent all afternoon hiking around the west rim. on the way back there was a looong stretch of empty road surrounded by mountains, so my mom and i took A LOT of photos of us lying/jumping/standing/sitting in the middle of the road. (they came out awesome... you'll see them on flickr soon). there were houses nestled at the bottom on the mountain, in the middle of nowhere. no street lights. no trees. just desert. don't know if i'd ever want to live somewhere THAT secluded, but the view of the stars must be amazing. (and the lack of housing developments is majorly appealing). when we got back to town, we ate dinner at Dambar.

Oct. 3: my mom and explored what little there is to explore on "Beale Street" in Kingman. there was an abundance of antique and thrift stores, but a handful were closed. after seeing all there was to see, we drove 115 miles to Williams, AZ and stopped at a kewl general store/gift shop along the way on Route 66. only an hour and a half east, Williams was a lot greener and the weather was much cooler.

shortly after arriving in town, we drove 63 miles (1.5 hrs) to Grand Canyon National Park to explore the south rim. we spent a lot of time in the car, stopping at various view points, saw lots of wildlife, took lots of photos and caught a sunset... which was gorgeous. when we got back to Williams, we ate dinner at our hotel.

Oct. 4: woke up at the crack of dawn (4:30 am!!) to catch a sunrise over the grand canyon before heading back to california. little did i know my mother would have us hiking 4 miles around the rim trails. regardless of the sleep deprivation, we had a good time. on our way there, we saw three wild elk grazing alongside the road. we also returned a nice digital camera we found on a bench to the lost and found. had a huge LCD screen too. (such good Samaritans we are ;) hehe).

after our hike, we drove back to CA... only to get caught up in confusing car pool lanes that diverge onto other freeways and traffic. we had a lot to unload from the car which looked pretty lived in. after we were got settled in, we ate dinner at the apartment.

overall, a very FUN trip. :)

total miles traveled: 1,400
total number of postcards purchased: 10
total number of cameras i brought: 5
total number of photos taken: TBA (too many to count)

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