Rough Ride to a Grand Canyon

Today, we headed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We went from desert and scrub brush in Navajo Country to seeing these large things with brown trunks and green stuff on them. I didn’t realize how much I missed trees. Crazy how quickly the landscape changes. The other thing that changes a lot around here is the time. Utah is on Mountain Daylight Time. Arizona does not believe in Daylight Savings Time, but the Navajo Nation does, so we went back and forth. What time is it? Only the phone knows when you have coverage–and it is spotty.

US Route 89A Bitter Springs to Kanab Road Trip Guide Map
Beautiful highways, but very wiggly and lots of ups and downs. We started the day at about 5,200 feet and were at 8,840 somewhere on this road.

The day was gorgeous, as usual, but we ran into a little trouble on the windy, mountain roads. Steven’s aversion to heights kicked in, especially after someone pulled out of a scenic view spot going verrrry slowly right in front of me on a 6% downhill grade on Highway 89 outside Bitter Springs, Arizona. Luckily, I am an excellent driver and nothing happened (by what seemed like inches). However, the incident exacerbated Steven’s fear and he was not a happy camper the rest of the drive (just one step away from curling up into the fetal position and whimpering).

Being the trooper that he is, Steven didn’t let his fear stop him and we did hike from the visitors center into the canyon on the North Kaibob Trail to Coconino Overlook. This is the only maintained trail into the canyon froimg_20180620_140758754_hdrm the North Rim. We did not even think about going all the way down and the groups of mules made it somewhat messy and smelly. It was a steady grade and we did it in the heat of the day, but even with all that, Steven said it was worth it. I agree. He did not, however, want to drive back on those roads tomorrow, so we will say goodbye to the Grand Canyon for now and hope that the phobia will ease.

We drove from there to Kanab, Utah, because it is close to Bryce and Zion National Parks, where we hope to be hiking in the next few days. We are staying at a lovely AirBnB in the hills with a deck that has views of sandstone mesas. I think it is bigger than our house and it is perfect timing for cleaning all our sandy, sweaty hiking clothes. Ahhhhh.


Grandiose Plans

grand-canyon-2299751__340While Sue is getting ready for her trip to London, I will be gearing up for our next journey – a road trip to the Grand Canyon & then whitewater rafting in Utah.  We had scheduled this trip before we won the one to Hawaii; we don’t usually have two trips in consecutive months, just lucky this year. (So very lucky!) Our plan is to put the top down on the convertible and drive from Chicago to Santa Fe (with a stop somewhere around Tulsa), on to the Grand Canyon and then to Moab, Utah.  I have never been to the Southwest or whitewater rafting and I am really excited.  We originally planned to go for two weeks, but as we saw in Hawaii, I always want to extend the trip.  We are currently at 16 days, but I am thinking…maybe just one or two more (perhaps a stop in Denver on the way home?) (Mom mom used to say I had big eyes because I always put too much food on my plate. Steven has big vacation eyes.) …We will see.

All suggestions welcome. We are game for adventures.