The Grand Canyon

Posted: under Arizona, Grand Canyon, September 2008.
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Grand Canyon, South Rim

Grand Canyon, South Rim

September 18, 2008 — I can’t believe that we left only one week ago. We have seen so much already. Today we visited the south rim of the Grand Canyon — the first view of this wondrous site moved me more than words can say. It actually brought tears to me eyes. I am so lucky!   

I have so many photos but none seem to quite capture the vastness. Be sure to click on the image to enlarge it.

Another interesting note.  There were a lot of Danish tourists, speaking in Danish, of course. Carl could understand much of it even though he does not speak Danish himself. I thought it was very appropriate given that we were there because of the money from Grethe and John Petersen’s house.  Sort of one of those full circle things.

Grand Canyon, South Rim

Grand Canyon, South Rim

 

Some people braver than me!

Some people are much braver than us!

 

Vishnu Temple Grand Canyon South Rim

Vishnu Temple off in distance

 

Grand Canyon - Carl looking down...

Grand Canyon - Carl looking down...

 

 

Tonight we are in Winslow in Arizona… no, I’m not standing on the corner…

 

Grand Canyon, South Rim

Grand Canyon, South Rim

Comments (1) Sep 18 2008

Canyon de Chelly

Posted: under Anasazi Cliff Dwelling, Arizona, Canyon de Chelly, September 2008.
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Canyon de Chelly with Anasazi Dwelling

Canyon de Chelly with Anasazi Dwelling

September 17, 2008. When we woke up this morning (in Grants, New Mexico) we were unsure which way we would go — up 491 through Navajo Nation to Shiprock and then Four Corners Monument — or into Arizona and up 191 to Chinle and the Canyon de Chelly.  We decided on the latter.  

 

 

This in in Navajo Nation (AZ side).  Pronounced Canyon de “shay.”   Notice the Anasazi Cave Dwellings — we were pretty excited to see these. 

Canyon de Chelly is one of the oldest continuously dwelled canyons.  

We spent about 3hours here and then continued north on 191 and then west on 160.  We had hoped to find a place to stay in Kayenta but it was booked full.  We had dinner at an Dineh run restuarant and then drove to Tuba City where we did not even see a hotel.  We ended up arriving in Flagstaff well after dark — did the last hour of the scenic drive in the dark.  Anyway, now that we know we are here we will drive up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon tomorrow.  I am SO excited!

 

Canyon de Chelly -- looking down at floor

Canyon de Chelly -- looking down at floor

 

 

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Bad night sleep! We learned the hard way that every train in the US must pass through Flagstaff at night — and blow its whistle for safety.

Comments (0) Sep 17 2008

Alburqueque and Santa Fe, NM

Posted: under New Mexico, September 2008.
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New Mexico road side

New Mexico road side

September 16, 2008 –We spent last night in Santa Rosa, NM and left just after 9am.  We decided that we really needed to get the oil change and to keep an eye out in Albuquerque for either a Toyota dealer.  Boy, did we ever find one.  We ended up at the Karl Malone Toyota Superstore.  Quite an experience for something so mundane!  Anyway, we put the Mobil One synthetic oil in and now that I can speak in hindsight — it has improved our mileage quite a bit.  We are now averaging 50 MPG. Love our Prius.  

 

 

Hemp Store posters facing our lunch restaurant

Hemp Store posters facing our lunch restaurant

For lunch, we drove up to Santa Fe.  Carl had been there once about 16 years ago or longer.  I never had but loved the photos from Poornima’s vacation.  We had nachos and juice for lunch sitting across from a hemp store.  We didn’t really stay long enough to get to know the town but had a fairly good impression from it.  Carl was more disappointed than I was since he felt that it was much more commercial than he last remembered it.  My thoughts are the Portsmouth has changed in equal ways over the past 15 to 20 years.  It’s hard to keep a good artistic community from the yuppies!  Still, I’d consider exploring it more as a possible home — it did have several whole food stores and a Trader Joes. Plus the houses looked very interesting. And they were working on a new railroad track that looked like it might go down to Albuquerque eventually.  I think we will be back before all is said and done.

 

We drove back down 25 over to 40 and stayed in Grants, New Mexico.  We are no longer counting how many miles in a day.  We are here. We now EXPLORE!

Comments (1) Sep 16 2008

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

Posted: under Palo Duro Canyon, September 2008, Texas.
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September 15, 2008. Left Weatherford, Oklahoma around 9:00 am and crossed the border into Texas about 10:35am. Traveling on Interstate 40. There seems to be a lot of signs for the original Route 66. We are figuring out that 40 replaced 66 for much of the way.

Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon

Today we left the highway for a few hours and did a scenic drive through the Palo Duro Canyon. It was interesting getting to the Canyon because we went for a long time down some very lonely roads (looked like President Bush country to us).  At one point, there was absolutely nothing but our road, sage bush, and desert red dirt.  We felt so vulnerable!  What if the car broke down?  No cell towers, no Toyota dealers!  It was almost enough to put us off these scenic drives!  But then we came to these red, red rocks (which we now know are called hoodoos). Our first canyon – awesome!

We left the Canyon via Hamblen Drive, named for the guy that pioneered the crude road through the canyon which saved the settlers 120 miles when traveling to the courthouse.

Palo Duro Canyon Hamblen Drive

Palo Duro Canyon Hamblen Drive

 

 

 

 

We spent the night in Santa Rosa, NM after driving 485 miles.

Comments (1) Sep 15 2008

St. Louis and Hurricane Ike

Posted: under September 2008.
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September 14, 2008 — morning! We started our day in Troy, Illinois with Hurricane Ike.  We left around 8:30am.

We wake up to Hurricane Ike in Troy, Illinois

We wake up to Hurricane Ike in Troy, Illinois

 

Gateway Arch in St. Louis; winds by Hurricane Ike

Gateway Arch in St. Louis; winds by Hurricane Ike

We drove through St. Louis but didn’t see much of the Mississippi nor the Gateway Arch due to rains and high winds.  Thanks to the GPS, however, getting through and out of St. Louis was straight forward.  Carl predicted sunny skies by noon.  And, yes he was right. We managed to drive out of Hurricane Ike by around 10:30 and we were backto wearing our shades by noon. 

In Missouri, we took Interstate 44 — this is the first that we see hints of Route 66.  This highway brought us past Springfield Illinois and then to the Oklahoma border around 2:00pm.  Highway 44 brought us through Tulsa (very new feeling city) and Oklahoma City (older city).  We hit Oklahoma City around 5pm and stopped outside the city for gas. Our Prius seems to be getting about 45 miles per gallon.  We need to get an oil change soon.

In Oklahoma, we saw lots of Windmills. They are so graceful.  Don’t understand why people have issues with installing these guess I should research this more.  But visually, they are so much better than other oil refineries and nuke plants.  In Oklahoma and Texas, they graze cattle on the same land as the windmills.

We ended up spending the night in Weatherford, Oklahoma on Rte 40.  We drove 587 miles.

Windmills in Oklahoma

Windmills in Oklahoma

Comments (0) Sep 14 2008

Leaving home…

Posted: under September 2008.

September 12, 2008 — We spent our last night on our futon mattress on the floor.  We packed the car the day before, so all we had to do was get up, take showers, put last bag in the car and head for Starbucks. As glad as I was to be seeing our way through to our crazy plan, a part of me felt very sad as I looked around our empty apartment.

 

Empty House - Sunroom

Empty House - Sunroom

For the next couple of days, we were to find that these images would keep coming back to us.  I can’t help but wonder what those ten years in Nashua amounted to.  We started out with minimum stuff, given that we had just moved off our Sailboat.  Then we spent ten years filling this apartment up. So much so that it took one month to empty it.  In the end we gave away or threw away everything that we had accumulated except for 2 pallets worth of stuff — that will be shipped to us at some point.  Hmmmm…. 

 

Empty Livingroom

Empty Livingroom

Of course, seeing the room empty like this it is very obvious that the house had settled quite a bit over the years (before we got there!).  And you can see our lovely paneling, which is in every room…  causing our neighbor to nickname the apartment “the tree house.”

On our first day, we made it as far as Barkeyville, Pennsylvania.  We drove 500 miles and hit standstill traffic on the highway (we were on 80).  Had to have been an accident, but who knows?  There is never any evidence of what the problem was by the time the traffic is moving again!  We sat on the highway nearly 90 minutes.  I checked out our latest gadget, a cassette tape that lets us play the iPod in the car — and we listened to the Jack Johnson CD that I had recently downloaded.  We were amazed that such a hokey gadget worked so well. Carl napped/rested and I did my first ever Sudoku puzzle on the iPod. Lupe had taught me how to do the puzzle when we last came back from China and that was my first chance to try one on my own.  I don’t think I’ll become addicted.  It reminds me of the word-seek puzzles or connect the dots.  I like crossword-type puzzles better. Anyway, we stopped at Barkeyville soon after the traffic started to move.  We had dinner at a family restuarant that served French Fries smothered in melted cheese on top of the salad. Sort of defeats the purpose of the ordering a salad, but I have to admit, it was good. Bet I never see that particular combo again!

Comments (0) Sep 12 2008