During September and October Susan and I embarked on a tour of several midwestern and western states, driving in our 2000 Toyota Siena van(215,000 miles before our trip)a total of 7,279 miles through 13 states. We were gone 33 days and spent the night in 21 different places. When we got home it dawned on us that we had been together virtually 24/7 for the entire trip with no major disagreements and without growing tired of each other. I think our marriage of 41 years will last.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday October 2: Grand Canyon North Rim AZ

On our way south from Cedar City we passed through Colorado City AZ, home of the infamous Warren Jeffs and the Fundamental Latter Day Saints, who practice the art of polygamy. 

Here’s Sister Susan looking longingly at the city limit sign, but I wouldn’t let her stay.

We proceeded through Fredonia AZ where we stopped for gas at “Gas, Guns, Beer, and Ammo” where all the t-shirts for sale read “Homeland Security” with crossed rifles.  Outside the store was an 8-9 year old girl named Alyssa who was selling pillow cases and girls’ skirts she had sewn herself.  Susan, being a patsy for anyone who sews, bought a pillow case for $10.  I have no idea what she will do with it.


As we approached the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (saving another $25) we noticed quite a lot of fire damage, but the aspens and pines were returning to life.  After lunch at the North Rim Lodge we hiked to Angels Point Landing for our first look at the Grand Canyon.

At the lodge we learned the story of Brighty, an abandoned mule who was adopted by a young boy and was among the first mules to lead tourists into the Grand Canyon.  If his nose looks a little shiny it’s because you’re supposed to rub it for good luck.

Panoramic views from the North Rim


After leaving the lodge area we hiked down the North Kaibab Trail into the canyon.  We didn’t go all the way, after all it’s about 14 miles down and then you have to walk up.  The trail was a steep descent and after we had been gone for awhile, it started raining.  We didn’t get soaked, but it was uncomfortable enough that we went back to the top.  However, we did get a few good photos.



We didn’t see Brighty nor his kin on the trail, however they had left evidence of their presence for us to avoid.

On the way out of the park we were treated to some more aspen beauty, this time in AZ.

After leaving the park we drove toward Page AZ.  While traveling east we came through a mountain pass and over a hill and this is the view that almost took our breath.  I’m afraid the the photo doesn’t capture the real beauty of green land, blue sky, and the pink Vermillion Cliffs of northern AZ.


We crossed the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River as we entered the Navajo Nation.  As an interesting side note, the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Savings Time while the rest of AZ does not.  Since you’re never certain whether you’re on the reservation or not, you’re never sure what time it is.  Anyway, there’s also a foot bridge at the river crossing, and it’s a place where you can sometimes observe California condors.  The condors are numbered and equipped with radio devices for tracking purposes.  They tend to range from the Grand Canyon north to Zion National Park.

Colorado River at the Navajo Bridge

Now starting at offensive tackle for the California Condors is number 73. . .

and at wide receiver number 2

I certainly wouldn’t call them pretty birds, let's just say they’re interesting.

It was early evening as we approached Page and we stopped to enjoy the setting sun.  The changing colors of yellow, pink, and orange were just spectacular.



We made it to Page for the night and enjoyed a dinner of fry bread hamburger, fry bread taco, blue corn mush (ugh) and cold brew.  Excellent.

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