Wednesday, March 10, 2010
A Little Foggy on the Grand Canyon
Wow, the past week flew by. True, we had a few adventures, including a major surgery for my mother-in-law last Monday (March 1st). She got out of the hospital yesterday and is currently recovering at my abode.
Two days after the surgery took place, Kennon and I headed south, on our way to Arizona. We had planned this trip earlier, before we learned that my m-i-l was going under the knife, and when things seemed to work out okay for Kennon's mother, we followed through on our original plan.
We wanted to get away from the winter weather that thrives in our neck of the woods for lo these many months, and I wanted to see a dear friend who lives in Arizona. So we headed out on Wednesday night (March 3rd.)
We met up with some good friends in Brigham City for dinner later that night. (Great to see you, Shelley Clan!) Then we drove down to Provo, where we stayed the night. The next morning, we left Provo, on our way to Las Vegas.
As we traveled along, we received text messages from family and friends, verifying that the weather was turning nasty up in Idaho. We snickered and sent them a picture I captured with my camera phone of the beautiful blue sky we were enjoying. They were jealous. But we shouldn't have bragged. As we approached Cedar City, we hit a blizzard of huge proportions. So within minutes we went from this:
To this lovely state of things:
And it didn't let up until we reached St. George. We pulled into a rest stop and were stunned by the accumulation of snow in that location.
In St. George, we saw a huge shift in the weather. It changed from a horrid snowy mess to almost blue sky. (My arthritis loved this game. For those who don't get what I'm saying, changes in weather conditions tends to aggravate arthritis joy. I felt somewhat like a yo-yo. Good times!)
Vegas was sooo warm! We loved it! Hated the graphic porn trash that seemed evident everywhere, but loved the warm temperature. (Vegas is no longer family friendly, something I had heard a couple of years ago. The last time Kennon and I ventured this direction, Las Vegas was still catering to families. My how times have changed.)
We stayed in the Excalibur motel and after checking in, we went to see some positive attractions that are still available in sin city. We started with the Mandalay Bay Aquarium, where we saw a plethora of fishies and other assorted water creatures.
We also walked around the famed "strip" and savored places like M & M World [okay, I was the one who savored M & M World. Kennon tolerated it. ;)]
and Bellagio where we enjoyed the dancing fountains.
The next morning, we left Las Vegas and drove over Hoover Dam and waved at Lake Mead.
This is where we entered Arizona! Way cool!
We linked up with Kerry & Gary in Chino Valley and had a wonderful time exploring nearby Prescott. Here Kerry is showing me that snow really does exist in Arizona.
After enjoying a collection of historic buildings in Prescott, and a handful of fun antique stores, we headed to The Palace, a fun historic restaurant located on the famed "Whiskey Row." The food was wonderful, the atmosphere was charming, and the conversation was lively.
We met up the next day and headed out for a fun sight-seeing adventure. Kerry and Gary were great tour guides. First we travled down to Black Canyon City, stopping to see the famed saguaro cactus. We learned that this particular cactus only grows in one section of Arizona, and they are only found in the state of Arizona, and in Mexico.
Next we headed to Verde Valley to what is known as Montezuma's Castle. There we saw really neat Indian ruins located in the cliffs. This is where the Sinagua tribe once lived.
After we spent quite a bit of time exploring this beautiful valley, we grabbed a bite of lunch, and then journeyed to a wonderful ghost town called Jerome. It was once a mining community. The mine closed years ago and it's a fun place to visit, complete with historic sites and touristy shops filled with treasures. It reminds me of a combination of Lava (Idaho), Jackson (Wyoming), and Park City (Utah).
All too soon, it was time to leave Kerry and Gary in Chino Valley. (Love you guys--and thanks again for EVERYTHING!!!) And off we ventured toward the infamous Grand Canyon. This was a place that neither of us had ever seen before and we were excited. Kerry had warned that northern Arizona can be hit with wintry storms this time of year, and she was right. We had only spent about 20 minutes admiring the "deep hole" as Kerry calls it, when disaster struck. A winter storm descended, and the canyon filled with fog so thick it could have been cut. ;) Nice.
So we went from seeing impressive views like this:
Je suis sure! Or in other words, less than cool!!! Murphy's Law hit us with a fury. Sigh . . . But it was still beautiful, and as we journeyed home, we continued to see wonderful things like this:
Bottom line, I fell in love with Arizona this past week. What a scenic, beautiful state. And I am extremely grateful for the chance we had to journey down that way. I'm already plotting for future adventures down the road. ;)