Thursday, October 2, 2014

Day 1 Phoenix to Kingman along famed Route 66

Phoenix is hot.
Arizona is home to one of the sunniest place in the world on the west 'coast'.  
Made it to the Guiness world book of records for it....Yuma.   
We started off early....well early for me and Thelma by 8:30 we were out the door.

Even though you think you're organized...chances are, if you are Thelma or Louise - 
you are far from organized.

Neat we're ot - this gene skipped both of us.

Big Bertha (my luggage) and Maria's duffle bag  Sloppy Joe were stuffed into our 
Mustang  and off we were.

First stop?  Well actually our direction  was west 
bound from Phoenix to the famed Route 66.

One of the original highways that has now lost its' lustre, but is being

Kitsch route 66 signs abound, once you are on that route.

Top down, already smouldering by early morning, it was still our chance to let our 
skin catch some rays,and enjoy the wind and air.
 The wind actually feels cool when it's whipping
around , especially  because the air is dry

Every kind of cactus possible is sprouting out here.
Arid, dry, and in the world's guinness book of records for one of the cities
 with the most sun per year, is right here.  No SAD here.

Things start to feel real when you hit the California/Arizona coast line and find
 a little book where you can sign in as a real road tripper - a la Jack Kerouac.

We signed the welcome to Route 66 book like the silly tourists we are.
I wrote a happy birthday message for my nephew Nicholas,
who turned 18 on the 30th of September.

We took a short break at a cafe in Topock where there is swamp land.
We didn't expect swamp land, but we did grab some chile and some shade.

Off we went again some winding roads, then we were greeted by a surprise visitor 

Wild donkey.

Our highlight of the day, watching the wild donkeys roam the route.  
This one actually started to approach the car,
 and I was sure that he was used to being fed.

This is him coming up to my window.

I convinced Maria (afraid of being caught breaking the law)
to feed him some our rice cakes.

Our winding road through the mountains and into
Kingman was the second highlight of the day.

Day 1 Started in Phoenix and ended in Kingman.

Quip of the day by Maria:
Who expected to see so much road on a road trip.


Day 3 The Colorado River

Ever since I first saw the Grand Canyon, now more than 20 years ago,
 I wanted to go down to the depths of the Colorado.  
I didn't know you could do thatback then, 
but happened to watch a documentary
 (yes yet another documentary)
 Where the guide said, as groups of approximately 15 people started their treck down river,
  boisterous and loud, 
and slowly, 
minute by minute,
 time and time again, 
he could see the people transform, 
quieten down,
 become silent, 
as they were enveloped by the canyon walls and stayed in awe of it's nature.

  As they showed the pontoon floating
 down the mighty Colorado,
another bucket list item was born.

I will do that one day.  

This morning was a grumpy morning,
 but we made it to the Colorado River Discovery center.

We had booked our day just the night before - and for 120$ you got a trip down the
 Colorado, lunch on the boat and a 1.5 hour bus back through
Navajo reservation back to our town of  Page. 

 I was initially disappointed, I wanted to be deeper in the canyon
and take the tour from
 Peach Springs, but our delay on Route 66 didn't allow for that. 
So we opted for the lowly option 2. 

I was hugely surprised and to my pleasure it was everything I wanted it to be. 
You are bussed to the Powell Damn, where you have your breath taken out of you
from being at the bottom of the damn and looking up.  
You ease onto a pontoon and off you go,
just like that.....
down the mighty Colorado river.

The  river is calm, green from the algae, deep and yet shallow at points. 
 It's beauty is really the canyon walls, 
the red rock towering above you,
your echo,
and the realization that you are but a spec on this huge planet.

There was a 4 year old boy with us, cute as a button. 
 He even models!
As we started our descent, 
just before leaving the towering damn walls, we were asked to yell hello all at once.  
The walls echoed back, HELLO!
The little boy was enthralled.  
His parents asked us to do it again. 
He had never heard an echo before. 
 Like little kids we were happy to oblige.
Was it for him? Or for us?
Hello! Hello! Hello!

I am here! 
I made it!

The water is calm, cool, green like old coca cola bottled.  
Like smooth glass.  
There are rapids that are class 5 which means ridiculously calmer 
than your bath tub water.
Maria was afraid - for a second.  
The little boy was just fine.

The Canyon walls tower over you.  
It is sheer peace, calm, pristine.

There are a few stops along the way, you can swim, relax, 
and see the petroglyphs (carvings on the canyon walls ) 
by Navajo Indians from long ago.

The red rocks tower above, some look dangerously close to toppling and from 
time to time the river rangers do see smaller pieces hit the water, 
They point out the one they think would be coming next.
They name them  things like R2D2.

The weather was ideal, hot and searing in the sunlight, nippy and cooling in
 the shadow and enveloping shade of the canyon walls. 

The water was frigid however, so, taking a dip wasn't something I was aching to do.

Maria snapped this beauty above.

As the Green Giant used to say on a television program of my youth
Look up - look waaaaay up!

Maria snapped this shot of the beautiful beach.

We did see some people fishing along the water, and camping as well.
I realized that instead of making this trip in an organized trip the next time around,
I could rent my own kayak and do it with a bunch of friends!

What a thrill.
New bucket list item!

Happy Cap.

Make your dreams come true.