Monday, November 8, 2010

"... did you add the water?"

Sad to leave California, we set out sights on Scottsdale, Arizona.  A very flat, dry and boring 4.5 hour drive later, we arrived at Christine’s aunt & uncle’s BEAUTIFUL home in Desert Mountain.  Happy for the change in scenery and elevation, we enjoyed a delicious dinner before hitting the hay.

The next morning, the Glassbergs gave us a tour of the Desert Mountain community and we grabbed some coffee from the awesome C4 coffee shop.  We also drove through the city of Carefree to see the famous intersection of Ho and Hum streets.  Unfortunately, Barb and Andy had to head back to Michigan for an event, leaving us later that evening.  As we watched the sunset over Phoenix from the hot tub and ate the rest of last night’s scrumptious leftovers, we wondered what we were going to do without warm weather…

Upon leaving Scottsdale, we were Grand Canyon-bound! Along the way, we sidetracked to Sedona to see the famous Red Rocks Park, where, you guessed it, the scenery is a gorgeous shade of red from the mineral deposits in the soil.  From there, we proceeded to the Grand Canyon, where we JUST barely entered the South Rim of the park before sunset.  The lighting isn’t exactly what we were expecting, but, hey, we still made great time.



The next morning was full of exploring the SPECTACULAR South Rim of the Canyon.  Upon first glance, we both absolutely fell in love with the scenery.  We’re still awe-struck by the massive scale of the Canyon (it’s almost a 200-mile drive from the South Rim entrance to the North Rim) and are convinced it’s something every American should see.  It’s so hard trying to put so many miles of postcard-esque scenery into words and our pictures will never do it justice.

Like Glacier National Park, a single street directs traffic to a series of viewing points within the park, allowing us to see the Canyon from multiple angles.  Of course, being the adventurous explorers that we are, we didn’t stick to the marked trails and ventured out on our own.   A few highlights for us included seeing the Colorado River that has sculpted the Canyon over time, hiking down one of the trailheads and wandering into the Watch Tower. 

Crossing Arizona, we entered the large Indian Reservation that occupies the entire northeastern portion of the state, known as Navajo Nation, although other tribes also have reservations in the area. Navajo Nation apparently didn’t love us as much as we loved it.  For the first time, about 11,000 miles into the trip, we were pulled over… not by a city cop, not by a county officer, not by a state trooper, but by a Native American, Navajo Nation patrolman   As he politely asked Jess to step out of the car, he chatted her up as he called in her license information (since Navajo National patrol cars aren’t equipped with computers) as his drug dogs scrambled around the back seat, scaring the life out of poor J.  Despite cruising an estimated 15mph over the speed limit, we’re happy to announce that we’re still ticket-free, even though Jess was issued a formal warning for the first time in her driving career, bringing Jess’ tally to 5 times being pulled over, 0 tickets issued.



Escaping Navajo Nation, we headed eastward to the only spot in the United States where you can be in four places simultaneously – the Four Corners monument!  We we stood in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado at the same time (even though the monument is in New Mexico and we’ve heard rumors that the monument location isn’t geographically correct).  Despite being in the middle of nowhere, we’re happy we stopped.



From there, we traveled to Moab, Utah in search of our next hotel.  Until then!

Memorable Quotes


J:  "technically, it's eating in..."

C: "what do you suppose one trades at a trading post?"
J: "NOT husbands!"

C: "good thing we weren't doing anything else illegal..."
J: "... like what?!"
C: "i don't know... talking on the phone or something...:
*stares*

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