We had reached our farthest point west. It was time to head back east. Reluctantly, we left the luxury of our hotel in Vegas and headed toward the wilderness of the Grand Canyon. But first we passed the Hoover Dam.
And we couldn’t go back east without eating at In-N-Out.
A few hours later, we arrived.
This is the view from our cabin.
(That’s an elk, in case you’re wondering. We saw several, all females and babies.)
It was raining and stormy, preventing us from hiking. (Apparently it’s monsoon season. Also apparently there is a monsoon season in the US.) But there was this.
We stayed at Maswick Lodge, the Grand Canyon’s affordable alternative for families. There was no air conditioning, but miraculously when we arrived it was a cool 78 degrees. The temperature dropped until we began to feel chilly. (Until we went into our room where cool air wouldn’t reach. It was like sleeping in an oven. Thank you, person who invented air conditioning. I love you.)
For supper we ate at Maswick, a cafeteria-style place known for convenience and low prices (relatively speaking. Nothing in the park is ever cheap.)
The next morning we took the red line shuttle west to Hermit’s Rest. (They had me at hermit.)
The highlight of this trip was this guy.
A California Condor!! It flew about ten feet directly above our heads, but no one was camera ready at that point. After the shuttle tour, we loaded up the car and headed east toward the Watchtower. (Don’t be scared, this is not going to be an attempt to recruit you into the Jehovah’s Witness protection program.) This watchtower was built by the Santa Fe railroad and had awesome views of the canyon.
We left the park and headed east toward Flagstaff where we stalled until it was time to go to our restaurant.
Black Bart’s is a steakhouse musical review that hires local college kids to sing between waiting tables. Not only was the food delicious, but it was so much fun.
I could have stayed much longer, but alas we continued east to here.
If you recognize the Wigwam Motel, you might be a fan of Disney’s Cars. It was the inspiration for some of their scenery and has been an iconic part of Route 66 for a long time. The rooms are exactly what you’d imagine, but they’re cheap with cable and internet. Tomorrow we continue east for a bit before heading south and we lose our first hour. We have loved gaining three hours on this trip. Tomorrow we begin to pay the piper for our greedy time hoarding.