Monday, May 30, 2005

This just in from the Grand Canyon

Photos coming soon: I promised photos, but I've been having a few problems finding Wi-Fi or even dial-up access on the road. You'd think that wouldn't be a problem. But when you have a dog, you stay in low-end to moderate motels/hotels such as La Quinta and Econolodge - which may or may not have 'Net access (as ours did not) - or bed and breakfasts, which are also spotty on Web access. Neither our B&B in Arkansas nor the charming one we spent Saturday night in Chimayo (north of Santa Fe) had Internet access.

When we did find a Starbucks (which all have Wi-Fi), we were busy sightseeing, or we couldn't put Nelson in the car because it was too hot out. But I do promise that you will see some pix here soon.

Right now, I'm in an Internet cafe in Tusayan, Arizona, at the entrance of the Grand Canyon, and I've got 15 minutes on this machine before I've got to give it up. So quickly ....

Le Grande Canyon: What's today, Monday? Oh yeah, Memorial Day. The days blend together when you're on the road. We just got back from walking the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Truly stupendous. There's a slight haze today, but you can still see for miles, and the canyon, with its multi-thousand-foot drops and red and green vistas are both beautiful and humbling. Nelson came with us, and he came pretty close to the edge once or twice. The dog apparently doesn't have an issue with heights ...

We hiked a bit around Bandalier Mountain, in New Mexico, yesterday. Which meant that we didn't get on the road to the Grand Canyon until almost 2:30 p.m. We got in last night at 11:30, and it would've been even later had we not crossed into the Pacific time zone.

I've been doing the bulk of the driving over the past few days: 6-7 hours at a stretch, with E. finishing up the last 2 hours or so. I suppose it's only fair, as he drove by himself from Washington, D.C. to Fayetteville Arkansas, logging more than 1,200 miles. So far, we've logged about 2,600 miles.

Running Update: I ran 3.5 to 4 miles this morning, the first time in four days. And I could feel it. We're at an altitude of about 6,000 feet, so the fact that I hadn't run in a bit, plus the high altitude, made my heart pound more than usual. I ran on the main road at 6:30 a.m. There were a couple of gentle hills, but otherwise, straight and flat. It felt sooo good to stretch my legs.

Time running out: Okay, I've got only 10 minutes left. So here are a few things I've encountered:

* Lots and lots of fat people. What is up with that?! Driving through the South and Middle America, 2 out of every people we've seen are either fat or morbidly obese.
* Big skies. Searing sunsets.
* Trucks, trucks, and more trucks. Sixteen-wheelers are the kings of the road, and you best be sure not to get in their way.
* Cruise control is a beautiful thing.
* The New Mexico landscape is part cowboy, mostly lunar.
* Many towns along I-40 are trying to bring in more tourists by noting their old Route 66 landmarks. And because I'm a sucker for Americana (and I always root for the underdog), I plan to go back and visit them.

Next stop: Las Vegas - but just for a quick walk down the neon-lit Strip with the dog, so I can say he saw Vegas. Then we'll head up the road another 2 1/2 hours to Beatty, NV, where we'll spend the night. Beatty is the entrance to Death Valley National Park, and close to a couple of ghost towns.

We've got 9 hours of driving ahead of us. See you down the road.

4 comments:

  1. Great travelogue accounts. Just as I might imagine. Although I am not surprised by all the fat people I am surprised that you notice all the obesity on your trip. Are they locals or tourists?

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  2. Thanks for the update, Bex! Sounds like a fun trip, and so very cool you are getting some altitude training. By the way, I think Residence Inn allows pets.

    Looking for pics soon!

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  3. Good for you, keeping up with the running. It's tough to do on vacation.Nelson must be loving this trip and all the attention!

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  4. David, I think the fat people were both tourists and locals, but mostly locals. I can understand why - the portions the restaurants serve you are enormous.

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