We decided that we were going to go to the Grand Canyon and headed out. We were fairly far from the Canyon but made good time regardless.
We drove through Flagstaff and I can say now, it is an Arizona city I'd happily live in. It gets snow in the winter, it isn't horribly hot in the summer, there's forests, it's fairly high up (5,000 feet) and the highest point in Arizona is right there. It's lovely!
Then we took the junction going north of Flagstaff. We stopped for lunch in this tiny little town and then headed west on another highway to the Canyon. We took the scenic route which was gorgeous. There were cliffs and canyons and mountains and the view was spectacular. We stopped at some Navajo gift areas. I bought some nice Navajo jewelery and picked Ben up a male necklace for his birthday. Everything was made by the local Navajos and all the money went to them. It was horrible seeing the conditions they are forced to live in. I always knew they were treated horribly but actually seeing it does something to you. They are forced to live in the most desolate areas. The view might be gorgeous but there's no grass for livestock and the soil is too tough for crops! The government treats them like absolute crap. I have some Native American blood in me so this makes me even madder. I don't know what tribe I am, but I do know it's a western tribe; Arizona or California. Possibly Navajo since I saw some of my features in the people. I dunno though...
They were very lovely people, happy to pose for a photo (let me tell you how weird it was asking to take their picture!), and happy to shoot the breeze with you. Seeing these wonderful people made me even more sad for their plight. It's not just the Navajo, it's all the tribes. Ugh, I might post more on them once I post photos from today.
Okay, so we left their stands and continued driving. We were driving along the Little Colorado River (a branch that meets up with the Colorado River) and the canyon and cliffs were mind boggling. We finally got to the Canyon around 2ish. It was gorgeous! Usually the North Rim is higher up but at that part, in the east, the South Rim is higher. It was fairly hazy but the view was amazing! A Navajo Tribal Guide was telling us interesting things. In the distance we saw a hazy dark mountain and he told us that it was in Utah. Utah's border isn't horribly far from the Canyon but it's not too close; possibly 100 miles from the North Rim (or even more).
He also told us that to drive some roads on the North Rim, you need tribal permission since it's on their land. Then he informed us that "the last white man to go in there without permission was never seen again." LMAO xD
I was standing on an outcropping that overlooked that area of the Canyon. There was a fence to protect us but I felt really weird. I think I confirmed that I have a fear of heights, a slight fear but a fear regardless. Especially in cars, with my feet I know I'm controlling them but in a car (especially if somebody else is driving), I'm fairly edgy. I can take my mind off of it but dancing to music and taking photos but sometimes, when we go around a corner and the edge is right there, I clench my eyes shut and grip the seat. Funny how I want to go to many places that are high up. No matter, my fear is controllable at least, it's not a phobia.
We drove through the Park (Monsie, we only went to one stop! We need to do it again!). It was crowded and windy but I loved it! At the last leg of the drive we go the the scenic area where I went in January, memories of my fellow froggie! (Monsie and I are just two frogs on a log!)
Oh, I should mention all the wildlife I saw today!
Okay, to get anywhere on this vacation, we first need to leave the tiny town the resort is in! We have to take a highway to get to the next town over, a highway over 40 miles long through open desert with nothing but some ranches (can't see the ranches, just the cows). It's very pretty but it's monotonous. Well, on the drive to Holbrook (closest larger town and the route to the highway we need), we saw animals! I spotted pronghorn antelope!!! They're the fastest land animals in the United States and they are highly endangered. I saw a whole herd! It was lucky that we spotted them near a pullover area so mom stopped and I very quietly got my cameras ready. I was super quiet since I didn't want them to bolt. I took a couple of photos I shall share with you. I also passed the same dead skunk that I saw everyday this trip. You would think that buzzards, coyotes, etc would have picked it clean! Maybe it was diseased....
Then in Flagstaff I saw a dead pronghorn on the side of the road, didn't like that!
In the Canyon, I saw a coyote! I've seen them in the wild before but I don't care! He was trying to get to the other side of the road. It was funny, we suddenly came upon a traffic jam, the cause being the tourists seeing this coyote and taking photos. Well, I took some too, lol. He might have been begging too, he came pretty close to the cars. Sorry Wile E., no scraps for you! Illegal and you need to fend for yourself! Hehe.
I also saw hawks flying in the Canyon, using the thermals.
On the drive back, on that lonely highway again I saw a jackrabbit hop across the road and a pair of yellow eyes off the road (a coyote possibly). Are jackrabbits rabbits or hares? They look more like hares to me. Aren't rabbits more European and the lagomorphs of the State hares? Hmmm...
Sadly I didn't see a jackalope. (lol)
Tomorrow we head home, I gotta say that I'm looking forward to seeing my kitties (and Heidi). I'll miss Arizona though, but I'll be back again! Yay timeshares!
Then Thursday I see Ben! *\o/*
Conan and Craig Ferguson on soon!