Search

Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

Tag

WilliamsAZ

Day 18 – Rt. 66 trip

When we got to the car this morning we found our low tire light on. This happened a few days ago, we got air and it hadn’t happened since. We probably have a nail or something that is causing a slow leak when the tire is in just the right position. So, we went in to the town of Williams to find an air pump and discovered there were many Rt. 66 attractions we missed by not venturing away from the hotel. We are still learning we don’t quite have this touring thing down pat, but we sure will be able to give other travelers advice.

The next few pictures are scenery between Williams and Oatman, AZ. There was some spectacular sights I didn’t photo because we were on a road with switchbacks and no guardrails. It actually made me sick to my stomach and I was doing my best to not look. Bob thought it was great, the curves and the scenery.

IMG_1472

We also were treated to three Burma Shave signs.

If Daisies are your favorite flower

Keep pushin’ up your miles per hour          Burma Shave

IMG_1475

These signs cost money so roost awhile

Just don’t do anything funny        Burma Shave

IMG_1479

Cattle crossing means go slow

That old bull is some cows beau           Burma Shave

IMG_1482

We spent most of the day on Rt. 66 so we could get to the the town of Oatman. As I said above, the last six miles of the drive almost had me in tears, but the destination will be one of our top three talked about by the time we get home. The story goes, when the mines in the area were shut down by the government, the burros that were used in them were left to fend for themselves. Their descendants now freely roam the town. They all have names and when we asked where they sleep, the answer was where ever they want to.

IMG_1488

I have been on the search for some big cacti. I found some.

IMG_1484

Three of the many burros.

IMG_1485

If it’s an animal, I have to pet it. This one wasn’t too interested since I didn’t have any sweets or food to offer.

IMG_1802

The town had good old fashioned boardwalks rather than sidewalks. We were lucky to get a parking place in the town center.

IMG_1487

This sign was outside Patty’s Place where we had lunch. The wording isn’t quite right, but who cares. The sentiment sure fits.

IMG_1491

The ice cream bar decorations inside Patty’s. I love the old cash registers.

IMG_1493

Patty’s lunch menu. My chili dog was ample and Bob’s BLT salad was good sized too.

IMG_1492

This guy looked over the hallway to the restrooms. He is supposed to deter people from taking the signs off the walls.

IMG_1494

Below is the men’s bathroom wall. No I didn’t barge in to see, the door was open and I thought this some good memorabilia. Of course the mustache caught my attention right away. Not too many people said anything about’s handlebars today, everyone was too interested in the burros.

IMG_1496

The town is shoved right up against some cliff walls. The scenery is beautiful but I’m not sure I would like living where there are no trees.

IMG_1498

The burros spent a lot of time in front of one particular store. The lady who runs the store was constantly yelling at them like they were her children. They tried to walk in inside to get carrots. She told us they will try to take ice cream cones out of your hands and will steel whole bags of candy. One of them took a bite out of my shopping bag and it din’t have any food in it. They run along the board walk and also get into squabbles. Quite the free entertainment. The town looks after their well-being.

IMG_1503

We  left Oatman and Rt. 66 to head north to Las Vegas which was still two hours away. Once again we were driving through arid country and mountains. When we got to Laughlin, AZ, we stopped at a Walmart for some necessities and it was 102 degree.

We passed the largest solar farm I have ever seen. It sure is a good place for it. I’m sure there is plenty of animal and bug life in the arid fields, but very few people to complain the don’t want the “farm” in their back yard.

Our GPS took us around the back side of Vegas to find the Mirage Hotel which was nice of “the lady.” Problem was, we were driving right into the setting sun. At least it wasn’t rush hour. I don’t know how Bob kept the car in the right lane it was so hard to see. Then we went into the wrong parking garage, walked to our hotel to check in, than had to go back and find the car which turned out to not be as hard as we thought it might be. The outcome, the Mirage got us for Valet parking, one person to unload the car, and another person to deliver out stuff to our room. We can’t use the fridge in the room without paying to open it because it is actually a mini bar. There is no coffee maker and our usual drinks were double the normal price we pay at home. I know, we are in Vegas, probably the first and last time for me.

Day 17 – Rt 66 trip

When you take a trip like we are, you learn as you go, especially about the questions you should have asked when making reservations. Night before last I mentioned I might not have internet when we got into Grand Canyon Park. Well, I didn’t know how accurate that statement would turn out to be. Bob had trouble getting emails on his phone, I didn’t. We could only connect one device in a room at a time, but then it didn’t work. I’m sure you’ve seen that thing on Facebook in the past few months; could you go without internet for a year? Well, maybe if I planned ahead, but if one is trying to blog daily and your husband is trying to be available to his boss when he’s on a month long vacation, the Grand Canyon is not the place to go. I finally posted yesterday’s blog about 7:30 pm, Arizona time. Vent over!

Packing the suitcase and getting in the car daily is starting to wear us out. It was nice to take the train yesterday and just sit. We slept late this morning deciding we didn’t need to pay for another tour. While still in the room I could see different birds in the woods behind our room. One was the size of a big sparrow, but was blue. I didn’t get a picture, but will look it up when we get home. There were also Ravens. A bit bigger than a crow with a hooked beak. They are professional beggars. Our bags were picked up from our room on the south rim and then delivered back to the Grand Canyon Hotel in Williams. That’s service.

IMG_1454 (1)

We wandered around the public areas of the South Rim today, visiting different buildings, sights, and seeing the canyon from different spots. There are shuttle buses that will take you from place to place, free of charge. A constant, other than people, were the squirrels. There are signs everywhere with warnings not to feed them. They are known to be the most dangerous animal in the park because of their aggressiveness and bites. They often carry rabies. We took a picture because they are so different from our grey squirrels in western New York state.

IMG_1788

I also took a picture of a cactus, maybe it’s a succulent, because that’s one plant I don’t have at home.

IMG_1451

Below is a noon-time picture that shows more of an expanse of the canyon.

IMG_1456

Below is a picture Bob took. The clouds are gone and you can see a thin line through the center of the photo. That is a hiking trail. We didn’t see any people on it. While writing post cards to the grandchildren this morning I realized I am a bit afraid of the viewing spots that have no protection from falling over the edge.

IMG_1786

A lot of our view today was near the Bright Angel Lodge where we had lunch, at 2 pm. We asked for a table at 1:30 and were told the wait would be about 20 minutes. That wait turned into a little over half and hour. The couple behind us, from Bozeman, Montana, were also hurrying to get on the same train back to Williams that we were so we invited them to join us at our table instead of waiting for one of their own. Richard and Shirley are still Harley riders, as we used to be, and I have a love affair with Montana, so there was plenty to talk about while we kept checking our watches.  Lunch at the Harvey House Cafe was good even if the service was a bit slow. They were busy.

IMG_1458

As soon as we finished lunch we headed for the train.  IMG_1461

Above: inside our bubble on the train. Christina was our hostess today and Clyde sang us some tunes. We saw antelope on the way back to Williams, and yes, I had another Nutty Almond to drink. Bob had another local beer. He is taking a picture of each one and will post a city by city, beer by beer collection once we get home. If you want me to share it, please leave a note in my comments box. Below is a picture of the bubble car from the outside. It is considered first class, so we had a “free” champagne toast today, to our military, the Grand Canyon, and the US with all its faults and strengths.

IMG_1793

Back at the hotel in Williams, we retrieved my pillow from the car, then sat a while in our room so I could finally post yesterdays events. Now I am writing in the lounge, where we had pizza and a night cap. The service wasn’t wonderful tonight, but the pizza was good and there is blues playing in the background. All good!

Since I didn’t take many pictures today I thought it would be a good time to share how I take my notes, they are from the 9th, then end up giving you all the details. I don’t expect you to be able to read my hen scratch, sometimes I have trouble deciphering it myself.

IMG_1464IMG_1463

When I post this we will be back up to date. Bob and I can have an early night, thankful for life, each other and the internet.

 

 

 

 

Day 16 – Rt 66 trip

The organization at the Grand Canyon Hotel in Williams, AZ, was a pleasure for me to be a part of. We had to have one suitcase apiece packed and by a certain door by 8:30 am. That meant two things; we had to get up to an alarm clock, and we had to leave some things in the car, like my pillow, the little cooler and our dirty clothes. We buried our computers safely in the middle of our clothing to take them with us.

The vacations package we bought gave us breakfast this morning, along with about 200 other people. The buffet, pictured below, was extensive and I enjoyed my veggie omelet slathered with guacamole. Each table got their own coffee carafe. I can’t imagine how many line the shelves when not in use.

IMG_1395

From there all the people taking the train to the South Rim Hotel run by Xanterra went outside to see the “Wild West Show.” Well, it wasn’t wild, and I don’t think I know anyone that would have played one of the parts of an old-time cowboy, but it was entertaining and a great way to get everyone to the train on time. They pulled the tourist out of the crowd and accused him of cheating at a card game. He was a good sport.

IMG_1398

Our car hostess was a cute young redheaded female that made the trip lively. She gave us lots of reasons it was all right to have a drink at 10 am. When she came to take orders she asked where everyone was from. Small world she went to the same central school, Wayland-Cohocton, I did for five years, and also lived in Wellsville, near where Bob grew up.

IMG_1400

Above: Our train, we rode in a bubble, or on the top floor of a two floor car.

Below: my toasted almond.

IMG_1402

The 2 ½ hour train ride took us 65 miles further north to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It took so long because they only do 40 miles an hour and sometimes slower. For us, having just driven three days through arid lands and then coming into trees again, the ride was a repeat of that scenery. It was relaxing and we had an older gentleman named Syd play a Roy Rodgers and a Gene Autry tune on his ukulele while he sang for us.

As soon as we got off the train, we got on a bus for a tour that included lunch in the Maswik Lodge cafeteria. Our driver, Terry, was a lot of fun and told us things we didn’t know about the Grand Canyon National Park. It is the only park in the US that has its own village including a school, clinic, magistrate, fire station, employee cabins, grocery store for employees, bank, (a gift shop in every building) and a cemetery. You have to have worked in the park for a specific number of years in order to be buried there.

The bus tour took us to two different lookout stations that were not accessible by car. I didn’t write the names down so will just post the best of my pictures. They are all taken a few feet from any ledge, most of which had no guard rails or fences. No wonder people fall off.

 

IMG_1409

IMG_1412

IMG_1413

IMG_1416

IMG_1417

One of the fun things we have been doing is meeting new people. After a short rest this afternoon, we went to dinner with a couple from California that we had been talking to during the day. He is in construction and she just retired so we had a lot in common. Before we went to our table in the El Tovar Lodge, we took sunset pictures outside. I’ll post four as the light changes.

IMG_1420

IMG_1423

IMG_1424

IMG_1428

The El Tovar Lodge was the first hotel in the park. It is majestically beautiful, and our dinner was the best. I had a strip steak, pepper jack cheese au gratin potatoes and broccolini. We were all too full for dessert. It happened to be Gene and Gail De Young’s anniversary and Bob’s birthday is Friday, so we shared the celebration.

IMG_1432

I think everyone should see the Grand Canyon once. It is so huge it’s indescribable. There are many tours you can pay for, and also shuttle buses if you want to make your own way around. It is a busy place until the sun goes down and then the public areas are barely lit. We had to use the flashlights on our cell phones to safely walk to the bus station where we caught a ride back to the main lodge, then we had to walk to our rooms in separate buildings still using the flashlights. They have this thing about light pollution, but in my opinion it was unsafe especially with all the unevenness of the paths.

If you are a hiker, or interested in riding a mule into the canyon the visit would be even more enjoyable. One can purchase a permit to hike in and camp. We saw elk very close to the employee village and I was unable to get a good picture of the mules in their paddock, but Bob got one of a mule in training. They have quite an extensive crew to take care of the animals.

IMG_1764

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑