Part One: The Grand Canyon
My husband, John, travels to Arizona for work every couple of months or so. I’ve tagged along with him a few times, but this last week while he was busy working in Arizona, I was busy helping my daughter in law.
It was the week before Thanksgiving and John wasn’t going to be finished with work until late on Friday. So we decided since he was already there, I’d take the train from Santa Barbara to Flagstaff and meet up with him.
I like traveling by rail and thoroughly enjoy Los Angeles Union Station. Built in 1939, at a cost of $11 million, it still looks as grand as it did back then.
After a great dinner, I found my way to train 4 and hopped on board. My trip started at 6:00 pm and I arrived in chilly Flagstaff at 5:00 the following morning. I was able to get some sleep onboard as the seats are very comfortable with plenty of leg room.
Even with some sleep under my belt, I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel, wash my face, brush my teeth and lay down for an hour.
After freshening up and having breakfast, we set out for the Grand Canyon.
We both have this funny thing about doing a “loop” as opposed to backtracking, so we chose the East entrance knowing we would loop around and come back via the South entrance.
This is Havasupai territory, and there were many turnouts along the road with abandoned shacks that once sold Indian crafts. It made me feel a bit sad seeing all of the run down abandoned buildings.
Winding our way up we finally got through the East entrance gate, and our first stop was the Desert View area. This was John’s very first sight of the Grand Canyon and I loved seeing his expression.
If you’ve never seen the Grand Canyon, I hope you find a way to visit it someday. It is simply impossible to describe the stunning views and beauty of the canyon. Even photos can’t capture the grandeur of it all.
After exploring Desert View, we drove to the South entrance to park and hike the rim. I say “hike” but it’s more of a walk, stop, take photos, say “Wow” way too many times, and repeat.
We loved every second and stayed until sundown.
Our drive back to Flagstaff was quiet, as we both still felt overwhelmed by the day. I was also very tired because I had been fighting a cold all day. There was no way I was going to let it stop me, but sitting in the car, it was all I could do to stay awake.
The next day we were heading to Sedona, and I was hoping a good night’s rest would be all I’d need to feel better.