Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Max & Diane's Adventure - Day 5


7:30 am. We're awake! Maybe because its 9:30 am in Omaha. I don't know that we're going to be moving any faster this morning, but it was a great night's sleep. The mattress was perfect for me - soft and a little beat up.

8:45 am. We're off! Here is a picture of the Wigwam as we drove away. Max has some really cool pics that will go up on his Flickr account next week.

9:11 am. First stop. Jack Rabbit Trading Post. This is a classic from Route 66. I actually bought some junk in here.

We are surrounded by Indian reservations. The alcoholism that is prevalent among them is probably one of the saddest things I've ever seen. All along the interstate from New Mexico on, we have seen signs that give a number for you to call if you see a drunk driver - and in Tucumcari, there was a building that was specifically for dealing with DWI. While we were at the Jack Rabbit, a young man came in to purchase a bottle of Jack Daniels. The owner reminded him (as quietly and politely as she could) that this was the only bottle he could buy today. Oh my ... that was at 9:15 in the morning.

10:09 am. Winslow, Arizona. We had to drive through to get a picture of Max standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. There is a great store across the street from this pic that has nothing but Eagles memorabilia. Directly across from Max is a statue of a singer with a guitar - in a little park that was dedicated to the song.

They even have a flatbed Ford that sits there. There's more to the story than what you know. In Winslow's heyday - it was a hootin' and hollerin' Western town filled with 'young ladies.' The men would get themselves all dolled up - even buying things at "The Store for Men." Then, the women would cruise by and if they saw a man they wanted to spend time with, he was chosen.

What a great addition to the story! I loved this place. It is really great. And this is what Route 66 is all about - memories ... whether from the late 1800s, the 1940s and

11:33 am. Meteor Crater Road. There's a sign that says "Slow Down. Baby Calves on roadway." Ummm ... what? Oh, I see. This is an open range! But, we didn't see any cattle.

Before we left Winslow, I decided I was done with the whole - not shopping thing. We stopped at an Indian Art store. Absolutely gorgeous, beautiful stuff. The owner hovered over me trying to talk up all of the artwork that he had. He handles quite a few artists. Showing all of the intricacies and pieces ... I bought quite a bit of stuff from him and felt a little sick that I was spending so much money. But, in hindsight, I should have bought more - you'll see why in a bit.

Oh ... and a traveling tip. My credit card was declined here. Fuhreaked me out! Fortunately, I had another one. I called my bank to check my balance (it's my debit card). Everything was as it should be, but she went a few steps further to help me. Turns out, it was declined because the zip code didn't match. I didn't know that I was supposed to call my credit card company to let them know that I was traveling. She gave me the number, I made the call and the very helpful woman put a note on my account regarding the states that I would be traveling through and the dates that I needed to have open access to the card. Who knew? Well, I do now - and so do you! I was doing fine as long as each transaction was under $100. Yikes.

Meteor Crater. Ok, I didn't go up to see this. Max walked up the 150 gazillion steps to the top of the meteor (and paid $15 to do it). He took a few pictures and then let me know that I missed a 'big hole in the ground.' Nope, not feeling too bad about that. But, hey ... cool, right?

2:15 pm. We're heading north off I-40 to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at the Anasazi Inn. Navajo Frybread. Ummm ... its bread, it's fried. Diane was in heaven. Since we're in the middle of the Navajo nation, there is a ton of stuff for sale. This place had some beautiful rugs. I checked the price - mostly because I'm a masochist and I needed to know whether the guy in Winslow had ripped me off. Ummm ... nope. These people want $1700.00 for a rug the size that I purchased. Good heavenly days! Oh my, oh my, oh my. I wanted to go back to Winslow and buy more.

2:42 pm. We're getting closer to the Grand Canyon. All of a sudden I see this stuff happening. Ths is the Little Colorado River Gorge. Amazing. I shot these out of the car window. We didn't realize what we were seeing until we'd flown by the scenic overlook.

3:15 pm. We're here. The first glimpse I had was as we were driving to one of the lookout points. All of a sudden, there it was. And I began to sob. We drove into the first lookout point, parked and I couldn't even get out of the car. I just cried and cried and cried. There were a lot of people around. I finally put my sunglasses on and walked out to see the amazing vista.

Happy Birthday, Max. Here you are!

I think that most of us who have never seen this, accept it as a glorious sight - maybe someday we'll get a chance to experience it, but we don't think about it again. The moment that I saw the canyon, I was overtaken by the immensity, the grandeur, the majesty of it. And it became very personal to me. Here I was, in the glory of God's creation, standing next to one of the most stunning things I will ever experience. The feeling of awe gives you a sense of how big the world around us really is.

I had no idea what to expect regarding visitor access to the canyon, but there are many opportunities to stop on the side of the road and take it all in. As long as Leica was on leash, she wandered with me. At one point, I just sat down on a few rocks and stared while Max was taking photographs of it.

We saw people from all over the world, Buddhist monks, Germans, French, Indians, Japanese ... and all would stand in silence the first time they saw it. As they walked back to their cars, conversations would begin again, yet not necessarily about what they had just experienced. As if they wanted to treasure that moment alone.

By the sixth or seventh time we had pulled over to stop, I was able to collect myself enough to do some writing and not just stare into the vast landscape.

6:00 pm. We've checked into our hotel and are driving back into the Grand Canyon National Park. Max wanted to get a few shots of the canyon at sunset. But, that also means that we are getting shots at sunrise tomorrow. Yikes! I need to close this up and get a shower and get to sleep.

I'm not supposed to tell you that we ate at McDonald's tonight, but honestly ... we both are still a bit unhappy with the return of the Mexican food from yesterday. All we wanted was a salad and all we wanted was to eat in our room. How ashamed am I? Oh, a little bit, but I'll get over it.

While he was shooting the canyon, I was seeing this glorious sunset happen. Good night!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm cryin' right along with you girl! You've finally gotten to see the Grand Canyon, a dream fulfilled!
But what...no shopping in Santa Fe, are ya kidding me! I'm just giggling thinking about it. I love you both and miss you! Looking forward to many pictures!
Talk to you soon.