Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trips I want to go on: Grand Canyon

It's not that Craig doesn't care, or doesn't have ideas of his own, it's more that he is just not a "planner."

Me?  I'm a planner.  

I know most of the time things change, but that's usually OK.  Sometimes I think planning is more fun than doing!  

I would rather "Just Do It"  but if thats not possible, I'll have to settle for planning!

My #1 trip is to go to the Grand Canyon.  Yesterday a friend sent me a file of excellent Grand Canyon pictures and I made a desktop slide show with them.

  Every five minutes I have another breathtaking view of the canyon.

I WAS there once.  For about 15 minutes.  In 1984 we moved from Dallas to San Jose.  Craig had a new job, so we didn't have a lot of time to make the drive.  We left a few days after Christmas, and I believe he needed to be at work on January 2nd.

We checked whatever long range weather was available at the time and decided to take 40 straight across.  Our other alternative would have been to take the Southern route thru El Paso.

I looked at maps and figured out about how far we could get each day, and hoped we could spend most of an afternoon at the Grand Canyon. A place I had ALWAYS wanted to see. I knew it wasn't very long, but this wasn't a vacation trip.

As we drove that morning, Craig started looking at the map.  He saw that the Petrified Forest was also along the way and decided we should go there. Out of our way by  100+ miles round trip, plus hike time, plus visitors center, plus gift shop ...  well it took most of my Grand Canyon time!

When we got east of Flagstaff it was already late afternoon.  I remember taking a winding road east of the canyon that didn't have very many signs and no traffic.  I remember being a bit upset because it was mid-winter and we were driving a very old van, with two kids, and the gas gage was running very low. I was worried that if we broke down or ran out of gas we would freeze in the night. 

 I remember we got to a gate that was closed, but the padlock was not locked. We had no choice but to go thru it, because we were pretty sure we would run out of gas if we turned around and went back.

I think it was a back entrance to the park. 

We continued our climb, and got to a vista point just as the sun was setting.  The view was breath taking.  I wish I had been more relaxed instead of mad and worried about the gas tank.  

We might have been there for 15 minutes, not much more before it got dark.  

I do remember  I picked up a small stone and mentally attached all my worried about starting a new life in California to it, and tossed it into the canyon.

We did get gas in time, and drove half way into the night.  I think we slept in Needles.  

Someday I'm going back and I'm going to stay there for a lot longer than 15 minutes!

Next time I'll have a plan!  (And an RV.)


  1. What a wonderful dream you have. Start planning that trip because it's going to happen for you...and you will have a Grand Time LOL!!

  2. There are so many gorgeous places to go see. I just keep finding more and more everywhere I look. I do most of the planning for us - at least I point us in the general direction and then we go from there. Have fun.

  3. "Write it down - Make It happen!"
    Planning is good.

  4. Oh, Needles....what a memory! Wind and cold!

    Keep up the dream Merikay!

  5. I sure hope you get there soon. What a time you will have!

  6. Whenever you get to the Grand Canyon, it will be worth the trip. Probably the most stunning first view of anything I've ever seen.

  7. happy planning!!!..dream on Merikay!..some days that is the only thing that keeps us going!!

  8. The whole planning stage is a trip in itself. Without plans nothing happens. I am the planner guy for the Bayfield Bunch as well. Hope you can pull it all together so keep the dream alive by planning your trip to the Grand Canyon for sure. And, all the other great Canyons in the neighborhood as well. They are all beautiful in their own distinct ways:))

  9. I'm finding the planning for this lifestyle is part of the adventure as well. I keep thinking of all the places that other bloggers are posting about, that I want to visit too.

  10. I am a planner too. Being stationary this summer is a bummer but I keep planning different scenarios for the fall and winter. One thing I've learned is to have different options because circumstances often change our direction. It is a challenge but one I usually enjoy

  11. One of the nice things about a Golden Age pass (National Parks and Monuments - now called the America the Beautiful Senior Pass - $10 lifetime) is that with it, you and anyone in your vehicle can enter any NP and since you didnt make the decision based on "is it worth n dollars for only an hour, or two or half a day?", but is that a nice scenic route, you won't hesitate to dip in and out of the parks and not feel it has to be a big deal visit each time. Since we have had the pass we pass thru Grand Canyon almost every trip to Arizona, either on the way in or out. Winter is our favourite time, and often Death Valley or other treats become impromptu routes. The first trip we had the pass it paid for itself the first day (Bryce or Zion), and we just have to remember to keep it in the wallet. And only one of you needs to be 62 or older ;-)

  12. Don't go in the summer....

    Moab today and the last several days 103 or so!

  13. My sis-in-law spent 6 days last Mat at the grand canyon and had a wonderful time! It is so different now....once you are at the campground (for hookups and pull throught sites..the campground is not that scenic and spaces are very close together)there are shuttle busses that take you wherever you want spaced 15 minutes apart (free)...there is no driving allowed any more with the is a good thing, I think. The buses are huge. You can get on one...walk the trail a bit then get on the next bus. I agree with meowmamma...the summer is just packed mostly with foreigners...sometimes you think you are the only one that speaks English! May it was cold but quite the experience to see the Canyon with a dusting of snow.

  14. How interesting, I was in Dallas in '84.
    Yes the Grand Canyon is "Grand" , but you have to spend more than 15 minutes. I too am a planner. An old friend of mine taught me "plan your work / work your plan" . Just "Work It"! You'll get there.


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