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The Grand Canyon

Williams, United States

This morning we awoke at 7:34- well, at least I did! Fancy Hotel had a very nice shower and toiletries. We left shortly after 8 and headed on our way to the Grand Canyon.

After driving for a few hours through New Mexico, we thought it might be smart to stop a Walmart and buy some water to prepare ourselves for the journey through the desert tomorrow, just incase. I also bought a new hair clip for myself, since the one I had broke. We then went to Applebees for lunch. We got the combo things- so we had onion rings and mozzarella sticks, Mike got a penne thing, and I got my oriental chicken salad, and then it came with dessert- a mini hot fudge sundae and a mini apple pie type thing. We then went to a Waldenbooks quickly (I had finished my books and needed more!), and then got gas. After filling up, we were approached by an older man who knocked on Mike's window and begged us for money. He said he is a Navajo Indian from Arizona and needed money for lunch- his name was George Mason (very strange!). He was clearly very, very drunk, and we apologized and told him we didn't have any cash. Which was true. So after all that, we kept going.

Along the way, Mike kept seeing signs for places he would have liked to have gone, like the Petrified Forest and Crater National Park, but worried that if we stopped we'd get to the Grand Canyon too late to see it well. We did attempt to see the crater thing, but once we realized you had to pay we turned around.

As we drove, the storm that has been stalking us this entire trip continued to do so. We passed many Indian Reservations, Trading Posts, and Casinos.

We finally reached the Grand Canyon about quarter past 5 (thanks, time change!). We walked around various areas and spent some time there. It was completely indescribable, and as such, we've decided that instead of attempting to do so, we will let the pictures speak for themselves, although they really don't do it justice.

We made the 1.5 hour trip to the hotel in 45 minutes. Grabbed a pizza at a crazy busy Pizza Hut (the woman was nice- we felt bad for her) and headed to the hotel. Upon which we discovered that they did not have our reservations. There were a few people who went in after us that had the same problem- luckily, we were there first and it was resolved so we have a room. The room is decent, although the wireless doesn't reach where we are! Oh well. So this will be posted a day late, again. But such is life.

We hit over 3,000 miles today. Whoa.

permalink written by  prettyblueroses on August 8, 2008 from Williams, United States
from the travel blog: Mike & Heather's Cross-Country Adventure
tagged GrandCanyon, Driving and Arizona

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Winkelman, United States

Still at Windspirit. Now it's down to only us, Don, and Lee! Juanita will be back in a few days, I guess, but it sure is lonely! We said goodbye to our friends Shura and Blue yesterday. It might be just us and Lee for the weekend if Don goes to his Woodstock reunion!

We've been enjoying our stay. Kevin has even mentioned staying another month. I'm a little anxious to get moving on our adventure south of the border, but it would be nice to avoid hurricane season. I really wish some more people would show up here!

We have explored the hiking trails behind the community. We've been up to "Coyote Peak" a couple times - amazing views from there! Blue led us on a hike on some nearby land a few days ago, but we didn't get to our intended destination (daylight was running out too quickly). It was still nice - we stopped in a nice area and Blue played his Didgeridoo and Kevin played the doumbek (those 2 instruments sound really good together, turns out). Ben seemed to really enjoy the hike. I always considered deserts to be hot, dry, boring, and inhospitable - in other words, I didn't like them! - but this place is really growing on me. It is hot. And dry.. and sort of inhospitable (out in the wild), but I can see the beauty in it too. Especially here in the community where there are lots of fruit trees, shade, and swamp coolers :)

Benjamin got attacked by ants this evening :( His poor little legs were covered in them. Kevin tried to wash them off with water, but they bit him all over, on his feet especially. That's another reason to go - the critters and the cactus's aren't very baby friendly here.

We ordered a new charger for the camera, so we have been enjoying being able to take pictures again! Unfortunately we did not get any of our sexy french friend David before he left. But we have got some more of the community and our other friends, Shura and Blue, before they left.

Oh yeah - the Suburban was fixed and is running great - hooray!

We had some clouds and a little rain for a few days, but now it's back to abundant sunshine and heat. Thank goodness for the pool!

You should be able to click on any of these pictures to view them larger

permalink written by  heddwyn on August 14, 2009 from Winkelman, United States
from the travel blog: To Costa Rica
tagged Desert, Arizona and Windspirit

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Last day of August

Winkelman, United States

Whew! The last day of August is here and my oh my has it been hot at WindSpirit! Our extended stay here has many explanations not the least of which would be Don's kindness and generosity. The land here is filled with good vibrations but unfortunately not ones that attract rain. If anyone were counting they would notice that the past eight storms that were heading towards the Dripping Springs valley missed it entirely! Decent sunsets and a couple misty moments but that's it. This is the driest this location has been in fifty years, so say the locals. That arid heat has sent the critters scurrying for darker/damper places to rest - including our hut. I guess you could say we were fortunate that no one has been stung until now. Regular searches for scorpions will be in order after I relaxed in the vicinity of this bark scorpion. The pain was quite intense but rather short lived compared to the yellow wasp sting noted earlier. Here is the second scorpion found indoors using a black-light.

Finding this one was an exciting process but a blatant reminder of where we are. Earlier this week a rattlesnake and I startled each other on a rarely used path. Again, this area is not without its dangers. The hurricane season (hopefully) is winding down in the Pacific, that will allow us a more pleasant drive along the beaches to the South. Not that we are leaving any time soon. We really don't know when it will happen, only that it will happen in time.

Sylvia and I have been relaxing in the pool, cleaning/maintaining the pool, reading and doing yoga along with various community support tasks... and Ben? well, he's mastered Japanese, mostly done with some variation of Spanish and I'm sure English will be implemented soon! He's got consonants, vowels and even multiple syllables. I'm certain that they will become easier to organize with practice. He can say hut, hat and hot on purpose, that's a start anyway! He continues to tan and his hair is leaning towards blonde now, the sun really bleaches everything here! He has also learned about giving hugs and kisses, and giving "five" to Chewie, one of the neighbors who raises peacocks. He learns new "skills" all the time - the latest he enjoys is carrying things under his chin.

We have taken advantage of the few cloudy days we get by going on hikes. We went up and saw some indian ruins one day, and up to an abandoned mine on another (in hopes of finding some gem stones - found a few crystal formations, but nothing spectacular).

permalink written by  heddwyn on August 31, 2009 from Winkelman, United States
from the travel blog: To Costa Rica
tagged Desert, Arizona, Windspirit and Scorpion

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