18 October 2005

Walnut Canyon and Route 66

Saturday the 15th, Bill and I took a trip to Walnut Canyon National Monument. Here there are more ruins from thousands of years ago. They have two different trails you can take, the easy, level, no hills, paved one that walks around the rim for about a ½ mile, or the strenuous one with a gazillion stairs. We saw some people coming back from the strenuous trail looking like they wished someone would just shoot them dead and leave them for the birds and cougars. SOOOO….we opted for the easy walk, especially with the 6-mile hike from hell still fresh in our minds. Walnut Canyon is a beautiful place with an interesting past. You can’t tell from the pictures but there are two distinctly different weathering patterns in the rock. On the bottom are patterns that are from when the area was under water; sand drifts under water formed the rock formations toward the bottom. On top of that are layers of (if I remember right) volcanic ash that settled into rock and was then shaped by rain and ice into what it looks like today. The stream that ran through the canyon had been damned, so the canyon isn’t growing anymore, but once they let the river flow again, it will begin to carve out more of the canyon. I’ll tell ya, the best Bill did was buy the Golden Eagle National Parks Pass, we’ve seen so many cool things and most of them have been covered by that pass.

Sunday we didn’t do much of anything, watched football…tried to relax. I have a cold, so I tried to get better. I still have the damn cold and am looking forward to it going away.

Monday was pretty fun; we drove out to Kingman and Bullhead City to recon some parks that we were thinking of staying at in about a week. We got out there and pretty much decided that we were good where we were staying. None of the places we checked out were anything that made us want to leave where we are and some of them were downright scary. On the way back from Bullhead City we stopped in Kingman along Historic Route 66 and had lunch at Mr. D’s Diner, which is a historic Route 66 stop. We drove Route 66 back east towards Flagstaff and had the opportunity to see some other cool Route 66 stuff. We would have taken pictures if the weather hadn’t been so crappy. It rained on us…A LOT!! There was thunder and some amazing lightening too. I’ve seen lot’s of lightening in my life and on this trip, but Arizona lightening is in a category all it’s own.

On the way back along Route 66 we stopped at the Grand Canyon Caverns. (http://www.gccaverns.com/) This is a very unique place and I HIGHLY recommend it if you are ever in Northern Arizona. If you do go, be sure to get Gene as your tour guide…he’s great. We have now been to three different sets of caverns and all of them are unique, but this has to be my favorite so far. Don’t get me wrong Carlsbad was amazing just because of it’s size and immensity and the bat flights, but Grand Canyon Caverns is really a neat little tour. The stories they tell you on the tour are great and make it a lot of fun. I’m glad that Bill stumbled upon these caverns in one of his Route 66 books; it would have been a shame to miss it.

I think that’s all I have to say right now. Today is the 18th of October…my birthday. So far it’s been an interesting one. I didn’t sleep well last night because of this stupid cold, and we woke up this morning to our heater not working…fabulous. We are having really stormy weather as well, which wouldn’t be an issue if not for the heater not working. We had a lot of thunder, lightening, hail, rain and generally crappy weather. I like storms, especially thunder and lightening…but not when I don’t have heat…that kind of sucks.

Here’s hoping the day gets better. We have a fix-it guy coming out sometime around noon.


PS - the day isn't a total wash, the severe storm warnings have been lifted and the sun keeps trying to peak out. Bill made me breakfast (because he rules) and if the fix-it guy get's here early enough and get's our heater fixed in time, we'll be heading into Sedona to tool around there for the day.