05 October 2007

Kingman, Grand Canyon, Wupatki

The last week of September was a busy one for us. After skipping Las Vegas, we drove into Kingman, AZ. Kingman is one of the towns along the original Route 66, the Mother Road. I’ve enjoyed the times that we’ve visited towns along old Route 66. I only wish I could have seen it in it’s prime. Kingman is still alive and well, but the main road through town isn’t Route 66, you kind of have to drive to the ‘other side of the tracks’ to even find it. Once you do though there are still some diners and nostalgia to be had. Both times we’ve been through Kingman we’ve stopped and had lunch at Mr. D’s. It’s a nostalgia diner that has AWESOME burgers at very reasonable prices. I just like the way they mark the bathrooms. Don’t forget to try their homemade root beer and sweet potato fries….mmmmm…….beer and fries!

From Kingman we drove into Williams (not far from Flagstaff). Williams is another Route 66 stop, but we didn’t do any of the 66-nostalgia stuff this time around. Instead we visited the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is nice, but really just a large hole in the ground. I personally like the view from an airplane better, you get to see the true size and depth of it. It would probably be a lot better experience without all the people, but what are you gonna do?

By far my favorite trip from Williams was out to Wupatki National Monument . What an awesome place! There is a lot to see and do and I’m glad that we took an entire day to explore this area. We started with a picnic at Sunset Crater Volcano. From there we drove into Wupatki and stopped at every pullout you could stop at. I drug Bill all over the desert that day, but he didn’t mind. He had been there years and years ago, but got to see stuff with me that he hadn’t taken the time to see before. So it was both new and cool for both of us.

I think I appreciated the fact that you could really explore some of these places, that probably won’t stay that way as the area get’s more popular, people ruin everything. Despite the signs that say not to disturb, touch, or remove the historical items, people still do. They think ‘taking just one thing won’t harm anything’, what they don’t think of is that if everyone has that attitude that’s millions of people removing ‘just one little thing.’ So I beg you, if you visit these places, leave only footprints and take only pictures! Here are a couple of pictures of Bill and I. First the picture of both of us, can you tell by the blinding whiteness that we’ve spent the last 9 months on the Oregon coast? Sunscreen, lots and lots of sunscreen! The second is to illustrate how tiny the doors of these house-ruins are. I’m 5’10” tall in bare feet, those doors were tiny. Well built though, I was astounded by how cool the rooms that still have walls stayed. It was easily in the upper 80s, lower 90s that day, but those rooms where comfortable and almost chilly. It was fun to learn about how and why they built the way they did. I think history needs to rethink its view on calling ancient peoples primitive.

I also really liked the natural formations the rocks would take. I was walking along a path at the Wupatki ruins and saw this person in the rock. If you look it looks like a lumpy-person on their knees, it’s kind of like finding shapes in the clouds. Bill took the picture of the rock lines, I really liked the way it turned out. It’s such and amazing place, I only wish I could show you pictures that really does it justice, but like so many other places and things, you really have to go there yourself to experience it.

Ok, I’m almost ready to finish up this installment. But first I have to post a picture that Bill took so you get his point-of-view while driving. I thought it was a cute idea so I had to post the image. He really doesn’t get to see as much as I do since he has to pay attention to the road and keep us alive and all that.

The last pictures I’m going to post are of a couple of lizards in Wupatki. Lizards are EVERYWHERE in the desert, but I think they’re cute, so here are these pictures.

That’s it for now folks. I still have a post about our trip from Phoenix to NM. Hopefully I’ll get that posted in the next couple days.


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