Category Archives: Arizona

Day 44, Grand Canyon North Rim, May 17th

95 RV miles today, 6,574 total

Up early to head to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, elevation over 8,500 feet. Only 10% of the visitors to the Grand Canyon venture to the North Rim. We hiked the Bright Angel Point Trial & had lunch at the Grand Canyon Lodge. Sunset at Point Royal after hiking past Angel’s Window. This has been a memorable day!! Overnight lodging at the rim, m, b, s & t

“Its colors, though many and complex at any instant, change with the ascending and declining sun; lights and shadows appear and vanish with the passing clouds, and the changing seasons mark their passage in changing colors. You cannot see Grand Canyon in one view.”–John Wesley Powell 

“Every season has its peaks and valleys. What you have to try to do is eliminate the Grand Canyon.”– Andy Van Slyke(Former Major League Baseball outfielder)

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors
to live a life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours.” —Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American
Philosopher and Writer


Day 38, “GRAND CANYON,” May 11th

0 RV miles today, 5762.3 total

We hiked off the rim down into the canyon today at Kaibab South going about 3 and 1/2 miles. Another surreal experience! Being in this environment is quite extraordinary. WOW, m, b, s & t

“Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, and for all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American… should see.”– Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, speech at the Grand Canyon, Arizona on May 6, 1903

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Day 37, “GRAND CANYON,” May 10th

268.3 RV miles today, 5762.3 total

Surreal…that is what seeing the GRAND CANYON for the first time appears! We left our gracious cousins outside Phoenix & travelled through Flagstaff, Arizona to arrive at the Grand Canyon, elevation 7138 feet at our campsite in Trailer Village near the South Rim. We spent hours overlooking the rim including watching the sunset in awe. Words cannot describe it and pictures do not do it justice. We tried to imagine what pioneers must have felt while hiking the land not knowing what lay ahead and all of a sudden coming up on this massive presentation! After sunset, we went over to the Bright Angel Lodge for dinner before settling in for bed. From the rim of The Grand Canyon, m, b, s & t

“The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combined must fail.” –John Wesley Powell

It’s like trying to describe what you feel when you’re standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it’s like.” –Jack Schmitt

“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.” –George F. Will



Day 36, Phoenix, Arizona, Will Departs, Shelby Arrives, May 9th

0 RV miles today, 5494 total

Will left to go back to Shanghai this morning and Shelby & Beth arrived from North Carolina late this afternoon.  I washed “Thumper” today, a fun & monumental task. Jen (my 1st cousin, once removed) & I went out to lunch at Joe’s Farm Grill. She will be starting medical school at U. of Arizona at Phoenix this summer. I did not listen to the sign by the tree!?!? Tom flew in from Texas & we all went out to a Mexican dinner. Our families are combined by parents who were siblings. Hopefully planning a family reunion in 2014. From Gilbert near Phoenix, Arizona, m, b, s & t

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”–Desmond Tutu

“Family Rules: Always tell the truth; WORK HARD; Keep Your Promises; Try New Things; Don’t Whine; Laugh Out Loud; Alswys say I Love your; Use kind words; Do Your Best; Be Grateful, Be Kind; BE PROUD OF YOURSELF; Say Please & Thank You; Remember you are Loved.” 

“Peoples’s souls are like gardens. You can’t turn your back on someone just because his garden’s full of weeds. You have to give him water and lots of sunshine.” —The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”  ~Author Unknown~


Day 35, Travel Day, Cousins, Gilbert, Arizona, May 8th

447.6 RV miles today, 5494 total

Will got up near dawn & went surfing again. We checked out at San Onofre Beach Camp Pendleton Military Campground and headed most of the day (400+ miles) through California & Arizona to Beth’s 1st cousin’s home in Gilbert, AZ. We went up over 4000 feet and down to 40 feet below sea level passing through Yuma, Arizona. We were able to look several hundreds yards over into Mexico along the route and even went through a border patrol checkpoint. We also saw an apprehension in progress by border patrol agents just off the highway!?!?  We stopped by UPS for a package & met Brant Miller (distant cousin, perhaps), an aspiring physical therapist. The sunset picture is from Dale & Tom’s backyard in Gilbert, AZ. Cousin Dale prepared a delicious meal on the grill enjoyed outside by Dale, her daughters Liz & Jen (1st cousins once removed), Will & me. It was a nice reunion, m, w, & t

“Land of extremes. Land of contrasts. Land of surprises. Land of contradictions…. That is Arizona.” ~Federal Writers Project, Arizona: The Grand Canyon State, 1956

“You know you’re an Arizona native when you think Taco Bell is the local phone company.”  ~Emma Louise Philabaum, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When… compiled by Don Dedera, 1993

“The trip across Arizona is just one oasis after another.  You can just throw anything out and it will grow there, I like Arizona. ” ~Will Rogers

“One of the greatest things about the sport of surfing is that you need only three things: your body, a surfboard, and a wave.” — Naima Green

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Day 14, Route “66,” April 17th

232.2 miles today, 3,029.6 miles total

Surpassed 3,000 miles today! Departed the red rocks of Sedona for a zigzag ascent up Cleopatra Hill to hilltop Jerome (old mining town clinging to a steep slope), then over Mingus Mountain (7,000+ ft. elevation) in the Black Hills Mountain Range with steep slopes, tight curves, & numerous switchbacks meandering through Prescott National Forest. One of the highway pics shows us going by a funneling snow cloud!?! Then onto Seligman to travel on Route 66 going 93 miles to Kingman. We covered the arid desert, past huge caverns, an Indian reservation,  & funky dining spots. We stopped for lunch at one of those funky dining spots, Westside Lilo’s Cafe, for the best burgers and carrot cake on Route 66. We settled Thumper into Blake Ranch RV Park & Horse Motel in Kingman for the night. Next stop…Las Vegas…m, b & t

“If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway that’s best, Get your kicks on Route 66.” –Bobby Troup (Bing Crosby Lyrics)

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” –G. K. Chesterton



Day 13, Sedona, Arizona, April 16th

12.7 miles today, 2,797.4 miles total

We relaxed in the morning and hiked all afternoon ~ 3 to 4 miles in the red rock hills. Enough said…m,b & t

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru


Day 12, Sedona, Arizona April 15th

0 miles today, 2,784.7 miles total

Sedona, with it’s breathtaking Red Rocks (iron in the sandstone, i.e., natural electromagnetic conductors), which jut from the high desert floor in furious jags, have inspired everyone from the Native Americans who worshipped their energy fields thousands of years ago to the hikers who now worship the views. It’s views have become synonymous with the southwest. The Colorado plateau drops off into the southern deserts producing canyons, valleys, buttes & domes. The setting for dozens of Westerns–43 to be exact including with John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Elvis Presley–the Rocks are fully visible from town, but they’re best appreciated from the hiking trails that encircle Sedona. The town has 3 million visitors annually and only 17,500 residents (wealthy retirees, artists in love with the light, and service workers on a spiritual quest). One of Sedona’s major draws is its mysterious & magnetic reputation of vortexes (or vortices, depending on whom you ask). These are spots where believers claim the earth offers up a little extra zing: A psychic, supernatural and paranormal concentration of forces. Sedona is one of several major power centers on earth including Stonehenge, pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Takal in Guatamala and Eglise St-Germain des Prés in Paris.

We went into Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona and ate lunch at the Secret Gardin. We relaxed at the campsite before taking the pink jeep tour at sunset. We continue to meet the nicest people from all over North America at our various campgrounds. We ate “Arizona Style” Mexican cusine at El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano at the Village for dinner, including the red & the green hot sauces. Staying in Sedona for the next few days to experience the almost surreal aspect of these huge surrounding formations. m, b & t

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” –John Muir

Most of those old settlers told it like it was, rough and rocky. They named their towns Rimrock, Rough Rock, Round Rock, and Wide Ruins, Skull Valley, Bitter Springs, Wolf Hole, Tombstone. It’s a tough country. The names of Arizona towns tell you all you need to know.” ~Charles Kuralt, Dateline America, 1979


Day 11, Rehoboth, NM, Petrified Forest, Sedona, AZ, April 14th

271 miles today, 2,784.7 miles total

Sunday morning we attended church services where Ana & Jonathan Newman performed along with a native Navajo flutist. We had lunch in Gallup, New Mexico at the Route 66 Railway Cafe before heading into Arizona’s Petrified Forest enroute to Sedona. The petrified trees we saw were present when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Our Thumper voyage to Sedona had even gustier winds up to 40 MPH, providing our most challenging driving experience to date!?!? We settled into Rancho Sedona RV Park for our RV cooked dinner. We are now 3 hours behind the east coast time zone. AhóÁ, Nizhónígo Nee Ado’áát (Cheers, good health, & have a nice day in Navajo),   m, b & t

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”–John Muir

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.” — Mark Twain