Painted Desert, wigwams, Winslow, the Grand Canyon
Trip Start May 26, 2005
12Trip End Jun 07, 2005
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Then it's west bound. Gotta stop and see the Wigwams. I wanted to stay here, but it wasn't close enough. These motel "rooms" are unique. Each has it's own permanetly parked antique car. The rooms are small inside with a double bed, and bath, but when you have all the comforts of home in a wigwam, why complain.
Next we've decided to stop in Winslow Arizona. Just so we can say we did stand on the corner, just like in the Eagles song. And got the photos to prove it. Then up 89 to Cameron. Can't pass up a trading post that's been open since the 1900's
Back in the car and we are passing the "new and improved" Navajo Suspension bridge. When bridges and buildings are torn down or no longer used, they are replaced with something new and modern. Take a photo of this new bridge and compare it to the old bridge which is still standing. Identical in looks, except the new bridge is wider. Why the same design? To minimize the aesthetic impact the new construction might have on the natural setting. The old bridge is now a pedistrian bridge, still spanning the Colorado River.
The reason we are entering the Canyon this way is because.. we never have before. This gives us the opportunity to see Desert View Tower, which was designed by Mary Colter, who was influenced by the Pueblo Indian architecture. It was built in 1932 as a rest stop. The 70 foot tower has a small gift shop on the first floor. A brick staircase takes you to the next three levels, each decorated with native designs
We spent a little time here hiking around and photographing the canyon and the tower. The east has fantastic views of the Colorado River. And lots of wide open canyon areas. It's 26 miles from the East entrance to the "Village." It's mostly a dirt road, so no speeding here. And with all the pull offs for canyon views, it takes a while to get village, but it is worth the wait.
When we get to the "Village" it's the same old problem of finding a parking space. Everyone thinks "wide open canyon" so lots of paved parking. Wrong. With a lot of hotels built on the rim and the train running parrallel to the hotels, there isn't enough parking for everyone. So get ready to walk if you can't find a space. We're lucky enought to grab one! Then into the Bright Angel Lodge to register. Unbelievable, but we have two rooms almost side by side. Quick dump the suitcase in the room and get out to the Ranger station to see what tours are left today.
It's an archeology one and we are looking for fossils. Cool. The Ranger is hilarious. I've never laughed so much in my life. He's pointing out the condors. Not the cutest birds I've ever seen. Then we're walking the rim. A photography exhibition looks good, and is.
It's getting a little late and we are getting a little hungry so... we head to the Bright Angel Coffee Shop, which is actually a full service restaurant. We HAVE to come here at least once when we are in the Canyon. They have the best fajitas. After dinner drinks at El Tovar. This is the hotel I wish I could afford, BUT the only rooms I want are those that face the canyon, and there just aren't that many in this hotel.