Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We are settling quite well into the campground. Our co-workers are great. The weather is finally staying in the mid 70's now, hopefully, the wind will finally die down.

We made it through Memorial Day weekend okay, except for Friday night, when we had some crazy guy shooting what sounded like his 22. He scared all the campers around him because he was drunk and intimidating some of them. We finally had to call 911 to have the sheriff come out....well....that was a story unto see, this KOA is owned by the same family who owns the one in San Diego. That means our phones are linked to San can probably see where this is headed....when we called 911, it went right into the S.D. County Sheriff's Dept....needless to say, I'm sure the staff in San Diego were wondering what was happening when all the cop cars showed up! Meanwhile, back at this campground, we're waiting, waiting, waiting...we didn't realize why the cops weren't showing up, usually they waste no time when a gun is mentioned in the conversation. Finally, about two hours and two or three calls later, they finally show up and cart the offender away. Hopefully, that will be the most excitement we have here, like that!

Back to work tomorrow, but, we have plans to go to Page, AZ next week to meet our friends, Jack & Jeanne. We plan on taking the boat trip to the Rainbow Bridge Nat'l Monument, so we'll have pictures to share next time I post.

One of the trails beneath the rim

We even got to see four feet in the Grand Canyon

This is a gift ship and the second floor has a telescope to see the Canyon with

El Tovar Hotel, a National Historic Landmark

These next group of pictures are where the hotels are located. Some are historic, with newer additions. They are all situated along the rim. We stopped at the ice cream shop, probably the most popular place in the whole area, considering the line we had to wait in.

Petrified wood, which looks like a rock

The Yavapai Geology Museum, which has gorgeous views of the canyon

You can click on any picture and see a bigger portion of it. All of the viewpoints that were put up by the Nat'l Park had rails so you couldn't fall off. But, there were also areas where we saw the younger crowd walk out on. All it takes is one false step and over you go....scary....

If you click on the second picture from the bottom of the last post, you can see a patch of the Colorado River. This next group of pictures has one picture of the canyon where the Phantom Ranch is located, notice all the greenery, and the picture after that shows the bridge where the mule train crosses the river to the Ranch. I always thought I'd like to ride the mule train down to the River, until I found out that it's 9 1/2 miles of rough trail down and the same amount back up the next morning. If you are not used to riding a horse or mule, well, you are going to have one sore body when all is said and guess I'll have to think of an easier way down there....

This top picture shows why people fall off the edge sometimes....

Another day off, and we are off to see the Canyon. The last time we were there was in May of 1990, while we were traveling cross country towards Philadelphia, Ron's new duty station. All I remember of that trip was that we had been driving, driving, driving, north from Phoenix in an old 1948 Chevy 1 ton bus that used to be a rural school bus. As we came closer to the Canyon, all of a sudden, there it was! It took my breath away to realize it was so close to the road!

Back then, I don't remember all the commercialization that we saw this time. I don't think there was a concrete walkway along the rim, either, but, I may be wrong. We didn't really stay all that long, only about a couple of hours, but, it was enough to see what we came to see. This time we took more pictures and walked quite a ways along the rim walk. I was under the impression that we had to park in the parking lots and take the tram, but, that is not the case. You can drive wherever you want, even if it's along the rim drive. We did take the tram down to the main area around Grand Canyon Village to have lunch, then, took the tram to the Visitor Center, but, then walked back to the car. We lucked out finding another parking lot up near where all the hotels are located. The only time you have to take the tram is if you want to visit the westernmost viewpoints, as no cars are allowed out there in the summer.

Passing another lake on the way back to town with several fisherman standing on the dam

While we were walking back to our car, we got to talking to another couple who had driven up on a back road from Prescott. We asked them if they knew if there was another road to Williams, other than the one we took to get there. It turns out we took the looong way to the lake, it figures...the short way back to town was on a good gravel road and only took about 10 minutes. As we were driving back to town, we passed a good sized flock of sheep near the road. I think it's the first time I actually saw a sheep dog around them. I know there are sheep dogs among sheep, but, normally I can't spot them, this time it was a collie that ran out from the little trailer nearby, keeping a good eye on them.

There are numerous areas of dispersed camping in and around Williams and Flagstaff in the Kaibab National Forest and we saw plenty of RV's on our way back to town. A good thing to know for future reference....

After our hike, Ron was going to head back home, but, I talked him into taking one of the forest roads up to a local lake called Dogtown Lake. The road we picked to drive on was rough to say the least. Since we passed a small lumber mill, it was probably a logging road, but, the drive to the lake was worth it. It was a lot bigger than we imagined it to be and it had a nice walking path around the day use area.

Unique and historic houses on Rte 66

You can still see traces of white paint

It's amazing to me that people have to deface things that have been there for thousands of years. Apparently, somebody came into the canyon with some white paint and threw it onto the petroglyphs. The forest rangers brought some experts in to wash it off as best they could, but, you can still tell because the petroglyphs are that much harder to see.

While looking for the petroglyphs, Ron found this little guy

The hiking trail we went on to see the petroglyphs was about a mile long. It's known locally as Box Canyon, where the Indians would drive the deer to a boxed in canyon so they could corral them and have ready made meat on the hoof. The canyon part is made of a natural rockfall and there's some water there, as well.

The tubing/skiing hills/a warming shed

Another historic roadsidegas station/ market on Rte 66

On another day off, we hiked to some petroglyphs, which were right off a portion of Rte 66. Right across the road from the hiking trail was a local "snow bowl" for tubing and skiing during the winter.

We were supposed to start work on May 15, but, they started us a day early. For me, in the front office, it was basically a refresher course on how to use the computer system, because the last time we worked for KOA was the summer of 2008. For about the first week or two, I was working split shifts, four hours in the morning, four hours at night, because at this campground, most of the campers leave by 10am, on tours or driving themselves up to the Canyon. With no one in the campground, there is really nothing to do in the office.

I think it was the second week that we were here, it snowed one day. It really didn't stay on the ground that long, but, while it did, it was beautiful...cold, but, beautiful...

Various images around town

The Visitor Center and Amtrak Station