Good-bye Cacti, Hello Snow

AKA My trip to Arizona.

After the adventure with the hot sauce from last week, it was time to go to the Grand Canyon. A three hour drive from where we were staying—with Annette, a friend of my mom’s—I spent most of the time writing ideas for a new story, listening to music, and reading Game of Thrones on my mom’s kindle because the new Discworld book, Raising Steam, had its release date pushed back.

We had decided in advance we would walk the Canyon’s rim, but only about 3 miles (5 km) each day. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of the Grand Canyon. Many people have.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Pictures, even the numerous ones I took while hiking along the Canyon’s rim, are useless compared to the actual thing.

Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time was dizzying. Pictures let you see the colour of the different stone layers and the effect lighting has on the rocks, but they don’t capture the sheer size of it. My vertigo eventually faded the longer we were on the rim and the more pictures I took.

It was a long hike for me, but not a difficult one, especially not compared to the trails that led into the canyon. They zig-zagged back and forth and, from the top of the canyon, the people walking them appeared as fruit flies.

There were many rest stops along our path. We even made some new friends at one of them.

My mom (right) and me making some friends at the Grand Canyon.

My mom (right) and me making some friends at the Grand Canyon.

There were about seven of these guys who decided to cross the road while we were sitting. They got so close we could almost touch them.

The hike was great, even though my knees, thighs, shoulders, and feet felt like exploding by the end of it.

On the way back, we stopped at a place called Cameron Trading Post. Before we checked out the massive shop, we decided to have lunch. Intrigued by the Navajo French Dip, I made my selection. This is what was laid in front of me.

Pictures of Cameron Trading Post Restaurant - Restaurant Photos
This photo of Cameron Trading Post Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

It was bigger in person. Probably about the size of my head. It was delicious though.

As I neared the end of my lunch, we were approached by an old man who had been sitting nearby. He complimented me on my efforts to get through the sandwich, as when he was younger it had been one of his favourites that he couldn’t get through anymore. As it turned out, he was an anthropologist and linguist and was extensively travelled.

Now, if only I could impress interesting guys in their mid-twenties with my eating skills.

Our return to Phoenix brought us shopping. Lots of shopping. I bought more new clothes then I’ll ever need, jewelry (which I rarely buy), new sandals to replace the ones that broke this summer, and completed all my Christmas shopping. There was an abundance of stores selling Native American-made jewelry, all of it beautiful. There was one pattern I was particularly fond of, but with a price of over $1 000 for the necklace alone, I had to admire it from afar.

We ate out a lot. Arizona had a lot of good restaurants to enjoy and a lot of fare we don’t see here in Canada. I wish I could get sarsaparilla up here.

Annette took us to El Encanto, a Mexican restaurant in Cave Creek with one of the nicest outdoor set ups I’ve ever seen. They had a personal pond filled with ducks turtles, and a couple of geese. My dish was chicken with Mexican rice and it was delicious.

In our final stretch, we visited the Heard Museum. I learned a bit about the tribes native to Arizona in a very interesting tour. The museum also had a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit that my mom was interested in. I didn’t see all the museum. I was beginning to loose energy near the end of the trip.

Now I’m back in Canada, and there is snow everywhere. But I’ve got some fun memories to keep me warm.

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Categories: stuff i like, This is my life, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Good-bye Cacti, Hello Snow

  1. Debbie Makarowycz

    Just read this belated post. sounds like you had a lot of fun in AZ. Maybe you’ll go back someday.

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