Monday, February 2, 2009

Northern AZ Road Trip: Part 3

The final stop on our great road trip: Grand Canyon Village. But first, we made a couple very interesting stops on the way down.

I mistakenly decided a detour to Marble Canyon was well worth it. I use mistakenly lightly here, because, had we actually gotten to Marble Canyon, it probably would have been cool. However, I think we either took a wrong turn, were misinformed, or just didn't drive far enough. We also didn't make it to Lees Ferry. Just had to prioritize things.

However, we did discover a neat little landmark on the way there. Not to mention the roadside vending stands that the local Navajo women set up for peddling crafts.

The Navajo Bridge

The bridge offered a pretty great view of the Colorado River. Unfortunately, I didn't get a great picture of it.

But you get the idea.

So we doubled back after hanging out at the Navajo Bridge and deciding not to press on any further. We wanted to make sure we got to Cameron before dark. And we were hungry.

Tip from the information center attendant from Aberdeen: stop at the Cameron Trading Post. This is a historic, fully functional Navajo trading post.

We stopped there for dinner (which was delicious). I got a burger on fry-bread (so delicious - if you've never had it, fry-bread is basically a funnel cake without all the sugar). Melissa got a huge salad that was also pretty good. The Trading Post was also full of things to shop for. It had a grocery store, a restaurant, and several novelty shops all-in-one. We fought every impulse not to buy all sorts of things. The handmade Indian crafts are pretty incredible. Every store has the same stuff, and it's all too expensive. We decided that none of it was 'necessary' to our house after long, violent inner struggles.

Our next goal was to hit Desert View at sunset. We didn't quite make it to see the full sunset, but we definitely got a nice teaser for the following morning. Desert View was another recommendation from the man from Aberdeen. It is the only spot on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon that gives you a view of the Colorado River. The North Rim of the Canyon is closed during this time due to snow and dangerous road conditions. Next trip to the Canyon I think we'll try to stay on the north side. Everyone says it is much more scenic. Maybe we'll ride a donkey down from there.

So we hurried out of Cameron in hopes of reaching the sunset. We got a pretty gorgeous view that our cameras didn't really capture.

It's a little blurry, but I assure you the view was astonishing. I think the only thing better that we got to see that day was the starry sky a little later on. Once the sun had set completely, we pulled off at one of the many scenic overlooks and got out of the car to get a good look at the stars. Melissa had never seen a perfectly clear starry night with no light pollution. It was breathtaking, to say the least. We could see every star, even the cloudiness that is the Milky Way was visible. I wish I remembered all the constellations I learned in elementary school because I think we could see every single one of them. Pretty incredible.

Tomorrow's experiences will probably make up my last post for this road trip. I plan to write the final episode sometime this week. Stay tuned.

No comments: