example: 31,336 (12) means on the odometer it reads 31,336 miles, while the number in parentheses (12) means the highway mile marker number. The mile marker numbers are more approximations because we could not keep up with the mileage markers.


Rosemary Santana Cooney, Patrick Louis Cooney


May 20, 2011. Friday.

Flew from Newark, New Jersey to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rented a Nissan Ultima which has lots of power. The odometer read 31,316. We wrote down the streets Gillespie and Warm Springs to help us remember where to return the rental car. We got on US 15 and went south to US 215 heading east. We kept going straight on US 215 until we picked up Route 564 heading northeast that would take us over to Lake Shore Scenic Drive.

31,336. Took photos of the area ahead just past a highway improvement project.

31337 (12). We use our senior pass to get into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Take another picture by the signs for Overton.

31,337. On the left side of the highway, the rocks have pretty colors.

31,338 (11).

31,339 (10). Scenic overlook. Take photos of the Las Vegas Bay waters.

31,340 (09).

31,341. Sign for 33 Hole Overlook. There also are the Three Island Overlook and the Rocky Point Overlook. The water level of Lake Meade does not look very high.

31,343 (08). Long View Scenic Overlook where there is a mesa that slants downward.

31,344. There is a prettier view from the road because it is more expansive from there. Reach Sunset View Scenic Overlook.

31,345. Take more photos from Sunset View Scenic Overlook.

31,346. Fish Hatchery is closed for renovation.

At one of the pull-offs we saw a small, thin coyote walking straight across the parking area not paying any attention to our car. We drive around a corner to follow him or her but the coyote is already out of sight.

3, 349. Stopped for photos of the slanted mesa mentioned above and the red rock near it.

3,350. Boulder Campground, just past Boulder Beach.

At a T-intersection, we turn left onto State Route 93 south.

31,354. We take the exit for Hoover Dam. We parked our car in the Denison parking garage by the dam. There are lots of cars and people already here. The dam didnít look as high as I had hoped having seen pictures taken from below looking upwards at the dam. There are nearby too many power stations and power lines that spoil the impression of the massive height of the dam. The Colorado River water is a beautiful blue-green here.

Among the sites we see are the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge which is part of the Hoover Dam Bypass, the 30 foot figures sculpted by Oscar Hanson and the unusual looking white rock just above the waterline which is the result of bleaching caused by El Nino in the early 1980s.

We drove over the dam and followed the road to a place where you have to turn around. We returned to Rt. 93 south on our way to stay at Kingman, Arizona for the night. We were in Arizona while we were at the Hoover Dam because the river is the border between Utah and Arizona.

Before mile marker 13, we see part of the Colorado River in the distance.

31,379 (before 17). We see wide open spaces around us.

(19). We see Temple Bar Road (Rt. 143) on the left.

31,391 (before 29). White Hills Road (Route 145).

(before 42). Pierce Ferry Road (Rt. 25). We had wanted to take this road that passes by the town of Dolan Springs and heads up to Lake Mead and then over to the Skywalk platform to see the western part of the Grand Canyon, but we realized we just didnít have the time to do this. So we jettisoned that part of our plan.

(a little before 53). We made a left turn to get onto Tennessee Avenue (Rt. 125) to see the small town of Chloride. Along the road we see that the mountain above the town has a big, white "C" on its surface. Many of the small towns had this feature. A little more than three miles into the trip, we see a sign welcoming visitors to Chloride.

We stopped to take photos forwards and backwards on Tennessee Avenue. Got a photo of the Post office.

We drive the rest of the way to Kingman and stay at a Best Western Hotel there. We usually choose Best Western Hotels. They are not unnecessarily ritzy looking, nor are they primitive. They are just right as to convenience and comfort. And thereís lots of Best Westerns around the southwest.

We drove only a total of 129 miles that first day of our trip.

Lake Mead - Lakeshore Scenic Drive

Hoover Dam

Route 93 To and With Chloride


May 21, 2011. Saturday.

The odometer reads 31,447.

In Kingman our hotel is situated right on the famous US Route 66 (that went a distance of 2,248 miles from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Los Angeles, California).

(54). Take a picture of the sign "Historic Shopping District" for Historic Route 66.

31,449. We notice that the place is surrounded by mountains. We take a photo of the big tower with the sign on it: "Welcome to Kingman. Heart of Historic Route 66."

Nearby is the Hotel Beale, also on Route 66. The place is all run down now. Andy Devine, the actor side-kick of both Roy Rogers and of the character Wild Bill Hickok on TV, grew up in Kingman. (He was born in Flagstaff, but soon moved with his family to Kingman.) Andyís father helped establish the Hotel Beale.

And near the Hotel Beale is the famous hamburger joint known as Mr. Díz that is painted to make the place stand up and be noticed.

We are heading out to Lake Havasu, but taking Route 66 part way to get there.

31, 450. A sign says that itís 28 miles to Oatman, which is located up in the mountains. It is a place known for its wild burros. Looking down Rt. 66, Rosemary takes mountain photos looking ahead and behind back to Kingman.

31,451 (before 48). Stop for photos of flowers in bloom and lichens on the rocks. On the left side of the road is the railway line. As we make another stop, we notice that a train is coming around the bend of the mountains. What a good setting for a train photo! And boy is this a long train with plenty of railway cars.

We pass an ad for Edís Camp located between the Black Mountains on the north and the Black Mesa on the south.

31,452 (47) Ė we stop by a small bridge. The cars and trucks whiz nearby on busy US 40. There are a lot of trailer parks in this area.

31,453 (46).

31,455 (46). We stop and turn right. We pick up Oatman Highway, US 66. There is a lot of industry in the area.

31,456 (46). We stop to take a picture of an Ocotillo plant in bloom with its red flowers at the ends of the upright branches.

31,457 (46).

31,459 (44). Took photos of Black Mesa and Black Mountain, which we will pass between.

31,460 (43)

31,462 (41)

31,463 (40). Make a couple of stops for mountain pictures.

31,464 (39). We run into a section with a lot of mother quails walking across the road with the babies following quickly behind the mothers.

31,465 (38).

31,466 (37). Nearing mountains. Take photos near Garnet Road.

31, 467 (36).

31,468 (35). There are lots of yucca plants out on the desert.

31.469 (34). We could hear the braying of wild burros.

31,470 (33). The road is very winding. Stop off at a pull-off on a sharp turn. Takes photos of the ruins of Edís Camp.

31,471 (32). Pink hoodoos seen from a winding road.

31,472 (31). Burro crossing sign.

31,473 (30). More photos of the valley; pretty views.

Sitgreaves Pass. More pictures of the valley, and photos of scenery to the west of Sitgreaves Pass at elevation 3,556 feet. Beautiful views of mountains and a wide valley. We are in the process of descending 850 feet in elevation down to Oatman.

31,474 (29). Photos of mountains and valley from a peninsula sticking out over the valley.

31,476 (27). We have been descending ever since Sitgreaves Pass.

31,477. Stop for photos of mountains ahead of us on the right by the sign for United Western Mine, Arizona central shaft.

31,478. We reach Oatman, which sits on an incline, and almost immediately start taking photos. The main attraction here for Rosemary are the wild burros who roam the streets looking for food handouts. The burros are white, spotted and with a black cross which extends down their spine and across the shoulders. Some are mixed with spots and a cross.  At night the burros go back up into the hills around the area. There are quite a few visitors and also quite a number of burros. Bikers are all over the place. There are some T-shirt places, Judyís Saloon and Pool Hall, Oatman Hotel from 1902, among other buildings.  Oatman Hotel is the oldest 2 story adobe building in Mojave County and the honeymoon stop of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. The town has a bit of the wild west atmosphere. The saloon has a picture of the person for whom the town was named: Olive Oatman. She and her sister and brother were kidnaped by the Indians after they had killed the childrenís parents. The youngsters were used as slaves by the Indians. Olive said that she was never molested by the Indians, although she was worked hard. The local Indians traded Olive to the Navajos, where she was treated very well. She had her chin painted with blue stripes, a common practice at the time and a sign that she was one of the Navajos.

A baby burro had a sticker on his or her forehead that told the visitors: "Donít feed me carrots." Rosemary went into the Leather Shop and bought a small bag of hay packets in order to feed the burros. The burros sometimes nudge you pretty hard to get you to feed them something. And if you have food in your hand, the burros will follow you up and down the street to get more treats. Rosemary had a great time with the burros. She has been a horse lover virtually from birth and was laughing up a storm feeding the burros.

Back on the road we see a sign saying Golden Shores is 18 miles away. We see stands of cacti with dead stems on the bottom and living stems at the very top.

31,496 (6). Entering Golden Shores. Rosemary remembered that there was a viewing point around Golden Shores, but we couldnít remember in which of the many books with us contained the directions.

31,500 (2). Entrance to the Havasu National Wildlife Area.

31,501 (1).

31, 502. We reach U.S. 40. and head east.

31,511. We take Exit 9 off of US 40 to pick up Route 95 going south down to Lake Havasu.

31,512 (201).

31,518 (195). Heading for Lake Havasu.

31,522 (191). Entering Havasu City Limits. I couldnít remember which side road would take us down to the lake, but when I saw Lake Drive coming up, I figured this must be the road. We turned right and went down to a left turn onto London Bridge Road.

31,530. Lake Havasu State Park, Windsor Beach.

31,532. The road brings us right to the actual London Bridge. It was purchased for $2 million dollars. The cost to reconstruct the bridge over a canal in Lake Havasu was $7 million dollars. The area has quite a few tourists visiting it. The atmosphere tries to recreate a feeling of being in old London. A ways down from all the shops is where the boats can be seen all lined up along the canal. The area does have somewhat of a beach atmosphere, so I tell Rosemary that this is a beach substitute for a land-locked state. Itís not as good as Seaside Heights in Jersey, but itís not bad either.

There are lots of swallows and pigeons at the bridge.

31,551. We return to US 40 at exit 9.

31,590. We drive back to Kingman.  Passing Fourth Street we see the El Palacio, a Mexican restaurant.

31,592. Turn right onto Hualapai Mountain Road.

31,595. Stop for a photo by Copper Wind Lane. Going farther we take quite a few photos of the mountains along with some wild flower photos.

31,598. We reach mile marker 6 on Hualapai Mountain Road. The road is a designated scenic one, but there were a lot of houses in the area and we were mostly seeing forest. (Forests are beautiful, but get a bit monotonous after awhile.)

31,602. We reach Mohave County Hualapai Mountain Park. The place looks quite busy with lots of guests. We travel farther down the road and see a big collection of houses on the left side of the road. We reach the Hualapai Mountain Resort. See some bikers staying here. We turn back.

On the way back we take a photo of the Ranger Station at Hualapai Mountain Park.

31,609. We take a photo of the town of Kingman down below us along with some photos of white wild flowers.

31,618. We finish driving for the day after covering 172 miles. We stay a second night at the Kingman Best Western Hotel on Route 66.

Route 66 From Kingman to US 40

Route 66 From Sacramento Valley to Sitgreaves Pass

Oatman Where the Burros Visit

Route 95 To and With London Bridge

Route 147 Hualapai Mountain Road


May 22, 2011. Sunday.

31,619 reads the odometer. We turn left out of the parking area of the Best Western Hotel on Route 66 and follow the route out to Seligman many miles away.

31,623 (60). The Cerbat Mountains are on the left and the Hualapi Mountains are on the right.

31,627 (64). Wide open spaces. Hualapai Valley.

31,628 (65). Took photos of isolated Longl Mountain.

31, 630 (68). More photos of Long Mountain. We are heading toward the Grand Wash Cliffs.

31,631 (68).

31,639 (before 76). Peacock Mountain.

We are now paralleling the Grand Wash Cliffs.

31, 645 (82). Head into the pass.

31,646 (84). Now in a narrow valley. Then go through a road cut. A train is running through the narrow valley.

31,648. Town of Valentine.

31,649 (around mile 86). Crumbled rocks. The train runs just 50 yards from us.

31,650 (87). Keepers of the Wild Nature Park. A small zoo.

31,651. Volcanic core of mountain. Looks like there is a palisade (the volcanic plug) on top of the mountain.

(90). Wide valley filled with small conifer trees/shrubs.

(95). Town of Truxton.

31,658 (96). Enter the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

Music Mountain Jr. And Sr. High School.

Conifers more widely dispersed in this section of the plain.

(100). Scattered housing on the left.

31,663 (101).

31,664 (102). Narrow valley.

31,665 (103). Peach Springs. There is a heated salt water pool in the town that is the headquarters of the Indian reservation. Also here is a restaurant.

31,666 (104). More Indian housing.

31,667 (105). Going uphill. Can see a canyon running through the territory. The Indian village is below us now.

Picture of a big straggly bush with small white flowers on it. Probably Apache Plume.

(106). Lots of bushy trees.

(108). Descending.

31,672 (110). Coconino County.

31, 674 (past 112). Leaving Hualapai Indian Reservation.

31,677. Grand Canyon Caverns.

(118). Still in a valley.

31, 682. Entering Yavapai County.

(Before 120). Saw a prairie dog run across the road.

31,685 (123). Took a photo of the big valley. There are mountains on both sides of the road and a back shot.

(128). Aubrey Cliffs on the left.

31,692. Closer up view of Aubrey Cliffs. We are in Aubrey Valley. See another train.

31,699. Canít be sure, but it looks like a road runner just ran across the road in front of us.

31,700 (138).

31,701 (139). Entering Siegelman.

31,702 (140). Stopped for pics of Roadkill 66 Cafť and Historic Route 66 Motel. Itís the biggest town we have seen so far on this long section of Route 66. Took pictures of Delgadilloís Snow Cap Burgers at Route 66 and Lamport Street. They also sell tacos and burritos.

(141). Turn left. There is a railway line near the town.

31,705 (124). We are back on US 40 heading east towards Flagstaff.

31,708 (127). On the right is Chino Valley.

31,716 (135), Stop to take photos of the San Francisco Mountain Range above Flagstaff.

31,724 (143). Exit 144 is for Ash Fork.

31,728 (147 ). Entering Kaibab National Forest.

31,746. Before reaching Flagstaff, we get off at Exit 165 for Route 64 to head north to Valle. At Valle, scenic Route 180 will take us southeast past the San Francisco peaks and into Flagstaff where we will stay at another Best Western Hotel. A sign says that it is 26 miles to Valle.

31, 749 (before 189). Stop for photos of three mounds.

31,751 (190). Leaving Kaibab National Forest.

31,771 (211). Open ground with very few of those small, bushy trees.

31,774. We reach Valle. We can see the animated Flintstone theme park across the way. We go into the gift shop at Valle and buy some presents for the Baizan and Li families, as well as some souvenirs for ourselves. When we leave the gift shop, we head down Route 180 going south.

31,776. Take photos of the San Francisco Peaks. Get photos of the snow covered mountain on our left.

31,779 (261).

31, 785 (255). Welcome to Kaibab National Forest. This Route 180 is the San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road.

31,790 (249). More photos of the San Francisco Peaks.

31,791(248). Welcome to Coconino National Forest. Took some better photos of the San Francisco Peaks.

31,792 (274). Red Mountain Trailhead.

31,796 (before 243). San Francisco Peaks straight ahead of us.

31,799 (241). Coconino National forest sign along with the San Francisco Peaks. A little later and we see lots of burned trees on the mountains.

31,802 (238). Kendrick Park. There are big open spaces on both sides of the road.

See some Quaking Aspen alongside the road.

(Before 232). Flagstaff Nordic Center. The major vegetation type here is Ponderosa Pine.

31,815. End of the scenic route.

31,816. Snow Bowl Ski Area..

31,819. Enter Flagstaff.

31,820. Stop to visit the museum of Northern Arizona. The museum has information on the natural history and the geology of the area. Flagstaff is on the red rock Colorado Plateau. They also have informative displays on the Indian tribes of the area.

We stay at the Best Western Hotel in Flagstaff.

The final odometer mileage was 221 miles driven for the day.

Route 66 From Kingman to Siegelman


Driving to and Sites in Valle

Rt 180 San Francisco Peaks Scenic Road


May 23, 2011. Monday.

The odometer reads 31,840 miles.

We take Route 17 south.

31,848. Begin driving on 89A which is a scenic road.

31,849 (398). Lots of Ponderosa Pine in the area.

31,850 (397).

31,852 (395). Descending. We are riding through the Coconino National Forest. We miss the scenic overlook (partly because no signs mentioned that here is the scenic overlook).

31,854 (393). Frye Canyon.

31,856 (391). Descending again.

31,857 (390). Make a stop. We realize we are now descending down the Mogollon Rim. The Rim marks the end and the beginning of the Colorado Plateau in this area. Rosemary took a lot of photos looking at the Rim. The highway here is a switch-back one that goes back and forth slowly easing the vehicles up or down as the case may be. We see two roads below us, parts of the switch-back. Today it is very windy and a bit cool.

31,858 (389). Pull-off on the switch-back where Rosemary takes photos.

31,859 (388).

31,860 (386). Stopped for photos just past the switch-back. There are hiking trails in the area. We see a bunch of bluish-purple lupines on the left side of the road. Took more photos of the Mogollon Rim. There is a stream on the right side of the road.

31,861 (385). Stop the car alongside a side road at a campground called Cave Springs. The camp was marked "FULL".

31,862 (384). Call of the Canyon West Fork. This is a fee area. Took photos from around the perimeter of the place. We notice houses alongside the stream.

31,864 (382). Still descending. Stop for red rock photos. There is a picnic area here.

31,865 (381). There are lots of red rocks now. We stop before the bridge and take photos of a bush with white flowers on a flower spike. The Oak Creek Bridge is located just before Slide Rock State Park.

We had to pay the $10.00 fee as this is a State Park, not a National Park. The park is very pretty. Here is the Pendley Homestead Trail, on which is located the Pendley Homestead House, built in 1927.

The Cliff Top Trail has lots of Prickly Pear Cactus. The trail leads us over to the edge of a cliff. We look down and see lots and lots of kids, teenagers and some older folks. It is still relatively cool, but everyone seems to be having fun down there. The red rock has "shelves" on either side of the stream and many people sunbathe there. Some boys slide down the stream through a narrow cut in the rocks. They are definitely having fun judging by the happy looks on their faces.

A fellow named Gino Mena, a local bus driver, greets us and welcomes us to Arizona when he finds out that we are from New York. He says he loves the park and comes here quite often. He moved out here from California and has never regretted his decision to move. He was simply a very charming and welcoming individual. He saw my wife is Hispanic and tried to speak to her in Spanish, but we explained to him that Rosemary is half Puerto-Rican (her father) and half Polish-American (her mother) out of Chicago. Her father was in the U.S. Navy and was gone aboard ship many times when she was very young. Her Polish-American mother did not speak Spanish, so Rosemary and her siblings never learned to speak Spanish.

31,865. We are back on Route 89A heading south.

31,867 (379). The elevation here is 5,000 feet.

31,869 (378) and 31,870 (377). Took more photos of red rocks and hoodoos.

31,870 (376). Grasshopper Point. More photos of red rock formations.

31,871 (376). Come to a big pull-off at the bridge known as Midgley Bridge. Took picks of the bridge and the surrounding area. To the left the area is wide open. The pull-off was packed with cars. We get back on the road and soon see a sign for Sedona City limits.

There are two big isolate formations in red rock country across from the Red Rock Lodge by Purtymun Lane.

31,872 (375). Now we are on the main street of Sedona. The place is surrounded by red rock formations. Very pretty. There are a lot of nice shops along this part of Route 89A. We parked by a store known as Sedona Gifts. At Cactus Carlos Best we bought a T-shirt. We buy most of the T-shirts we need as gifts for the Baizan and Li families.

We had a barbecue meal at Sallyís in Sedona of pulled pork. It was very good, but the barbecue sauce was a bit too sweet for us. It was more like salsa than barbecue sauce.

In Sedona we noticed there were a great many pink-colored jeeps driving people around on jeep tours to show the tourists the sights.

31,873 (374). Back in the car we turn left to get onto a side road into more red rock country around Sedona beginning from Route 179.

31,874. Made another left, this time onto Schnelby Hill Road. Only part of the road is paved, namely about a mile. The rest of the way is dirt road that Rosemary and I did not want to risk traveling on. From the parking lot at the end of the paved road, Rosemary took photos and then we turned the car around and got back to Route 179 by making still another left turn.

31,876 (312). We drove through red rock country, but, while the scenery was good, we felt we had enough photos of red rock country for the day.

31,878. After a stop for red rock photos on Route 179, we turn around at Cathedral Rock Trail and go back to Route 89A south.

31,884 (370). Upper Red Rock Road. This is another scenic route to see red rocks. See a sign saying three miles to Red Rock State park. It was longer for us because I missed the turn and had to drive down the road to a place where I could make a U-turn and come back.

31,890. Finally make the turn onto the road leading to Red Rock State Park. The drive to the actual state park is another five miles. There are lots of private houses along the road to the park. At the park, we went into the Visitorís Center. There we learn there are a lot of individual trails in the area. We did not stay long as we donít have time to do much hiking on this trip.

31,895. We leave Red Rock State Park. There are a lot of open spaces between the park and the nearest town.

31,907. We cross the Verdi River.

31,910 (351).

31,912. Jerome National Historic Landmark.

31,914 (347). Jerome Town Limits.

31,915. Enter Jerome.

31,916. We make a right turn off of Route 89A before reaching the main part of Jerome. The road has some stopping points with some great overviews of the relatively flat land we just came through. This side road goes through the mining part of Old Jerome. On Douglas Road we stopped at the Audrey Headframe Park of the Little Daisy Mine to turn around.

We get back on Route 89A and the route takes us into the heart of Jerome.

31,918. On the main street of Jerome by the Ghost City Inn, we stop for photos. As we come into the busier parts of Jerome (and it was busy judging by how hard it was to find a parking spot), we see a man with a sign that says "Starving". I have been known to stop and give people like this some money for a meal, but the guy didnít look like he was starving. He looked a bit wild and I decided not to stop.

Jerome is an interesting place because it is just located near the top of a mountain spread out along four or five main streets. You have good views from here too of the surrounding area heading back to Sedona.

We never did find a parking spot and so started back to Flagstaff.

We covered 156 miles for the day.

Route 89A Oak Creek Canyon & Mogollon Rim

Route 89A Slide Rock State Park

Route 89A Approaching Sedona & Sedona Shops

Schnelby Hill Road, Route 179 & Red Rock State Park

Route 89A & Jerome


May 24, 2011. Tuesday.

The odometer reads 31,998 miles. It is cool this morning.

32,005 (424). We take Route 89.  Stop for a photos of the mountains ahead of us.

32,006 (425). Stop to take photos of San Francisco Peaks.

32,009 (428).

32,011 (430). Right turn onto Rt. 545, Scenic Loop Road, for Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and then the Indian village ruins of Wupatki National Monument. The loop is a semi-circle that starts and stops at Route 89.

32,012. Stop for photos of Sunset Crater Volcano. On this side you can see the black color due to the lava spume. See a sign for Coconino National Forest.

32,013. Stop to pay the entrance fee but since it is a National Monument, we donít have to pay.

32,014. Photos of black lava flow. In some areaa the lava is very uneven and spiked. I would not want to have to walk over the lava. Also here is an overview of the area of lava flows.

32,015. Lava Flow Trail is by the parking area.

32,017. Cinder hills Overlook. This whole area was once a big field of volcanoes. You know this because everywhere you look you see the remnants of black lava.

32,021. Painted Desert Vista. The Painted Desert in Arizona stretches from the Grand Canyon National Park into the Petrified Forest National Park. The desert runs roughly along side and just north of the Little Colorado and Puerco Rivers. The desert covers a 146-square-mile area..

32,026. Leaving Coconino National Forest.

32,031. Shot toward the Wupatki Visitorsí Center.

32,033. Wupatki Trail and Visitorsí Center. The ruins of the settlement are behind the Visitorsí Center. The ruins include the dirt red building that functioned as something like an apartment building. The stone used is local. There are also two ball courts here.

32,034 and 32,035. Stopped for landscape pictures.

32,040. Took another photo of the San Francisco Peaks.

32,042. Take photos of the Citadel and the Nalakihu ruins.

We get back onto Route 89 heading north.

32,046 (445). There are wide open spaces and red rocks.

32,066 (295). In the area of Cameron, Arizona, we make a turn for Route 64 going west headed for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

32,068 (293). Stop for photos of the mountains ahead of us.

32,070 (291).

32,071 (290). Photo of yellowish mountains.

32,076 (285). Stopped at the viewing point of the Little Colorado River Gorge. We are on the Navajo Reservation and the Gorge is managed by the Navajo people. The fee is only $2.00 dollars. They have arranged the place to force the visitors down through the vendor stalls on either side of a kind of street which one must pass thru on their way to see the gorge.

Navajo vendor Jennifer Beard quickly engages us in conversation. She is very personable and we buy quite a few pieces of jewelry from her: necklaces and ear rings. She sold us three necklaces for $20.00 dollars.

We looked at a couple of other vendor set-ups and then moved over to see the gorge. The most surprising thing is that there is no water in the gorge. I first thought there was a smooth brownish road built to reach the gorge, but no, the road was actually the river bed of the gorge. The gorge is impressive. Itís deep, but not really wide like the Grand Canyon. I enjoyed looking at the stratified layers.

On the way back to the car we bought two Indian Christmas bulbs.

32,080 (282). Back on Route 64 west.

32,083 (279).

32,085 (277).

32,086 (276). Entering the Kaibab National Forest.

32,092 (270).

32,094 (268). We see a sign for the Grand Canyon National Park.

32,097 (265). Reach the entrance. There is no entrance fee for us, since we have the seniorís pass.

32,098. We stop at the first stop, Desert View. Rosemary takes a photo of a mesa known as Cedar Mountain.

From Desert Vew the next few stops were similar views of what we saw at Desert View, but farther away from the visible part of the Colorado River.

32,099. Navajo Point. Viewing area.

32,100. Lipan Point viewing area. From here a little bit of the Colorado River to the west is visible, but it is far away.

32,104 (260).

32,105 (259).

32, 106 (258). Moran Point. There are pretty red colors here. Canít see much of the Colorado River to the west and the east view of the river is too far away to really see.

32,112 (252). Grand Viewpoint. Another disappointment. The only river visible is that one spot far to the east.

32,114 (250).

32,119 (246).

32,122 (243). We stop at the huge Visitorís Center. There are some big maps here, but little else, except long lines to get to ask a ranger a question.

We go to the El Tovar Lodge.

32,122 on the odometer as we park at the Kachina Lodge. We went 128 miles this day.

I did not see all the stops at the South Rim, but I thought the Desert View was the best of them. I could see at least a little bit of the Colorado River here. Most of the time the river is hidden by the deep depth of its river bed or because it travels behind a huge rock formations.

I did not think I would enjoy the Grand Canyon. And on one of the websites I looked at, the fellow was saying that it doesnít take long to get the gist of the Grand Canyon. (Itís kind of like that scene in Chevy Chaseís film Vacation that came out in 1983. Dad tells Rusty itís time to go, but Rusty objects that dad hasnít even looked at the Grand Canyon. So dad takes a few seconds to look the canyon up and down and back and forth and then says letís go.) My impression was not as bad as that, but I didnít really enjoy the views. In many ways, I just didnít find the views very impressive. Hey, it is a big ditch Ė the biggest of these types of ditches. The average width of the canyon is about ten miles. Yes, itís big and thatís impressive. But itís just not that impressive. My wife had a similar reaction. (And the haze at the park limits how far one can see anyway.)

The other thing I did not like about the South Rim is that it reminded me too much of Disney World. Itís just too busy, and we were early in the season. People from all over the world come to see the South Rim and stay in one of the lodging places in Grand Canyon Village. We had to check in at El Tovar Lodge in order to stay at Kachina Lodge. There were people all over the place at El Tovar. It wasnít as bad as Grand Central Station in New York City, but it was busy.

We were very lucky about our parking space. We got the last available parking spot at the Kachina Lodge. The parking spaces are so scarce that we did not move the car once we were parked. We took a shuttle bus down to the eating place at the Maswik Lodge. They have a small food court available and a pizza pub. We ate at the pizza pub.

We wanted to use the shuttle bus to get back to the Kachina Lodge, but the bus driver explained that it would take about a half-hour to get back to the Kachina Lodge from Maswik Lodge by bus. So we walked. It was a pleasant enough walk as we took a short-cut back through a bit of wide open forest.

Route 545 Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Route 545 Wupatki National Monument

Little Colorado River Gorge

Grand Canyon South Rim Part 1

Grand Canyon South Rim Part 2


May 25, 2011. Wednesday.


The odometer reads 32,126.

On Route 64 east, we start the 210 mile journey up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

32,163. Make a stop for a photo between a road cut.

32,165. Took a photo of the Little Colorado River Gorge.

32,172. The location of the little Colorado River Gorge site.

32,181 (297). We return to Route 89.

32,182 (466).

32,183. We stop at the Cameron Trading Post. It is the biggest trading post out here that we have seen. Here there is a small grocery store, lodging, a trading post, gasoline, a dining room and lots of different souvenirs, knickknacks and Indian pottery. We got a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for our breakfast. It was good.

32,187 (before 471). Stopped for a photo of the Painted Desert.

32, 189. Another stop for a photo of a ridge in the Painted Desert.

32,193 (just before 477).

32,197 (481). Stop just before the right turn for Tuba City on Route 160. It is the Dine' Nation's largest community. The term Dinťtah is used for the traditional homeland of the Navajo people. We had planned originally to visit Tuba City, but again had to jettison the idea because of time restrictions.

32,198 (just before 482). Stop for photos of the Painted Desert and an isolated mesa on the left. Here there are pretty small gray hills on the left.

32,200 (484).

32,203 (487). There is a big ridge of red rock. There is a velvety sheen on some of the smaller mounds. Some of the hills in the area are marked by the tracks of ATV vehicles. The landscape here is prettier than that of the Grand Canyon.

32,213 (497). We enter the Gap, Arizona. See a tamarisk shrub in bloom.

32,219 (before 504). Reach Cedar Ridge.

32,231 (516). Echo Hills.

32,234 (519). Kabito Plateau ahead going across our viewing area.

32,239 (524). Turn left onto 89A.

32,241 (526).

32,245 (530). Stop for photos of red mountains on both sides with the road running down the middle.

32,251 (536). Red rocks on both sides of the highway.

32,253 (538). Navajo Bridge. There are two bridges here, side by side. The one on the right is the old bridge. The bridge on the left is the new bridge. You canít walk out on the new bridge, but you can on the old bridge. The green water of the Colorado River is very pretty. Across the bridge are the Vermilion Cliffs, colorful sandstone formations with high cliffs and canyons.

We crossed over the bridge and turned into the Visitorís Center. The Navajo Reservation border begins on the other side I bought a book on the Dominguez-Escalante expedition. These two Spanish priests in 1776 tried to find a route from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the recently founded settlement at Monterey, California.. They traveled northwest up from New Mexico into Colorado and then went just below the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The explorers met so many hardship that they decided to cancel the expedition and headed home. They then came down through Arizona and made it back to Santa Fe.

32,253 (538). Stop to get a photo of the Vermilion Cliffs. After this Rosemary took a photo or two of Marble Canyon, the section of the Colorado River canyon Lee's Ferry above the Navajo Bridge to the confluence with the Little Colorado River marking the beginning of the Grand Canyon.

32,255 (540).

32,256 (541). More photos of the Vermilion Cliffs.

32,257 (542). More photos of the Vermilion Cliffs.

Cross over Soap Creek.

32,262 (547). Cliff Dwellers. Stopped for photos.

32,263 (548). Stop for more Vermilion Cliffs. The road ahead is long and straight.

32,273 (before 558). San-Bartolome, Dominguez-Escalante Expedition monument is on the right side of 89A. The expedition came through here on its way back to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

32,275 (before 560). House Rock Wildlife Area.

32,280 (after 565). House Rock Valley.

32,281 (566). Entering Kaibab National Forest.

32,283 (568). Stop for a scenic view. Thereís a huge open space here. Wow!

32,284 (569). Took photos of yellowish white rocks. The road is very winding.

32,294 (579). We reach the junction of 89A and Route 67. We turn left and travel Route 67 south to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is supposed to be 45 miles to the north Rim.

32,295 (580).

32,296 (581).

32,300. We see many miles of burned trees in the area. The road is a winding one.

32,312. Stop at a big open meadow for photos. There are patches of snow on the ground and more open meadows.

32,319. Pass the Kaibab Lodge. Most of the last 25 miles to the North Rim is filled with open meadows.

32,324. Enter the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

32,337. Park in the parking lot. We can still see the snow-covered San Francisco Peaks. We go over to the Visitor Center. They suggest there that we go over to the North Rim Grand Canyon Lodge and go out onto the Sun Porch.

So we go. The Sun Porch is in two parts: the first is the indoor Sun Porch, and the second is composed of outside porches on either side of the indoor Sun Porch. There are a lot of people sitting in chairs out in the sun with good views of the North Rim part of the Grand Canyon. We took quite a few photos of the indoor and outdoor parts of the Sun Porch.

In the indoor part of the Sun Porch there is a statue of Brighty the burro. Brighty lived around the North Rim from 1892 to 1922. Brighty even went hunting with former US President Theodore Roosevelt. Thomas McKee and his wife ran Wileyís Camp on the North Rim. It was McKeeís son Bobby who became Brightyís constant companion. Brighty was the burro that inspired the book published in 1953 called "Brighty of the Grand Canyon" written by Marguerite Henry. The book was later made into a Disney film.

We took some pictures of the Roaring Springs Canyon at North Rim.

32,348. We drove the eight miles out to Point Imperial. From the Point we could see the huge open plains along with the Vermilion Cliffs, Echo Hills, Marble Canyon and the Navajo Nation.

From the North Rim we drove back up to 89A and over to Jacob Lake. (Jacob is the locally famous Jacob Hamblin, a Mormon who was also an explorer, settler and a spokesman for the interests of the local Indians.)

Jacob Lake is the only place we could have stayed, except if we had gotten reservations for lodging at the North Rim. It is located at the junction of 89A and Route 67 and consists of places for lodging, a fancy restaurant and a place to get burgers and fries at the soda fountain, a small grocery store, a gift shop and a Chevron gas station. We ate at the fancy part of the dining facilities. I liked my steak and potato very much.

For the day we drove 270 miles.

Rt 89 From Cameron to Rt 89A - The Painted Desert

Rt 89A To and With Navajo Bridge

Rt 89A After Navajo Bridge - Vermilion Cliffs

Rt 67 Grand Canyon - North Rim


May 26, 2011. Thursday.

The odometer reads 32,396.

32,406 (just before 589). On 89A we stop for photos of the mountains ahead of us on our way to Pipe Spring National Monument.

32,407 (589). We are on Vermilion Cliffs Highway headed to Fredonia. The winds are very strong today. Saw more of the Vermilion Cliffs and the Grand Staricase  from Le Fevre Overlook. It was very hazy that day. After the overlook we start our descent off the Kaibab Plateau.

32,408. Another photo from the Kaibab Plateau. Ahead of us is a red range of mountains and a white range of mountains.

32,409 (592). Go through a road cut. We stop for more photos of the mountain ranges ahead of us.

32,409-410. There is a string of road cuts along this road, Route 89A.

32,410 (593). Leaving Kaibab National Forest.

32,414 (597). Take photos of three mountain ranges viewable on the right.

32,416 (598). Flat lands and rolling hills, with wide open areas.

32,418 (600). Stop for closer up photos of the three mountains. The earth here is of a reddish color. And itís very hazy today.

32,419 (past 601).

32,420 (602). The elevation is 5,000 feet. Stop for more mountain photos.

32,421 (603). Brownish red, short, rock palisade.

32,422 (606).

32,423 (607). We see Fredonia coming up. It is located at the base of the Kanab Plateau.

32,425 (609). Stop for a photo of the Fredonia sign. Fredonia was established in 1885. The elevation is 4,671 feet.

We quickly reach the junction of 98A with Route 389 heading west. We turn to the left. There is a ranger station nearby.

32,426 (029). On Route 389 we take a photo of an isolated mesa. We then enter Mohave County.

32,427 (031). We enter the Kaibab-Paiute Reservation.

32,428 (030).

32,431 (near 027). We reach the end of the white-red-white layered mountains.

32,437 (before 021). We come upon Two Mile Wash.

32, 435 (before reaching 019). We take the right turn for Pipe Spring National Monument which is 1/4 of a mile ahead of us. We pass by the Tribal Headquarters of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians at the junction with Route 389.

We reach the Visitor Center and go in. Pipe Spring was known for thousands of years by the native Americans in the area. Mormon Jacob Hamblin was very aware of its existence and its importance as a source of water.

A Mormon and his hired hand lived and worked in the area for awhile, but they both were killed when they decided to go after the Paiute who stole their horses.

Mr. and Mrs. Winsor were urged by Mormon leader Brigham Young to take over the work of the two dead settlers. It was hard to convince them, so they were told that the Mormon community would come and build a fort for them at Pipe Spring. So the Winsors went to Pipe Spring. The house fort was build right over the spring and is known as Winsor Castle. This water availability was protection against a possible Indian siege of the fort. Luckily, the fort saw no action in battle.

There is an interior courtyard with two houses joined at the ends by walls. The walls are very thick with some gun ports built in.

The Winsors had 11 children, but not all of them were Mrs. Winsorís. There was a first wife who died before the Pipe Spring settlement and this woman had several children. The ranger guide on the tour of the house fort said that the family had the latest amenities technology could provide. At times Pipe Spring was used as a polygamist hide-out, as was Fredonia. Polygamists could seek refuge just over the Utah border.

Pipe Spring was the first telegraph office. It occupied one of the bedrooms of the girls who worked on it. Because of the telegraph, the Winsors would receive early warnings if the law was coming down to Pipe Spring.

At one time Pipe Spring had 82,000 cattle. They could produce 40 pounds of butter and 60-70 pounds of cheese per day at the settlement. Many settlers came by Pipe Spring. Here they could stock up on their water supplies and they were given a very tasty meal complete with dessert, usually some type of pie, such as boysenberry.

We enjoyed the visit to Pipe Spring National Monument. It was very interesting finding out about the story of the settlement here. Rosemary picked up some grass and fed it to the horse in the nearby corral. The corral next door holds two long horn cattle.

32,441 (018). Driving west on Route 389.

32, 445 (014). Leaving the Reservation.

32,449 (010). Big wide, open spaces.

32,455 (004). Entering Colorado City, AZ, the last settlement before the Utah border with Arizona. Mountains can be seen in the background.

32,456 (003). Colorado City looks like just a big collection of houses.

32,458 (000). We are in southern Utah now. See a sign saying "Welcome to Utah". Arizona Route 389 goes right into Utah Route 59.

32,459 (001).

32,474 (just past 15). Stop for photos of the mountains on the right. There is a lot of pasture land on the left with some mountains in the background.

32,475 (16). Stop for photos of a mountain with a little snow on its top. There are green, red, black and gray colors on the mountain.

32,476 (17). Take closer views of the mountains.

32,477 (18). The Town of Hurricane sign. Take another photo of the mountains in the area.

32,480 (19) We are definitely in Hurricane, Utah now.

32,490 (29). We switch from Utah Route 59 west to Utah Route 9 west that takes us over to US 15 south heading for Las Vegas, Nevada.

32,506 (29). We reach the Arizona State Line again.

32,509 (before 26). We enter the Virgin River Gorge. We go straight through because we took pictures of this gorge on an earlier trip to southern Utah. Itís a very scenic drive.

32,513 (22). The elevation is 2,000 feet.

32,524 (Exit 9). Desert Springs.

32,534 (122). Entering Nevada.

32,608. Nearing Las Vegas.

Get off the exit for Tropicana Avenue, drive over to Paradise Road and turn right. The Best Western is over on the left.

We did 225 miles today.

We eat at Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant on E. Flamingo Road. Then we turn in the rental car, take the shuttle and get picked up by the Best Western van.

Rts 89A & 389 to Pipe Spring NM

Pipe Spring National Monument Part 1

Pipe Spring National Monument Part 2

Arizona Route 389 & Utah Route 59


May 27, 2011. Friday.

Rosemary got up at 3:15 a.m. so we could make our flight back to Newark Airport, New Jersey.

We took off around 6:20 or so.


My Favorites



Return to Trips out West

Return to the Main Menu for the Vernon Johns Organization