Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

I’m still jet lagged.

I don’t know what it is about going to the West Coast for a few days that takes me awhile to adjust to on my return, but I’m still going to bed late and waking up late. For someone who’s a habitually early riser, this is not an easy adjustment to make. I went to Japan back in 2008. It took me three days to get my rhythms back in sync. I’ve been home a week from my family’s visit to California and I’m still having problems.

However, I must say it was an awesome trip. During our time out there, we took a family trip to places in Arizona. We visited the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, and toured around Sedona.

I probably first learned about the Grand Canyon in Elementary School. We studied about western U.S. geography in 4th grade. I remember we watched films. I saw pictures. (There was also that three-part episode of the Brady Bunch where they went to the Grand Canyon.)

But there’s nothing that could have prepared me for the grandeur that is the Canyon. We came in through the south entrance, which is the part that’s accessible year-round. (There is a north entrance that’s only accessible during the summer.) We feared it might be hot, but you’re 7,000+ feet high when you’re visiting there. Rains threatened and kept it cool. We went to several viewing sites and also watched the sunset. I gave my wife a hard time, telling her that she was taking so many pictures that she was missing it.

On Day 2, we went to the Petrified Forest, another fascinating geographical marvel that I’d only read about. While not as impressive as the Canyon, the Forest was still amazing. My younger son wanted to take piece home, an activity that is forbidden but impossible to monitor. We told him no, that taking things would destroy the Forest for future generations.

We’d planned to spend our third day back at the Grand Canyon. However, we got a pleasant surprise at our hotel in Sedona. We arrived at our hotel late at night, the outside giving new meaning to the term pitch dark. However, when we awoke and stepped outside in daylight, we were blown away by the natural pink rock formations.

The thing I didn’t expect on this trip was Route 66. Much of the trip was on I-40, which parallels the old Route 66 in the western U.S. There are numerous signs that point out Route 66, both drivable and non-drivable sections. As my boys have seen Cars numerous times, they enjoyed this, too.

I would love to visit again some day, but I don’t know when that will happen. We’re running out of places within driving distance of my in-laws place in southern California. We’re thinking that we might have to meet somewhere. Our first choice is Mount Rushmore, though we figure we could also go to Yellowstone.

May need to check the geography to make sure we can do it.


Keli Gwyn said...

I'm glad you had such an enjoyable trip and saw such great sights. The Grand Canyon is definitely awe-inspiring.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I would love to go to the Grand Canyon someday!

I've been to Yellowstone twice--winter and summer. It's really awesome. Then we went over to Jackson Hole. Great trip!

Walt Mussell said...

Keli, we had a fantastic time. I would love to go back other parts of Arizona. (However, if I want to viit Tombstone, I'm apparently on my own.)

Jennifer, the Grand Canyon was beautiful. I highly recommend it. If we do go to Yellowstone, we will have to add Jackson Hole as part of the trip.

Victoria Dixon said...

Yellowstone is doable, but it does make for a nice long road trip. And if it's any consolation, I have the same problem adjusting to ANY time change. Daylight savings time throws me off. Although going west is always easier than going east. *shrugs* Glad you had a great trip! I love the canyon.