As per usual, if you are just joining us, you may want to start here.
On the fifth day of our Southwest adventure, we were going to hit what I suspect is one of the biggest travel spots Arizona has to offer: The Grand Canyon. We packed our bags, jumped in the car and got on 64E to see what this big hole had to offer.
As you can see from the sign on the left, Arizona is home to GIANT DEER (in addition to the jackalope, of course). I kept my eyes peeled for these freaks of nature during my drive, but sadly these elusive beasts were nowhere to be found.
After about an hour and a half drive, and a brief stop where we picked up our pass to the park (using my dad’s VIP AARP discount, FTW!), we took a drive around the canyon.
Now, let me say, the Grand Canyon is impressive as hell, there is no doubt about it. But I can see where people are coming from when they say Sedona is the better visit. Sedona has an edge over the canyon because Sedona has color, something the canyon is missing. Sure, its sheer size is amazing, but at there is no green to be found. And its all pretty much one shade of brown. To a small degree, the painted desert has slightly more to offer. That’s not to say the Grand Canyon is overrated, but considering what I had seen the days before it, I wasn’t blown away by it. That didn’t stop me from taking a thousand pictures, though.
That picture on the right, that there is the epitome of my trip. That’s Big Les groping at my father, as my aunt Fame completely ignores. Make no mistake, she knows what he’s doing, but after years of living with him, I suspect she just finds it easier to act like everything is normal. Is there any wonder why I used to love spending summers up there as a kid?
Like I said, impressive, sure, but the canyon just doesn’t have the beauty the other places I’d been on this visit. I’m still glad I went, though. I can say I’ve been. And if I didn’t go, that lizard would have been giving some other fool the evil eye.
After we saw all we wanted to see, we hopped back into the car and headed East, back in to the general direction of Albuquerque. We were in no hurry, but that’s where the flights were leaving from in a few days, so we figured we better start going in that general direction.
On the way, my pops and I decided to take a quick jump off the highway to check out Meteor Crater. We had seen the exit on the way out West a couple days before, and we figured what the hell, let’s stop. We paid our $15 and checked out “The first proven, best-preserved meteorite crater on Earth.” That sucker was impressive, and man I’m glad I stopped.
Okay, you can’t see it, but down in that white circle in the center stands a man (not a real man, a man cut out of wood) holding a 6′ tall American flag. The pic on the right with the people kind of gives you a perspective of how huge this crater is. It’s 4,000 feet across. I think you could have like 20 football fields fit into it. It was pretty spectacular.
Free is free, and they had dinosaurs and Indians outside on their lot. Honestly, how can you resist a store that has dinosaurs AND Indians on their parking lot. You can’t.
So while the rest of my family was in the store checking out the goods and getting their FREE PETRIFIED ROCK, I, like a child, went down to check out the T-Rex and Teepee. I would have certainly regretted it if I didn’t.
Soon enough we left, and headed for parts unknown. We had two more full days left on this jaunt, and we were going to make the most of them, come hell or high water.