Friday, December 18, 2009

Leaving Utah- Oct. 13th: The Motherf@%kin' Grand Canyon Ya'll!

After leaving the hot springs, Bobby and I started heading towards the less visited North Rim of the Grand Canyon. To get there, we took some back roads. Mind you, pretty much the only think in Utah is Salt Lake City, the rest is like one big national park filled with natural beauty and pockets of polygamists compounds. Also the sun set at, oh, 4:45, so we drove until 10 p.m. on two lane, windy, mountainous passes with literally not a light to be seen for as far as the eye could see. We ended up in Kanab, UT, and plunked down $35 for a room that was clean but looked like someone's old Grandmother's house. The next morning we got up to leave, and here's what I Kanab is good for- random opportunities for photos like the one below.....

and funny convenience store t-shirts like the one below sold at reasonable prices. Way to be a good sport Utah.

But wait! Kanab UT had one more thing to offer us- a tourist trap that goes by the name of Moqui Cave. We saw it driving by and thought it was actually some wonder of natural history. When we went to the trouble of U-turning for a random stop, and got a closer look, we realized this was probably no where near authentic- here was our first clue...

Um, yeah. At that point we figured the kitsch factor would be superbly high, and decided to fork over the $5. An old man ran it, and told the story of how his dad discovered the cave and turned it into a dance hall. So, basically, its just a cave filled with memorabilia of the man's father, and all the random "treasures" he accumulated- like the rocks below : / I figured this epic fail of natural wonder would just make the Grand Canyon look *even better*, so it was still a win.

Hi Arizona! Thanks for having the Grand Canyon, you're a real pal.

Arizona is flat and wide open, but not shitty miserable flat and wide open like El Paso, Texas. It's more like New Mexico- beautiful colors and desert plants that are sparse and pretty, not crusty and dead looking. The weather was perfect as well, and too bad I don't have a better camera so you could really get the details of the sun playing off the mountains and making everything pink and gold.

Again with the back roads, the North Rim of the park requires going off on an almost two hour drive up a windy, two lane road. It's crazy, because you just came from the desert, but the plateau that you drive through is nothing but trees- it looks a lot like Colorado. You finally get to the little village, park your car, and walk to the trail head that takes you right to the edge...

At first we saw the canyon, and while it was impressive, I thought "huh, smaller than I was told". Then we saw this sign, and it was not Moqui Cave Part 2. Thank God.

So, you start walking down this trail, and then BAM! OH MY ASS I AM STANDING ON THE EDGE OF THE GRAND CANYON. That thing is more than TEN MILES wide, and more than 21 Statue of Liberties deep! It's seriously overwhelming. One of the coolest, most awe inspiring things I've ever seen, for sure.

I was also unaware of just how unregulated your movement is- right in front of me, that cliff droops off and literally doesn't stop until it hits the bottom of the Grand Canyon- remember how many Statue of Liberties that is??? Bobby and I spent hours crawling all over the rock outcropping, and creeping ourselves out with how close we got to the edge.

Seriously, it kind of creeps me out right now thinking about all the ways we cheated death that day :)

After crawling around for hours, we hit up the little restaurants they had in the cheesy Grand Canyon "village".

We took pictures in front of the sign on the way out, but honestly this picture is a lot prettier and gives a good idea of just how forested the plateau is.

The prettiest sunset I've ever seen in my entire life was on a road trip through Arizona three years ago, so I was looking forward to seeing this one. At first, it was kind of "meh, ok, way to be a jerk and not live up to my expectations and rave reviews Arizona"

But then *this* happened, and literally filled up the entire sky, panorama- great!

I'm sorry I ever doubted you Arizona. Thanks for a great time.

We had to backtrack into Utah, and then crashed in a much nicer hotel. The next day would be a stop in Las Vegas and then finally- after two weeks- we'd hit our destination of L.A.

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