Sunday, January 22, 2012


Being an east coast girl, I’m not used to such “young” states like Arizona who will celebrate 100 years of statehood this year http://www.az100years.org/.  Wow!

I visited Arizona during a road trip with my friends Lori and Lauren in May 2009.  We had a blast visiting Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado (in that order) over the course of a long weekend.

We crossed into Arizona from Nevada on the Hoover Dam - http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/.  It is in the middle of nowhere, but there were so many cars.  They have alleviated congestion by building a bridge across the dam area that was being built when we were there.  It’s really cool to see the marvel of this man-made wonder in person.

View from on top of the Hoover Dam
New Bridge - looks a little scary
From Hoover Dam, we drove to the Grand Canyon.  It was raining, foggy, and cold in MAY!  After spending the previous day in Vegas in a tank top and some capris, I was so surprised that I was freezing at the Grand Canyon - http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm.  Because of the rain and fog, we couldn’t see much.  We drove to the various viewpoints hoping for better site seeing, but, none of them were as clear as the pictures I’ve seen on the internet.

Here are two that my friend, Chris, took (much better day and photos):

There is so much to do in the Grand Canyon that you can spend 24 hrs there like we did, or a week.  You can take rafting trips or mule trips down into the canyon.  We only viewed the south rim; however there is the north rim as well.  One major piece of advice is to research and research early because there is so much to do but depending on the time of year, things book up fast.  You’ll need to decide what time of year you want to go, how much time you want to spend there, and how you’ll get to the canyon area, etc.

To spend the night, you either have to stay in a park lodge or about an hour away in the nearest town.  We chose to stay at the Yavapai Lodge in the park- http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/lodging-413.html.  It’s one of the cheaper ones in the park.  If you don’t mind spending more, you can stay at a lodge with a view of the canyon.

That night for dinner, we weren’t really interested in the limited options in the park.  Luckily, Lauren’s dad had been to this area and told us about the Cameron Trading Post outside of the park about 45 minutes away from where we were staying.  http://www.camerontradingpost.com/.  Talk about AMAZING FOOD!!  You got to try their fried bread.  We went back the next morning for breakfast!!  As the name implied it was a trading post, so we were able to buy some souvenirs there in the general store area. Also, they have a great view out back.

I’d like to note that when you see a gas station in Arizona, you should fill up the tank and go to the bathroom.  They were few and far between.  Thankfully, we heeded that lesson from others and got gas so we were never stranded.

While at the Grand Canyon, I would have loved to have checked out the Havasupai Tribe’s waterfalls - http://www.havasupaitribe.com/waterfalls.html.  It’s right outside of the Grand Canyon and they are beautiful!  It takes a 10 mile effort to get there though.  There wasn’t enough time and I wasn’t physically fit enough to go.  Maybe next time.

From the Grand Canyon we headed to the Four Corners - http://www.navajonationparks.org/htm/fourcorners.htm.  You can touch Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado all at the same time.  But, it’s IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  A few Native Americans had shops around where you could pick up some souvenirs but be sure to have cash on hand.  There wasn’t a gas station there (and not one nearby), but they did have port-a-potties if my memory serves me well. 

Photo taken of us by a nice military guy we met while we were there.
Lori and Lauren backbending into four states!
From there, it was onto Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I would have liked to have checked out the big cities of Tucson, Flagstaff, and Sedona if we had time on this trip.  One of my friends got engaged at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona about 5 years ago - https://www.chapeloftheholycross.com/store/ .  Ever since I saw her pictures I have wanted to visit that area some day.  It’s so beautiful!

Picture off of their website

If you’re looking for a road trip, Arizona has a piece of one of the oldest American road trips – Route 66 http://www.historic66.com/arizona/.  It’s a two lane road that takes you over 2,000 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.

In between the sites we saw in Arizona, it was just dessert, and rock formations but it was all so ah inspiring.  We didn’t take many interstates, if any.  Mostly we were going 75 mph on a two lane road with no one around.

These are just a few of the things I’ve done or I’d like to do in Arizona if I get back there; it’s not a complete list.  If you know of anywhere else in Arizona we should check out, please leave a comment below.  See you next week when we explore what’s just round the corner in Arkansas.

**Unless noted, all pictures came from Lori, Lauren, or myself from our trip to Arizona.**

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