Monday, August 16, 2010

Gettin' the Tiger...and Visiting the Grand Canyon!!

Once we decided we wanted a Tiger (small-ish, better gas mileage that many other campers, good layout with the pop-up top), we started to look for one in earnest.   And just couldn't find one in Texas.  The ones we did find here were sold before we could even look at them.  So, a national search ensued and a couple of Tigers popped up in Florida, a bunch in Colorado, and one in Sedona, Arizona.  Greg talked a lot with the person selling the Tiger in Sedona, saw some pictures, and we decided to buy it sight unseen.  Eeeek!  Scary. 

But, it worked out.  Not only were we able to get the coolest camper ever (which is, btw, EXACTLY as advertised), but we were able to hang out with old friends (who put us up for a few days and were the best hosts ever!!!) and........*drum roll please*.....see the Grand Canyon!!!!  This is one of the reasons for this whole hairbrained idea in the first place----to see places in the U.S. that we've never seen. 

**********excuse me while I experiment with videos**********

Check out our first impression of the grand Grand Canyon.....
video

It's a very cool place!  It's so big that it's really hard to wrap your head around it.  From where we were standing in the video, it's 8 MILES to the other side!!!!!!!  and a MILE down to the bottom!!!  That's just mind-boggling.  
video
Doesn't that just look like a painting? 
(I'm being real quiet on the video b/c I don't want to be "that" girl, who's all loud and obnoxious.  But I'm really WAY more excited than I sound!!)

Where's Greg?
He's just below the mouth of the Bright Angel Trail, which goes half-way down to the bottom.  Here's a shaky video (hey!  I'm still experimenting!) that shows where it goes:
video:

And this is it:
We didn't have time to go all the way down, but, even with the few minutes we were able to spend on the trail, the view changed.  Cool.



On top of the Rim is the El Tovar Hotel.  Here it is from the Bright Angel Trail, looking back up towards the cliff. It's an old hotel from the 20's and has a distinctly "The Shining" feel. But maybe not quite as creepy.

  Here it is from the front.

And then, across from El Tovar, back on the Rim, was this little guy.  It took me a minute to realize that he's BEGGING!!
video

And here's a cool tool that you can look through to see the landmarks of the canyon.
Each indention in the outer shell is marked with the name of a landmark.. Then you put the telescope thing (except it doesn't magnify) in the indention and you know what you're looking at.  Like so:

And this is what you see:
....but I can't remember what that rock outcropping is called.  I think it has something to do with a pope....

I love the "don't get rammed off a cliff."  Yeah, thanks for the reminder!!!

And, of course, watch out for the......

What a very pretty, awesome, awe-inspiring, amazing place. 
Can't wait to see it from the North Rim!

So, we spent a good 5 hours at the Canyon, then went back to Debra's house where we took a well-deserved shower (video & pics not available).

That night, Debra and Ed took us out in downtown Flagstaff.  What a cute town.  Lots of bars and galleries and restaurants and bikers and skiers and outdoorsy people.

And this creepy thing:

The next morning, we left for Austin.  It wasn't a bad drive, even with the lack of AC. 

It took a full two days, because we kept stopping to see stuff.  We went through Winslow, AZ ("standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona...such a fine sight to see...it's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me.  Take it eeeeeeeeeeasy, take it eeeeeeeeeeasy....) for a pit-stop and then moved on.  

 Here's the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ.
It's so cute!!!
Each one of those wigwams is a room, with a bed, TV, little table, and bathroom.  And the cars are props.....there's an old car parked in front of each room.  Supposedly, this is the inspiration for the hotel in the movie "Cars."  The red wrecker looks just like Mater!

The view as we drove into New Mexico was pretty neat.

I think we were near Carlsbad Caverns. 

Ya know, we were just trying to get the Tiger home.  We can go spend more time at all these places when we take off for real next year.  But it sure whetted our appetite!!

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