Archive for April, 2008

Day 5: Phoenix, Saguaro National Park (AZ), Calexico (CA), Mexicali (MX), San Felipe (MX)

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Today, hopefully, we will make it into Mexico. Our plan is to hit Saguaro National Park so Sandy’s dad can see several thousand of his dream plant, then spend the rest of the afternoon driving until we hit San Felipe, Mexico.

Day 5: Saguaro National Park

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The saguaro, cartoondom has decided, is the quintessential way of letting you now that you are in the desert. Oddly enough, I’ve lived the majority of my life in the desert, and I’ve not seen one saguaro. Ever. Go figure. Perhaps that is because saguaros tend to all be in Arizona. Saguaro National Park is right outside of Tucson.

Of course, the big draw of Saguaro National Park is the saguaros. So if you are a fan of the desert, this is certainly your place to go. We took a mile jaunt through the desert and found lots and lots of saguaros. Here is one of the pictures I am proud of.

Oh, and there are petroglyphs as well.

On to Me-hi-co!

Day 4: Grand Canyon, Phoenix

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This morning, we are visiting the Grand Canyon. I don’t know when I will be able to post, since Page has spotty data service, and after our experience driving through the Navajo Nation, I want to check what kind of data service we’ll have.

Day 4: Flagstaff

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So, (and I partially knew this already), the drive from the Grand Canyon to Phoenix is a very interesting one. Namely in that it passes through some very interesting vegetation. I.E. a coniferous forest. Which is not the first thing that pops into my head when I think, “Arizona”.

So, not bad. Views like this are what make me like western Idaho. Of course summer could be a whole different story, but still better than straight desert.



Day 4: Grand Canyon

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11:59 a.m.

Hello. I have a little secret for you. The secret world of 1610 AM. If you’ve driven through any national or state parks lately, among the many signs on the side of the road, you will invariably see a sign that says, “Tune to 1610 AM for park information”. Since I shamefully did not take a picture of one, you’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled for one. Of course, Sandy and I have discovered that more often than not, the 1610 sign is a dirty lie. 1610 am spits nothing but static at you. Grand Canyon, however, seemed to be in top form, and 1610 AM worked! Here are a few tidbits of info from the canned broadcast: “Over 400 National Parks. Desert View entrance. The entrance fee is $25.” So, since we already bought a national parks pass, we are up to Canyonlands, $10, Arches $10, Mesa Verde, $10, Grand Canyon, $25, $55 total. Saguaro and Zion should bring us to $90 in entrance fees, so I guess we will end up saving $10 by buying the National Parks pass. Although I do wish that there were a temporary, week-long pass that you could buy for people like us who want to visit maybe 3 parks total, but who don’t care to fork over $80 for a year-long pass.

So, we went to the Desert View entrance of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Conveniently, there is an observation tower built there in the 30s by one Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, who tried to use influences from as many Native American cultures as she could to build it. Hence, it does fit in well with the other ruins we visited. It is open to the public, unlike many places I tend to visit that have high towers that I am not allowed to go up in. (The Leaning Tower of Pisa, I am talking about you. Also, to a lesser extent state capitols)

This is what the inside of the tower looks like:

And here is the obligatory Grand Canyon shot:

The only problem with the Grand Canyon was, and I hesitate to say this, (for fear that my Indian Warrior friend is waiting to rip out my entrails), Sandy and I have just spent the last three days seeing incredible rock formations, and we’re kind of done. Which is of course National Park Blasphemy. (I’m still peeking over my shoulder for that Indian) It must be the effect of three days of park-hopping. But we’re definitely jaded. So kids, pace yourselves on your National Parks trips. Make sure that when you get to the Grand Canyon, you are happy, healthy, and still care.

Let’s see if Microsoft Word 2007 can really post to a blog

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I guess it can. There you go, kids!