Attack squirrels and other Grand Canyon adventures

I want to go back. I’ve said that a lot lately of my travels…

What we discovered: tourist towns shut down on Sunday afternoons in June in Arizona. Is it just too hot? After the conference ended, Denise, Anna & I picked up a rental car and headed to Carefree, Arizona, about 40 minutes north of Tapatio Cliffs. There are a number of dining establishments and unique shops in Carefree and we’d planned to have lunch at a tea room there and explore the shops. Well, that was not to be. Everything was closed! It was very sad…

We were starving by this time so we hit the grocery store deli counter for lunch. No cream tea and scones. A disappointment to be sure but we shrugged it off as our own little dine-around. The deli staff told us where to find some open stores in nearby Cave Creek, so we headed west and found 2 open shops — one was your general, all-purpose tourist shop but it had some beautiful native American items. The other was the Town Dump, a fun place with all types of junk and “art-work” like this car made from an old typewriter and some neat metalwork. The highlight of the afternoon had to be seeing the Paddy O’Furniture store, made all the more meaningful by a joke at the bar the evening before, and remembering the expression on friend Kathryn’s face when she finally got the punch line. We were so excited — we pulled off the road to take a picture of the store & Anna did some photoshop work to place Kathryn in front of the store. You just had to be there…

The Grand Canyon Adventure began extremely early the next morning. Denise, Mary & I met in the lobby at 5:30am to begin the trek north. It is a gorgeous drive north from Tapatio toward Flagstaff and on to Williams where we had to catch the steam train to the Canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway is a nice way to see the countryside and let someone else do the driving. It was a relaxing 2 hour train ride except for one obnoxious family with small children & adult children who were, in some ways, worse than the little ones!

attack squirrel peeks out to look for food

We did not have nearly enough time to see all the awesome views of the Grand Canyon. The train folks didn’t remind us before we boarded that we needed to buy the bus rim tour tickets before we departed. Bummer. So we walked westward along the Canyon near the Bright Angel Lodge, dodged the aggressive attack squirrels that attempted to steal our lunch, and picked up the free shuttle for the bumpy ride up along Hermits Rest Route. The views are magnificient. The colors are incredible. The majesty of this place is just indescribable. We’d hoped to get to the visitor center and the Yavapai Observation Point but couldn’t take a chance that we’d miss our return train. Next time I’ll plan to stay in the park at least one night!


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