Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cross Country Trip ~ Part Nine


We left Mount Carmel, Utah heading into Arizona and I was surprised at out first rest stop, just inside Arizona, that my allergies started acting up BIGTIME and I'd had my allergy meds.  I'd always heard that if you had really bad allergies (which I don't) then Arizona was the place to live.  Maybe I shouldn't have taken my allergy meds or maybe it was just I wasn't used to the flora and fauna of Arizona because as the day progressed my sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes DID improve and I felt much better, thank goodness.

First Rest Stop in Arizona ... what a view huh?
The drive from Mount Carmel, Utah to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon was absolutely beautiful (about 2 hours and 40 mins).  It was very woodsy and not much in the way of towns between the two points but definitely a scenic drive!

At Jacob Creek, Arizona, we had to head due South to get to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, some 50 miles and the only way in/out (at this point).  Beautiful drive, we passed very few cars on the lonely stretch of two lane road but saw lots and lots of wildlife! 

This was a first for us ...deer AND cattle crossing?
We never saw any cattle crossing but these signs were frequent.

Free Spring Water ... just filler up!!! 
We got to the North Rim had a quick look around but didn't get to stay long as hubby had a conference call he had committed himself to and we had NO CELL SERVICE and the only pay phones had NO privacy.  Sooooo, we had to get to some place that had AT&T cell service.  The North Rim Park Ranger said we would have to drive back out the 50 miles to Jacob Lake, which is not a town, by the way, but there is a gas station, restaurant, souvenier shop, camping area and a Park Ranger Station.  The Park Ranger saying we would possibly have service there ... but NOPE ... no such luck.  So on we drove (toward the South Rim via Highway 89A)... we got about 10 miles and were stopped by road construction ... completely STOPPED AND STILL NO CELL SERVICE.  Time was short and hubby was sweating it so we turned back around and went back to Jacob Creek. By this time, hubby was pretty desperate for a phone and willing to pay someone almost anything to borrow theirs!!!  Luckily, he was able to 'rent' one from the lady at the camp registration desk at Jacob Creek for $6.00!!!  Whew ... crisis averted.

So while hubby was on his conference call, I piddled around inside the souvenier shop ... saw all kinds of craftworks made by the local Indians and then these beautiful wooden bowls caught my eye ... I'm picking up this one and that one as each was unique.  The lady next to me and I were commenting on their beauty and awfully reasonable prices of $25-$60 (hand made, supposedly).  Finally, deciding on a bowl for myself, I look on the bottom and exclaim outloud "made in China?" ... the lady I was talking to said "what????" ... long story short, I didn't want a wooden bowl Made in China and neither did she!  DISAPPOINTED!  So ya'll be careful to check for "Made in China" stickers at any souvenier shops/stands as we also found that all the roadside stands selling Bison and Elk Jerky had not made it locally but purchased it for resale from Montana ... insert disaapointed sad face here lol

After hubby's conference call, we got back on Highway 89A (Grand Canyon Highway and pretty much THE only paved road between the North Rim and South Rim) though at some point we picked up Highway 64 to cut back West to the South Rim. 
Old settlement of Cliff Dwelling, Arizona ... people actually lived here in the early 20th Century.
Bottom left pic is the privy!
Bridge over the Colorado River ... magnificent!  Now we want to return and raft the river!
This highway took us right smack through the desert, across the Colorado River, and across the Navajo Reservation, which was a huge eyeopening experience to say the least.  We also made sure we had a full tank of gas before leaving Jacob Creek because there was pretty much a lot of nothing between the North Rim and South Rim (including no internet service, well HECK, my car's GPS couldn't even find us).  Just the two lane highway beneath our tires and desert, desert and more desert as far as the eye could see ... beautiful scenery but quite desolate aside from the random reservation homes scattered miles and miles apart.  I won't get into the sad conditions these people (fellow Americans) live in on these reservations but it is really really disheartening to know that they live in such devastating conditions, not unlike some third world countries.  They say pictures are worth a thousand words ... uh uh ... seeing is believing!

Example of the miles and miles and miles of nothing but 2 lane highway!

North Rim Grand Canyon to South Rim Grand Canyon

Next post will be Day Nine Continued as there are just too many pics to share in this one post ...


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