Pambling Roads~~Arizona to Texas
Our dream come true, the Grand Canyon. For over twenty years my husband and I have planned to go to the Grand Canyon. Every time we made plans to take the trip something, somehow, some way, always ended up happening and the dream vacation was put on the back burner.
We did it! We made it! Our dream vacation and it was more than we could have ever imagined.
Welcome bak to Pambling Roads, where we are documenting our travels in the United States (and Canada) to "meet the Americans."
Grand Canyon North Rim
The Grand Canyon Lodge was great, peaceful. No TV, no Internet service even though the website said there was service in the lodge but not in the cabins. Would have been nice to know there was no service in advance. Then again, I really should have known that there may be an issue. I should have left a “message away” on my email account. That said, it was nice not being attached to an electronic box for a few days, verynice!
The cell phone didn’t work but that didn’t exactly break my heart either. I find cell phones to be one of those inconvenient necessities.
The Grand Canyon Lodge Restaurant was excellent. Neil was our server. Great food, great service, and happy employees. All the employees at the North Rim including the visitors center gift shop, front desk, restaurants, the bar, etc. were happy and pleasant. It was a pure pleasure to be there. It was such an extreme difference from Utah.
The next morning we went to the general store where they had free internet service and I did my mail away message. No problem.
This was one of my dreams come true, one of those lifelong dreams where I planned on someday seeing the Grand Canyon. Where every time we had saved up the funds to go, something went wrong and we couldn’t take the trip.
We were exhausted our first day there but didn’t care. We couldn’t wait.
We walked along the canyon. I barely holding in the tears of joy. It was cloudy, windy, chilly and damp. We didn’t care. As we made our way around a curve, the sun had peeped out and that’s all it took…
The sun’s rays hit the canyon in such a way that all I heard in my head was the Halleluiah Chorus and the tears fell. Never in my life have I ever seen or experienced such a beautiful sight.
Grand Canyon Arizona - South Rim
Traveling to South Rim we went through Kaibab National Forest, Navaho country, and then back into Grand Canyon National Forest. We stopped at every pull-out. Wonderful!
We had dinner at the buffet restaurant in the Best Western Squire Inn where we stayed for our South Rim visit. The food was excellent. The service …. Well, the server was hit with a lot of diners at once and when he realized there was a problem he called in reinforcements (including his twin brother) before there could be trouble. Smart move. I’ve seen servers think they didn’t need help and try to do it themselves and then fall flat.
After dinner, we had drinks at the Saguaro Bar and Grill also in the Best Western.
The Best Western is absolutely gorgeous with an entertainment area for everyone, a bowling alley, an arcade, pool tables, and an outdoor pool just to mention a few amenities. Live music from a pianist in the lobby….
Silly me. I got very emotional when we left. I felt like a child not wanting to leave Disney World. My poor husband didn’t know what to do or say.
Husband: “What’s wrong?”
Me: Wah… “I don’t want to go.”
Husband: “We can stay longer…”
Me: Wah… “No, we can’t.”
Husband: “Of course we can, it’s our vacation.”
Me: Wah… “No, it’s okay.”
Husband: “Are you sure?”
Me: Wah… “Nooooooooo.”
Husband: “We can go back.”
Me: Sniff… “No, it’s okay.”
We made a few stops to see the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest.
If I saw a likeness of a painting of the Painted Desert, it would not do it justice, no matter how awesome the artist. 90,000+ acres of pure awe inspiring sighs. Someone took a rainbow and laid it upon the land, planting it here for all eternity. The Painted Desert Visitor’s Center has an informative movie along with a handful of displays.
The Petrified Forest is over 50,000 acres of fascinating, beautiful scenery. There was a sign that said we could get some petrified wood and decided to get some on the way out….nope, didn’t happen. I suggest that if you want some, grab it at the entrance where the signs are and make sure it is legal for you to do so. The visitor center lets people know that it is against the law to collect the petrified wood or anything from the park.
We stopped for the night at the LaQuinta on small section of Route 66. We only stayed at the Gallup hotel for one night. It was a comfortable stay and the employees were polite and friendly.
On our way to four corners we saw Ship Rock from a distance. Actually, you couldn’t miss it. The rock rises over 1900 feet about the land and over 1600 feet wide. It stands tall among the landscape and the closer you get the more it looks like a ship. The dikes trailing behind the rock look like waves created from the ship.
The only place in the United States where four states connect together, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. A granite and brass marker is used to show the exact connection of the four states. We took pictures standing in all four states and walked around the area and can now say we were in four states in the same day, in the same hour.
There are Native American booths where everyone can enjoy the different crafts, jewelry, and food.
Salmon Ruins, NM
We ran out of time for the day and were planning on visiting Salmon Ruins but they had already closed. It was recommended as a great place to go.
We were going to head to Santa Fe, but one of the couples we had met had just came from there and said they were having a lot of trouble with hotel robberies and stuff. So we decided that perhaps we will return another time and explore Santa Fe.
We stayed at the Best Western in Socorro, as expected, they excelled in their service. We stopped by the Socorro Visitor’s Center. My husband said hello to the lady in the office. She did not respond to him. I asked if perhaps she had not heard him and he said she did because she was looking straight at him when he said hello. She never came out of her office to see if we had any questions or needed any help.
We looked around for pamphlets and information so we could see what we would like to explore in Socorro. We drove around looking at some of the older homes until we reach the church.
The San Miguel Mission Catholic Church
We got a small glimpse of the inside of the mission. The church is one of the oldest catholic churches in the United States. It was being worked on and we could not go inside. We did stop by the museum and gift shop. The ladies there were very nice. One of them was a volunteer and she had suggested that we go to the wildlife refuge and gave us directions.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
We spent a few hours thoroughly enjoying this well maintained wildlife refuge. They told us about the rare bird that was spotted and had never been seen before in the U.S. We went to a few spots hoping to be one of the rare handful of people to spot the rufous-necked wood rail bird. We did not spot it, but did see quite a bit of wildlife.
They have a visitor center/gift shop and the employees there were very friendly and passionate about their jobs. They were very happy to answer our many questions.
White Sands Missile Range
We did not know that the site was only open twice a year. We were a bit disappointed but the guard at the entrance was quite pleasant and understanding. He told us about trinitite, a rock created from the blast. He suggested that we stop at the store in Bingham, a very small town, where there is a rock shop that sells the trinitite.
The Trinity Test Site
Blanchard Rock Shop in Bingham NM
We were hoping to purchase some trinitite. The store was closed so we continued on with our trip.
The Valley of Fires
The Valley of Fires
The Valley of the Fires recreation area is an area that had a volcanic eruption about 5000 years ago. We walked around some of the lava flow pits and sections. It was amazing how far this lava flow had gone. Going into the Valley of Fires Park we realized how vast it really was.
There is camping and trails which we enjoyed thoroughly. The view was spectacular.
The visitor center was closed for lunch so we were not able to get inside and see what they had on display in their exhibits.
Through Roswell… no need to say more.
The Best Western in Brownfield was a “rest” stop. It was very well maintained, with excellent and friendly employees.
Fort Worth, TX
As the norm, the Best Western was a great stay, courteous, efficient, and friendly employees. Fort Worth was a time for family. We visited with my niece and her family and luckily enough my other niece was visiting with her daughters too! It was a great stay and we had a blast catching up on old times.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our adventures traveling the United States. It has been a great adventure, meeting the Americans, and meeting people from all over the world. Have you been to any of the places I have mentioned? Do you have stories to tell as well? You are welcome to comment in the section below.
Have a good moments day,
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