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Capturing moments. Sharing adventures.

Los Angeles native. Tennessee transplant. 

Route 66: Day Three

Route 66: Day Three

Day three didn't include many stops — but it did include a deadline of making sure Stephanie got to the airport in Pheonix by 4:30/5pm. With a drive time from Grand Canyon to Pheonix of about 4 hours, and a mule ride that ended around 11am, we chose to stop at one location on the way to the airport and drive straight through to Pheonix the rest of the way.  

Our day three {projected} itinerary:

Approximate mileage: 262

Approximate driving time: 4 hours

Approximate expenses: $191.16

  • Gas: $32.49 @ $2.699/gallon, 11.589g
  • Food: $20 
  • Experiences: 
    • $128.67 Grand Canyon Mule Ride
    • $10 Montezuma Castle National Monument
  • Stay: $0 (staying with a friend is priceless)

See below for details and photo journal...


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Our little abode for the night.

Our little abode for the night.

Hats, bandanas — we're ready to go!

Hats, bandanas — we're ready to go!

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Riding mules in the Grand Canyon was one of my top priorities on this trip. Ever since I found out this was something you could do a couple years ago, I attempted a special trip to the Grand Canyon just to do this. Finally, it all came together.

We were given cool water bottles that became a souvenir from the ride.

As for the ride itself...I kind of imagined this treacherous climb on the very rim of the South Rim — like looking down to the canyon below.

It wasn't that scary. At all. We were on the South Rim, but the path — although along the edge — was not on the edge. It was a very safe distance away. The mules are pretty casual-going and never felt threatening or like it might throw me off like a horse could. The viewpoints were really beautiful and the ride offered stops at some of them along with a history of the canyon and the inhabitants there.

My mule was named Kohl, and our guide was a Navajo guide that had been doing this ride for six years. There's a longer ride that goes into the canyon. And you can stay overnight at the lodge down there. I think that if we had budgeted the time better, that would have been more along the lines of the mule ride that I was expecting and it's definitely something I'd like to do in the future.

At the end of the trail, our guide gave anyone who wanted copies of the prayer he says before and after entering the canyon. I was grateful for him as our guide because we learned more about the sacredness of the canyon as the Navajo view it.


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From the mule ride, we said "see you soon" to the beautiful Grand Canyon and started our drive toward the Pheonix airport.

The scenery was gorgeous. We saw it turn from mountains and green trees to more of the stereotypical cacti and desert environment I always associate with Arizona. We stopped in Williams — which looked like a cute little town that could have been more explored if we weren't on a deadline — for a very chorizo filled breakfast burrito.

We did get to stop at Montezuma's Castle — a structure that was built into the rock wall and included 20 rooms. It was really incredible. I wish we could have climbed up it but for safety reasons they don't allow that anymore. So instead we walked about half a mile to see it. The sky and weather were so ideal. Blue skies and little fluffy clouds.

And then there was a fry bread stand that we went to. It was perfectly situated on the way into the Montezuma Castle location. I had never even heard of fry bread before so I was eager to try it out. The guy was nice and I got a honey and the "traditional" salt. SO GOOD. His family has been doing the stand since the 1980s I believe he said. It was actually my favorite fry bread I tried the whole trip.


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It felt like a huge success when Stephanie and I made it in time to the airport. It was also sad and strange that my travel companion was leaving me and I wouldn't see her until December. That she was going to eventually go back to Los Angeles but I was going on and staying on this random trip for a long while.

I was grateful though to be able to see and stay with another friend who I hadn't seen in a very long time: Charity. It was so good to see her. Although she probably didn't know at first since I just opted to lay on the floor of her then-furniture-less living room which made a convenient crashing place. (She had just recently moved into the apartment.) And then I seriously considered whether it was better to do nothing — watch a movie and sleep early or be spiritually uplifted and go to the Gilbert Arizona LDS Temple (I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) as well as physically nourished in the future by going to the grocery store for provisions. The food and spiritual upliftment were the deciding factors because #ineedtolive. But it was super hard to get off that floor. I probably could have fallen asleep right there. I don't know why driving makes me so tired when you're just sitting in a car not exerting much physical energy, but it does. It really really does.

So I picked myself off the ground, did a quick change and we went to the temple. And then to Target for food and stuff. At that point hunger hit. Charity treated me to dinner before going back to her place and organizing all my assets. My duffel bag actually ripped which is a bummer but it held up enough until Nashville.

We stayed up until about 1am (versus my 11pm bedtime goal) when everything was finished and I had taken a legit shower. Which felt amazing. Never underestimate the power of a shower. 

And I prepared for day four of this crazy trip.

Route 66: Day Four

Route 66: Day Four

Route 66: Day Two

Route 66: Day Two