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Capturing moments. Sharing adventures.

Los Angeles native. Tennessee transplant. 

Route 66: Day Two

Route 66: Day Two

I was still kind of tired when we woke up for our day two drive. Luckily, we had less driving to do and more to stop and explore.

Our day two {projected} itinerary:

Approximate mileage: 189

Approximate driving time: 3 hours

Approximate expenses: $104.61

  • Experiences: 
    • $21.33 Grand Canyon Caverns (for one regular tour)
    • $22.08 Bearizona (tickets are per person not per vehicle)
    • $5 Flintsones Bedrock City
    • $30 Grand Canyon Park Entry Fee
  • Food: $8.20
  • Stay: $18 at Grand Canyon Mather Campground

See below for all details and photo journal...

See below for all details and photo journal...


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Steph and I started our morning at Roadrunner Cafe in Kingman. I played a couple of the IQ tester games without much success...

At the diner, we met a man named Richard — an older man with cowboy boots and sweet blue eyes. He told us about his life and how he grew up in Los Angeles until he was nine and then moved to Oregon. Ended up in Kingman in retirement. Fell in love here and remarried. He missed his wife who was in Las Vegas for a conference. He told us with a wink, that when she's here he gets her a chocolate chip muffin and huge diet coke before she wakes up or else he's in trouble. Told us to avoid drunk people in Williams. He was a really nice person to talk to and made us feel welcome where we were.

A little while after Richard left, as we were waiting for the bill, the waitress came over and told us that we can go whenever we were ready — that Richard paid for our meal but wanted to have them wait until he was gone to tell us. We wrote a little thank you on one of the state cards we had hoping he'd receive it later. It was such a beautiful blessing and a nice reminder that there are good people around.


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Hackberry General Store apparently started 18 years ago when the owner had a bunch of collectible Route 66 memorabilia and nowhere to put it. I guess he found a place! Like a lot of off the road Route 66 attractions, this was not too much different. Just a lot of random stuff all put in one place. 

It did have some fun momentos and random Route 66 set-ups. I especially liked the map that marked where people had come from.


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The Grand Canyon Caverns was quite a site. Unassuming from the ground. There's very little to behold walking around the shop area aside from the random "Dope on a Rope" and dinosaur models while driving in. 

But then you take the elevator down — 90 cases of dynamite were needed to blast through the rock for the elevator — and you end up in this massive cavern area.

It's a "dry cavern" — which our tour guide had to repeat to us some umpteen times. I just didn't understand how nothing could grow here any more. There was no water. You couldn't live in the cavern more than 3 days or else you'll get dehydrated.

Although these caverns didn't have impressive sights like stalagmites or stalactites growing from the cavern walls, it did have it's own special and impressive features like the formations of the rock on what they call "snowball palace". And the main cavern space is actually a place you can pay to stay for the night or have a wedding, host a reception...I was almost persuaded to have a big party there for my next birthday. Until I found out the price.

The large cavern area also sets up a great place for musical performances. The acoustics are spot-on. Stephanie and I got to sing a couple songs together with an audience of one: the tour guide.

And the cavern guide himself had some really rockin' jokes. Like the dog made out of rocks — "Rocky the dog is a little hard headed." Or when we saw the preserved skeleton, he said, "Here lies Maddie and Stephanie — the last people to touch my formations." He was good humored.

There were also animals like the preserved bobcat appropriately named Bob. And a replica of a 10,000-11,000 year old four toed ground sloth found in the cavern named Girdie. Not exactly what I would imagine a sloth to ever resemble. I thought it was a variation of a bear it was so massive.

I was also surprised by how quiet it was. And felt lucky to have a personal tour since no one else signed up at the time. It's definitely worth the stop.


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BEARIZONA. As cool and interesting as it sounds.

On entering, I felt like I was driving through the gates of Jurassic Park. There's even a little radio guide thing that they give you that will tell you where you are in the park and more about the animals you're seeing. 

Those animals included bears, but also wolves, bison, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, and more that I can't remember. 

We were instructed to keep our windows up during the wolves and bear part. But they were so cute and they looked harmless. I guess better to be safe than sorry.

So there's a drive-through part that you can take with your own car, or you can also wait for the Bearizona vehicle to drive in so you don't have to be distracted by driving yourself. We would have done both if we had time. Instead, we did our own drive-through and then we walked through the other part of the Bearizona experience to see the baby bears and a porcupine. 

We also met a guy named Tracy selling a bunch of souvenirs at one of the entrance shops. He had a guitar for beginners I was really tempted to buy, and I got a couple of his CDs. He said he actually spent some time in California before moving to Williams, AZ ten years ago.


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"I love that we're a little rough around the edges."— overheard from a Bedrock employee

That quote^ pretty much sums up how I felt about Bedrock. The land is actually for sale, so there's little to any money going in for improvement at this site, making the city a bit run-down. Because of that, it's got this eerie cool feeling to it. Especially that day — a bit of hot wind blowing, a deserted kids kind of town with grocery stores, and prehistoric houses, and a little train ride that wasn't going anywhere. 


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We made it to the Grand Canyon visitor center with just one minute to spare to watch the last Grand Canyon introductory video of the day. We literally had one minute. Then we drove to our campsite in the daylight so we weren't too confused later.

We also realized that we had to check in at the Bright Canyon Lodge for our mule ride the next morning. The signs to find anything were pretty confusing. And I can't use a map apparently. Also, very little to zero cell phone service out there.

Once we got everything settled, we had just enough time to catch one of the last buses and make it to two viewpoints to watch the sunset. So vast and beautiful. Almost like the ocean. The colors were so brilliantly vivid. It occurred to me that this was going to be the consistent state of my life for awhile — discovery. I wasn't going home for a long time.

We took one of the last buses back. It was almost dark by then. And when the driver turned off the lights it was that feeling of infinity. You could see just ahead. I'm not sure if he does this all the time or because we were his last bus, but the driver was pretty funny and tried getting us to say "yippeekayaya" and told us the "cabin is ready for landing" when we were almost to the village drop off.

Despite the beautiful moments we just witnessed, both Stephanie and I were pretty hungry. And it was turning to hangry very quickly. We got food as quickly as possibly, and received signal again at the lodge. Pizza might have saved our relationship... 

We drove through the dark to find our campsite. I'm glad we saw it earlier so we knew where to look. I didn't pack camping gear like a tent, so all we had to do was very slowly lower the chairs back as far as they would go and use the blankets we had. 

We did get out of the car to stargaze before settling in. Steph said, "How do you share this with people?" And I said "you don't."

But I'm trying to now.

Route 66: Day Three

Route 66: Day Three

Route 66: Day One

Route 66: Day One