After an early morning in Sedona where Michelle was molested by the local yoga instructor in our hotel and I happily sat around drinking coffee and writing, we headed out to the Coffee Pot diner one last time to fuel up on carbs and grease for our drive to the Grand Canyon that afternoon. The drive on route 89 north has to be one of the most spectacular drives that I’ve ever been on (and that includes the road to Hana and the Amalfi coast). As you drive up and out of Sedona, there is a drastic change in scenery and temperature. You quickly find yourself in the middle of Oak Creek Canyon which is dotted on both sides of the road with cute little campgrounds and lodges. We continued up into Flagstaff where we stocked up at the local Target for some supplies and then onto route 180, also known as the San Francisco Peaks Scenic Byway.
As we made our way closer to the part entrance we stared to pass a few large souvenir stores that remind visitors of the old west. At one of the shops we decided to stop and take a rest at, we had a long conversation with the owners about the local coyotes. Maybe it’s because I grew up on Long Island (the only place in America that has yet to have coyotes), but I am so deathly afraid of these animals that if I was to encounter one in the wild I would probably drop dead right then and there from panic.
It was just about 5pm when we finally pulled up to the park entrance of the Grand Canyon. This being my fitth time visiting the park, I felt no less excitement and enthusiasm as I did the first time I drove through these toll booths. There is something so peaceful and magical about this place that I can’t explain; perhaps it’s the pine scented air, the enormity of the entire park excluding the canyon itself, or my secret wish to be a national park ranger.
We had just enough time to check in to the historic Blue Angel Lodge before we walke out to the rims edge and caught the sunset for the evening. We had a great meal in the Arizona room that evening of steak and mashed potatoes and then fell asleep amongst the sound of creaky doors and even more creaky neighbors!