Yesterday’s post was super lame. I apologize. There was no wifi in the wigwam, and I rarely have cell phone coverage. If you’re planning a road trip like ours, do not use T-mobile as your provider. They’re great in large cities, but the rest of the US is a giant dead zone for T-Mo customers. It’s really frustrating.
So, let me tell you about the wigwam before moving on to Day Eighteen adventures. When you make a reservation at the Wigwam hotel in Holbrook, Arizona, you have to call between certain hours. The office is only open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., and they don’t use email or any other kind of electronic confirmation. It’s part of the charm. And after spending a night there, I’d have to say that the old-timey nostalgia is the bulk of the charm. It’s as close to camping as I hope to get for the rest of my life. (Sidenote: I hate camping).
After checking into wigwam number 10 we went to Denny’s for dinner (they had wifi and that’s where I was able to post that silly Day Seventeen nonsense from my phone). Then, back to the wigwam. No internet, no cell service, no cable TV and the TV set was too ancient to be able to hook up our portable DVD player. Luckily, Cosmos is on network TV so we hunkered down to watch that…and everyone was asleep by 8:30.
I was awake again at 12:30 after a bizarre wigwam dream that was part nightmare and part epiphany. Was it a vision? In a concrete white-man’s fake wigwam? I don’t know, but Dana had messed up dreams too, and Allison fell out of bed for the first time in years. The whole family was awake between 1 and 2:30 a.m. and we got out of there shortly after the sun came up.
Putting the wigwam behind us, we fled Holbrook like our butts were on fire and didn’t stop until we had breakfast in Flagstaff.
Our AAA guide told us that there were no gas or services between Williams and Kingman on I-40, so we made a point to top off the gas tank in Williams. Only Dana turned right instead of left at Williams, and we ended up at a gas station full of people “heading out to the canyon.” It was only 50 minutes away. So we decided to make a quick stop at that giant hole in the ground. And oh, man, am I glad we did.
I was almost afraid to walk to the observation point. Afraid because this was something I’d wanted to see my entire life and it was happening so suddenly. Sometimes when I go to the symphony or the ballet and the orchestra begins to play the overture, I feel a simultaneous tightening in my throat and an opening-up in my chest. I can only describe it as a physical symptom of being overwhelmed by beauty and gratitude. I felt all that when I looked out at the Grand Canyon today and saw the most gorgeous symphony of nature, eons in the making. As sweeping and bombastic as Beethoven and as mind-bogglingly intricate and beautiful as Mozart.
And the kid liked it too.
Dana took a panorama of the canyon:
Allison adopted a baby mountain lion (the money goes for research on the mountain lions in the canyon) and we picked up more postcards.
Then we got back on the road, and drove the loop of historic Route 66 that veers off from 40 at Seligman and took us through a whole lot of emptiness with no cars ahead or behind.
We followed 66 all the way into Kingman, AZ which is famous for two things: Tim McVeigh spent a week in a hotel here before committing his atrocity in Oklahoma City and Clark Gable and Carole Lombard got married here in 1939. I’ve always had a soft spot for Carole Lombard because she supposedly had a mouth like a filthy sailor. I respect that.
So here we are at a hotel with cable and internet (though I STILL have crappy cell coverage! Grr!) and I’m thrilled and exhausted and already starting to feel sad about our trip being in its final week.
Dana’s favorite part of Days 17 and 18 was the Grand Canyon and seeing my reaction.
My favorite part was checking two items off my Bucket List: Meteor Crater and Grand Canyon! Also, this happy picture of us on the rim of the crater.