Okay, busy day. Got up early, got to Carlsbad Caverns early (see previous post), were one of the first groups down, hiked the Big Room for two hours, got back to our hotel (35 minute drive each way), checked out, drove 635.9 miles to Williams, AZ—our longest single-day drive. Planned stops: Roswell, NM for alien kitsch and Old Albuquerque for Mexican food early dinner. Roswell was disappointing. ABQ was not.
Sitting in the hotel lobby after our visit to the caverns, I checked my email one last time while I had wi-fi only to receive a delightful email. Long-time reader and fellow blogger (at Written Word, Spoken Word), author (of Cooperative Village) Frances Madeson, had just seen my post about driving west and said she could drive to Carlsbad to meet if I was interested. I replied we were pulling out but heading Old ABQ way, and if she was in the vicinity we could meet at a place of her choosing for an early dinner. We'd never met in person, but she's the one who nominated an early post of mine for the 3 Quarks Daily political prize (see right side of my blog). ABQ, for the record, is not even half-way from Carlsbad to Williams.
We met FM for dinner at Hacienda del Rio in Old ABQ and enjoyed an absolutely wonderful, surprising, and delightful meal. For the record, New Mexico Mexican food is different from Tex-Mex. Thanks so much, again, Frances. We will always treasure the serendipity! Needless to say, mutual blog-buddy BLCKDGRD's name came up, and not unfondly.
We pulled into Williams, AZ around 11:00 pm. Exhausted from a long, but not difficult drive through some gorgeous sections of Northern New Mexico and Arizona.
Next morning, we were at the Grand Canyon National Park entrance (about an hour's drive) at like 9:00. We don't fool around. And as I've said many times on this blog: you want to hike with us. We spent the whole day there, covering (according to my Breeze app) some 15-17 miles. It was a gloriously clear day with visibility over 60 miles.
I'll will say nothing about the GC other than that as great as Carlsbad Caverns were, they were merely the appetizer for this main course. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. As always, click pics to embiggen slide show:
|Jim H. and Frances M. in Old ABQ|
|Red Rocks in Northern NM into AZ|
|Our first sighting|
|"Let's go, y'all. I'm taking this trail down." Jim H.|
|Meta: Jim H. taking a selfie Wisdaughter wants nothing to do with|
|Yes, you can go right up to the edge. And yes, you can fall off!|
|Cowboy on a donkey|
|And "The" Selfie|