The Grand Canyon: April 1995

There ...

Drove 10 hours through absolutely nothing (the Mojave Desert) to Williams, AZ, where we spent the night. We reset our watches and then had to un-reset them because Arizona, while in the Mountain Time Zone, does not follow Daylight Savings Time. Hmmm. Anyway, in the morning we took a train to the Grand Canyon (it snowed off and on along the way), bus around the rim with stops at various lookouts, and the train back to Williams. The train rides were spectacular -- high plains, cattle and horse farms, horizon-to-horizon views. They even have musicians come through the cars, playing guitars and banjos and singing, and a staged holdup with the marshal in hot pursuit. And of course the canyon itself is awesome -- the colors of the cliff walls have to be seen to be believed. There wasn't time to descend the mile to the bottom, but we had fun on top.

... and back ...

Drove back via historic Route 66 (It didn't mean that much to us but some of you might admit to having watched the TV series of that name. Or maybe you won't admit to it!). Stopped at Grand Canyon Caverns (they have snowball-shaped rock formations called "snowballs," oddly enough) and then went camping at Temple Bar on Lake Mead. I expected to see a rabbi and cantor slugging down shots of Manischewitz, but, no. We had a great time setting up the tent, getting a blazing fire, and toasting marshmellows (David's favorite part of the entire trip was watching Eric's marshmellow fall into the fire and burn!). Woke up to birthday greetings (I turned 38 -- that's no longer mid 30s -- that's 40-ish. Argh!). Gathered samples of lava rocks on the way to Hoover Dam.

... via Las Vegas.

Then a quick hop to Las Vegas, where we went to the Circus Circus casino. Caught (ha!) a juggling act before letting the kids loose on the arcade games. We left $5 later, not bad considering that we saw one woman pump $300 into a machine with another $400 in coins in front of her waiting to burn. Eric and David did not understand why she would want to put an amount equal to their allowance into a machine and get nothing back. Repeatedly. Come to think of it, I don't understand it either. I'd rather pay a parking meter -- at least you get to watch the TIME EXPIRED sign move. We left Vegas at dusk as the lights began to glitter in the darkening sky. Covered the 235 miles home in under 4 hours, including stops for coffee and gas. Whee!

All this and Mexico, too.

After getting back and resting for a couple of days, we drove to San Diego and crossed the border into Tijuana, but it was a real dismal place. The trolley ride to the border was infinitely more interesting than Mexico itself. Makes me glad to be in America. Adios, amigos.