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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ruth Can Just Stop Laughing Right Now!!! LOL

March 13, 2013 6:54 PM Grand Canyon Railway Hotel Room 2378 Williams, Az

Got up around 7 and took our time reorganizing luggage so as not to have to take too much into the Hotel tonight or leave much in the room tomorrow while we ride the rails. Yet, even lingering, we were on the road by 9:45 on a sunny, 50 degree day. Headed back toward Flagstaff in order to pick up 82A which appeared to be a scenic route to Sedona. Scenic it was--at least that part that I saw. We started out at 6000 ft. I should have realized the road might be a bit iffy--there were signs denying trucks longer than 15 ft using it--but I just figured it would be narrow and twisty. What I didn't think about was HEIGHT---so I did it again--chose a path that scared the s**t out of me and contained wide open vistas, pictures of which I did not take since I would not look at them--LOL  Ruth, you knew and you didn't warn me!!!!!

But, I must say, that part of the trip which I did see was magnificent. The colors of the red rocks and the formations are unbelieveable. While Bill used the rest room at the Indian Garden I started playing with the modes on my camera and discovered that these colorful rocks photograph best using the sunset mode. I wish I'd discovered that before. I didn't time the descent but we went from a high of 6000ft and a temperature of 58 degrees to a low of 4000 ft at Sedona and 77 degrees. Just beautiful. We did not stop in Sedona--crazy crowded and filled with all kinds of gift shops. That wasn't my interest--I wanted to see the red rocks and red buildings that people have told me about and we did see that. We stopped in Oak Creek Village which is probably considered a part of Sedona. After an okay Taco Salad and a BLTA for Bill we cruised through the five or six roundabouts that allowed us to head south on 179 to I 17 and back to Flagstaff. No way did I want to go back up Oak Creek Canyon--been there, done that. Probably easier going up but nope--drop offs would have been on my side.

I 17 ascended back to 7000 ft but in much wider curves on a much wider road, with the lanes for opposite travel well away from us. In one half hour we ascended 1000ft and lost 10 degrees. Back to snow and pine trees after red rocks, bare ground, prickly pear cactus. Connected with I 40 and over the Arizona divide to Williams. We were back too early to check into the hotel so we stopped at Poncho McGillicuddy's and had a couple of mugs of Grand Canyon beer--brewed right here in Williams. Apparently, if that end of the bar looks familiar to you, it is not unusual--Robert DeNiro was right there filming Midnight Run. Not sure I've seen that movie but will check it out.

Came over to the hotel and checked in by 4....then to the Depot to pick up our dinner, breakfast vouchers, train tickets and bus tour tickets. Then to the Cafe for dinner. They had just opened their doors and everyone including the general manager greeted us like royalty--LOL  Apparently, even the ticketmaster wasn't sure if the Cafe or the Saloon in the Hotel was the dinner venue. They had their final inspection after refurbishment a half hour before we arrived. Guess they passed with flying colors. We got the first cuts off the roast beef --there was a true smorgasbord of delectable looking food. I opted for a few roast potatoes, green beans and two slices of very lean roast beef. Bill had several veggies, a salad. We could have added pasta, soup, chicken and other things I didn't even check out. Our drinks were served at the table as was coffee and desert. Alcoholic beverages are extra and are paid for as you enter the cafe. We didn't want anything alcoholic with dinner tonight. I asked our server, Sandy, what the practice is for gratuities--she was very appreciative that I asked--said leave whatever you would like on the table. I had carrot cake for desert, with iced tea, Bill had pumpkin pie since they didn't have cheesecake for whatever reason--but for just setting up, things were remarkably smooth and organized.

I stopped in the gift shop since I felt when the return train from the Canyon arrived it would be a zoo and trying to do it before breakfast when we need to make a train or when we return from the Canyon with a mob scene would be very hard. Again, I was the second customer. One register was having problems with credit cards--not using one but the gal in front of me was and had tons of stuff. The other register had a hard drive die. So even though there was one group of about six people, only one purchasing ( they were all buyers for Xeterra which runs the concession ), it took a good half hour to purchase a shot glass,a spoon and two post cards. But, having gotten fed, checked in for tomorrow and ready for rest and TV it didn't matter. Actually, fun to chat with them.

Got a cart,the luggage and arrived at our lovely room--it will take an hour to find my way back to the lobby but we are safely ensconsed and quite happy with our day. Looking forward to tomorrow and its multi-adventures. Until we return--sweet dreams, all!  KandB

PS Apparently, spell check isn't working on blogger tonight, so forgive any typos tonight--too tired to edit. K

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