Day 6: Y-A-Y! A trouble-free day that goes smoothly and beautifully according to plan (Woo-Hoo!) Oh, I forgot to mention ONE good thing that happened yesterday… In all of the emotional and logistical upset of my Jeep breaking down, once I got on the road I needed gas. (Is New Jersey the only state left where an attendant pumps your gas?) So after I fill my tank apparently I had forgotten to replace the gas cap! I always set my gas cap right on my back light resting on the back light guard grill. Well, I drove some 190 miles (In case you didn’t know, Jeeps get horrible gas mileage!) with no gas cap on! Fortunately it was STILL there resting on my back light when I filled up for gas again. Now THAT’S lucky!
So, I start from the motel before 7am. The gas station clerk recommended I take the scenic Route 180 up to the Grand Canyon – a lot less traveled & going through so gorgeous forestry. And she was right! A long, winding road through amazing flat plains of farm country (I even saw a statuesque cowboy- full on with the hat, leggings, bandana) astride a beautiful pinto). The farm country turned to magnificent pine forests as I went higher up in elevation. A gorgeous drive which took 20minutes longer than the tradition route but worth every minute (and I am a stickler for time-efficiency,lol)
Once I get there – SERENDIPTIY! August 25th was the 100th Anniversary of the U.S.National Park Service and entry to any national park yesterday was totally free. No entry or parking or tour fees! WooHoo! I saved at least $50.00. I took the tour/shuttle bus service run by the Park Service and stopped at every scenic view along the route. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend doing this! The driver calls out a little information about each scenic point so you can decide whether to get off or go on to the next stop. forgive these MANY breathtaking pics..
I can’t pic a favorite view!! It’s all so majestic! (My favorite stop along the shuttle bus route is Pima Point, the other just don’t have the same view of the Colorado River and the various strata) I stood & stared at each scenic point for many minutes. I saw a black bird flying through the canyon & imagined what it must feel like to be that free to fly over such an awesome place and with that thought the bird flew within 50 feet of me so I could really see him. It was as if he read my thoughts & was saying “Yep, I’ve got it made!” I enjoyed every second of viewing this immense and breathtaking wonder. I was SOO lucky today. The weather, as you can see, was perfect up until the time I finished at the gift shop at Hermit’s Rest and as I boarded the bus back to the parking area, it started pouring down rain! How lucky was that!!! An absolutely idyllic day that could not have been more perfect!!!
I spent 4 glorious hours at Grand Canyon National Park – another Bucket List item complete! Drive across the country – check. See the Grand Canyon – check. Time on the road makes you reflect about the past and look ahead to the future. After six days on the road all alone, I have come to the conclusion that I am FINALLY & definitively A-O-K being without a partner. It may not always be this way but I feel SOOO content on my own, in my own skin. I don’t long to hold someone’s hand or wish I were with someone on this trip. I treasure being all alone. This wasn’t always this case in my life.
Back to hit the road for 4 hours to Las Vegas, Sin City, (thank god for Monster drinks! Whoever invented the stuff is a genius!) to stay with my good friend, Keilani, for two nights. She just bought a house & car in Vegas so I am looking forward to catching up with her!
Warning, if you are driving from the Grand Canyon to Vegas. Fill up on gas!! There are 58-65 mile stretches with no gas stations! (this is true in New Mexico too!) I had two close calls where I was biting my lip praying for a gas station to appear out of nowhere. But the mountains are very pretty, lol! Finally, I reach Keilani’s house & spend the evening touring her new house & catching up since I haven’t seen her in at least 2 years…
Day 6 will be hanging out with Keilani & running errands before my final drive to San Diego where I ship my jeep off to Hawaii & fly back home to Maui! It’s been a long two years here on the mainland…