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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Day 8 Route 66 and the Grand Canyon

Today we drove along Route 66. It was established in 1926 and ran from Chicago to Santa Monica in Los Angeles, a total of 2448 miles. Since 1985 it officially  no longer exists having been replaced by the Interstate Highway system. This left many small towns along its route without customers for the various cafes and gas stations. We stopped at a diner which had been effected but along with other townspeople had fought to bring the road back into usage. It has now been made an historic highway and trade has returned once more.

It was worth stopping just to enjoy a burger and a terrific milkshake but there were lots of other quirky things to admire.

We drove on to the Grand Canyon through miles and miles of desert with only the cacti punctuating  the land. It was late in the afternoon by the time we arrived. Our tour leader had a very unusual way of leading us to the rim of the Canyon - with brown paper bags over our heads!

He lined us up along the edge before letting us remove the bags and seeing this wonder of the world for the first time.

I took numerous photos but I doubt any of them can come close to replicating the beauty that I saw before me.

We all wandered off on our own to experience the awe of this huge Canyon.

We had arranged to meet up again at 6.30pm to watch the sunset together but one member of the group didn't arrive.

Whilst we watched the setting sun and the changing colours of the landscape. our leader went off in search of E but to no avail.

After much searching( and it was now completely dark) Stirling, our leader,  informed the park rangers that a member of our party had gone missing. We hung around for another hour in the hope she would turn up and I think we were all thinking the same thing . As independent travellers, we knew nothing about one another. We didn't know one another's mobile phone number or who to contact in an emergency. Although even if we did there was no phone reception where we were on the rim of the Canyon. Stirling,our leader told us that it was now in the hands of the professionals and we needed to continue our evening by picking up the pizzas that had been ordered for us, as there was no more we could do.
As we were nearing the pizza parlour Stirling received a phone call from the hotel where we were staying to let us know that E had turned up. She had gone to the wrong meeting place and when it got dark decided to take a shuttle bus back into town and go to the hotel. With no phone reception she had to wait until she got back to the hotel before she could contact anyone. Fortunately the evening ended well as the reunited hungry group tucked in to some delicious pizzas. (Just in case you were wondering, we apparently all completed forms giving details of next of kin etc before coming on the trip.)


  1. While I guess we all know about Route 66, it is interesting to learn how it has been reinvented. It often takes time for small country towns to adjust to being bypassed by a motorway. Some adjust and succeed and some just slowly die. I love the Rusty Bolt photo. I note a few selfies sprinkling your photos. You haven't bought a stick, have you?

  2. The nice part of travelling through the States is that you have seen and read so much about the country in movies and books that it is all a great recognition. I sometimes had the feeling driving in a movie and had to pinch myself it is real!
    But the reality is far much impressive than a movie, that nature is so great.

  3. Interesting photos along this iconic route and beautiful images of the Grand Canyon - nature at its best.

  4. Your canyon shots are beautiful! How scary to have someone missing!!! Thank goodness it had a happy ending. Route 66 is fun trip. We recently stayed in one of the old motels. I don't think it had been remodeled in 50 yrs. Very simple but comfortable.

  5. I know the difficulty of getting shots of the Grand Canyon to show what you are seeing. Very difficult but your efforts are much appreciated. I love the Grand Canyon and hiked to the bottom and stayed two nights in a cabin down there. :-)

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  7. It is a beautiful spot and I know what you mean about trying to capture it on camera.
    Thank goodness the traveler turned up okay. There are lots of places to fall, get dehydrated, and or lost there.

  8. The Grand Canyon is so amazing! Neither words nor photos can do it justice! Glad you found your missing group member.

  9. Isn't the Grand Canyon simply beyond words? I could have gazed at it forever! On my first solo trip, the summer after college I bought my first car and a tent and set off alone for the summer to explore the West. I ended up getting a job on the North Rim (handing out fliers to cars warning of the fire danger) and got to spend three weeks there.
    Glad the lost sheep returned to the fold and you could all enjoy your evening knowing everyone was safe.

  10. Your pictures of the Grand Canyon are amazing! I just can't imagine how much better it can get. Especially at sunset. Good that the other element of the group turned up.

  11. OH my gosh I'm glad that all ended well..... even tho you didn't know the woman, it would have been awful for everyone if something had happened. Your pictures are lovely -- amazing to see the sunset. You are of course right that no picture can capture exactly what you see, but yours are close. Wonderful memories for you (and for me...although practically ancient ones now).


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