Something That We Do

Love is something that we do!


Grand Canyon

We have arrived.
{At the grand canyon, that is.}
We pulled into the national park late at night, so no pictures were taken upon our arrival.
However, Carl convinced us to wake up early enough to see the sun rise.
We rolled out of the [very comfy] bed in the morning very sleepily and realized it was snowing once we stepped out of our lodge.  (This picture is from later in the day after the sun was up.  But this is our lodge.  Also, the photo was taken from the car because yours truly was shivering.)
We headed for the rim of the canyon in search of an eastern view to watch the sun come up.  Well, it was snowy and foggy so our view was not one to be excited about.  The fog cleared up slightly, so we hopped out of our car to take some photos.
I wasn't meaning to make such awful faces in these pictures, but I was shivering to the core.  I was wearing a long sleeve shirt under a sweater, which was under a sweatshirt, which was under a leather jacket, which was under my coat.  I tried to dress warm.  I am from Florida though, so give a girl a break.

The fog started clearing a little bit so we took a few more shots. Still, the canyon was hazy so we couldn't see the bottom.
On our way back to the lodge to get ready for our trip, we hoped to see a real mountain lion. But this was the best we got.  (A sign. I know, I know. Lame.)  We did see a pretty big deer though... but since those are pretty common in the sunshine state, it wasn't as exciting as a mountain lion would've been.
We grabbed breakfast in a cafeteria, where we saw this little sign sitting on our table. It made us laugh...
If you don't see why it made us laugh, read the top line in the red background.
Once we finished eating, we headed back out to our car. It was time to pack up our room. IMG_0382 
Once our room was packed up, my wonderful husband carried our luggage out to the car. IMG_1644 
We were back on the road heading for the museum. Yes, this is the road. IMG_1642 
Next to the museum, there was a lookout point of the canyon. At this point, I was so thankful that Carl dragged us out of bed in the morning to go see the canyon, because if we had waited, this is what we would've seen for the rest of the day. IMG_1647 
The park rangers were stoked about how snowy it was. They said it's rarely as snowy there as it was that day... unfortunately the visitors were all a bit let down that they couldn't see this amazing wonder.
We explored the museum for a while, and heard a talk about the canyon, and then we left the park to go see the iMax movie (per the recommendation of some friends...thanks guys!) about the canyon.  That provided us with a pretty realistic view of the canyon, but we'll still need to take another trip back sometime to see it in real life.
At least we got a few different views of it.  Next time, it'll be a summer trip.



To end our fabulous mini-vacay, we visited the big ditch.  En route to the Grand Canyon, we drove a good 8 hours through the desert.  
We were trying to figure out where in the Grand Canyon we were wanting to go, and what we wanted to see.  In the middle of the desert, we saw a sign pointing toward a station full of Grand Canyon information.  We decided to head toward the station, so we turned down a tiny side-road that seemed to go on forever.  
Finally, we wound up in the tiny living ghost town of Chloride.  We stopped at a little shack of a store and I seriously debated whether we should actually go in.  Take a look at this picture, there's a coffin on the patio.  Need I say more?
Well, we went in anyway.  I was greeted by a man in all denim and a cowboy hat, with a foot long beard to boot.  He told us all about the little town with a whopping population of 200.
After spending a good twenty minutes with us, reviewing his town's history, we walked around and snapped a few photos.  Austin purchased his sling shot in that man's shop and practiced shooting rocks.
Here's Austin walking out of the saloon that was part of a set for a shootout that the town performs every Saturday. 
Since the man spent so much time with us filling us in on the town's history, I felt compelled to purchase this Shea butter that he told me all about.
Our hands did manage to get pretty dry in the desert.  And this stuff smelled pretty great.  I'm pretty sure it permeated my car though... oh well, at least it smells good!
We gathered up our information collected for Grand Canyon, and took off into the sunset (actually, opposite the sunset, but that doesn't have quite as nice of a ring to it..).
We happened upon Route 66 and drove through a little town called Williams. It was there that we stopped to eat at Rod's Famous Steakhouse. Man, oh man, were they de-lish. I'd have to give this restaurant a 9 in my book. Not a 10 because the bathroom stalls only reached waist high (weird, right?) and they were transparent like a shower door with tempered glass (weirder, right?) But the steaks... oh man they were good!
Once devouring some prime rib and baked potatoes, we continued our adventure to the grand canyon.
We took the second star to the right (actually, the left) (and actually it was an intersection, not a star..)and went straight on till morning (or about 10pm).
We were only miles from the grand canyon, finally.


Hoover Dam

After leaving the little ghost town, we headed over to the Hoover Dam.
This was such an amazing and HUGE bridge.
Same bridge, view from standing on top of the dam.
Austin got salt in his eye back at the salt flats, so he was unable to open his eye in a normal fashion.
The Colorado River. It's pretty neat to see how high the water was at some other point in time. IMG_1599
Beautiful Colorado river.
Looking down at the dam.  This makes me dizzy.
Oh and here's me with my left hand in Arizona and the rest of me in Nevada.  I'm in two places at once.  What movie is that referencing?  Anyone?
When we left the Hoover Dam, we started heading for the Grand Canyon. We had a nice eight hour drive ahead of us, but onward we went.


Beatty and Rhyolite

We left Badwater Basin and drove by "Artist's Drive" in Death Valley.  It was getting dark, but we wanted to see what all the hype was about so we poked our head around a little bit.

Artist's Drive is quite the road.  If you ever have the opportunity to go on Artists Drive in Death Valley, don't do it at night.  We did, and we regretted it about a mile in.  (It's only a three mile drive.)  There were literally parts of it where you could reach out your window and touch the boulders surrounding your car.  (And by surrounding, I mean that your car is on top of one, you can touch one out each of your side windows, and if you have a sunroof, well..... stay seated.  If you stand too tall, you will hit a boulder.)  We got a little bit apprehensive on the drive, the only reason we regretted it, because if our car were to break down, we would be stuck.  Like, stuck stuck.  Not leaving the car if our life depended on it, stuck.  But we made it out alive, and we have the memory to look back upon.  But seriously, go during the day if you are ever out that way.

We left Death Valley and headed to a town called Beatty.  We weren't expecting it to be so..... run down.  We drove to the cheapest motel we could see, and it was booked up!  At 8pm!  Wow.  We searched and finally found a hotel that wasn't booked... Death Valley Inn.  (Sounds welcoming, right?)

We dropped our stuff off in the hotel and then set out to find a meal.

But first, I peered in the shower to make sure we'd have all the essentials to get scrubbed clean.  No shampoo.  I assumed the housekeeping made a little woopsy so I politely called the front desk and told her we don't have shampoo in our room.  Her response?  "Yeah we don't give out shampoo."
Um...what?  You're a hotel?  No shampoo?  "We have a vending machine up front if you want to get you some."  Determined not to spend an extra penny on that hotel, we hopped over to the gas station and purchased some Suave.  How crazy!

So THEN we set out for our meal.

We like eating at little hole in the wall restaurants, or restaurants that are just not chains when we were out on trips.  You know, get to really experience the town.  Well there were about 5 restaurants in the town, one was also a bar.  We ruled that out and set out for bar-be-que.  When we arrived at the restaurant and realized that restrooms were outdoors, we decided this was too "hole-in-the-wall-esque" and continued on to find another place.  Every other restaurant was closed except for a place called KC's Outpost.  It was decent.  They made their own bread and that was their claim to bringing in customers.  Everything else was average... although Austin loved it.  He misread the board with the "Menu of the Day" and the waitress couldn't help but laugh when he requested, "Option number two please.  The melted cheese in a bread bowl."  (It had actually read something more like "Roast beef on white with a side of potato salad."  (Not sure how that one got lost in translation......)  So she made him a ham and cheese sandwich with the cheese melted.  (Yes, the waitress made it.  It was a two woman show, this restaurant.)

On the door of this restaurant, there was a sign saying that there would be a chili cook off the next day, and the whole town was invited.  How cute!  Then it explained that they are doing this because there would be a movie filmed at the time, and the chili cook off winner got to be in the movie!  The conversation I had with the waitress went something like this.

Me: "Oh a chili cook-off, that sounds fun!"
Waitress: "Yeah, it's for some new movie coming out."
Me: "That's exciting!  I bet you'll be in it!"
Waitress: "Yeah, they film lots of movies here."
Me: "Oh, is there a film school around here?"
Waitress: "Nope."

Sooooooo.... I have no idea what brings directors in to film movies in that town, but we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.  After getting a decent night's sleep, we continued our trip to Rhyolite the next day. This is the town where many a movie were filmed.  It's a pretty famous ghost town. 
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The buildings are all boarded up, or are flat out falling apart. Concrete pillars stood where a bank or store stood a hundred years ago. It was kind of neat to see.
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Of course... it wasn't a complete "Ghost Town." These guys lived there! IMG_0145
It was neat seeing back how people lived a hundred or more years ago. This little town seems to be out in the middle of nowhere. And being in the desert, I'm not sure how they managed to grow their own food, or survive. Then again, maybe that's why it's a ghost town and is no longer flourishing. Oh to hear the stories those walls could tell!


Badwater Basin

Our next destination was Badwater Basin in Death Valley.  Badwater Basin was given its name by a man who stumbled upon the shallow water and was desperate for his mule to drink.  The mule stuck its nose up to the water but refused to drink.  Not understanding why, the man simply said it must be bad water.  Since then, the name stuck.  There is a little pool of water (and by little I mean it would go up to my ankle and I could walk through it in about ten steps) (and it's not pictured so I hope you aren't looking too hard for it) and the reason it stays salty is because of the plant life that grows in it.IMG_0140
Once again, our little camera is using all its might to zoom in on this picture, showing us where sea level is.  We are 282 feet below sea level.  The lowest point in North America!
This sandy stuff that Austin is crouching down on is none other than SALT. 
This time I made Carl taste it.  IMG_0129
Open up, shnookums! True love. (And I don't think I've ever said the word "shnookums" aloud.  Fun fact of the day.)
Excuse my shriveled up skin.  Salt really does take the moisture out of things.

Isn't it pretty?  It almost looks like you are looking out over a lake.  Nope, salt.  Salt as far as the eyes can see.
Tonight we will leave Death Valley and head to a town called Beatty.


Devil's Golf Course

In case you were wondering where we are on this trip now, let's just say we still have a long road ahead of us.  Case in point:


So we're heading over now to the Devil's Golf Course.  When you see these photos, especially if you're a golfer, you'll know why they call it that.

These [extremely sharp] rocks had white clumps all over them... what was it you ask?  SALT!

Don't worry, I knew what it was before I put it on my tongue.  I'm not crazy, y'all!



Now, by this point, the sun was setting.  So we hopped over to our next destination, eager for the sunlight to not leave us quite yet.