This last Christmas, Little Helen gave us an all-expense paid trip to the Grand Canyon. She planned the entire thing and boy oh boy was it the adventure of a lifetime!
Our adventure started out with a drive to Boston, where we stayed overnight prior to an early morning flight. It also happened to be our anniversary, so Mr. Helen and I had dinner at Abe and Louie's to celebrate. Abe and Louie's had literally just reopened the week before we got there as they were one of the businesses right in the area where the Boston Marathon bombings took place!
The next morning we got up bright and early and flew into Phoenix where we met up with Little Helen and picked up a rental car. From there we drove to Peach Springs, AZ - which took about 3 1/2 hours. The best and last part of that drive was on Historic Route 66.
On our drive we found out we had come during the Route 66 Fun Run, which has nothing at all to do with running and everything to do with classic cars. Color Mr. Helen very happy when we realized this. We stopped in Seligman for a bite to eat and got there just as the parade of cars was beginning so we watched that, then ate and got back on the road.
Once in Peach Springs, we checked into the Hualapai Lodge which is a beautiful, modern lodge with all amenties - including a pool and fitness center - run by the Hualapi Indian Tribe. (Why I didn't take one single outside shot, I don't know, but if you click on the link, it will take you to the Trip Advisor site that has some shots.) We didn't arrive there until about 8 p.m. which our bodies thought was 11 p.m. as we were still on east coast time, so we pretty much just said goodnight and went to sleep.
Woke up bright and early to go to breakfast and get onto our first adventure. The Hualapai reservation is the only place that has a road where you can drive, then hike, to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon! All you have to do is buy the permit and off you go. When we went to buy our permit, the lady asked us what sort of vehicle we had and we told her a four door sedan. She said, "No Mustang? No Jeep?" which maybe should have been a clue for us but we just answered no, bought our permit, and headed off to Diamond Creek Road. The first three miles of the road are paved and then you hit graded dirt road for 18 miles. No biggie right?
It was simply a beautiful drive, but S-L-O-W. I was driving and the further along we went, the less stable the road seemed which took all my mad driving skillz. Anyway here are a few shots as we meandered our way along.
Eventually, we began to wonder just where it was we were supposed to park then hike the rest of the way in, which is what we were told to do. We started running into areas where it seemed like the creek was crossing the road - and Mr. Helen would jump out of the car and motion me left and right to get through the water. Finally, we hit a "stream" that really was creek like and could go no further so we just pulled over to the side of the road. Mr. Helen hopped out and said he would walk around the bend in the road to see what was there... he came back laughing and said, "Girls we managed to drive all the way to the river!" Evidently when we saw the grading equipment in the photo up there, THAT was where we were supposed to pull over and hike the last mile in lol! So we parked the best we could, and took off to see the mighty Colorado.
Next up, the hike I worried about from the minute it was planned...