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SJG's TR part four!

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South Jersey, USA
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
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10,347 posts
9 reviews
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SJG's TR part four!

Day 13, Oct 7

Another early day this morning! We all had to pack up this morning and say good-bye to our cabin mates, but first…breakfast! Powderglut has earned this privilege over the last two years of making a good-bye breakfast for all using ingredients we have left in the fridge! Never ceases to amaze me what he can create with leftovers!! Job well done powderglut!!

Last sweep of the cabin and the good-bye’s begin! I so detest good-bye’s! Until next year my friends!!

Down the road we head. This day was going to be spent in Bryce Canyon today before heading to the North Rim. Of course both were NOT going to happen so our plan was Canyon de Chelly. We took our time and made a stop at Red Canyon for a bit to walk around and take some pictures then continued on our way. A few adventuress visitors were taking it upon their selves to head into Bryce anyway regardless of barricades!! You go people!

Our original plan for this day was to take our time, driving scenic route 89A towards Jacob’s Lake and cookies then spend the night somewhere around Tuba City! When we arrived in Kanab we stopped for lunch and made the decision to head to the Visitors Center in town to see what accommodations were available! Very busy center today with people looking for suggestions on what to do! I was completely distracted with my task at hand (finding accommodations in Tuba City) by a gentleman from another country asking for a way into the Grand Canyon. Seems he planned this trip for him and his wife for a while to coincide with their 25th wedding anniversary. He was going to surprise his wife with a Grand Canyon visit that just wasn’t going to happen! He did bring in his map thinking he could stay in Tusayan and….ahem….sneak in so “suggestions” were made on how he could do this! I sincerely and truly hope they were able to….um….get in!!

Back to my task at hand! The workers at the Visitors Center were very accommodating and even looked up hotels in the area complete with phone numbers and let us use their phone! Called two that decided to charge an absorbent amount…because they could!! Seriously…don’t want to purchase the hotel, just want to sleep there for the night!! Sigh…again plan B was enforced!! Lemons, lemons, lemons!!!!

We now decided to drive right to Canyon de Chelly for two nights instead of our original plan of Jacob’s Lake…bye-bye cookies!! Back in the car and haul on down the road not stopping until the hotel that night! Check in was fast and efficient and off to bed! We were able to take the new by-pass road around rt. 89…89T. You can only drive this road right now during daylight hours so plan accordingly. The road is well marked and patrolled!

Day 14, Oct 8

Here we go again!! Decision making time!! After watching the news and weather reports, we decided to stay just one night in C de C and head to Albuquerque provided we could A. cancel our existing reservations without charge and B. were able to make other reservations in Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta! Well, well, well….seems things were going to go in our favor for a change and everything worked out to our advantage!! Lemons, schmelons!!

We had the day to explore C de C so started at the “North Rim” and worked our way around from there. Since this park is on Tribal Land the Government is unable to shut them down!! We saw some awesome views and of course there were quite a few Vendors at each. Of course we did make a few purchases! Wings had a hike in mind to White House ruins that was suggested to us so that was our final stop. Nice hike about 3 miles round trip to a great ruin site. Of course vendors are set up here on the floor of the Canyon along with port-a-potty’s that were…seriously???...locked by our Gov! Of course the vendor’s were able to …um…jimmy one open!! I made a purchase that I had set out to find for my daughter-in-law! Beautiful handmade and painted pottery in just the right size for what I wanted it for and signed by the artist!! More tears as was expected and a hug from Wings!!

Canyon de Chelly is a great area to visit. Definitely recommend staying a night somewhere there and taking the time to see the park in full and also doing this particular hike! Really enjoyed the time we had there, but it was time to head to our next destination as it was getting later in the day and we still had some hours to log on the road to Albuquerque!! We would spend two nights now in Albuquerque and two days ahead of what we had originally planned!! Sometimes you don’t question things you just do it!! Totally off the mark for Wings and I as we are both planners to the T!!

Day 15, Oct 9

The Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque is like nothing I have ever seen before!! What an experience that we were able to have! We got up extremely early…before sunrise to make our way into the park area! We were able to change things around for this part of our trip that would now include a “mass ascension” of the balloons at sunrise!! What a sight to behold!! Everywhere and I mean everywhere you looked were balloons of all sizes, colors and shapes making their way up into the brilliant morning sky!! Was so freakin awesome to see this and to actually be that close to the balloons and their owners/pilot’s! We got to see the whole process of how they actually get these balloons up from start to finish and I really didn’t know where to look! Truly an amazing sight and if any of you ever find yourself able to do/see this…take it!! Gorgeous, gorgeous day and one of my personal highlights of this “plan B” trip!!

Of course we had the rest of the day to do some things so we decided to go into Old Town and browse around. In town they had 4 Navajo Code Talkers willing to talk to you and sign a book! Now this was truly an honor to meet them and get to shake their hands after first asking permission to do so of course! There are fewer than 50 of these gentlemen still with us so if you ever get the opportunity to meet them…take it also!!

What a perfect day!! That seemed to be the mantra that we kept repeating, but of course we spoke to soon!! Decided later to take a drive up the Turquoise Trail and enjoy the scenery and get some pictures!! About ¾ of the way up….car decided to quit!! Oh sweet Lord not again!! I see more lemons in my future!! Ok let’s assess the situation: we are almost to the top of this “trail”, car is not running, we’re on a blind corner and nowhere to turn around!! What to do, what to do!! Ok let’s get out and push her to get it turned around and head back down the road and hope NO ONE comes around that corner while do it!! Whew…all is good and she starts….only to stall again!! Seriously…seriously???? Grrrr….out we go again to give her another push out of the middle of the road. Give her a minute and she starts again so we haul butt down the mountain and right to a Ford dealer!! Please, please, please can you check it out for us…we still have 2300 miles to go to get home!! I was on point with the sob story!! They really were very nice and checked it out and gave it a clean bill with no charge…sweet!!!! Thank you very much!! Seems we got some bad gas so filled it up with some good stuff and she was good to go…right back to the hotel!!! Yep perfect day!!

I’m going to stop this TR here! We still had a few more days on the road traveling between states, driving along parts of historic rt 66, seeing things that we ordinarily wouldn’t have seen I think and overall having a great time with the Wings!! DH and I arrived home very early Sunday morning, Oct 13, after dropping the Wings off at their home later Saturday afternoon. We made the decision to drive straight through to make it home that same day thus arriving home a day earlier than was planned!!

I truly enjoyed this trip even with all the changes (and lemonade) and enjoyed the company of the Wings even more!! Our friendship is “new”…formed thru TA at one of the Utah meet-ups but after this trip…it’s everlasting!! I sincerely hope that we get the chance to do this again in the future with them, and if not with them, definitely another road trip! IMO…this is a GREAT way to see our country and I hope all of you as some point in your lives get to do this…you will never regret it!!

Thanks for taking the time to read and join us during this EPIC trip!! Lemonade anyone:-)

Miss you all…..


Troutdale, Oregon
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for Hood River, Troutdale, Cascade Locks, The Dalles, Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: SJG's TR part four!

SJG, did you happen to see a hot air balloon with the name Dawn's Early Light? They were friends of ours. Kept asking if I wanted a ride but I told them that I only go if Dawn starts at noon. LOL. Great people they are.

Glad you enjoyed your trip.


Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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2. Re: SJG's TR part four!

nice ending, SJG. :)

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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3. Re: SJG's TR part four!

Road trips are so fun to plan, must always have room for change and are amazing to remember. So glad you found the lemonade and enjoyed the trip!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: SJG's TR part four!

You guys had such an amazing trip and really did make some tasty lemonade.

I'm so amazed by how your ALB time coincided with our same steps there, though just 2 days apart.

We stay with friends in Sandia Park who live just off the Turquoise Trail. We drove to the Crest. We did the Balloon Fiesta, We explored and dined at Old Town and saw the same Navajo war heroes.

Did you get to Madrid? If not, then you need to turn around and come back!

Loved the time we had together.

Piscataway, New...
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5. Re: SJG's TR part four!

I loved your trip report. Making lemonade made your trip that much better, and memorable. You go Jersey girl!

Uden, The...
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6. Re: SJG's TR part four!

Another great read with my morning coffee. Thanks for posting SJG. And yes, even with our rental cars we always use at least 89 octane fuel ;-)

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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7. Re: SJG's TR part four!

I like lemonade.

Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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8. Re: SJG's TR part four!

Nice finish to the story SJG.

Houston, TX
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9. Re: SJG's TR part four!

I've enjoyed reading all the parts of the TR. Seems like there were legions of us out there, thinking outside the box, making the best of a sad situation. I, too, feel especially sorry for all the foreign visitors who were victims of the shutdown closures--it's a bit easier for those of us from the US to get back to national parks, etc.

Anyway, thanks for sharing--what a good read.

Steamboat Springs...
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10. Re: SJG's TR part four!

Shesh SJG, what a lesson in fighting disappointment and fear. I gotta get me some lemons and some big girl panties. Hmmmmm...... I think I'll be a good boy, and go no further than that.

I really enjoyed seeing you guys every morning and totally enjoyed that manic man of yours on our last hike. I plan on bringing you some big girl whatevers to the next meet-up. ..... But really...I love it!! You Jersey's got attitude!! I am feeling all your frustration in the TR.

Well done!!

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