Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Thank you Hampton Inn of Kayenta, AZ. You had a somewhat appetizing free breakfast complete with biscuits and gravy. This almost made up for the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack the bed bugs in Room 116 made out of Nicole's body while we slept. On second thought, this was not a fair trade whatsoever. My girlfriend/trip planner/blog cohort is in agony with 15-20 large welts on her back and arms that itch and hurt and are swollen like I beat her with a cane (this did not happen, no matter what she insists is the truth).
She soldiered on through the day, which should be expected for those who know her at all. Nicole = Trooper (or a SOLJAH from the U?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X60mrYO1UU). If you're wondering, I haven't noticed any bites on myself. Mike = Not delicious. This will serve me well if I get stranded on an island of cannibals or in a crashed airplane in the snow like the movie "Alive" ("don't eat me I don't taste good"). I do have a bruised foot and one extremely bloodshot red eye, so it's not like I'm making it unscathed thus far.
This morning we made it to Monument Valley in southern Utah, bumps, bruises, and all. This was worth it. Geologically almost the polar opposite of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley is the area near the Utah/Arizona border where huge rock formations burst from the earth to heights that dwarf everything around them. A 17-mile round trip drive through the park gave us amazing views of all sorts of buttes, mesas, and other variously named formations. Everything had a virgin coating of snow to intensify the majesty of the landscape.
Like yesterday, we planned on hitting two parks in one day (prior to the Grand Canyon, we visited Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument outside of Flagstaff). Like yesterday, park rangers scoffed at our plans and openly questioned our intelligence. Like yesterday, we made it to both parks with time to spare, and then called back to the doubtful park rangers and destroyed their thoughts about this Earth and made them question their life's work. Everything except for the vengeful phone call part is true.
Today we left Monument Valley and drove 4 hours to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert near Holbrooke, AZ. We drove the 28 mile route, stopping to check out some petrified wood and colorful rocks, and made it out 3 minutes before closing time and just ahead of a wicked hailstorm.
Now we're in Albuquerque, but we're not sure for how long. A storm will be coming in tonight and tomorrow (there are some nasty wind gusts outside right now that may keep me awake) and may be dumping snow all over us. Hopefully, I get some sleep because I have a phone interview tomorrow morning with a potential future employer in New York. Hopefully, we're able to get out of Albuquerque as scheduled. I'll post some pictures here and probably some more earlier tomorrow for your chewing pleasure.
Posted by Mike McCalla at 10:32 PM