United States of America · 6 Days · 37 Moments · November 2016

Rimpi's voyage in Arizona, United States

26 November 2016

Reached our hotel (double tree) around 5. Pretty nice hotel with pool, breakfast, separate room for guest, fridge, microwave etc. We actually saw people in the heated pool! We packed and Satinder took a shower before we all headed out for pizza and coffee. Came back to hotel and ate and then Jessie and I took shower and Satinder went back to return the rental car. The hotel was close to the airport and had shuttle every 30 min. Jessie got some more kindle books and read for a bit before we all went to bed around 9. We woke up at 3:30(!), dressed and got on to the shuttle at 4. Our flight to Denver took off at 5:40

25 November 2016

Satinder and Jessie found a nice hiking spot and hiked pretty high up. Satinder said it was harder than it looked and he was scared (!!!!!). There were steps/seats at the bottom of the mountain and there lot of local people with their kids/dogs. I think they hold concerts or other events there
After lunch, we roamed around in downtown Scottsdale. The temperature was in 70s compared to 50s in Flagstaff. Jessie loved the art galleries but the sculptures and paintings were thousands of dollars. Town was decorated for Christmas, there were buggy rides and huge Christmas tree. We did some a souvenir shopping in the nearby stores on the East Main street (mexico import and cactus something). We headed back to the hotel around 4
Reached Phoenix around 2 and went directly to a Thai place (Malee) for lunch. Ordered chicken satay for appetizer that Jess ate after much argument. Ordered cashew chicken with rice that Jessie and I shared. It wasnt that good (too sweet). Satinder liked his pad thai
Walnut Canyon National Monument was worth the trip. We started by watching a short movie about tribal people that lived there. We took about 200 steps down to see the hold houses. Hike up wasnt too bad. We were done in 2 hours and then left for Phoenix. We decided not to go to Sedona because that would have added another hour to our drive. We said byebye to Flagstaff and left at 12:15
We left our Little America hotel at 9, ate breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and left for Walnut Canyon Monument around 9:30. It was only 20 min drive

24 November 2016

From the Petrified Forest, we drove to Flagstaff where Satinder got gas and food. We then had to stop at the hotel to get Jessie's glasses. We finally left for the grand canyon a little before 3. We decided to go to the east side this time. Views on the way were beautiful. We spent quite a bit of time at the Desert View point (see pictures). The watch tower was beautiful and shielded us from wind for a little bit. We bought some gifts from the gift shop and headed for the Lipon point for sunset. Views from lipon point were even more beautiful. Satinder did his usual rock climbing stunt which gave Jessie and me a heart-attack. He was then upset that I didnt take a good picture to capture all his effort! We headed back at 6, ate lunch at Delhi Palace. Food wasnt too great and chicken looked uncooked. The restaurant was packed because most other places were closed for Thanksgiving. We saw people shopping at a nearby Walmart for Black Friday deals!
We left Petrified Forest at 1pm. We wanted to leave early and see the Comet Crater place but got delayed at our last stop at the Petrified Forest. Satinder fell and broke his camera a little. It still functioned but we had to borrow scotch tape from the gift shop guy to put it together. We decided to go to Grand Canyon for another visit.
We saw several petrified logs at the 3 other stops we made. We found out that the South side of the park had more colorful logs and the other side (that we entered from) showed early tribal life. On a hindsight, we should have entered from the south side, stopped at couple of places and head out instead of driving whole 25 miles in the park.
We reached the Petrified National Park at 10:15. We watched a movie at the visitor center about how the trees were transported by water to this area. They were submerged in water and then sand and silica reacted to slowly replace each plant cell with chemicals (quartz etc.). People stole the precious minerals in early days before it was declared a national park. Years ago, in Triassic period, dinosaurs and other animals lived but now the park is inhabited by snakes, lizards, ravens, coyotes etc. The movie said that the rattle snake was the only poisonous snake in the park! This is one of the stops we made in the park. It shows remains of houses built by the early tribes
We woke up at 7 on the Turkey day and got out of the hotel at 8:30. Got breakfast at dunkin donut and started for Petrified National park at 9
11/23 -We drove back to the visitor center. Jessie and Satinder saw the stars, planets and the milky way!! We got McDonalds on our way back to Flagstaff. We took coffee, gas and reached the hotel around 9. A good day overall!

23 November 2016

We got back to the visitor center by bus and decided to drive along the east side to see sunset from the Lipon point. Unfortunately, we were too late and the sun set before we reached. We did go to the Desert view and saw a different side of the canyon. Jessie was excited to see the Colorado river!
View from Cedar point! We decided not to go any further and head back. The hike back was excruciating. Satinder took some ahortcuts on the way down snd back by doing rock climbing. He said it was harder than he thought 😜
We reached the Oh Ah point of the trail which is .9 miles. Views from this point were very nice. We debated whether we should head back from here but decided to go down another .6 miles to Cedar point
The Kaibab trail was even trickier than the bright angel. Path was well marked but had a steep drop on one side or sometimes both sides. You had to be very careful to not slip or skid from the dusty path/little rocks. It was also very muddy in some places.
There are free shuttles that run from the visitor center to different trail heads. We took the blue loop to Bright Angel trailhead and started hiking. We hiked for one hour and decided to head back. Trail was very well marked but going back up was too strenuous. People go down all the way, camp overnight and come back the next day. We were also told that a better way is to start from Kaibab trailhead, go all the way down to where it meets with the Bright Angel trail and then come back up from there. The whole trail takes about 8 hours. We then took the bis back to the visitor center, ate lunch that we had brought with us and got on the orange loop to go to the Kaibab trailhead. This is a pic of Jessie on the bus.
We reached the Grand Canyon National Park at 11. There was a nice little town just outside the park to get food. After entering the park, we drove couple of miles to visitor center. There are two sides of the park - west and east. On east side, you just drive about 25 miles and stop by at various overlooks. You get to see the Colorado river from the east side. West side is where you have the trails to hike. We decided to go to the west side first that starts from the visitor center. This picture is from Mather point which is 2 min walk from the visitor center
Left the hotel around 8:30. Temperature was 24 degrees and car was covered with ice! Had breakfast at Dunkin Donut, got gas and headed out for 1.5 hr drive to South Rim

22 November 2016

After a very beautiful drive thru the national forest, we reached our hotel (little America) around 6:30. We had dinner at Olive Garden, packaged our stuff for next day and went to bed at 9. Hotel was nice and had beautiful Christmas lights
Stopped at Sedona for a small hike. We'll go there again on our way back for rock climbing. Beautiful little town!!
There was big change in vegetation and mountains as we moved closer to Sedona. See the red rocks. Elevation level increased to 4500ft
Stopped by at the Montezoom castle on our way to Flagstaff. Was a house built by a tribe years ago. They had to use ladders to reach the house. We could not actually go there but the ranger said there were 35 rooms, some regular and some small storage room. Satinder wanted to do some climbing but it wasnt allowed. The rock was limestone which gets weathered easily. The white powdery rock dissolves but the black one was too hard (because of Manganese? )
Photo shows how the inside of castle would have looked like. I especially liked the mom chasing her naughty kid! 😂
Left for Flagstaff around 10:30 but took a long break in Barnes and Nobles on our way. Then we realized the jeep Satinder rented was making terrible sound on highway, so we had to drive back to Phoenix to exchange for another car. We finally left for Flagstaff around 1 😕
Landed at Phoenix airport and reached Scotsdale around 7. It's a pretty but small town with pretty cactus plants and palm trees. We couldnt find any food/coffee and ended up ordering pizza. Jessie went to bed without dinner but had a big breakfast at Pancake House. She loved her apple waffle and left a nice note for the cook

21 November 2016

Facebook VR at Denver airport
Shuttle ride to NOWHERE!
Second and last flight to Phoenix! Angry birds got quality attention during the long layover
Jessie too tired to carry her water bottle!
Quick lunch at Denver airport! Jessie had to wait until McDonalds started their lunch menu at 10:30. Satinder and I had Panda Express.
Jessie reading Harry Potter in the flight. We'll land in abt 1.5 hr
At the airport waiting area. Boarding for frontier flight to Denver starts at 7:10
We're getting ready! Hoping to leave in 5 minutes. Guess who's still in the shower?! (Dad!)

20 November 2016

Sleeping at 9:00! Have to wake up at 4:00.
Asking Jessie to go to bed early. Without luck so far!
Still in Fairfax, VA. Looking forward to early morning flight to Arizona!!!!