Brad & Barb Wright - Southwest Trip 2009/2010 travel blog

Our coach parked at Grand Canyon Railway, Williams, AZ

Cafe 66, Route 66, Williams, AZ

A look down Route 66

Town Clock, Williams, AZ

Grand Canyon Railway Station, Williams, AZ

Mountain Man Statue

Visitor Center, just before entering Grand Canyon National Park

Replica of boat first known to make it through the Grand Canyon

First view of the Grand Canyon - Breathtaking!

View of Grand Canyon

Barb at Grand Canyon

Brad at Grand Canyon

Another view of Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Rail Train in Grand Canyon National Park

Brad & Bard at edge of Grand Canyon

Another view of Grand Canyon

Sunset on way back from Grand Canyon

We finally made it to the Grand Canyon!!!! We arrived in Williams on Thursday. It's cold up here. The elevation in Williams is 6,752 feet above sea level - and it snows up here. Last week they got 2 feet of snow during the storm where we got all the rain in Tempe. We had decided to stay at the KOA a few miles north of town. We got no answer when we called the office before leaving Camp Verde, but decided to head for there anyway. When we got there we drove in and the entire campground was a mud hole. They had plowed the road and sites from the snow last week (which were dirt) and now all the snow was melting and turning everything into mud. Unfortunately, once we got in we had to drive all the way around to get out. I got out to try to find the way out and sank in mud to the top of my shoes. You can imagine how happy Brad was to have all the mud spraying up under the coach! Fortunately, we found a park with paved sites (The Grand Canyon Railway RV Park). It was a very nice park but Brad had to chop the ice around the sewer connection. We had to pull the hoses at night because it was going down in the low 20's. The days warmed up to the mid-40's and were sunny and not windy. Williams is a small town which had the distinction of being the last town on Route 66 to be bypassed by the Interstate Highway System. It depends almost totally on tourism as it is the closest town to the Grand Canyon (about 60 miles south). Since the tourism is down, many of the businesses have closed. It's a very poor town, rich in history - also famous for it's Billy Williams Mountain Men. This was a group of 13 business men who wanted to get some good publicity for the town and they dressed as mountain men (copying Billy Williams a mountain man the town is named for) and rode their horses down to Phoenix in March of that year to ride in an annual parade. It took them 13 days and they encountered a bad snowstorm along the way. They did this for many years. On Friday we FINALLY made it to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at the IMAX Theater on the way in and watched the movie, then drove into the park. They had gotten 5 feet of snow the week before. The roads were all clear but some of the lookouts were closed and the ones we were able to go to had a lot of snow and ice to wade through to get to them. It was worth it. The first view just takes your breath away. You just can't imagine the size of it from pictures. We spent all afternoon up there. The temperature was very comfortable as we had our winter coats on. Priscilla & Pam - did you ever think 25 years ago that Brad would ever stand at the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona???!!!

**Brad's Footnote** To witness the beauty, the grandeur, the sheer power of the Grand Canyon is to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being in our universe. At the point where this natural wonder of the world meets the floor of Heaven, not only are our senses overwhelmed by the magnificence of the spectacle before us but our emotions are inspired by a sense of the Divine. We truly are in debt to Stephen Mather, President Theodore Roosevelt and a host of naturalists, explorers, and frontiersmen who helped preserve this venue for all mankind to contemplate and to enjoy. It should be incumbent on all Americans to put a visit to this shrine at the very top of their own "bucket list".

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