Back to the
we are good at planning our vacations, but sometimes
the "need" to visit certain places, interferes with
the planning. The
way we had planned this trip especially the"detour"
to southern Arizona meant that we got to visit two
of America's most popular tourist destinations,
Grand Canyon NP and Yellowstone NP during weekends
when they were almost overflowing with people.
The trip of this particluar day was planned to be a short drive from Holbrook to Grand Canyon
Village. It got a little longer though. In 2006
Dorte and I paid a short, very short visit to
Sunset Crater National Monument north of Flagstaff,
and this time, Tim wanted to visit it as well.
We drove from Holbrook and directly on to I-40 again,
this time in a westerly direction back to Flagstaff.
Here we turned north on Route 89 until we came to
Sunset Crater where we once again could use our
The entrance fee was only $ 5 though, so it
was not much we saved.
Dorte and I visited four years earlier, we would not
pay this enormous fee, so we only drove
to a pull-out hust before the visitor center, but Tim and I
went all the way up
to the car park at the volcano.
It is forbidden to climb the crater, so we did not,
of course, but we went for a walk along a path which
is made through the lava flows from the last
outbreak, which occurred between 1080 and 1150.
The volcano is an about 1,100 feet
high cone of lava, but since the area itself is
6,900 feet above sea level, the volcano is
recorded as being 8,042 feet tall.
Along the path there were a lot of signs telling
about the volcano, the area in general and the
plants growing on the lava flows.
Here we discovered that Sunset Crater is the
youngest of approx.
600 volcanoes, located in the area between Williams
There is a strong likelihood that there will be a
new outbreak in the future, and that this will
happen further east.
This is due to the outbreaks coming from a
relatively small "hotspot".
This doesn't move, but the tectonic plate on which
the area lies, is moving westward, and thus it seems
that the outbreaks are moving further east.
So now you know that about volcanoes!
the visit here, it would have been easier to
continue north on U.S. 89 and entering the
Grand Canyon NP at the eastern entrance, but since
we had planned to leave by that route, we decided to
drive back to Flagstaff, take I-40
further west to Williams, where Dorte and I had
stayed in 2006.
From here we would then go north and take the
southern entrance to the National Park.
As said so done.
We drove back to Williams, and here we had some
Dorte and I stayed
in Williams in 2006, I had read about a cafe, which was still decorated in the 50s style,
like when Route 66 was at its highest popularity.
We didn't visit the
café, "The Twister" then, but we made up to it this
We found a place to park the car and then we ate
lunch at The Twister, which indeed was decorated
with red vinyl and plastic, as you see in movies from
Tim got himself a burger while I was eating a jumbo
It was a loaf with a sausage of about 10 or 12
pounds - or so it seemed.
In reality it was probably somewhat less, and
it was mayby the best hot dog I have had in USA. It was
served almost as hot dogs are served in Denmark.
That of course added to the good feeling about it.
After lunch we drove north towards Grand Canyon
Here we had to queue up to get into the national
park (bad planning, bad timing).
Although five lanes were open, there were so many
visitors that it took us 45 minutes to reach the
We finally got through the queue and into the park,
where we immediately headed for Grand Canyon Village,
had booked the room overlooking the Grand Canyon at
the Kachina Lodge.
It is one of the four hotels that are at rim of the
Kachina and Thunderbird Lodge has no receptions, so
we had to check in at the larger El Tovar Hotel.
We drove up to this hotel, and here our problems
It was impossible to find a placve to park the car
space even though we drove around and around the
All the one-day tourists, who were out in nature on
a beautiful Saturday were parked around the hotel.
Parking near the Katchina was impossible too.
Eventually we had to drive to a parking lot on the
other side of the railroad trails, where we managed to find
While Tim was waiting in the car I walked the
10 minutes back to El Tovar, just to be told in the
reception, that our room was not yet
but would be 1.5 hours later.
I went back and told Tim and we agreed that we would
take a drive inside the park.
Specifically, along the only road on which cars are
permitted, namely out of the east entrance (the one
we had just avoided, because it would also serve as our
way out of the park.)
We drove all the way to the view point, Desert View
at the eastern entrance, and here we went for a walk
and enjoyed the views - and the heat and the
hundreds of people, and then we drove slowly back
toward the hotels, while we stopped at almost all
view points along the route.
When we got back, we still couldn't find anywhere to
park the car but this time Tim just let me out of the
car, and circled while I checked in.
When it was over, we drove to our hotel where we
unloaded the luggage and then Tim took the car to
the parking lot where we had parked earlier, while I
dragged our stuff to our room.
The room turned out not to be particularly large,
but it had space enough for us.
And the views which we had paid for turned out to be
We lived on the second floor (top), so we could look
out over the canyon.
It was impressive.
When Tim came back after parking the car, we went
down to Bright Angel Lodge, and had dinner there.
Then we went for a walk along the canyon up to El
Tovar, and back to the room again, where we went to
bed early and set the alarm clock to wake us at
5.00 AM the next mornig, so we would get an early
for our trip along the canyon.