Sunday, December 6, 2015

July 4, 2015 - Williams Arizona and the Grand Canyon

On our drive north from Tucson, we stopped for pizza in Flagstaf and then continued on to Williams Arizona.  This is a holiday weekend but we were able to get a spot at a KOA for the RV.  We decided to leave the RV there hooked up to power and water and take the Grand Canyon Railway train to the Grand Canyon on the 4th of July.  We arrived at the campground in Williams on the afternoon of the 3rd, which is Cindy's birthday.  Her choice was Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner - we sure missed Papa Murphys' while in Mexico for 6 months.  We picked up the pizza before checking into the campground.

Early on the morning on the 4th of July we took a cab into Williams (from our campground 5 miles away) to the beginning of the railway line.  It would be an all day event as the train ride is 3 hours each direction, plus all the time in the park.   The train included some good entertainment, and we were even visited by horse riding train robbers on our way back to Williams.  The kids had not been to the Grand Canyon before and were awe inspired at the grandiose size of the canyon.   Even when looking over the cliffs into it, it still looks like a picture or painting;  it just doesn't seem real.  It is truly amazing.

In line to board the train
The "Polar Express" car.  Have you seen the movie "Polar Express"?
View from our seats as we work our way towards the Grand Canyon
Sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon
Wow, it's beautiful, and Grand.
What an amazing sight.
The view from the building in the picture above.
Cindy on this rock hanging out over the cliff.....
Kevin on the rock.
Hiking down into the canyon on one of the trails.
Our last view of the Grand Canyon, it's time to get back to the train.
Boarding the train for the long ride back to Williams
Train robbers on horseback stopped the train on the way back.  We saved Kevin....
After we returned, we had a slight issue in that Steve had left our SPOT satellite tracker on the train. Of course Steve headed back but the train was just leaving and he could not get on board.  He went to the hotel desk where they sell tickets to tell them the situation and see if he could go get on the train to retrieve it.  He was not allowed to go look.  They sent an employee to go look.  We had the little black box wedged between the seat back and the window sill so it could get a good view of the sky.  It was hard to see.  They could not find it.  Steve came back to us as we were watching the old Williams Arizona Route 66 4th of July parade saying he could not get it.  But we knew it was still on the train because it was still sending out occasional position updates.  So we all headed back to the ticket office as "no" was not a good answer.  Steve went to the concierge again and the kids and I went toward the trains which were in a train "parking lot' for the night.  Ugh!  Well, we walked down the tracks.  Two workers stopped us since they said it was dangerous, they were separating trains and preparing for the next day.  They were kind enough to look but found nothing and then I had them look once more.  They found it.  As we got back, went into the hotel, they radioed Steve and the worker who drove over there to get it saying we had found it.  Phew.  We are now putting stickers with our name and phone numbers on all of our little devices (cameras, binoculars, SPOT, etc) so these things can find us again if we leave them behind somewhere.
Williams AZ 4th of July parade on Route 66

In Williams we had dinner, walked the town, went to get groceries and called a cab at about 9pm to take us back to the campground.  A long day but very fun (expect for the SPOT tracker incident).

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