Sunday, July 8, 2018

Summer Vacation 2018

Our vacation this year was to Arizona. We visited the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix and Tuscon. We spent nine days on the road touring Arizona. I was so excited to eat green chili sauce for nine straight days! We had a great time, but came home exhausted!

Somewhere in New Mexico
Outside Gallup

Arizona State Line

The first night, we stopped in Amarillo because we left late on Friday and then a night in Gallup, NM. From Gallup, it was on to the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert. It was so interesting and beautiful to see how nature creates its beauty. Because the girls just finished their fourth grade year, we were able to get into the park free. The program is called Every Kid in a Park. It's through the National Parks.
Painted desert

Petrified Forest

Next up was the Grand Canyon, I was the only one that had seen it before. When the rest of the family saw it, they were in awe. It is pretty awe inspiring. No wonder it's one of the seven wonders of the world.

We spent two nights camping in the National Park. We saw elk everywhere including our camp ground. We hiked into the canyon one day and then visited at sunset. I kept telling the family, "remember, you have to walk up what you walk down in the canyon". They didn't believe me until they started walking up.

Grand Canyon at Sunset


From the Grand Canyon, it was off to Sedona. We spent two nights there.The first day, we shopped and enjoyed a scenic route on the way. The next day, we visited Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot. That night, we went to a chuck wagon where we ate a yummy dinner and listened to cowboy music. Leaving Sedona, we took a back road called Schnelby Hill Road. It was an old wagon trail road and very bumpy. Wes was so excited to run this route. The scenery was amazing. 
Highway 89A Flagstaff to Sedona

Montezuma Castle

Schelby Hill Road view

 At the end of this trail, we headed to Phoenix. Oh my, was it hot! I think it got over 110 degrees. The first thing we did, was swim in the pool. After that, we shopped some more and then looked for dinner. The next day, we got up and went on the hunt for the Sonoran Desert National Monument and some saguaro cacti. Turns out, the road to the monument is a dirt road and the "park" is a dirt road and a sign.

Pool in Phoenix

Sonoran Desert

Sonoran Desert National Monument

Saguaro Cactus

Because it was so hot in the afternoon, we went to a movie to pass the time. After the movie, it was a quick change and then horse back riding. The place had a petting zoo with some really friendly goats. Wes was the goat whisperer. They all wanted him to pet them. The horseback ride was awesome. We watched the sunset over the desert.

The goat whisperer

Wes and Big John

Melissa and Smokin Joe

Lizzie and Santa Fe

Grace and her horse

We spent the night in Tucson and the next morning made our way to Odessa, TX to spend the night. We detoured to see the Guadalupe Peak. We were running low on gas so we decided to head back to civilization. As we drove down the highway, we saw cotton tail rabbits, jack rabbits and road runners. Wes had strapped an extra gas tank to the top of the Jeep and had to use it. The closest gas station was 60 miles away. We finally got to the town with the gas station and all the power was out. Turns out a storm system had blown through and knocked out the power for miles. We ended up having to drive another 60 miles to finally find a gas station with power. As we were about ten miles from the station, the low fuel light came on. It was pretty nerve racking to say the least. We were pretty relieved to have gas!

Guadalupe Peak

From Odessa, we headed home. The only excitement on the way was stopping at the rest stop and playing on the playground.

We had fun but we are all really happy to be home. We missed our dogs, cats and beds!