Travel Tales and Pictures

Travel Stories and Photographs by John.


Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Pictures ENLARGE if you click on them.
Grand Canyon National Park

For a few months I was flying back and forth between Phoenix and San Francisco every week to perform some work for a client. So one weekend I decided to stay in Phoenix and drive to the Grand Canyon.

I drove from Phoenix to Flagstaff Arizona on Interstate 17. As I drove over the hills towards Flagstaff I ran into a hail storm. So when I arrived in Flagstaff I bought a full tank of gas and asked if the roads to the Grand Canyon National Park were clear. The people at the gas station assured me that while there were some snow flurries, the roads were still clear.

So I left Flagstaff on Highway 180 heading towards the Grand Canyon. As I drove the snow kept falling harder and harder. The road became covered in snow, but there was still other traffic on the road and I could tell the location of the road from their tracks. Around this time I snapped the picture below from the car window.

Snow on the highway to the Grand Canyon

There would not be any more pictures this night because I very quickly had to put all my focus on my driving. All the other road traffic was soon gone. I think they probably had four-wheel drive. I was in a rental car, but fortunately the car was a front wheel drive and I had a couple of very heavy boxes of documents from work in the trunk of the car that provided extra traction.

Soon after the other traffic was gone I could no longer see any car tracks. Fortunately along the sides of the road were tall markers used by snow plows. This was the only way I could tell where the road was located. The snow was coming down harder and harder and it was very difficult to see out the windows. This was an undivided highway and I no longer cared which side of the road I was driving on I just did not want to drive off the edge of the road and get stuck.

By this time I was driving at a creep, certainly less than 5 MPH. I would find one of the snow markers and then head towards the other side of the road looking for the next marker. I kept this up for a couple of hours when I saw a man running in front of a car heading in the opposite direction. I could see that there was a woman driving the other car. I believe he was running in front of the car because that was the best way to tell where the road was located.

When he arrived at my car he said the road was blocked ahead and he was headed back to Flagstaff. I asked him to help direct me so I could turn around and follow him back to Flagstaff. After he helped me turn around, he knocked the snow off my windshield so my window wipers would work.

This man then ran in front of her car and I drove behind them. Periodically he would clean off her windshield and then come back to my car and do the same for me. He continued this for the next couple of hours until we arrived back at the main road near Flagstaff. This was the first time I was able to talk to the woman. I told her I thought she had better keep him because he was an angel. He was certainly an angel to me that night.

I drove on to another gas station and called to try to find a hotel room, but everything was booked in Flagstaff. I also called my wife and found out she had called the hotel near the Grand Canyon where I had planned on staying and they told her the roads were blocked because of a snow storm. So she had been worrying about me for the past few hours.

Keep in mind that I had already worked a full day and started this trip after work and I was exhausted from the road experiences I had already had. However, I decided to drive back to Phoenix to try to find a hotel room. When I finally arrived in Phoenix the first two hotels I found were full for the night. I finally found a room about 4:00 AM in the morning. I slept until about 11:00 AM and then drove to the airport. I had an airline ticket, but I had expected to stay in the Grand Canyon for the weekend and I wasn't scheduled to leave until the next weekend. However I was able to finally book a flight for that night, but in the meantime I was stuck just hanging out at the airport. I rented a cart for my luggage, including the boxes of documents from work. I then sat in one of the airport chairs with my feet propped up on my luggage and slept until it was time for my flight. As you can image, when I finally arrived at home I was exhausted and I still had not made it to the Grand Canyon.

Well a few weeks after this adventure I decided to try one more time to see the Grand Canyon. I was able to make the trip without any mishaps. The top photo above and the photos below are from this trip.

Pictures ENLARGE if you click on them.
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy previous posts Amsterdam, Netherlands or Swiss Alps - The Schilthorn, or Baden-Baden, Germany - Bavaria.
Use the search box at the bottom of this page to find previous postings on London, Amsterdam, Japan, Germany, Austria, Yellowstone, New York, Boston, Switzerland, Alps, Plymouth Mass., Washington DC, San Francisco, Manila, San Diego or Quebec.

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Blogger Vic Grace said...

Lovely photos John so clear. I visited Grand Canyon I guess it must be in 1969. The US has many wonderful places to visit doesn't it.

February 04, 2007 2:40 PM  
Blogger GMG said...

Hi John,

What an adventure. I got some heavy rain from Lake Powell towards Grand Canyon in 1982 (Blogtrotter 70s & 80s), and that was rather frightening, but nothing like your snow storm...
The photos are great!


February 04, 2007 3:32 PM  
Blogger Kaizhao said...

Hey Cathy & John,

Thanks for the comment on my humble blog. Yeah, Belgium has the most fasicinating chocolates, waffles and many other culinary delights. :) I assume u got my blog from Gil. haha.

I see that you have been to many places that I've yet to go! Esp Japan and the states. I note that there's no asia countries among your posts. Pls do visit asia, esp Singapore, when you have the time! Haha

Take care and continue globetrotting


February 11, 2007 3:36 AM  

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