Grand Canyon, Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano

Today was an incredibly scenic day.  It started out with a trip to Sedona, but I'm going to skip that for now and include it in my full Sedona post tomorrow.

So I'll start from after I returned to Flagstaff and showered.

I decided to take an afternoon trip to see the Grand Canyon.

On my way up, I stopped to get lunch at a burger place that caught my eye. It was on Route 66 and I come to find out was the place where Jackson Browne was inspired to write the line about the girl driving a flatbed truck in his song, "Take it Easy". At that time it was a Der Wienerschnitzel, but now it's called the Dog Haus.

I got a bacon cheeseburger and took it to a picnic table in the Coconino Forest to enjoy.

As I was finishing up, the sky clouded up and I heard thunder. Just as I was driving away from the picnic spot it started to rain.

The rain continued off and on for the whole 75 minute drive.

When I got to the Grand Canyon entrance, it was really coming down hard.

I drove to the parking lot and it was raining so hard that we sat in the car waiting for it to pass. While I waited, I geared up in my slicker and loaded up a satchel for of treats to keep River's attention amongst the throngs of tourists.

As the rain continued, many people ran to their cars and drove away. By the time the rain let up, the parking lot was about half empty. So River and I found a trail and enjoyed it all to ourselves for quite a while.

The sheer size of the Grand Canyon is breathtaking and impossible to capture the feeling of on camera.

We only spent about an hour on the rim. At one point, I got off the trail and walked over to the edge of the giant canyon. It was dizzying to look over the edge. I don't know if this video does it justice.
Dogs aren't allowed inside the canyon, so we had to be satisfied with the rim. (We were)

I took a different highway back to Flagstaff so that I could see Desert View Road, which gave more spectacular vistas; first, of the canyon and then a sprawling desert.

On the way, I saw a sign indicating a National Monument, and I had that annual pass, and still plenty of time before sunset, so I made a detour.

I stopped at two places, Wupatki National Monument...

...and Sunset Crater Volcano.
Both places didn't allow dogs, so I had to take the picture of the Wukoki Ruin from the parking lot and the lava garden made by the volcano from my moving car as I drove by.

Babe reached a 'birthday' today; the big 4-0. The odometer passed 40,000.  The miles I've driven just on this trip are almost 13,000 so far.


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