Today is a long travel day to get back to Denver from Holbrook, Arizona. We have a flight hime tomorrow. Our trip is coming to an end. It’s been fabulous. Luckily, our dog Molly, has been in the caring and capable hands of my sister in law who flew out to Wisconsin to watch her right in our home where she is comfortable. We had plans to board her but the kennel have a run on communicable diseases so we decided this was best.
We’ve seen a lot of very well behaved dogs on our trip starting with dogs on hikes with their owners in the Grand Canyon to some on the trails in the Red Rock country of Sedona. Luckily. We didn’t see any out and about in the Tucson area where it was 91 degrees a few days ago. We’ve missed Molly but are grateful she was in good hands. And, now we know that we could travel with her if we wanted. Most of the hotels we stayed at accepted pets. And, no, none of them smelled! In fact, all of our accommodations were great! I would stay at any of them again with perhaps one exception.
I’ve had some interest in our itinerary for this trip, so I thought I’d share that schedule today. Bear in mind, this schedule for our needs and might not fit tours, but it did work well
Day 1 – Leave to fly to Denver CO. Drive yo Moab, Utah. This was a long day for us. It was over 12 hours of travel by the time we reached the hotel in Moab. The drive from Denver to Moab take approximately six hours. It was dark by the time we arrived.
Day 2 – Visited Arches National Park. We were in the park by 5:25 a.m. to assure us parking for the tail leading to Delicate Arch and seeing the sunrise there. We then visited some other trails and ended the day in Devils Garden. We knew we’d lace time to go back the next day, in the morning, so we did not try to “do it all.” Stayed a second night at the same hotel. All our reservations were made months ahead of time.
Day 3 – We returned to Arches, again before sunrise. This time we planned to go to the Windows segment, and trails that we had not traversed the previous day! Again, this assured us parking and fewer crowds. Although by the time we left and Double O Arch, it was more crowded.
Both days we ate dinner at the same restaurant. Yes, it was that good! There was no reason to seek out anywhere else! I’ll save the details on that for a good post.
Day 4 – We left mid morning to drive to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We had reserved rooms right on the South Rim. I looked and saw that those rooms were booked back on April 3rd. Despite the advance reservations, I was still unable to book two nights I. Row in the same lodging. Therefore, the first night we stayed at the El Tovar Hotel.
The thing that attracted me to this hotel was the history of the building and the location on the rim. However, the check in at 4:30 in the afternoon was chaotic and frustrating. There were no signs directing where to go for check in and I only found out where to go after a lady behind me said there was another desk for those who had reservations. I believe I was in the line to reserve a dinner table at the hotel restaurant. I am thankful for that lady.
However, the lobby of the El Tovar was also one of the very few places that we encountered rude people on this trip. You can make of that what you want. It was not the hotel staff, either. It out a temporary damper on my mood, but I recovered soon.
The first night in the Grand Canton National Park granted us a beautiful sunset as we walked the rim trail outside the El Tovar. We ate in the food court at the Maswik Lodge, a short distance away due to hunger and not being able to secure even a table in the hotel bar for a drink and appetizers. After we returned, we made our hiking plan for the next day.
Day 5 – We got up early and ate in the room. Since we had to change rooms to another lodging, we also packed up. Luckily, I had been able to secure a room at the Kachina Lodge for our second night at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. It was pretty convenient as the Kachina is right next door to the El Tovar and check in for both is at the desk of the later.
When we were all set, we headed down into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail! It was 8:30 a.m.. We decided to hike only to the first rest stop which is 1.5 miles into the canyon. Upon doing some reading the night before, I told my husband I was not comfortable going further. The next rest stop is another 1.5 miles in. The problem was not going to be going down into the canyon but rather coming back out! They say it takes double the amount of time to come back up than it does to go down. We were cautious and were able to comfortably complete our hike but I’ll leave the details how it went for another post,
Later that afternoon, we ride the shuttle bus towards Hermits Rest, got off at a midway point and walked back along the rim trail.
Our dinner that night was at the Bright Angel Lodge Tavern where we had delicious food and locally made craft beer.
The next morning would see us leaving the park but not after we hiked the rim trail the opposite way, past the El Tovar toward the geology museum traversing the Trail of Time.
This brings you to the half way point in our trip and this post is getting too long. Tomorrow, I’ll post on days 6-10 where we had more adventures in Sedona, Saguaro National Park, and The Petrified Forest National Park. Stay tuned!