Twin Arrows, AZ to Los Angeles, CA

As if my brother hadn’t had enough of me having towed me hither thither and yon, as well as helping me stream line my interior and getting me set up with an outside water tank/shower, we had arranged to meet up for a weekend at Twin Arrows Casino just east of Flagstaff so we could spend Saturday walking the incredibly artistic Antelop Canyon with his whole family! What a treat!

twins arrows casino

Twin Arrows, AZ has come a long ways as to what it offers weary travelers! I got two nights here thanks to my kind brother and his family!

My brother photo-bombing his own photo! I think he thought those crystals on the chandelier were water droplets and he was going to try and catch one in his mouth! --At Twin Arrows Casino lobby with Karolena

My brother photo-bombing his own photo at Twin Arrows Casino lobby with Karolena

We drove through beautiful country up the ever scenic hwy 89 to get to the navejo reservation where Antelop Canyon is (just east of Grand Canyon). The walk was all at ground level as we went through this gorgeously artistic slot canyon. I mean it is impossible to take a bad picture in there. It kind of makes me want to take up painting just so I can paint a picture of it! The striations, the colors, the curves, the lighting…it just bleeds beauty!

Ground level walk-in canyon in Navajo Reservation area. Get it at just the right time of day and this slot canyon lightens right up!

Ground level walk-in canyon in Navajo Reservation area. Get it at just the right time of day and this slot canyon lightens right up!

Hangin' with my family in the Antelope Slot Canyon...I think I misunderstood the directions as to where to look! But I love the pic of us all together (though I miss Julianne, the photographer!)

Hangin’ with my family in the Antelope Slot Canyon…I think I misunderstood the directions as to where to look! But I love the pic of us all together (though I miss Julianne, the photographer!)

I then had to say goodbye once more to my ever gracious and generous brother and sister in love as they headed back to Phoenix and I to the Grand Canyon. Boy was it a happenin’ place, teeming with what appeared to be thousands of people! But the 1-mile deep and 10-miles wide canyon seemed to dwarf us all. I didn’t hike down it (though I’d love to if I could find a willing participant to come along!) but I was able to walk along the southern rim’s edge. The free shuttle service will take you to the end, so you only have to hike it one way!

The only picture I got of myself at the Grand Canyon this time around. It was quite chilly and even snowed while I was there. But that didn't stop the masses from filing in to see this awe-some sight! This is taken at the eastern end of the Canyon at Desert View.

The only picture I got of myself at the Grand Canyon this time around. It was quite chilly and even snowed while I was there. But that didn’t stop the masses from filing in to see this awe-some sight! This is taken at the eastern end of the Canyon at Desert View.

I’ve seen the canyon before and I thought, “oh, I’ll just get my passport stamped and move on.” But each time I see it, it still takes my breath away. A new color pops up, or the clouds and the sun do an incredible piruet over the most upstanding formation along the canyon’s horizon, and it is almost too much for the body to contain…just makes the heart want to burst! So many sites like this along this journey!

A picture of the Colorado River carving its way through the Grand Canyon from Desert View House on the eastern end of the Canyon.

A picture of the Colorado River carving its way through the Grand Canyon from Desert View House on the eastern end of the Canyon.

Though the campgrounds and lodges at Grand Canyon were hopping with people, thankfully the nearby Kaibab Forest was full of trees and sparse with people and I was able to do some dispersed camping on the old back forest roads. BigBlue and I were so far out in the boondocks, I could even take an outdoor modest shower! But it was a bit chilly while I was at the Canyon and so after the shower a fire was much needed! It even started to snow while I was leaving the next morning!

Demonstrating my outdoor shower (that is still curtain-less...but when deep in the woods, one isn't really needed!). I hold it by hand so it doesn't go all over the van like it looks like here. But it does have good pressure and it is rechargeable battery operated!

Demonstrating my outdoor shower (that is still curtain-less…but when deep in the woods, one isn’t really needed!). I hold it by hand so it doesn’t go all over the van like it looks like here. But it does have good pressure and it is rechargeable battery operated!

It looks gorgeous here, and indeed it was, though it was quite chilly (hence the campfire). But that night and next day, it snowed...beautifully as well. BigBlue is so cozy I didn't realize it until I opened my castle door!

It looks gorgeous here, and indeed it was, though it was quite chilly (hence the campfire). But that night and next day, it snowed…beautifully as well. BigBlue is so cozy I didn’t realize it until I opened my castle door!

And then went through Bedrock, Fred and Barney’s stompin’ ground, along hwy 180 with the San Francisco peaks off in the horizon. It is for sale, if anyone wants to take up serving Buffalo Burgers with Pebbles and BamBam full-time! I was tempted, as I thoroughly enjoyed the simple place, but it was about as sparse as Kaibab back forest!

This is what BigBlue would look like if it existed back in the stone age with Fred and Barney! Welcome to Bedford!

This is what BigBlue would look like if it existed back in the stone age with Fred and Barney! Welcome to Bedrock!

I then splurged, so I could get a wildlife fix, since it had been a while since seeing some, and I went to Bearazona Wildlife Adventure in Williams, AZ…while it was snowing! They had both an auto tour and a walking tour, and yeppers…I got my fix! Especially with the informative raptor show, the gregarious otters and the cuddly bear cubs!

bear

I don’t know how these massive beasts manage to do it, but they always look so doggone cuddly!

great-owl

Most owls that sport orange eyes are active around dawn and dusk, here is the Great-horned owl checking out the snow!

red-fox

What should one do when it starts to snow? Why cuddle up and take a nap! That’s exactly what I did inside BigBlue’s shelter! Here a redfox is on his own!

Then I traveled along Historic 66 to get to Kingman’s and finally arrived in California headed to Joshua Tree and on to Los Angeles. On the way to Joshua Tree National Forest I came across the Shoe Fence (which was erected in honor of the Shoe Tree) out in the middle of absolutely nowhere! I just had to pull over and get a pic of Flat Vanley (a name a gal I met gave all my photos with Bigblue in the picture!) next to them all. I almost snagged a pair of boots that were hanging there left there by an Australian, since mine have sprung a hole on the ball of it. But I resisted!

big-blue-shoe-tree

BigBlue taking a break from driving from Williams, AZ to Joshua Tree National Park via hwy 66, 95 and 62 at the Shoe Fence out in the middle of nowhere!

Also on the way to Joshua tree is the Patton Museum at Chiriaco, CA on the site of the entrance of Camp Young, part of the Desert Training Center of World War II. Over 1 million soldiers trained there in preparation for battling in the Sahara. Quite an interesting stop as well as an interesting place to have it!

big blue patton museum

BigBlue at Patton Museum in Chiriaco, CA with an incredibly large collection of tanks used in WWII and the Korean War.

I arrived at Joshua Tree (which does not have any camping but it does have great hikes!). There is a vast array of geography and flora and fauna in this park. Throughout the desert geography (for the Mohave and Colorado deserts converge here) are fan-palm oases the indicate that there is a crack in the Earth’s crust which is allowing the groundwater to rise to the surface. “Welcome to California!” they seem to say!

big-blue-joshua-tree

BigBlue posing with a Joshua Tree, arms outstretched in welcome to the Israelites to the Promised Land (or the Mormons to California!). It has seen as many visitors in the span of time from U2’s album release to date, as the album itself has sold copies! (that’s me trying to be culturally-mathematically relevant!)

The rock formations along the trail looked just like a pile of toy blocks put together by a non-OCD person! Oh, and the name for the iconic tree comes from the Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave desert on their exodus west. As silhouettes, the trees appear human in form with their extended limbs capped with spiky leaves evoking images of Joshua with arms outstretched, leading his followers into the Promised Land! (And I wish I could have taken a picture of the night sky out in this area…but alas!)

flag-at-joshua-tree

I’m going to have to create a facebook album of the flags over the national parks. I haven’t gotten all of them, but some are just to picturesque to pass up…like this one at Joshua Tree National park in front of an Ocotillo (or coach whip)

As I headed towards Los Angeles and started to encounter some of the traffic, I thought to myself, only the love of family and friends could compel me to come into this expansive city! But onward I journeyed, until I arrived in LA to begin my 3-week visit of family and friends there. I will write some brief snippets of each for the next blog!

deb-camping

Camping in warmer weather as found in the Angeles Mountains outside Joshua Tree and very close to Los Angeles!

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by samantha on May 28, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Love your blog Deborah!!

    Reply

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