still on the road...
As you go about your day you can stop for a moment to think... yes, we are STILL on the road. It's been a fantastic trip, but if you've ever been on a road trip you know that there are bumps along the way that can turn into gems... or turn sour. So far, all of the craziness has turned to amazing fun and a bit of shoot-from-the-hip travel.
As we drove through the beautiful Grand Canyon, we found a point that we all loved which was called Desert View, it's kind of a good-bye view of the Grand Canyon as you drive East and away from the Canyon. It's a beautiful point, quiet and stunning, as are all the views! The campground at Desert View is away from the main part of the canyon so if you are looking to be more secluded this is the spot for you. We found the visit to Grand Canyon completely beautiful, the campground was comfortable and clean as was the entire park. We saw very few Americans, and many, many more foreigner visiters... mostly the French and Italians. We were so happy that it wasn't completely crowded, it was very easy to get around.
As we left the Grand Canyon we decided to go to Monument Valley, we took a side trip through part of route 66, it was funny but not as nostalgic as I had thought, Monument Valley was just about the most amazing site! It is on a Navajo Indian Reservation, so thankfully it is very simple and not at all commercial. In fact we asked about a camp site and they suggested that we simply park over in a rough-dirt lot by the visitors center, no hook-ups of course, and camp out there. This was our most spectacular evening, completely clear skies, camping in front of these awesome monuments and to top it all off a meteor shower! We all sat outside and watched shooting stars! Waking up to that site was no slouch either.
From there we went to the Valley of the Gods, but we were still so in awe of the Monuments that we pressed on from there to our next destination. So far we had been passing through hot Desert, so we decided to go to Santa Fe, a place both myself and my husband had never been. Somehow when we looked at the map and chose our route, it didn't hit us what the Jemez Mountains were all about (come-on... have YOU heard of them!? the Sangre De Cristo YES, but Jemez, NO!) There we were climbing up and down a small unpaved dirt road through the mountain at 5pm, panicking that we were not going to make it through, and EVERY campground we passed was full! It was the scariest but beautiful drive so far! We were screaming and laughing and the kids thought it was all totally crazy. We drove into Santa Fe at 8pm... Amazingly, we came straight in, found a small Inn and woke up the next morning next door to Whole Foods! PERFECT!