We headed east through Hurricane on the morning of September 26, then toward the Zion's Park via Springdale. One of our goals was to find some frou-frou for the walls of our Entrada home but we found nothing in Springdale. We did buy a couple of excellent hand-dipped chocolates, however. It was a gorgeous day as we drove through Zion's up the road through the tunnel and into the eastern side of the Park.
|KR by a Zion's Rock|
We turned right at Mt. Carmel Junction and headed toward Kanab. Nice job Kanabites on redoing the main street through town with streetlights and sidewalks. We meant to take the 89A through Fredonia and over the Kaibab Plateau to Navajo Bridge, but somehow took a wrong turn onto 89. I kept thinking we should be getting to Fredonia, but by the time we got to Johnson Canyon, we had gone far enough that it made sense to just continue to Page via Big Water. It also allowed me finally go up Johnson Canyon to see the old Gunsmoke set. A few miles east of Kanab, a deep canyon slices northward through the Vermillion Cliffs of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Johnson Canyon has an eclectic past. During the 1870’s the infamous John D. Lee called the canyon home. In the mid-1900’s it served as a movie set for multiple Hollywood westerns and, of course, the Gunsmoke TV series.
|Collapsing Gunsmoke Set|
|Vermillion Cliff Near Big Water|
|Ali Seaman and Family|
We arranged a missionary get-together in Phoenix also and had a great time at a Chinese restaurant in Scottsdale. Elders Tejada, Bennett, Lewis, K. Smith, Urrutia, Schmitz, Crum, Luna and their spouses, as well as Hermana Baldwin showed up. The Smith's brought their son so there were 20 of us. We were seated in the center of the small restaurant and we got kind of loud. I am not sure the restaurant owners expected us to dominate their evening meal like that, but we had such a tough time keeping it down.
We stayed overnight not far from the restaurant. As we were taking our stuff from the car to the room, I realized I had left my backpack under the table in the restaurant. That was a major problem, as we wanted to leave early in the morning to visit the Michaud clan in Mesa. We were afraid the restaurant would not open until noon or so, so I raced back. A large "CLOSED" sign hung on the door and it was locked up tight. I drove back to the hotel not knowing what to do. KR was smiling as I entered the room and said Ian Bennett found the backpack and was bringing it over to the hotel. We were so grateful as the restaurant didn't open until noon the next day.
On the morning of the 28th, we drove south to Mesa and had a short visit on both sides of the road with the Layton's and Michaud's (Kristi's cousins and aunt and uncle). Barb and Clay fed us a breakfast of freshly gathered eggs cooked to perfection, wheat toast, and some weird-colored smoothie meant to keep us healthy. Everyone seemed to be doing well.
Bob, Barb and Clay
Aunt Patty, Uncle Dick and Barb
We spent the rest of the day on roads I had never traveled. We went east on US60 out of Mesa to Florence Junction, Superior, and Globe, then through the Apache Reservations to Show Low. The White Mountain and San Carlos Reservations along US60 are separated by the Salt River and at this point the Salt has formed a great canyon. There is a bridge at the bottom of the canyon, but to get across it, you must first go down a long winding road then up the other side on an equally winding road. An awesome site. Below, KR frames the river far below on the north rim of the canyon.
As we continued to head east, we came to the small town of Witch Well on the border of Arizona and New Mexico. Now you have been there!
We were hustling to get to El Morro NMT before it closed at 5:00 p.m. and entered New Mexico on Route 53, through Zuni Pueblo. We arrived at El Morro about ten minutes before it closed, but the rangers were having nothing to do with our idea of walking up to the inscriptions at that point. We would have to check it out on our way back. The first major kink in our plan. We also passed by El Malpais NMT, since we would be coming back the same way. We stopped in Grants for dinner at Badland's Burger. Good food, check it out. It only took us about an hour to get into Albuquerque from there. Aahhhh! Three nights without moving as we Pricelined a nice room at the Hyatt Uptown.