After a long weekend in Vegas and a short stop to see Hoover Dam, we continued on the road another three and a half hours (four if you count the stop for gas and stop for jerky. If I’ve learned anything from my dad, the best jerky is sold in the most remote places, or trunks of roadside cars 😉, so stopping for jerky was a must) to a place neither of us had ever been…the Grand Canyon!
This was originally a trip we had fully booked in late 2019. However, Todd’s boss incorrectly marked his vacation request and we had to cancel our trip the week before we were supposed to leave. A real bummer to say the least! But here we are two years later, on our way to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world! We were both prepared to be amazed.
It was early afternoon as we approached the entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park. I had $35 ready to hand over to purchase a national park pass. The Park Ranger asked if we were current or former military to which we said why, yes, Todd is a US Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine). He flashed his ID and we saved $35 and now have an annual pass to all the national parks. Thanks Todd!
[Shout out to the Park Rangers, who were all so nice and friendly. We went in and out a few times and every time time had a funny conversation or interaction with what ended up being several different rangers. And what we saw of the park was very clean and well maintained.]
A mile or two into the park, we turned off the main road toward our rustic lodging, the Maswik Lodge. Check in went smoothly and we settled into our room. [I had read some gripes about parking trouble, but I found a spot by the main building and then pulled into an almost empty lot by our building. I could see people who drove in from elsewhere wanting to park here though, because it was really close to the rim. The gripes were also probably for peak season.]
After being in the room for just a few minutes, we heard and then spotted the Grand Canyon Railway from our balcony! I took a pic each day it passed by for my dad.
We were pretty tired from Vegas and the long drive so we took a nap and then decided to drive back into town for dinner. Restaurant options in Grand Canyon Village were fast food, a couple of steakhouses and a pizza/pasta restaurant. We chose Big E Steakhouse and Saloon, where the food was just ok but the service was very friendly and attentive. I think our two Vegas dinners set a high bar when it comes to steaks, but Big E made the best loaded baked potato I’ve ever eaten!
On our way into town, we encountered a small traffic jam. We thought how the heck could we be stopped on this remote road?! Turns out, there were elk on the side of the road and cars just stopped to take pictures. We were good with that since we wanted to take some too! The elk weren’t phased even a little by all the onlookers. They crossed the road at some point because on our way back dinner, there were even more, and they were on the other side of the road. Why did the elk cross the road? They love the paparazzi!
We lounged in the room the rest of the evening, watching Monday Night football, and making a flexible plan for the next day. We crashed early and slept hard!
Tune in tomorrow for more of Beth & Todd’s excellent adventure, as we see how their next day turned out.
Categories: Guest Blog