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2002-05-27 - 12:08 a.m.

Hello from Laughlin, Nevada! It's 100 degrees Farenheit (37 degrees Celsius) right now. It was 88 degrees in the middle of the night! That's just way too hot. Anyway....sorry I've been so bad about posting, but we've just been so busy everyday stopping at every possible tourist attraction or photo opportunity. Last night, for example, we got here at 10:00pm after driving for about 9 hours, then stayed out until about 3:00 in the morning, touring the casinos. So you see, that leaves very little time to post. But today is our day off....we slept until noon (we had to!)....and I'm now waiting to get an appointment for a I thought I'd try and write something.

First of all, Laughlin is like a tiny, microscopic version of Las's all about gambling. But there are only a handfull of casinos here, and they are all sitting along side the Colorado River. So, if you don't like to gamble, you can always get on a jetski or a speed boat and speed down the river. Oddly, I don't really care much for gambling or boating! So why am I here?! Well, basically it was one of the few places on our way back that had rooms available! (Oh, but we did win 160 quarters on some silly horse racing game....Woo hoo!!) But more about Laughlin later.

Now, I should get back to the beginning and tell you about the trip....

The Grand Canyon. When you think of the Grand Canyon, you think of wilderness, remoteness, and peace. At least those are things that come to mind when I think of it. So I was a bit worried the first morning when I was woken by the sound of tour buses, helicopters, and airplanes....all loading up with tourists and making their way out to the Canyon. It seemed a little incongruous to be out in the middle of nowhere, but yet have the traffic sounds of the big city. Then, I was quite worried that I had driven all this way to have to fight my way through throngs of people just to see the thing. Even worse, we were led to believe that we could only view the thing by getting on one of those tour buses (my worst nightmare! I hate tour buses....but that's another story). But, fear not....for that was not the case!

To get to the Canyon, you drive through miles and miles of desert scrub and then forest-like terrain, to an elevation of 7000 feet. (about a mile and a half above sea level). And you're driving along, thinking that this is not at all like any pictures you've seen of the thing....and you start to get disappointed, thinking that you have been misled. I mean, not only are there all these tourists and buses and things, but the road out to it doesn't even look right. So you get cranky. But start to get a glimps of it through the trees....and then you see it.

Of course, there's nothing I can tell you that could possibly give you any idea how grand it really is. This is something you must see for yourself, and it is worth every bit of effort to get there. This is no run of the mill tourist attraction. This is the real thing.

We drove right up, and were able to park just a few feet from the path that goes right along the edge. Even though all those throngs of people had gone out to it, it was not crowded at all. There were times when we were the only ones on the path. The silence and solitude made us feel (for a moment) like we were the only people on the planet.

We walked for hours, then went back into town to have lunch. Unfortunately, at that point, we didn't know that there were also some fabulous lodges on the edge of the Canyon that had restaurants and lounges. But when we came back later in the day, we found them and had cocktails at the El Tovar. This is the place you should stay when you go to the Canyon. I think you've got to book months in advance, but if you want to get an authentic feel for what the place was like before tourists discovered it, this is the place to go. If you don't stay there, you should at least go have drinks in their lounge. It was just such a great, great place....again, you just have to go there....words won't do it justice.

Well, that's all I'm going to write right's been very difficult getting an internet connection in these far away places. I thought it might be better here, but no. ( But maybe that's a good thing....we are, after all, trying to "get away from it all!") And tomorrow we might be home....and back to broadband internet!! Yay!

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2002-05-25 - 12:39 a.m.
Hello from Flagstaff, Arizona! I have many things to say....and would love to give you a great big long post....but you wouldn't believe how hard (and how costly) it is to get internet access in these small towns!! Tomorrow, I'll be in Laughlin, Nevada....with hopefully a real internet connection.

Since it's now almost one in the morning and all I've been able to do is upload these photos....that'll have to hold you over until I can make a real post! See you soon...wish you were here!

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