Near the end of March we began our journey home, travelling north to Williams, Arizona the last town on Route 66 to be bypassed by the I-40 highway. It was great to return to the pine covered hills and see a variety of views of the snow capped San Francisco Peaks. We often talk about the early explorers and settlers of these rugged regions and imagine the conditions and struggles experienced by the builders of the roads and installation of power lines. I often snap images of power towers standing majestically over the land they look down upon. We stayed in the Williams RV Park our first night and walked past the memories of Route 66 in the town of Williams.
On our way to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in the morning we passed a few sculptures of elk, a plane museum, a gas station with a few vintage cars on display, some western themed metal sculptures at a garden centre and no, we do not have room to bring home a metal stagecoach and horses for your garden, and a funky abandoned Flintstone RV Park. Once in The Grand Canyon National Park we saw one young elk but the majority of wildlife were the tons of tourists. We were able to stop at a few different lookouts than on our last visit to the canyon a couple of years ago when we had arrived by train. Note that none of my canyon pictures have any colour enhancement; that is just the natural beauty of place!
Following our canyon-side picnic, we found a great quiet campsite and set up the coach. A huge rib cage and a couple of hoofed legs discarded by deer hunters was the marker for our site. We had some great hikes about with Dixie enjoying the grass and cooler temperatures. The Arizona Trail is a hiking, cross-country ski path that goes for miles though the area. We went up the Arizona Trail Lookout Tower that provided amazing views out over the forest and canyon. Our silence was broken from time to time as helicopters whizzed overhead taking tourists out for spectacular views. It was warm enough to sit outside and have a campfire. The only downside were the dusty roads we travelled to and from the site leaving the freshly polished motor home looking forlorn.
We continued our canyon viewing the next day and toured the Desert-View Watchtower, a 70-foot high stone building. The four story structure was designed by architect Mary Colter in 1932. It was created to resemble an Ancient Pueblo People’s watchtower. Murals inside by Fred Kabotie depict various symbols and characters of the Hopi Peoples. The combination of the stone colours and patterns resemble that of Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. Great views can be had from the top of the tower, especially of the Colorado River meandering across the base of the canyon.