Friday, September 29, 2017

Day 15 - Scenic Views of Dangerously Stupid People and Cookie Monster. Sort of.

Day 16
Williams, AZ - Moriarty, NM
Miles Driven - 513
Total Time in Transit - Who knows?
View From Hotel - Dark

First, as I know you have been waiting impatiently for something really nasty to look at while you eat lunch or drink coffee or whatever it is you do when you read this, here is a picture of the burned, blistered sole of my foot from the beach yesterday.

You're welcome. And, I DID wash it, thank you very much.

The view from our hotel. Possibly the Our Lady Of Toasted Soles Church.

After yet another hotel breakfast, we headed north on 64 to the South Rim of The Grand Canyon.

There are notes on the brochures that the rangers give you suggesting that parking will get worse and worse as the day progresses. If you arrive before 8:00 am, you may find parking still available in lot A. After 9:00 am. there may still be parking available in Lot B.

As we would be arriving closer to 10:30, it seems that parking at the hotel and walking may have been a smarter choice.

The first thing we saw when entering the actual park area was Cookie Monster.

Not the real Cookie Monster, of course, don't be silly. He lives all the way over on Sesame Street and doesn't even have a drivers license.  I hope.

What we saw was a sad, mangy, sweat-soaked approximation of Cookie Monster.

"Would you like a hug?"

"Nah. I don't think so, pal."

These guys did, though!

"How was The Grand Canyon?"
"We got our picture taken with a sweaty guy in a hairy blue suit!"

It turns out that he was in an area that was reserved for Freedom of Speech Activities.

And, really, I'd rather hear about Cookie Monster than The Orange Monster.

As we dodged his sweaty proffered hugs, we approached the canyon and saw The Pose.

In the fine print of the brochure is a strictly enforced regulation stating that if you are being photographed in front of the canyon, you MUST put your arms up over your head. Failure to do so will result in a hug from Cookie Monster Guy.

I am at The Grand Canyon! It is grand. You can tell because my arms are up!
Arms up!

Some people went to extreme, terrifying lengths to avoid a hug from Cookie.
"No! No! I had my arms up! Leave me alone!"
We were amazed at how many people hopped over the safety fence and posed for incredibly dangerous pictures.

True Fact: We overheard a park ranger say that, on average, 4-6 people die each year from hopping fences to take pictures.

This kids is doing a handstand at the edge of a sheer cliff that is easily 200 feet high.

I think a hug from Cookie would be safer.

The cliff on the right is where he was doing his handstand. What could possibly go wrong?

Kerri snapped this excellent action photo of a kid doing a back-flip at the edge of the same cliff.
Go ahead, zoom in, he's right in the middle of the picture.
For now.

This guy spent at least a half an hour walking back and forth along this cliff with a tripod, taking pictures of himself (arms outstretched, of course.)
After each picture, he would pick up his tripod and walk back to show his girlfriend the picture.

And, when she didn't like it he'd take another one. 
And another one.

And another one.

And another one.

We were able to get a closer view because he did this for so long.

Lookin' good, buddy!
And, here is the art director girlfriend.
This lady hopped the fence and then sat on the edge, affecting a "natural" pose.
"I often just relax on the precipice of a 300 drop."
He husband, on the right, took about 50 pictures of her trying to get one that "looked natural".

I have what many people would call, a debilitating fear of heights.
Watching all these people was a butt-puckering exercise in terror for me. It was bad enough that I considered getting a nice, comforting hug from Cookie Monster.

There were occasional views that were unmarred by morons, however.


Also lovely.
Well, not COMPLETELY moron-free, I guess.
Go enjoy a National Park while advertising an administration that want to do away with National Parks.

Excellent shirt, too! 
Ahhh, moron-free again.

A photo of my evil underground lair in the desert. Don't tell anyone, please.

It is, as advertised, grand.

And all too soon, it was time to get some lunch and hit the road.

But first, a Canyon Selfie!

Fancy lunch in the back of the van.

I found this amazing clump of tortilla chips in the bag of chips I bought. It lasted me several hundred miles as I gnawed at it during the drive.

We hadn't been on the road too long before we started seeing signs for the Geronimo, AZ trading post.
Sign after sign after sign.

"Oh, no," Tori groaned. "We're going there, aren't we?"
"I'll tell you what," I offered. "We'll only stop if there is a huge, plywood teepee on top of a hill advertising this place."

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Is it the greatest store in the world?

You decide. There is a genuine plywood Indian Village in the parking lot. Also HUGE chucks of petrified wood. 

A vast and alarming selection of classy gifts.

The redneck theme was heavy here.

Can you picture the sad dude, sitting there, carving and painting these day after day after day?

Oh, I get it!
No, wait. I was wrong.
What the heck is that supposed to mean?

It only gets more confusing.

The Out of Order sign on the bathroom was well worn from many, many years of use.
Don't worry, they have porta-teepees in the parking lot.

In case you didn't get enough decorative knife holders in 50,000 Silver Dollars, here's another chance!

Security cameras work better when the power cord isn't bundled up and tied to support pipe.
Is theft really a big problem here?

Advertised as the worlds largest petrified log.
I tried to independently verify it, but the reception on my new Redneck Cellphone was disappointingly spotty.

Genuine plywood teepee.

View from inside. It smelled alarmingly like urine inside. Perhaps they should get those bathrooms back in order soon.

Tourist Trap Selfie!

Back on the road, there were too many wonders for us to stop and enjoy them all.

Please, can we stop, Kerri? PLEASE?


Into New Mexico for MORE roadside delights.

Random giant arrows.

Abandoned trading post.

The most terrifying call to prayer I have ever seen.
What is up with that demon kid?
And where is the "P" in "pray"?
Did I Ray today?
No. But I will. Just don't eat my soul, Demon Kid!

The gun shop.

A luxury casino, trading post, bar, restaurant, gift shop.
Once again, Kerri would not let me stop.

We drove on and on and on passing one garden of earthly delights after another until we finally hitched up in Moriarty, New Mexico where we spent a quiet night eagerly anticipating tomorrow when we're going to...

Roswell, NM!