and now back to our regularly scheduled blogging...
BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: WILD WILD WEST EDITION #4
DAY 7 – Friday, June 29, 2007: I think that even Mr. Lee is finally getting tired. We awoke this morning, late as it turned out since where we are seems to exist in a strange time anomaly. We are in Utah now, but right across the border from Arizona, which is in a different time zone. However, Arizona doesn't observe daylight savings time, but the Navajo reservations in Arizona do observe it. What I'm trying to say is that we never know what time it is out here, and we keep crossing the border into Arizona, so our clock was set wrong. Anyways, today was the day we were going to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The North Rim is higher up and cooler than the Southern Rim. It is also less crowded with tourists, but there were so many people there that I can't imagine what the southern rim must be like. We ate lunch in the Grand Canyon Lodge, with a view to die for, and then we set out to walk along the a trail to one of the lookouts. There was a lot of downhill walking, and a lot of very rude people who pretty much just try and shove you off of the edge instead of trying to share the pathways. We finally made it down to the point and the view was spectacular. It was literally awe inspiring. There were too many people to really stay down there for long, so I started back up the trail to the lodge. Of course, the inevitable effect of all of the downhill walking on our way out there was the subsequent uphill walking we had to do on the way back. I had to stop four times before I made it back to the top. Once everyone caught up with me, we had to sit for a while more to be able to make it back to the gift shop. I thought we'd be spending the rest of the day there, but after we visited the store, we left. Mr. Lee asked if we wanted to stop anywhere else, or did we want to go back to the motel and sleep. All in favor of sleep say “I”. Motion carried in a unanimous vote. We came back and sacked out for a couple of hours and then went out to eat and to shop for souvenirs. I have been looking for a heavy silver and turquoise bracelet, and the place I went had a lot of them, but the only one I liked enough to buy cost $1500. I decided to wait until my next trip for that one! : ) Our tire also went flat today because we picked up a screw somewhere, so that had to be fixed. While Steve and Mr. Lee took off the flat tire and put on the spare, I sang the song “Stouthearted Men” to keep up their spirits. I have now lost my singing privileges for the rest of the trip. : (
DAY 8– Saturday, June 30, 2007: It was the day that almost didn’t seem to end. Today we headed back to Las Vegas so that we would be able to be up and at the airport in time for our, once again, early flight out the next day. We took our time getting out of Kanab, and we set off. We stopped for a short time at a place called Pipe Springs, which is an old Mormon home, built like a fortress, over a natural spring on Piute Indian land. It was a very interesting place, still pretty much looking the same as it did back in the day. However, there was something odd about the whole shebang to me. OK, bear with me and then tell me what you think: We were told that the land had originally belonged to the Piutes. Because of the natural spring, it was a natural place for natives to stop for a while, live, harvest wild grasses and food and hunt. Of course, there aren’t that many places out in the desert that have the kind of water that is needed to support a village, so this was an important place. At some point, either Brigham Young or some other honcho of the Mormon church sends out the Mormon settlers to live long and prosper and what-not out west. So a group of settlers finds this big, beautiful area of lush grasses and natural springs, settles there and lets loose their thousands of sheep and cattle to graze. This destroys the grasslands, of course. The Piute Indians, a rather peaceable people, couldn’t make them leave so they lost their hunting and harvesting area and moved on to someplace else. This, of course, was a sad and not unusual thing to happen back then, as we all know. Then the Navajo Indians get pissed that the white man is on Indian land, so they start to steal animals and fight with the white man, and kill a few of each. So the settlers build this big house, or fort, over the spring, cutting off the water from all of the Indians and anything else that might come along. None of this is what confuses me, however. I can dig the whole “Go Forth and Multiply” thing, even at the expense of rousting out a whole civilization. I can dig it, but not like it. What I can’t understand is whether or not the Indians, who’s reservation this fort is now on, are being quite honest about how well the Mormons and Indians (sounds like it would be one hell of a Super Bowl, doesn’t it?) actually worked together and still work together. I got a weird feeling that both the lady who worked at the counter as well as the tour guide – who were both not-Indians- were trying really hard to justify what happened, when very clearly it was wrong. They were also stressing very heavily that both peoples worked together harmoniously to bring about the end result of this museum or whatever it is. Anyway, it troubled me.
So we passed onward and stopped briefly again to see if we could find a glass fly catcher (don’t even ask) and then we motored back into Vegas. We had a few hours before it got too late, and we didn’t have anything planned, so I asked if it would be OK to go back to the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops, that hoss-daddy mall I spoke of earlier- and shop a bit. They said it was fine, because we ended up missing that statue thing Mr. Lee wanted to see, so we would just catch the showing of it that day. We had to park at the Treasure Island parking area and take a shuttle to the Mirage, where you walk over to Caesars and into the mall. We jumped onto the tram and went about 2 feet when the tram got stuck. We were in a glass tube with a lot of other people, and we couldn’t get out. I came really close to having a claustrophobic meltdown. I was just able to keep myself from the ultimate act of panic, which in this case would have been flinging myself against the glass walls of the tram and screaming for help, by remembering that there is only so much oxygen in the room and screaming would have been a big waste of it. I almost didn’t make it, though. We finally started moving again after about 15 agonizing minutes, and we got over to the shops. I was really hoping that Steve and Mr. Lee would have gone on to do something manly, because I know how much Steve hates to shop, and I’m pretty sure that Mr. Lee would be bored to tears if he went into women’s clothing shops with me. So I couldn’t enjoy myself knowing that they were going to be bored. They finally found a shop they wanted to go into, the F.A.O. Schwartz or however it’s spelled, and I took that time to run back and go into a store I wanted to see. I guess I was wrong about designers not making clothes for chubby girls, because I was able to get a really great pair of jeans and a pretty top from Lucky Jeans. I was in and out in enough time to make it back to the fellers with 2 minutes to spare! We watched a very impressive, but somehow creepy, animatronic show and then we went on our way out. Of course, I had to make one more stop. Vosges Chocolate, which only has three stores in the USA, happened to have a “purple room” in this mall. I had heard about them before, but I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to buy any without having to buy them online and run the risk of them melting when they shipped. So I went inside and bought a ton of chocolate. Oh, yeah. The poor clerk was new, so it took me forever, but I left with enough truffles to last a while. They also gave me two ice packs, because it was 111 degrees outside – no, that’s not an exaggeration, that’s how hot it was – and I didn’t want them to melt before I got a chance to eat them. When we finally left and had dinner, it was time to go back to the hotel and pack up. It seemed like I had everything I owned in my suitcase. Since I had no idea what kind of weather we would be in, I packed too much (a problem I am determined to stop ASAP) and my case was to it’s limit. So Mr. Lee gave me his fold away suitcase and I packed the excess into that. I found out while we were packing, that at one point, we had been in the same hotel as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Celine Dion. Of course, I didn’t see any of these people, but that was still rather cool to know I could have! : ) Then blessed sleep.