ROAD TRIP TO MAINE: DAYS 1 & 2
This was the last picture I took as we crossed over the California state line into Nevada.
We knew we had to get In 'n' Out just one more time before we left for the East Coast.
While the fries are vegan friendly, not much else is, so we hadn't been in quite a while. In fact, we had even resorted to making our own vegan version of the Double-Double.
But these fries? Slathered in ketchup, they were worth every damn bite.
I loved them.
And it was a fantastic sending off, really. We drove through Arizona to the Grand Canyon, arriving just before Sunset. We made PB&J sammies, grabbed our water bottles and our puppy and headed out along the South Rim of the canyon.
As you can see, Maddie loved the view. Or maybe was terrified of it. Luckily, there was a fence either way.
Some of our Grand Canyon pictures are just before the sun set, and the brighter, more orange ones were taken right as the sun was setting.
The view was spectacular. You feel very, very small looking over such an expanse. And frankly, its amazing that ALL of that rock was carved down by the lone Colorado River.
To quote Wikipedia, if we may:
Nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history has been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to its present-day configuration.
I definitely couldn't have explained that any better myself.
The canyon is so massive, and so breathtaking. We were truly luckily to have made it for sunset. When we left California we thought we might arrive just after dark and miss everything; luckily, parts of Arizona, including the Grand Canyon, don't use Daylight Savings Time, so we were an hour ahead and made it just in time to pack a picnic and watch the sun go down.
Thank you for that, Arizona.
Alex and I got plenty of good pictures of each other and Maddie.
She was being a very well behaved little lady- which made taking tons of pictures way easier on us.
As the sun set, the temperature dropped pretty quickly, so after about an hour of exploring, we piled back into the car. We drove clear 'till 3 am, where we crashed at a truck stop in New Mexico for the night.
The next morning we got an early start, driving through the Texas panhandle to Oklahoma. We slept at another truck stop curled up in the front seats with Maddie at our feet, this time in Missouri.
The picture above is Maddie first thing the next morning. Cutest!
She loved when we stopped in Texas for lunch; there was a huge abandoned lot next to the rest stop that she got to run around in and explore.
There was also an old saloon-like building with a rusty car and jukebox out front, and a surviving inlaid design in the concrete that told us nothing. But it was a great photo-op!
Waking up on day 3 in Missouri was nice. We were pretty restless, and hadn't slept well the night before. Plus, we were starting to get on each others nerves a bit; a break from the car, walkin' around St. Louis was just what we needed.
[Also, I had a head injury about 10 days before this destination, and Alex had to remove 2 staples from my head this same morning. Without being gruesome, he handled it like a champ. I love him.]
I had never been to St. Louis, or spent any time in the midwest. The accents are fantastic and St. Louis seems very much like a small Boston to me. I liked it a lot!
The most fantastic thing to see if you're visiting is the Gateway to the West, The St. Louis Arch. At 630 feet, it is the tallest man-made monument in the US. You can take a tram to the very top, but we had a 60 pound pitbull with us, and for some reason they frowned upon us all boarding together.
We ate clif bars in the park under the arch, overlooking the Mississippi River, before exploring the city for about an hour. We piled back in the car, and headed east for Illinois.
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