After wintering in Florida, we returned to Dallas a bit for the birth of our grandson, then hit to road again to explore the beautiful Southwest. Here’s some of what we got to see for last month, in two installments:
We originally intended to head straight from Dallas to the Grand Canyon, but couldn’t help a detour to Santa Fe. It was an easy drive from Dallas, a straight shot through on I-40 until a turn off right before Santa Fe. After driving 10 hours we were both pretty tired, so we just pulled into our campsite in the Santa Fe National Forest, where we had reserved a space for two nights. The next day, we unhooked the truck from the Airstream and ventured into town. We strolled the plaza and wandered into the Georgia O’Keefe museum not too far away. There were about 9 or 10 rooms full of her artwork, and even I, who don’t pretend to be an art buff, appreciated the beauty of her displayed paintings. Deciding to eat our big meal midday, we stopped in for lunch at Palacio Cafe. I had the Palacio club piled high with three meats, Swiss Cheese, tomato, lettuce, and of course, topped with chopped green chile. The chile really kicked the sandwich into a whole different category. Utterly amazing. Denise had the chicken enchiladas which she enjoyed equally as much.
Grand Canyon Village
After our two nights in Santa Fe, we packed up and hit the road for a 7 hour drive to the Grand Canyon. We stayed for a week at Trailer Village, which remarkably, is the only RV campsite in the park that has full hookups. This privately-owned RV park (separate from the National Park service) was certainly nothing to write home about, but it was nice being connected to water and electric after long days hiking and exploring. Trailer Village is situated on the South Rim of the Canyon close to all the activity of the Grand Canyon Village.
I was glad we came this time of year. We brought the girls one year in July when the weather was just unbearably hot, and we all walked around sweating and grumbling the whole time. The cooler temperatures made long day hikes more enjoyable and there were noticeably fewer people around since school wasn’t yet out for the summer. We particularly liked the South Kaibab trail, which though short, had stunning views of the Canyon below. After our week at Trailer Village, we splurged on an overnight mule ride excursion to Phantom Lodge at the bottom of the Canyon. I have always hated heights, so there were moments I didn’t particularly care for as we made our descent down into the Canyon. The mules walk much closer to the edge of the trail than I was expecting. I don’t know if the the nerves just left me ravenous or if the steak was really just that good, but the dinner we were served upon our arrival at the lodge was phenomenal.
It was funny after just a night away, how relieved we were to see the Airstream again when we came out of the Canyon. Home sweet home.