Wild West Road Trip {Day 6}

11/07/2019



After two and a half years of planning and saving, we finally took our big Wild West Road Trip in July! We drove 8,775 miles over 35 days, spent 203 hours in the van, stayed in 26 different hotels/cabins/Airbnbs, and visited 12 national parks, 1 national historic site, 4 national monuments, 2 tribal parks, and 16 states! It was a crazy awesome trip - of course there were a few rough patches here and there, but overall it was amazing to spend so much uninterrupted time with my favorite people and having such gorgeous views made it even better!

I'll eventually get through blogging the whole trip, because so many people have asked for details, but it's going to take a while to get through it all because I still have thousands of photos to get through! By the way, some of these photos I'm posting were taken by my husband - he has a great eye and he took a TON of photos! 

If you want to see more of the story, check out Days 1-3 here and days 4-5 here.


This day was a busy one - we saw two national parks and some iconic Route 66 stops!

We saw the Painted Desert portion of Petrified Forest National Park on Day 5, but we didn't have time for the actual petrified forest, so we backtracked a little bit on this morning to check it out! Luckily, it was only about 25 minutes from the Wigwam Motel!


Our first stop was the Rainbow Forest Museum to get our national park passports stamped, then we walked the Giant Logs Trail right behind it. There are more trails with more petrified wood, but we felt like this was enough, especially since we were trying to hurry to make it the Grand Canyon that day.










After the trail, we drove through more of the park that we missed the day before. This park really surprised us - we weren't expecting much, we really just went because it was on our way and it was another stamp in our passports,  but it was actually really cool!





This is where Route 66 used to go right through the park. They left the old telephone poles so you can see where the road used to be.











No Route 66 trip is complete without a stop at Jackrabbit Trading Post. It's a fun little gift shop and of course we had to get photos on the jackrabbit out front!




Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see...





I promised the kids lots of ice cream on this trip. We didn't end up having it every day like I really wanted, but we did have a lot! I had an amazing chai tea milkshake here and it was one of my favorite ice creams - right up there with huckleberry ice cream in Wyoming and Jefferson's original recipe ice cream at Mt. Rushmore.


We made a quick stop for a few pics at Twin Arrows, another iconic Route 66 stop.



We finally made it to the Grand Canyon later that afternoon. Honestly, we were excited to see it but I was also a little worried that we wouldn't be super impressed. I know that sounds ridiculous now, but yeah...I worry about ridiculous things sometimes. Obviously, it was amazing, and photos definitely don't do it justice! I know everyone says that, but seriously...it's amazing. Daniel overheard someone saying she wouldn't call it a grand canyon. Maybe great, but not grand. She was crazy, of course. It's definitely grand.







Our first view was at the Desert View Watchtower. It was pretty spectacular.



















After the watchtower, we drove along Desert View Drive and checked out a few more overlooks on our way to the Shoshone Point Trail.



Abbie insisted on a few dance photos, and I'm super glad we took the time for them.





Shoshone Point Trail is an easy 2 mile trail out to a fabulous view of the canyon. It was a fairly uncrowded trail but there were more people at the actual point than I expected. It still wasn't too bad though. Overall, this park was not nearly as crowded as I expected and we had a really great time here.













Watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon is a moment that I hope I never ever forget. It was so perfect. Even though I was also kind of freaking out that one of the kids was going to fall over the edge. Spoiler alert - no one did!

Since we were out at Shoshone Point at sunset, we had to walk a mile back to the van in the dark. Luckily we had flashlights with us, but it was still a little scary - only because we were worried about bears and mountain lions.

We stayed at the Yavapai Lodge that night. It was about average as far as hotels go, but it was super convenient to stay right in the park! Another advantage was seeing the stars! Being so far from any city, the sky is super dark and perfect for stargazing. Unfortunately, we were all exhausted and didn't feel like heading out to any especially amazing vantage point, but what we could see just walking around the restaurant and hotel was pretty awesome.

That's it for Day 6 - up next is Saguaro cacti, more of Route 66, and Joshua Tree National Park!

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