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Friday, November 6, 2009

We're BAACKKK on track!

Well, today was an interesting day out here in Arizona. We woke up and headed to the auto shop that the front desk lady at Motel 6 recommended. We walked in and were warmly greeted by the wife of the hubby/wife combo who run the shop. Matt showed her the piece and explained that we were traveling along the bumpy road trying to get to the Grand Canyon Skywalk when it fell off, saying we thought it was the hub that kept the pully on for the serpentine belt. The lady said, "I think it is for the A/C." She knows her stuff!! I think she's the business brains of the duo, but I'm sure she has picked up some car smarts over the years, running the shop with her husband. Anyway...

She took the piece and showed her husband. They came in a few seconds later and explained to us that the piece that fell off is part of the A/C system; when you turn on the A/C, the piece that fell off sucks up against the piece that is still on the car. This allows the cold air to begin to circulate. Without the piece, the A/C can't work. But it has nothing to do with the belt, and the belt will not deteriorate faster or stop working because this piece is not on the car. We told him that our A/C doesn't work anyway, and he said the best thing: "Then forget about it, you don't need it." Really?? YES! So we had an oil change done, and then decided to keep the piece for a souvenier... or something... We will never get our A/C fixed in that vehicle, after already spending almost a grand on it in Hawaii with no lasting results. It's windows down for us!

So after squaring away the vehicle, we took off on Route 66. We headed east and saw lots of desert terrain, dust devils, the biggest tumbleweed ever [soooo wish I could have jumped out to take a photo but going 70 down the road doesn't allow that too easily]. We went through a couple lovely little historic towns on Rt 66, and looked in a few gift shops. Our destination was the Grand Canyon though, so we didn't dillydally too long. Kind of wish we could have, but ahhh well. I don't really need to buy much for souveniers otherwise I'm going to have to buy a mansion to house it all. We went through Williams, AZ and turned north, in the direction of the Canyon.

As we were passing a small collection of buildings, I was busily searching for a sign of anything fast and easy to eat, ok fast food. Suddenly there were police lights behind us, and sure enough, they were meant for us. 3 nerve wracking minutes later, we had a warning for speed. Matt hadn't seen the 45 mile an hour speed sign early enough and was in the process of slowing from 65 to 45 when the police gunned us. He was a very nice guy, and asked us if we were moving to MN from HI [I told him we had temporary registration bc our title was getting transferred from HI to MN]. Then he said "That red car over there is my wife. I'm going to go pull her over." Ha, what a cool guy! I was so thankful, the prayers I was saying for those 3 minutes straight paid off. From there on out, the rest of the day was spent traveling at cruise control set at whatever the speed limit was. Yes, we got passed a bunch but hey... this is NOT the time to get a ticket and make our car insurance go up!!

Back to the Grand Canyon... we arrived at about 3 pm at the park and entered. The bad thing when visiting these places is that a person could easily spend a week or more in each of these national parks. We have too much we want to see and too many places we want to go to spend that much time there, so I often feel like we're skipping over important and lovely things. But I guess there's not much we can do about that... Matt and I drove all around the southern rim of the Canyon and went to many lookouts and guess what... I snapped a TON of photos! Surprised?? NOPE haha! There was a shuttle route that is blocked off to the personal vehicles that I wanted to take, but it was too late in the afternoon to do everything. We decided to drive to the accessible lookouts ourself and that worked out ok. We saw the sun set on the Grand Canyon rim, so that is a wonderful thing. It was pretty chilly, standing in the wind on the rim! I am in the process of charging up my camera and I will be processing the photos soon [I hope!]. There were several fires around the area, my guess is controlled forest burns. That made for some hazy skies, along with the pollution coming from the lower CA area. That's what the signs said anyway... I think that a little tweaking in Lightroom should be able to bring back some of the definition of the canyon walls though... or so I hope.

We then started our search for a motel after sunset. We went through lots of desert before coming to a small little town. It had a motel that was connected to the biggest AZ gift shop I have seen yet, but it was a little above our budget. The guy at the front desk recommended one down the road so we headed to check it out. Sometimes things just give you an iffy feeling though, and that is what this Inn did to us. There were no lights on and no cars around, besides the front desk, and Matt didn't like that the motel was pink. [Haha, I have NO idea his logic but hey... he has intuition too, so I can't argue.] So we continued on to Flagstaff. We had our choice of about 50+ lodging options, but we couldn't find the Motel 6's for the life of us! We ended up throwing in the towel and just picking one and here we are! Several hours later, both on our computers, watching something on the history channel, finishing up a pizza from Dominos. Let me tell you... life on the road is NOT condusive to a healthy diet. Matt and I are already planning our workout regime when we get home. [It will be the holidays when we get home though, so I'll start AFTER the New Year ;)].

The plans from here on out are pretty much up in the air, besides we know we are going to visit some Marine Corps friends in Dallas. Then our next set destination is Winter Haven, Florida to see my aunt and uncle, hopefully right in time for Thanksgiving! So from here until then, who knows what we'll run into and what we'll decide to do. If anyone has spent much time in New Mexico, Texas, and the states between TX and Florida, let me know if there are things we HAVE to do, or things we should make sure we see. I want to make sure we maximize our time out here on the open road.

Oh, and just a little tidbit of happy news from the Pettit side of my family... My cousin Mindy and her husband Tony welcomed their first little baby into their family today: Colton Charles Miles! I'm so happy for them, and SO excited to see Colton when we get home. Oh, and even better... he was born on our grandma's birthday too, what a special day!

Until next time!



  1. Always rely on your intuition. :) I'm glad to hear you didn't have to do anything but an oil change at the car shop. Those things can be way expensive. Love ya and stay safe!



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