A Travellerspoint blog

September 2019

Desert Botanic Garden & hail!

We spent the afternoon at the Desert Botanical Garden, just south of Scottsdale. Hit a bit of the forecast rain, but not enough to curtail our stroll around the gardens.large_MVIMG_20190923_131111.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_140754.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_134907.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_144605.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_142117.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_144909.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_150431.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_132123.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_132555.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_141905.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_141929.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_140101.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_132302.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_132233.jpglarge_00002IMG_00002_BURST20190923132946.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_141849.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_133040.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_132636.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_150401.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_145238.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_131042.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_134431.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_135605.jpglarge_IMG_20190923_142349.jpglarge_MVIMG_20190923_140123.jpglarge_MVIMG_20190923_140658.jpg

Then, we are dinner at Tap and Bowl, which has excellent fresh food and decent beer with good prices. Steve had the fried chicken Mac and cheese and I had the salmon with cauliflower rice and veggies. Really yummy.

We hung around for a while watching the thunder and lightning show.


Posted by Deb Godley 18:46 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Coyotes & Scottsdale

View Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Coyotes and Diamondbacks on Deb Godley's travel map.

First, an early morning sunrise from the historic railroad trail.

Odd parking style at the IHOP.

Our Hoover Dam guide suggested stopping at Hemenway Park in Boulder City to see the big horn sheep. Apparently, every morning, and sometimes evening, the sheep travel down to lie on the cool grass in this pretty park on the edge of town, only 10 min from the HD.

A 4-hr drive to Scottsdale, then 40 min to Gila Arena for the Coyotes pre-season hockey game. The view from the seats and the beef brisket were both exceptional. Coyotes post a shoot-out win over the Ducks 4-3. The area outside the arena was nice- good party atmosphere.
Winning goal:

We’re staying at the Howard Johnson Inn, in the downtown Scottsdale area. A bit motel-ish, but the room is comfy and sufficiently large. Everything is clean it includes a continental breakfast. So a good deal for about $50US/night.

This morning I took a quick fast-walk to the canal. Lovely area.

I can certainly see the snow-bird attraction here. Wouldn’t mind spending Jan-Mar...

Posted by Deb Godley 10:12 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Hoover Dam, and the other end of the historic railroad trail

View Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Coyotes and Diamondbacks on Deb Godley's travel map.

We arrived at the Hoover Dam near opening to snag a spot on the first-come-first-serve all-inclusive tour of the Dam, with tunnels and turbines and seismic boxes, oh my.

The writing on the wall (0/50) signifies a location, used so problems could be reported at exact locations.


Outside, you can see the Art Deco influence. The Dam was built to be beautiful inside and out, with the expectation of millions of tourists marvelling at the wonder, as we did today.

Imagine being the guy that ran over the beloved mascot...

After touring the Dam inside and out, I walked up to the “new” bridge, built in 2010. Since then, the route from Nevada to Arizona goes over this bypass, instead of directly over the Dam. Great view of the Dam from up here and interesting plaques along the way. I walked from NV to AZ.

We drove to the Lake Mead lookout because the map showed it intersected with the historic railroad trail, which we wanted to walk from this other side (since I walked from the Lodge yesterday). Unfortunately, the map was not entirely accurate. The overlook passes over tunnel five of the trail. Since we were determined, we scrambled and slipped down the scree to the trail - and then back up again :)
So, I’ve walked the trail from both directions up to the currently-closed tunnel 3.

Back to the hotel for a few beers and snacks lounging in the shade next to the pool. Lovely.

Posted by Deb Godley 16:27 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Views from the Rim & a historic trail

View Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Coyotes and Diamondbacks on Deb Godley's travel map.

Wednesday was spent on the South Rim. Tons of pics, including sunset and sunrise. We weren’t in the best spot for either, but still enjoyed the view.

On Thursday we packed up early and drove to Williams for breakfast at Anna’s, parking across the street at the home of the Route 66 zip line...

...on the way to Hoover Dam Lodge...

...And the historic trail, which I walked from the Lodge to the currently-closed tunnel 3.

Posted by Deb Godley 17:39 Archived in USA Comments (0)


View Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Coyotes and Diamondbacks on Deb Godley's travel map.

Monday morning found us decked out in the required attire - long sleeved shirt and pants, wide brimmed hats, bandanas, and non-tread shoes - for our mule trek into the canyon.
We’d booked through their lottery last August as soon as Sept dates became available. Only 10 mule riders per day are allowed and a limited number of overnight hikers.
Accommodations in the canyon are at the Phantom Ranch and nearby campsites.

After an orientation, which included demonstration of the leather crop we were to use to “motivate” the donkeys by smacking them repeatedly, and by that I mean almost continuously. I was so bad at this motivation aspect that the guide gave up on me and roped my mule to his. This was supposed to shame me in some way, but it was fantastic! Not only was I no longer being yelled at to “motivate Penelope”, but I didn’t have to use the crop and now I was up front and able to hear the guide. Simon and I chatted pretty much the whole way down and I was able to sit back and enjoy the ride :) and the fantastic scenery.

We started out from the Bright Angel Trailhead

The trail is very steep in parts and sometimes you feel as though you are hanging off the edge as the mule takes a sharp turn on the switchback. Mules always have the right of way and hikers are required to find a spot against the wall and stay put while the mule train passes. The hikers were all very friendly as we said hello in passing.

Steve took most of the pics from his mount, Maude.

And I took a few from our lunch spot.

You can really see the switchbacks in these shots:

We stayed in cabin #2 at Phantom Ranch and enjoyed a big steak dinner.

Here are a few pictures from the night in the canyon.

I was surprised to find that my butt wasn’t as sore as I expected, but (and this is a big butt), my knees were in agony the whole time. At every stop, I removed my feet from the stirrups to straighten my legs to relieve the pain in my knees. Although my knees seemed to recover almost immediately upon dismounting, for the last couple of days my back has been really sore. So, all in all, for me - I would rather have hiked in and out. If we ever go back, I would definitely be an overnight hiker and stay at Phantom Ranch again.

However, we had a great group of ten riders and, along with Simon and Katie as guides, we all had a great experience.

Posted by Deb Godley 17:19 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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