Grocery Shopping Day

When you live way out in a remote location, like we do, going grocery shopping is an all day affair. Yesterday we decided to go to Hurricane, Utah. We decided to go there because 1) they have a Wal-Mart there and it is a prettier city than Page, Arizona, our other option. 2) Because the grocery store there has fresh mozzarella. There is no fresh mozzarella to be found in either grocery store in Kanab, which is only 85 miles away. So, Hurricane it was. 3) Because there is a Chinese restaurant in Hurricane that is pretty good. And 4) because it is only another 12 miles or so to get to Washington City, Utah, where there is a Best Buy. So, we hopped in the truck around 9:00 a.m. to go the 128 miles to buy groceries. Because fresh mozzarella is one of my favorite things in the world.

To get to Hurricane, we have to drive down the Kaibab Plateau, which is aglow with fall colors right now. Blazing, even:

Hwy 67 going north

Aspens are beautiful this year


After we leave the Kaibab Plateau, we drive along Hwy 89A north to Fredonia, Arizona. Just before we descend into the desert, we get a great view of the Vermilion Cliffs off in the distance. The desert is so green this year because the monsoon rains were abundant.

The Vermilion Cliffs in the distance are such a wonderous sight.

Another view of the Vermilion Cliffs

And one more, just because I love this area

Once we’re down off the plateau, we drive across desert for miles and miles. And miles. The desert is beautiful in its own way, from the scrub trees, wildflowers and many rock formations.

Desert in northern Arizona

More desert, along Hwy 389

And more desert. I told you it was miles and miles of it.

And then we come to the town of Hurricane, Utah. They pronounce it “Hur-i-cun”, where I say “Hur-ah-cane”.  We come down off yet another plateau, into town.

The road gets steep, a 6% grade, going down into the town of Hurricane.

Down we go!

And suddenly you see the town, down there in the valley

Once we got into town, we went to eat at the Chinese restaurant for lunch. After lunch we did all our errands, and even went to Washington City to go to Best Buy. Girls and guys, if you lived in the wilderness like we do, you would know this was a much needed jaunt. Just seeing towns and people and cars and stores–well, it was just fantastic! On the way home, we headed back the way we came, but seeing the scenery from the other direction is all new:

The Wal-Mart in Hurricane.

Just more scenic wonderment.

Leaving Hurricane to go home

On the road between Hurricane, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona

We decided to stop in Fredonia to eat dinner at Cowboy Butte Restaurant. It is the only restaurant in Fredonia, and they have the best steak in Northern Arizona.

Downtown Fredonia, Arizona

The Grand Canyon Hotel in Fredonia, Arizona. Skip it.

The best steak in town! Cowboy Butte Restaurant

Filet Mignon cooked to perfection, in the middle of nowhere.

After dinner, we headed home, and were treated to a beautiful sunset over the desert:

Northern Arizona sunset. Gorgeous end to a great day.


A Rainy Day Drive In The Desert

On the way to Kanab

On Tuesday we had to head to Kanab to buy some groceries. Because it is monsoon season here in northern Arizona/southern Utah, we drove in the rain most of the way. I love the desert in the rain–the colors are different, and it smells so good!

Driving in the rain

After a rain, the dust is washed out of the sky and you can get a better view of those Vermilion Cliffs off in the distance.

Starting to clear up

We’ve had a lot of rain in this area in the last few weeks, and you can really tell by all the green in the desert.

The road seems to go to nowhere.

The clouds hovering above the cliffs is so beautiful. The road sometimes seems to lead to nowhere.

Clearing up

As we got closer to town, the rain started clearing up.

Beautiful sunny skies in Kanab, Utah

By the time we arrived at our destination, the sun had come out. We stopped in at the fresh produce stand in Kanab. The guy doesn’t even pick the vegetables until you get there. We got green beans, chard, bell peppers, squash, and red potatoes. Thank goodness for all that rain!

Our First Trip To Kanab

Our first trip of the season to Kanab, Utah came a little earlier than planned.Both Fabgrandpa and our friend, Geogypsy, were sick and needed to go to the doctor at the clinic in town. I drove the ambulance, I mean, truck. As we left the North Rim, it was a gorgeous day. Because the road is not open yet, there was very little traffic out there. The only people we passed were people who work up here, and Arizona DOT employees where were spraying oil on the road. Everyone is getting ready for opening day.

A beautiful day

When we got to the scenic view on Hwy 89A, we saw clouds that were raining, but the rain was not touching the ground. I learned from Geogypsy that this is called virga. I have never known that it had a name.

Virga--rain that doesn't touch the ground.

We got into town and went straight to the Kane County Medical Clinic, where the two of them had appointments. They were seen promptly, diagnosed, and sent on their way with prescriptions in hand. Fabgrandpa has bronchitis. We went over to the pharmacy and dropped off the prescriptions, and went to lunch at Houston’s Trails End. It was too late for breakfast, so we ordered hamburgers (mine with no bun as usual). After lunch we picked up the meds, did a bit of grocery shopping, and headed back up the plateau.

Near the Utah/Arizona border

The sky was looking a little more fierce but the rain was still evaporating before it got to the ground. We saw several lightening strikes in that storm.

Dark skies in northern Arizona

The farther we went down the road, the darker the sky got, but the rain was still not falling all the way to the ground. We probably only had twenty drops of rain hit the windshield the whole day.

Virga in Northern Arizona

We got back home around 4:30, with no rain to speak of. I am happy to report that both patients are recovering nicely from their respective ailments.

Road Trip! A Whirlwind Trip To Mesquite, Nevada

We both had a pretty rough week, so at the end of the day on Tuesday, which was our “Friday”, we loaded up in the truck and took off for a night at Casablanca, our favorite casino in Mesquite, Nevada. They have some fun slots, free cocktails while you play, and a restaurant that serves a 16 oz. porterhouse steak 24 hours a day.

On the drive down the Kaibab Plateau on 89A, there had been a rainstorm that dumped over an inch of rain, leaving the best view of the area I have had in the four years we have been coming here.

that is the same road we are on, further down the plateau.

The air was so clean and sweet, with no pollution or dust. The sun set was fabulous, and everything just looked so fresh!

Last week I got a Flip Video camera from  Klout and Visa, so I used to take a couple of videos while we were driving to Mesquite. This is the one I liked the best (You might want to turn the sound down because of the wind. I was holding the camera out the window):

We got to Mesquite and checked in at the casino, and played until 2:00 a.m! Then we went to the restaurant, only to find out it was the one day of the month when they close the grill early to clean it, so we had to order a sandwich or a salad–no portherhouse for us! Booo!

The next morning, we got up early, ate breakfast, and took off for Kanab, Utah, where I had my doctor’s appointment to get that shot in my foot for the plantar fasciitis. Let me just tell you, if you have never had a needle stuck in your foot, just the to rear of the arch, you have not lived! That thing hurt like a S.O.B! (son of Bob, if you must know). I could feel it all the way to my toes! It has helped already, though, as my foot did not hurt today, except for from the shot itself. I have to stay off my feet as much as possible for the next few days, though. Today is my normal day off, and tomorrow is a sick day, then I have two days at the campground where I can sit all day. I don’t have to go to the entrance station until Monday. That gives me a total of 5 days not standing all day to help my foot heal.

After the shot, I had an appointment at the dentist for a fitting for my partial plate. That did not take long–he just inserted the metal part to see if it fit right, then he put in a wax replica of the teeth part, and me bite down on it to make an impress of my bite. It wasn’t even nasty like the stuff they used for the impressions.

We also had to buy groceries, so I was on one of those little handicap electric carts with a basket on the front. It was hard to get around on that thing, and people kept getting in the way of it. Let me tell you, if you see someone on one of those things, give them some room.  They may not be handicapped every day,  you know. Also ask them if they need some help reaching things. I kept having to get up to reach stuff on the upper shelves. That was an eye opener for sure.

The last stop before coming home was at the produce guy who has a garden in the back of his house. He doesn’t pick anything until you get there so all his stuff is really fresh. I got some more potatoes, some carrots, some green beans and some yellow squash. I can not wait to cook those carrots! I have never had them fresh from the garden before. They still had the tops and dirt on them.Here they are all cleaned up:

Carrots fresh from the farm!


Adventures In Eating Out

The new toilet

Our plan for our day off this week was to go to Kanab, Utah with our good friend, Gaelyn to shop for groceries, peruse the thrift stores, and eat some tacos at the local Mexican joint. The plans changed abruptly during the night, after my late night trip to the bathroom was interrupted by a puddle of water in the floor, leaking from a broken valve at the top of the toilet.

Hwy 389 on the way to St. George, Utah

So, instead of Kanab, we wound up going to St. George to buy a new toilet. As if that was not enough of a “crappy” day, when we stopped for breakfast at Jacob Lake Inn, both FabGrandpa’s and Gaelyn’s breakfasts included burnt sausage. Now, we have eaten at this place on almost every trip down the Kaibab Plateau in the last three seasons, and have always gotten good service and good food. But today, we couldn’t get a refill on our coffee, and when after the waitress returned the sausage to the kitchen, we never saw another one. And Gaelyn’s scrambled eggs were nauseatingly runny.

On the road to St. George Utah

FabGrandpa rarely complains in a restaurant, and it is even rarer for him to send food back. But when something is burned, he is not that tolerant. So, when the waitress finally came back to bring our check, he told her to adjust it to take off the two burned sausages and the scrambled eggs. And she said, “I can get you some more sausage.” No, breakfast is over. Move on.

On the road to St. George, Utah

We got back on the road to St. George, and when we arrived at the RV parts store, we bought our Thetford Aqua Magic V Foot Flush Toilet and were on our way very quickly. We decided to go to Red Robin in Washington City for lunch.

Soggy table at Red Robin

We were seated right away, and our drinks and appetizer ordered. When the waitress brought our drinks to the table, she spilled an entire glass of water on Gaelyn’s side of the table, and an entire glass of Coke right in FabGrandpa’s lap. Now, it is a wonderous thing that FabGrandpa had a very good sense of humor about that, as his pants and underwear were soaked with ice cold liquid. He was making “cold nuts” jokes, and talking about people being able to hear him walk to the restroom because of his “sticky balls”. The manager of the place did come out and tell us he was going to comp the appetizer because of the “unfortunate turn of events.”

Coming into Hurricane Utah

After lunch, we headed for Hurricane, Utah, to Wal-Mart, to buy our groceries, then back up to the North Rim to go home. We decided to stop at Jacob Lake Inn again to get a milkshake, which is a sort of ritual with us, as there are not many places to get ice cream up here, and they are pretty famous in the area for their milkshakes. I ordered FabGrandpa’s ‘regular chocolate double raspberry” and my “thick chocolate raspberry” shakes, and waited for them to be prepared. When the clerk delivered them to me, FabGrandpa’s was a “vanilla double raspberry.” I was almost afraid to give it to him.

Our Drive To The Grocery Store

I am amazed every time we go to the grocery store that I get to see this wonderful landscape. It just seems so weird that you drive through such scenic wonderment on the way to buy a bag of rice and some ground beef: