Happy 4th of July, Y’all!

While the 4th of July means going to a parade, going camping, spending the day at the lake, or just cooking out in the backyard with friends and family to most of you, my day will be spent in uniform, at the entrance station to one of the most beautiful national parks in this country. I love that living in the United States means that I can choose to live full time in an RV is want to, and that I can work at this gorgeous place. Even if it means I have to work on the holiday, so be it.

the canyon in all her glory!

and because I work here, of course I get to live here for 6 months out of the year. Here is my backyard:

Looking out my kitchen window!

And there were people who thought I was crazy to want to live this life!

Announcing: Gluten Free Cookies At Jacob Lake Inn!

Yes, you read that right. After three seasons and counting of me standing at this cookie counter while FabGrandpa bought his delicious cookies, for which Jacob Lake is F.A.M.O.U.S., and drooling over those cookies, and having to smell them in the truck for 45 miles home up the plateau, I am soooooooo happy to announce that Jacob Lake Inn now has gluten free cookies in their line-up.

The cookie counter at Jacob Lake Inn

I had heard the rumor last week, from a co-worker who is allergic to wheat, which is not the same as being gluten intolerant or Celiac. She excitedly told me “Did you know Jacob Lake has gluten free cookies?”  A couple of days later, the manager of Jacob Lake Inn came through the entrance station when I was working there, and I said to her “I heard a rumor that you have gluten free cookies now.”  And she confirmed the rumor. So, today when we left the Kaibab Plateau to head out to Prescott, we stopped in and I got two cookies of my very own. They were delicious!’

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies!

They had two flavors today: Gluten free chocolate chip and gluten free oatmeal raisin. I have to say, they were both equally delicious! They were not in the cookie case when I arrived, so I had to ask for them. The clerk went to the kitchen and brought them out when I asked, though. So, if you get there and don’t see any gluten free cookies, ask for them.

I am hoping they will be a regular feature now in the cookie case:

I hope they make a slot for the gluten free cookies in the cookie case at Jacob Lake Inn

So, if you are planning a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and you are a gluten free diet eating cookie lover, make it a part of your plan to stop in a patronize Jacob Lake Inn. I am always willing to shop and spend my money at a place that is making an effort to accomodate my diet. They are located at the intersection of Hwy 89A and Hwy 67 in northern Arizona. And tell them Karen sent you!

Breakfast Out

We decided to go to the North Rim Lodge for breakfast this morning. They have a gluten free menu since last year. I ordered the gluten free pancakes with eggs and bacon. These pancakes were soooo goood!

Gluten free pancakes at the North Rim Lodge

This was the first time since April 2007 that I have been able to order pancakes at a restaurant. I know that doesn’t sound like a big thing to other people, but to me? Heaven! Those pancakes were delicious.

After breakfast, I walked out on the back porch of the lodge to take a few pictures. Yes, this is my fourth season working her, but I don’t have enough picutures yet, OK?

NOrth Rim Grand Canyon view from the back porch of the lodge

It was a bit smoky out there today from the fire over in Flagstaff, but still, it was a beautiful day!

More canyon

Lots of people come and sit in those chairs and watch the sunset on the back porch of the lodge.

Grand Canyon North Rim

and one more:

Grand Canyon view at the North Rim Lodge

I still feel like I have to pinch myself sometimes to believe I get to work here. Ah, fate!

Driving Through Marble Canyon In Arizona To The North Rim Of The Grand Canyon

The last leg of our trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon always seems to be the most scenic. We left Flagstaff around 9:00 a.m. and arrived at our campsite at the North Rim about 2:30 p.m. We stopped once for fuel at Cameron, then for lunch at Jacob’s Lake. The weather was beautiful with not much wind, which was a plus. Here are some pictures of the scenic beauty along the way:

Could you imagine living in that house?

If you look very closely, you will see a house in the center of this photo. It will give you some idea of the scale of those cliffs–they are HUGE! Could you imagine living in that house, out in the desert?

Although this is the fourth year I will be working at the North Rim, I never get tired of seeing this landscape or taking this drive along Arizona Highway 89 and 89A. It is beautiful!

The road does seem endless, though

This is Marble Canyon, on Highway 89A in Arizona. It is absolutely gorgeous.

Navajo Bridge crosses the Colorado River

Crossing over the Colorado River on Navhjo Bridge. This marks the far eastern edge of the Grand Canyon.

Vermillion Cliffs

and here is your one minute video of  the Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona:

Along Highway 67 South on the Kaibab Plateau

 

 

After lunch we headed south on Highway 67 headed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. There was snow in the higher elevations, but it looks like it has been melting quickly.

Still on Highway 67 South, almost to the entrance station

The higher we went on the Kaibab Plateau, the more snow there was. Still, there wasn’t nearly as much snow as last year.

The North Rim doesn't open to the public until May 15th, so I had to jump out and unlock the gat. Brrrr, cold!

Last year, the snow was taller than our RV at the entrance station. This year, it wasn’t nearly as high, but it was still cold. The gate doesn’t open to the public until May 15th each year.

See, not nearly as much snow as last year.

Going To Alabama

What a yucky day!

This is what it looked like as we started out on our trip this morning. Foggy. Windy. Rainy. Cold. Leaving just in time.  At the entrance station, it was even foggier. A really miserable day, and I have to say I was really glad I wasn’t working out there.

Foggy at the entrance station.

A few miles down Highway 67, it was sleeting, and accumulating on the road. Our trailer was slipping and sliding around back there. I have never been more frightened on a drive since we started traveling full-time!

Icy Roads are pretty dang scarey!

We passed a couple of cars that had slid off the road and hit a tree. I know those people were not having a good day. I am so thankful that we made it down off the plateau.

Down in House Rock Valley, the desert was sunny and nice. We stopped at the scenic viewpoint and took some pictures of Vermillon Cliffs: (yeah, I know, I take pictures every time I go by there, but I can’t stop myself, hahahaha)

House Rock Valley

We got into Flagstaff around 3:30 p.m. The rain had stopped and the sun was out, and I saw a rainbow over the mountains.

sparkly rainbow

After looking at the Weather Channel, we have decided to spend two nights here in Flagstaff, to let the bad weather get farther east, and we will miss most of it.  We have a little bit of shopping to do in town, anyway.

Here is a short video of the drive through Marble Canyon, just to show how gorgeous it was there today:

A Drive Through The Virgin River Gorge

I have been through this gorge several times, on my way to Mesquite, Nevada.  The first time we went there, it was a surprize–no one told us about it. It is amazing! I-15 goes through it on the way from Las Vegas, Nevada to Salt Lake City, Utah. It goes through the very northwest corner of Arizona for about 30 miles. I have taken many pictures of it, but they just don’t seem to convey the awesomeness of the place. So, this morning I decided to take a video while we were driving through.  Enjoy!