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.

A Little Bit Of New Mexico For You

While our stay in Santa Rosa was the pits, New Mexico is rather pretty to look at, with some interesting terrain and landscape.  Between Santa Rosa and Gallup, we passed through Albuquerque and Lavaland. Albuquerque is a fairly large city with lots of traffic. You have to drive over a large mountain to get there. This combination of traffic and mountain is always scary to me, so I try to distract myself by playing Angry Birds on my Droid. I did manage to get some nice photos though. Enjoy, and know that I sacrificed my nerves to get them:

a truck hauling a wind turbine blade

This is one of those windmill blades on a truck going up the mountain.

sandia mountains albuquerque

Going up the mountain to Albuquerque

new mexico sandia mountains

and up some more!

Almost through Albuquerque


Albuquerque's spaghetti junction

Between Albuquerque and Gallup, we went through Lavaland, New Mexico.  Yes, that is the name of the town. Lavaland.  Here is a one minute video of Lavaland, with REO Speedwagon in the background:

Backing Up A Bit

tallest water tower in Texas

The Shamrock Water Tower

I almost forgot to tell you all about Shamrock, Texas. We stayed at the West 40 RV Park in Shamrock last fall when we were on our way from Arizona to Alabama. We bought a tire for our trailer in town at C & H Supply. We enjoyed the good people of Shamrock so much that we decided to stop in again and spend a couple of days there. West 40 is not the cheapest RV park in town, but we like it, the sites are flat, and the people who run it are super nice. We paid $25 a night to stay there after a Good Sam discount. They have free wi-fi and full hook-ups. The park is 44 years old and has not been upgraded, but like I said, we liked it.I didn’t take any photos of it this time, but here is our site from last fall:

West 40 RV Park Shamrock Texas

West 40 RV Park

After we got set up, we went to town looking for something good to eat for dinner. We found Big Vern’s Steakhouse, on Route 66 right in town. We liked Big Vern’s so much that we went there two nights in a row.

big verns steakhouse

Big Verns Steakhouse

FabGrandpa had the 16 oz ribeye and I had the 10 oz one, and they were the best steaks we had ever put in our mouths! It’s not cheap to eat there–we spent $50 plus tip both nights, but i can not tell you just how good those steaks were!

FabGrandpa's 16 oz ribeye steak, cooked to perfection.

Oh, yeah, it came with two grilled shrimp, bread, and your choice of two sides. We got the carmelized mushrooms and onions and a baked potato. Both nights.

I got dressed up a little bit the second night.

I found the necklace that I bought to wear to Becky’s wedding and then lost, so I wore it the second night we went. Cute, huh?

downtown shamrock

Downtown Shamrock

Since we were in town for a couple of days, we went exploring to see what we could see. The tallest water tower in Texas is located in Shamrock, so we drove through downtown to see it. Don’t you just love exploring old towns?

hardware store

The Ace Hardware is also a grocery store, pharmacy and meat market.

FabGrandpa used to work at an Ace Hardware store, so we always have to go in and look at them when we travel. This one was also the grocery store and pharmacy. The people who worked here were soooo nice! I had to get a prescription filled, and instead of transfering it from Wal-Mart, the pharmacist sold me 5 tablets to get me to Flagstaff. I call that “Great Service!”

C & H Supply in Shamrock Texas

I also can’t tell  you enough just how helpful and nice the folks at C & H Supply in Shamrock were, again. Last fall, we had a blowout on the trailer just outside of Amarillo, and bought one to replace it from them. When we were in West Memphis, we went to the Goodyear Tire Store there to replace the one that blew out on the first day of our trip. That guy charged us $165 for one tire. He mounted it on the rim, but didn’t put it on the trailer. At C & H Supply, we bought two tires, had them mounted and balanced, moved one tire to the spare AND they put the two news on the trailer for us, all for $278.  We highly recommend them if you are traveling and need new tires.

The guy at C & H Supply put those tires on for us.

While FabGrandpa took care of the tire business, I walked next door and took pictures of the Tower Service Station. The building was built in 1936 as a Conoco Service Station and restaurant, but you may recognize it from the Disney movie, “Cars”.

U-Drop Inn and Tower Service Station

Tower Service Station Shamrock, Texas

If you’d like to find out more about Shamrock, here is the link to the Shamrock Visitor’s Guide.



Oklahoma In One Day

Okay, so maybe Oklahoma in two days, if you count that we spent the night in Sallisaw at the KOA. We got on the road around9:30 a.m., and passed the time listening to some blues CD’s and talking. We do our best talking while we are riding down the road, so I guess it’s a good thing we like to do that.

There is not much to see in Oklahoma. It’s pretty flat and rural, except for Oklahoma City where there is so much traffic it makes me feel like I’m going to throw up. We arrived in Shamrock, Texas around 5:oo p.m., just in time to have the BEST ribeye steak ever at Big Vern’s Steakhouse. Here is some of the countryside in eastern Oklahoma for your viewing pleasure, accompanied by Blind Mississippi Morris on the CD player: