We left Denver about 8ish and caught rush-hour traffic and construction in the southern metro area. And then we drove and drove and drove, stopping once or twice for coffee and to switch drivers. We saw a sign for Roy NM, and missed Roy, OR. I was driving when we hit Santa Fe, and we tried to follow the ultimately useless directions to Cactus Lodge Motel, which was a one-diamond in the AAA book, but ended up at St. Francis Cathedral. We decided to cancel our reservations at the motel, and they basically made us pay for the night anyway because there are "no same-day cancellations." We walked around Santa Fe with Remmy, and one of us would go into a store while the other waited outside with the dog. Luckily the stores were basically just turquoise/silver shops and overriced porcelain Navajo baby-doll shops (plastic tears, eww) so we only went into a few places. We got postcards and Starbucks coffee, and I went into a poster shop and founda couple of cards with black and white Mexican photographs. We'll frame those when we get home. The weather was perfect - sunny and windy and just warm enough for us to want to be in the shade. And we met a couple of people who had to stop and pet Remmy and tell us about their dogs. In the Governor's Row (I think), Indians had set up blankets with turquoise necklaces and silver things - it was fun to see, like Saturday market except way more primitive.
Cory drove us out of Santa Fe, as we decided to find a motel in Albuquerque (the one-diamond listing kinda scared us) but as we drove we decided to just push on to Gallup, about 20 miles from the NM/AZ border. We couldn't go much further because we wanted to hit the petrified forest in the morning. So we shaved 3 hours of the 8 hour trip to the Grand Canyon off in the late evening, found a Super 8 Motel off highway 40, and ... well, fell asleep after newlywed time. :)
Woke up 7ish in Gallup and headed out. Wer hit AZ pretty quickly despote the construction, and we were entertained by tons of billboards advertising curios made by "real Indians!" We stopped at a rest stop for Remmy, and I found a stink beetle that reared its butt up in the air when I touched it.
Then we stopped at Petrified Forest. It was there that we realized AZ doesn't do daylight savings! Eek! Good thing we figured it out in the morning. It was really hot, so we couldn't stay out of the air conditioned car for long (poor dog), but we saw the Painted Desert, and Pueblo ruins from like 1200AD. We learned that kivas are ceremonial rooms, and they're circular, but we don't know what the ceremonies were. We saw a bunch of petrified wood too, but we were so hot that we didn't stop much. In the museum, there was a case holding little pieces of pottery and wood, along with letters from people saying "please take this back. After I took it, I started having really bad luck!" One lady said "my marriage is on the rocks because my husband found the petrified wood I took and hid in my brassiere. Here are all the rocks back except for one that I'm keeping to remind me of my transgressions - and here's 20 cents for you to go to a gift shop and buy one to put back for me." HA. While we were at Petrified Forest, it was so sunny on poor Remmers that I took her blanket and put it across from the back of the back seat to right behind our headrests and fastened it with bungee cords so she could get some shade. She loved it. I have some modifications to do, but it works pretty well.
Then we went to meteor crater. A guest at the wedding told us to go check it out - we hadn't thought of it before he mentioned it, and it was on our way anyway. We walked through a museum and learned all about how it took less than 10 seconds for the crater to form and how it was so much like the moon, astronauts got training there a few decades ago. It was awesome to see the crater - so big! We spent quite awhile there.
Next we headed off to Grand Canyon. From the desert, we went up a mountain that reminded us of central OR, and I saw deer, and we passed our campground after looking in to see that there were almost no spots taken. It was raining a bit too - we weren't looking forward to setting up camp in the wet. We went to the visitor center at the canyon and got posters and stuff, and then saw the canyon. Cory was in awe. Me too, but Cory vocalized it more. We stopped at several vista points and took pictures, and saw more Pueblo ruins (this time the kiva was bigger and more intact - there was a vent in the wall and a fire circle and a hole next to the fire where spirits could pass into the next world. Neato!) We went to a couple of studios to look at gifts and history and more of the canyon. We saw condors. They're ugly. Then we had dinner at a Fred Harvey restaurant, at Bright Angel Lodge. I had stew in a breadbowl, Cory had a reuben.
We spent 3 or 4 hours at the Canyon, and then decided to go back to Williams to a motel rather than the wet campsite. So we found a Super 8 and started getting a room, until I noticed there was a big NO PETS sign. So we got back in the car and I looked through the AAA book and found there were no other places that took big dogs that were in our price range but not 1-diamond places. Plus, there was a motorcycle thing going on (we were on Route 66) so most of the motels were full anyway. So we decided to keep going to the next town, which was 120 miles further along. To keep Cory awake, I asked him questions like the ones I asked him on our first trip to CA together - things like "over or under, and why?" We got into Kingman, AZ at about 11pm and went searching for the 2 motels that took dogs. We went the wrong way on a road and it took us out of town so we had to double back. The first hotel was closed for the night, and the last choice was a 1-diamond called Hill Top Motel. We were so tired that we didn't care anymore, so we spent $37 for a room. (When we got to the office, nobody was there. We rang the doorbell and a couple of minutes later a drowsy, pudgy man in shorts and nothing else let us in and gave us a room. Sorry to wake you, dude.)
We turned on the AC right away, and watched some TV while the room was cooling down. The carpet felt icky on my bare feet but it wasn't horrible. We watched David Schwimmer get caressed by boobs - he was playing a bad plastic surgeon. He died in a car crash at the end. And then we slept.