My Spiritual Sojourn at the Grand Canyon Part IV: “Celebration”

It is Saturday morning and we are are on top of the world! Well at least we have made it to the top of South Rim of the Grand Canyon.IMG_1707 I think we look pretty good for not sleeping for 30 hours. (My two hour nap at the bottom does not count) So the question becomes, do we go check into the Maswik Lodge and rest or do we Celebrate?

Celebration it is and we head off to the El Tovar lounge. I am not messing with fate on this trip to the lounge. No Grand Canyon Starry Night Stout but they do have two other Grand Canyon brews, The Horseshoe Bend Pale Ale, and an American Pilsner. We sit on the outside porch (helps blow our stink away) and get to look out over the Canyon while we enjoy one of each. Carolyn raves over the Pilsner and I rave over the Pale Ale, and Carolyn asks if it is really that good or it just tastes that good because we are in a celebratory zone from the hike. Throw in an appetizer and lunch has been served. It feels so good kicking back, outdoors, and people watching at the Historic El Tovar.

Time to check it so we walk back grab the car and off to the Maswik Lodge. It is a sort of rustic place somewhere between a Budget Inn and Rodeway Inn style of room. They don’t advertise the thread counts on the sheets or the towels but I know I could literally count the threads on my sheets but I’m not complaining, it is clean and it quiet and the tv works even though it was put together in the 80’s but who needs a flatscreen when you have a 200 lb 19 inch tv? While napping it rains, cools down, and has a wondrous smell that enhances your senses.

Rest comes easy and after several hours and showers or several hours in the showers we are ready to ride the bus out to Hermit Rest Trailhead. We just kicked back and took in the breathtaking South Rim sites.  We learned from passengers on the bus that the elk we see are some kind of deer per the tourist. What a time listening to those who know little about nature and animals. We chuckle inside but our interest on taking a hike down Hermit Trail is piked. We discuss our next possible trip and I swear I am still on some adrenaline high. The canyon is mystical and has a way of lifting your spirits. (So anybody out there interested in hiking the unknown? I’m in for another sojourn into the canyon and just maybe the Hermit Trail is calling.)

You look at the bus drivers and they are usually quite old and in the back of mind I’m hoping they have no terrorist agenda or medical condition because the road runs right on the edge of the rim and at the Abyss it is 3000 feet straight down. I mean straight down. It made me a bit nervous knowing that it is just a bad move away from being over the edge. I’m thinking maybe I’ll ride a bike next time.

We head to dinner at the Arizona Room and I have been craving a buffalo burger and they just happen to be the place that serves one. It does not disappoint. Everything just tastes better at the Canyon.

In just over 20 hours we have lived life to the fullest. We have hiked down and back the Bright Angel Trail, we have eaten a scrumptious breakfast at Phantom Ranch, we have sat and sipped the cold ones at El Tovar, and now dinner on the Rim. The adrenaline dies rapidly and it is off to the Maswik for needed sleep.

Morning comes and this time it is breakfast with a view at the El Tovar. We eat, we pack up and go–always reluctant to leave. We decide to visit Williams on our journey home since it has become quite the cool summer town.

We park the car and get out and walk around Williams and of course we have to go by Cruisers to see who is outside on the patio playing music. We get over and it is none other then Payson’s own John Carpino. IMG_1710So John plays me one of his signature cover songs, “One Way Out” an Allman Brothers classic. That is very cool. We end up at Station 66 and decide to try a Historic Brewing Company session brew the UNDERCOVER CUCUMBER- Lager of Distinction. Wow it is refreshing.

Payson could sure learn a lot about attracting visitors from Williams. Many tourists roaming around spending their money in the refurbished downtown that is very attractive.

Time to head for home. Several last stops in Flagstaff including Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen. My last opportunity to use my $5.00 off coupon they’ve sent me. It is good stuff. Back to Payson through some intermittent rain showers and I would love to say I was glad to be home but I wasn’t. This trip was more then a weekend away, it was a trip that will forever have a piece of my heart. I hope you have enjoyed my journey and I look forward to the next adventure. So stay tuned!

 

About timfruth

Longtime public educator who recently retired from public education. Messed around in politics as a town councilor and vice mayor. I am a father and a husband who currently works in a new active career in Human Resources. Love the outdoors and rapidly adjusting to a new me.
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