A Parsec of Stress Prompts Delicious Escape

The sum of our ages added to the dollars needed to get our house ready to put on the market, multiplied by the task of finding the very last house we intend to buy, squared by the 1400 miles from our present home to our potential new home, equals a parsec of stress. We all know that stress isn’t good for you, so my husband Ron and I put our two heads together and decided that we needed to escape for destinations both fun and delicious. We shut up the house and escaped.

Before we knew it, we were making online reservations, emailing some family members so that someone would know where the heck we were supposed to be, putting gas in the car, and packing travel stuff.

We headed north on a path that drove along the southern edge of Roosevelt Lake, formed in 1911 with the Theodore Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River.

For us, it was a lovely interlude of breeze, beauty, and wonder.But to capture the wonder — sometimes we had to pay attention to small details. Zoom in, if you will!We enjoyed Roosevelt Lake for miles and then crossed the bridge that spanned it. The bridge itself was spectacular!Then we continued toward our first day’s destination: Meteor Crater.  Talk about Big Things!(Truthful, but comic warning. This place is very windy. Anyone wearing Jean skirts should wear LONG ones!)

I don’t know quite where to start talking about Meteor Crater. Everything about it was epic! The museum connected with it was fascinating. Seeing exhibits which put into perspective the speed with which this meteor would have crossed the surface of the earth before landing was breathtaking. Glad we were nowhere around at the time.  But also breathtaking were the historical displays of early explorers of the crater, taking their camera equipment, and babies (!) on horseback down the rugged sides, to explore the impact area.That night we headed to our hotel on the outskirts of Flagstaff, on a street named Lucky Lane. This was in keeping with our moods.

In the morning we headed west to Williams, Arizona to catch the Grand Canyon Railroad for, of all places, the Grand Canyon.We rode in this Pullman car built in the early 1900s.

We were kept entertained and the scenery and company were terrific.

Finally, we arrived at the Grand Canyon. We have both been there multiple times, and my husband had even ridden the train before. But he wanted me to see and experience some things on my Arizona bucket list, and he thought I might enjoy the train. I did indeed! I also enjoyed the new experience of going to the Grand Canyon just as a couple which was a first for us.Isn’t it breathtaking?What about this one?

Even when you think you have some handle on the magnitude of what you are looking at, you discover something small that puts it all in perspective. Do you see them? They may look like bugs, but they are people, tiny hikers on the trail below. We counted eleven.After our visit to the Grand Canyon, we took the train back to Williams. Unfortunately, this was not as placid as the ride to the Canyon. Alas, and alack, robbers attacked our train!Truth be told even the bandits were entertaining.  They didn’t get money from us and eventually were apprehended. So that part was good.

When we returned to the station and headed out to our car, we walked by this train car which reminded me of reading a story to my little girl, many years ago.That evening, back on Lucky Lane, we had dinner for the second time at Cracker Barrel, just down the street from where we were staying. We had the good fortune to have Ryan H as our waiter for the second night in a row. Batting 1000.

Over dinner, Ron and I came to the decision that we were going to alter our plans. Is everyone sitting down? Yeah, well we were also sitting, and decided that we were going to stay an extra day, taking the third day to chill, before hitting the last stops on our whirlwind Arizona Bucket List escape. Chill we did, and it was lovely. We even got one last dinner at Cracker Barrel and got Ryan H as our waiter one last time. Ryan, if you are reading this, be sure your boss knows we think you need a raise!

Our last day involved a long drive and a beautiful bridge loaded with history. We drove to see Lake Havasu and the original London Bridge at its American home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

The original London Bridge was, in fact, falling down, and England built themselves a new London Bridge. Missouri engineer and entrepreneur, Robert Paxton McCulloch, bought the bridge and brought it to America.  In the picture he is standing with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.We loved that two flags were interspersed along the length of the London Bridge: The Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes.If you look very carefully, you can see that these stones are numbered for reassembly.I took this picture showing the width of this bridge. It is pretty amazing.

What is also amazing is the engineering of the rebuilt bridge. When the bridge was reassembled in Arizona, a steel framework was installed internally faced with the solid granite blocks, reducing the weight from 130,000 tons to 30,000 tons. This architectural change made the bridge strong enough for auto traffic, but much lighter. This London Bridge won’t fall down!

Take a moment to look at this walkway near the bridge.  A salute to our men and women in uniform.Lastly, read this terrific quote by Audie Murphy on that same walkway.This pretty much concludes our spectacular escape. What a remarkable trip it was! On our way home, we passed a few places of note. In Picacho, AZ, we got this picture of the sign for the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Farm. Always reminds us of one of our movie heroes, John Wayne.I hope that you enjoyed this little recap of our vacation.

Please share it,  leave your comments, and take a moment to follow my blog. Just hit the follow button in blue top right and leave me your email address. Many Thanks!

Happy Trails to you.

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7 Responses to A Parsec of Stress Prompts Delicious Escape

  1. David Hedges says:

    Ann and Ron …. what a wonderful account of your trip and the photos are great. June and I envy the two of you being able to see so much of this wonderful country of ours. We enjoy your blog and hope to get-to-gether with y’all one day in person. Maybe we could schedule a meet somewhere between here and there … somewhere interesting, senic, historic ?

    Something to think about. Miss the two of you.
    David and June

  2. Frank Ciampa says:

    Great story and great photography.

  3. AECRM says:

    David, June & I have already talked about a trip together. It is a GOTTA! Love & miss you both. Thanks for the kind words! Next year is our 10th anniversary — seems like a fine occasion!

  4. AECRM says:

    Thanks so much. It was just what we needed. Hope you & your family have a terrific vacation! Cheers.

  5. Mary Ellen says:

    Looks like you have your priorities straight…enjoy life, and the rest will take care of itself…with a lot of work, sure, but it will happen, God willing. Enjoyed the postcard. All those years and trips to AZ and we did not know about the crater nor London Bridge! Thanks for sharing.

  6. AECRM says:

    I had heard about them but not been to either — and the train ride was just fun & relaxing. Even though we don’t know when it will happen, the thought of leaving Arizona is bittersweet. It is in God’s hands — and we trust that somehow it will all work out.

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