1st Anniversary Road Trip – Day 1 – Havasupai Point, Grand Canyon AZ

To celebrate our first anniversary Shan and I decided to visit the Grand Canyon and Utah over Labor day weekend.  From Los Angeles we planned to go straight to Havasupai Point, as rather shockingly, neither of us had ever been to the Grand Canyon.   The long drive went by quickly because we were blown away by the areas beauty.

Off highway 180 before entering the Grand Canyon national park, we left the highway at FS road 328.  It was smooth sailing till we got to the closed gate  marking Havasupai reservation land.  The guard shack was pretty creepy, burned out mattresses, empty bottles, cattle skulls, lots of trash and an atv on blocks with no wheels.  Fortunately nobody was there to take our $25 so we continued on, the road entered a  beautiful meadow and we saw cattle and even a wild horse.  We made a right on Prairie wash road the landscape changed to forest and the road narrowed a bit.

At this point we hadn’t gotten a glimpse of the Grand Canyon and we were getting antsy.  I didn’t plan for the dirt roads to last 2 hours.  Our  patience paid off big time, we reached Havasupai Point and the view of the Grand Canyon was spectacular! Wow, what a place! To my surprise we had the whole place to ourselves, in fact we didn’t see anybody else the whole road in, the whole time we were there or the road out!

We snapped some pictures of the sunset and Shan whipped up some tasty jambalaya.  This place seemed incredibly quiet, I remember how loud the airplanes were thousands of feet above, before the crickets started it was the only audible sound.  Dusk, quickly became a black night lit by countless stars which were equally impressive when compared to the views from the cliff.  Neither one of us were used to the remote and isolated feeling of this place so it was a bit creepy.  We awoke just before 6am for the sunrise, snapped some pics, packed up with the intent of stopping by the Grand Canyon NP and heading to Toroweap.  Although, night 1 was a bit more adventure than we bargained for it was a great start to the trip!

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Every now and then throughout history…

…a genius creates something that is timeless.

Something that is so indisputably timeless and cool that anybody who has ever experienced [said timeless item] has a story of hilarious and gleeful admiration. And the story follows this pattern.

{enthusiastic & loud voice} “No No No….MY [said timeless item]…was terrible it had [insert long list of faults] and it couldn’t [insert long list of limitations] but it had more personality in its [insert small component] than my [insert said timeless item’s replacement] whole being. Every single time it would [story detailing one of the faults that is both unbelievable and hilarious.]

{somber & much quieter voice} One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was [selling said timeless item]. If I could do it all over it again, I would have saved [said timeless item], perhaps restored it. I would have cherished it to this day, man was I stupid for getting rid of [said timeless and genius item].

So here is my story of my timeless and genius possession:

No No No….MY tan ’72 Volkswagen Squareback was terrible it had a starter that wouldn’t work for months, a passenger window that wouldn’t roll down and no CD player. It couldn’t even ride at freeway speeds because the brakes required pumping to stop at any speeds over 40 mph and the wheel bearings were shot so if my speed ever broke 50 mph the “wobble of death” would scare me and my passengers “to death.” That car had more personality in its soft leather shift knob than my 4runner’s whole being. Every single time I had to turn left into oncoming traffic I had to use a hand signal because the front blinker was gone. That’s right, just a hole in the body where the blinker once was…it was cool though, that’s where I stashed my keys when I went surfing.

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was selling that car for $600 bucks. Even though I didn’t need a car to attend UCSB, if I could do it all over it again, I would have saved my squareback and fixed it’s ailments and maybe even restored it. I would have cherished it to this day, man was I stupid for getting rid of VW.

I know this isn’t a Squareback, but equally cool, the Bug that reminded of my timeless and genius car.

26/365 – El Dorado means Gold

I was excited to get a chance to explore a bit of the El Dorado national forest this past Saturday and much to my surprise, Shannon and her father agreed to come along.  The Zavoda’s only live a few minutes from the forest and there are tons of  4×4 trails, I recommend this map to wrap your head around the abundance of places to go.  Since it was cold, and there was snow we headed towards some trails below 4,000 ft in elevation.

The day was cold and snow-less but the views were endless, it turned out to be a great day of exploring.  We drove through a bunch of snow, shot guns, had lunch and enjoyed miles and miles of back country road.  My kind of day (not really Shan’s, but she was a sport).

26/365 - El Dorado means Gold