My Trip around the country in 2001 with Halley

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Leg 10: Grand Canyon to Four Corners to Red Rocks

July 16

           In the morning we headed out for a walk towards the edge of the canyon, only to find it really tough to walk around because the wind was blowing so much that even Halley, a puppy weighing around 40 pounds couldn’t walk straight without looking as though she would be blown off into the void below. She stayed next to me until I decided that it was too windy for either or us and we headed to the car and waited for Shawn and Siobhan to come back from their hike. We had a big drive ahead of us and there was excitement in the air - we were going to Red Rocks!

North Rim of the Grand Canyon, looking down

              All I knew about Red Rocks was the amazing beauty of the place and that Widespread Panic had played there the summer before, courtesy of some great bootlegs the summer before. Sure, MANY other bands had played there, but I was getting into Widespread lately and with Trey Anastasio Band playing there a few days later, I was eagerly anticipating the trip. We were still packed in the car for much of the ride, and Siobhan was starting to get irritated because she couldn’t sit still in the back or let Halley sit comfortably in the back with her. I had to turn around a few times to check on her and as a result, nearly drove off the road in the Vermillion Cliffs of Arizona! We were safe but when my dog is whining, I need to know why.

Leg 10: 735 Miles
              We stopped to take pictures of the sign for 'Page, Arizona' since it was a Phish reference and sped off into the desert. I got my car up to around 120 mph for a bit, as this was likely the longest stretch of flat road we would find the entire summer. Finally we arrived at a place I had read about and found intriguing since I was a kid - Four Corners, where ArizonaUtahColorado and New Mexico all met. We walked around an otherwise depressing area that had no sign of life. (5 years later when I drove there, I found out there was a lot of locals selling wares, but only before 4pm. We were there at 5pm this time). It was neat getting to walk in four states and take some pictures. I got Halley to go to the bathroom in all of them, even though she had already done it in three and would definitely be going in Colorado over the next few days. We may not have been out of the car for more than 15 minutes, but it felt like forever.
Halley and I at Four Corners Monument, standing in all 4 states while Halley looks back anticipating another ride

               The next stop was right up the road at a casino I came across, owned by the Ute Indians. $2.50 hands of BlackJack sounded good to me and Shawn so for 30 minutes we gambled, won a small amount later spent on cigarettes and then headed to get some food and drive the expanse of Colorado. I had to drive a lot slower than normal as the roads were winding and I couldn't see very well when it started to rain. We stopped at a turn for 30 minutes, waiting for traffic from the other side to come over on a one lane highway, due to falling rocks on the highway. After this, I called it a night and let Shawn take over driving us into Morrison, Colorado. Siobhan moved up front and I sat in the back with Halley which marked the last time I ever road in the backseat in my car. It was cramped as hell but I fell asleep as we headed on the way north to the promised land of Red Rocks.

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