If you follow me on social media, you know mom’s phone went kaput. She got the black screen of death. That has impacted her ability to post for me and has added stress. Poor mom. Perhaps our trip to the Grand Canyon was perfectly timed! We left my brother, Mowgli, home alone, but he had the world’s best pet sitter, Maureen from Paws on Pet Sitting, and greatest neighbor ever, Dee McBride. He was in good hands.
Anyway, this was my fourth time to the Grand Canyon…twice in winter. It didn’t snow on us, but snow was still on the ground as it was really cold. I’m getting ahead of myself…
We decided to take a different route up to Tusayan, so instead of a straight shot up to Flagstaff, we took the Prescott exit off I-17 and then north on 89 toward Ash Fork. It is a scenic route, but it does have lights. Follow it to I-40 east onto Williams and connect with the 64, which takes you right into the town of Tusayan. If you go this route, we suggest walking around the town of Williams and visiting Bearizona. We did, but I’ll save that for another day!
We stayed at the Best Western there because they are dog friendly. The beds were awesome, and the TV brand new. The bathroom wasn’t great, and the shower pathetic with hardly any water pressure. I didn’t care as all I need is a place to lay my head.
Dinner was at the Big E Steak House where mom got a burger so she could share with me. I rested in the car, but they said the whole place was decked out for Christmas. That always makes mom happy. She’s the spirit of Christmas, don’t you know? Inside, the big room looks like an old western town with a big screen that plays videos like Wings of the Grand Canyon. Mom and dad suggest you give them a try if you are in the area. Service and food were great.
The next morning, we tried Foodie for breakfast, but that was a total bomb. They cook up your order then dump it in a cardboard bowl. It was awful. In fact, it was so bad, I threw up the bacon. Too greasy, and we don’t recommend them.
On to the reason we drove up to Tusayan: The Grand Canyon, south rim. You just continue on the 64 for 15 minutes. We used our National Park pass to enter, but if you don’t have one, you’d need to pay to get in. Dogs are welcome in the park and on the rim paved path, but they aren’t allowed in buildings or hiking trails. As always, please pick up after your pooch.
It isn’t as busy during the winter months, but I sure saw a lot of canines! What fun – awoof! We heard several different languages. The Grand Canyon is definitely a destination and bucket list item. We are so fortunate to have it within four hours of Phoenix.
We parked at the first Visitor Center and walked from there to Mather Point and on to Yavapai Point, about 1.5 miles total we think. The path is paved and flat, but it was icy from the snow. Hand railings help in some of the overlooks.
The red rock with snow and green trees was magical. You can just sit there and stare into the canyon. It truly is breathtaking. The morning temp was 17 degrees. I’m a mountain dog at heart, but I’ve been living in the desert so I got chilly. Mom brought my snow coat, and I was happy to wear it.
We had lunch at the Yavapai Lodge, and both mom and dad liked their meals. Mom saved chicken from her salad for me. Tasty! The Market Plaza store there is huge and has all sort of things beside souvenirs. It is worth the stop, mom says.
From there, we parked at the Verkamp’s Visitor Center and walked to the west end, Hermit’s Rest. Again, I think we went 1.5 miles. Along the way are places to take in the view. The light hits the canyon differently throughout the day, so you should plan on spending at least one day.
NOTE: Masks for humans are required inside any buildings right now. Thankfully, all human restrooms were open.
We didn’t get to the east side or Desert View this time, but we have been before. Another time! We were outside most of the day with blue skies and crisp air. Other than having to use a digital camera instead of her phone, I think mom forgot about the frustration of her dead phone, even if for a moment.
The Grand Canyon is place that gives us perspective. It reminds us how very small we are in the big picture of things. Not to dimmish us but to help us see the full scope of life. All beings and all things living together in harmony. We share this incredible place called earth, and Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause in gratitude…to appreciate the beauty and joy of it all. Me and my family wish you a grand Christmas!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!