Grand Canyon Road Trip (3,073 miles)

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Day 1 (Friday, June 25)

On the Road: Franklin, TX > Garden City, TX

The Good: Massey didn’t fall out of the Jeep; cooled off in the Kujawski pool

The Bad: Like every other trip out West, it rained on us near Wall, so we had to close up the Jeep

The Ugly: Averaged 12.6 miles/gallon and it’s only going to get worse

Pictured above: Can we be more loaded down?

Day 2 (Saturday, June 26)

On the Road Again: Garden City, TX > Tatum, NM > Roswell, NM > Clines Corners, NM > Grants, NM > Ojo Redondo campsite in Cibola National Forest

The Good: Picnicked at the best free zoo in Roswell

The Bad: Took us 1.5 hours to get to our campsite in the middle of a dang national forest (and it was only about 20 miles in) only to have to camp with a bunch of noisy, dirt-bike-riding rednecks

The Ugly: We almost got a divorce over being caught in the middle of New Mexico on empty (lucky for our marriage, Brady made it to Clines Corners after having driven 27 miles on the Big E!)

Pictured above: Maybe we’ll find our missing cow in Roswell.

Pictured above: Thank you Clines Corners for having gas.

Pictured above: Fire!

Pictured above: The road that took us 2.5 hours to go 20 miles…

Day 3 (Sunday, June 27)

On the Road Again: Ojo Redondo campsite, NM > Bandera Volcano and Ice Caves > El Morro National Monument > Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary > Gallup, NM > Window Rock, AZ > Tuba City, AZ and the Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites

The Good: Going for a relaxing 4-mile early morning bike ride; Wearing a fleece at the Ice Caves; seeing and hiking El Morro for the second time (Puerto Rico has an El Morro too!); leading a pack of wolves in howling at the wolf sanctuary in Ramah (and getting a half-price tour!); driving the most beautiful, scenic drive from Keams Canyon, AZ to Moenkopi, AZ (and watching the sun set); relaxing in the hot tub at the only hotel on the Hopi Indian Reservation thanks to our awesome personal assistant Jean Ann

The Bad: Random dark clouds that try to ruin our plans for the day; losing cell phone reception every 30 seconds with Jean Ann on our scenic, two-hour drive

The Ugly: Thinking that you can easily pull off the road to either find a campsite for the night or at least a picnic area to eat supper (not gonna happen in Indian country); never knowing what the heck time it is!

Pictured above: Do I even need to say more?

Pictured above: Possibly the only two people in the world to see two El Morros!

Pictured above: “Does this bandana make me look fat?”

Pictured above: Dances with Wolves (or Wolf)

Pictured above: I got several honks while I posed for this pic (or maybe they were honking at the cameraman?)

Pictured above: Most beautiful yet out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere drive EVER!

Day 4 (Monday, June 28)

On the Road Again: Tuba City, AZ > Marble Canyon, AZ > Navajo Bridge Historic Site > Jacob Lake, AZ > Demotte campground 5 miles north of the Grand Canyon North Rim entrance > North Kaibab Trail to Supai Tunnel

The Good: Being a part of history at the Navajo Bridge; Getting one of the best campsites at Demotte; hiking the North Kaibab Trail at the North Rim in two hours instead of four and being told by strangers how in shape we were; Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time in our lives and taking it all in; spending money at the North Rim gift shop

The Bad: Racing the dark clouds at the end of our hike; Cooking steak and potatoes in the dark thanks to a stubborn lantern; having to ask the nice store clerk if she will let us borrow an extension cord to blow up our air mattress so we don’t have to sleep on rocks

The Ugly: Making myself sick and never looking at trail mix the same way again the rest of the trip

Pictured above: According to our Grand Canyon death book, many people have died at this bridge

Pictured above: If you look closely, you’ll see the Colorado River rafters behind me

Pictured above: Quite possibly the fastest campsite setter-upers EVER!

Pictured above: Do you like our matching bandanas in almost every pic?

Pictured above: Seriously breathtaking…and almost fake looking

Pictured above: I have extra long arms when a picture is on the line

Day 5 (Tuesday, June 29)

On the Road Again: Bright Angel Trail > North Rim Lodge > Demotte campsite > Kaibab National Forest > Rainbow Rim Mountain Bike Trail > Lookout Tower > Bridle Trail > North Rim Gift Shop > Demotte campsite

The Good: One of Brady’s kickass breakfasts; View after view from the lookouts at the North Rim; Feeling hardcore during the first 3 miles of our mountain biking trip; Seeing a tiny jeep from the top of the Lookout Tower; Racing Brady down the Bridle Trail and giving him a run for his money; Buying an awesome book on death in the Grand Canyon Gift Shop; roasting marshmallows and spending time together over a campfire on a clear, crisp night

The Bad: Having to call our planned, 10-mile bike ride off after being poured on in the first 30 minutes; Being my clumsy self and making myself bleed while mountain biking; Having to do too much uphill walking with the bike

The Ugly: Too much sweating and not enough showering; And, I still don’t know what time it is!

Pictured above: It should be illegal to eat this good while camping

Pictured above: That is one cute looking…canyon

Pictured above: Attack the trails!

Pictured above: Too bad the top’s not down or else we could jump right in.

Day 6 (Wednesday, June 30)

On the Road Again: Demotte campground > Jacob Lake, AZ > Kaibab Indian Reservation > Hurricane, UT > St. George, UT > N. Las Vegas, NV > Lake Mead National Recreation Area > Boulder Beach campground > Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

The Good: Buy gas, get a bag of ice free at the only convenient store on the Kaibab Indian Reservation; Mexican food in St. George; the scenic canyon drive from St. George through Arizona to the Nevada border; the beautiful blue waters of Lake Mead against the brown of the Mohave Desert; deciding to not camp and instead pack up and head into Vegas for some A/C and a real bed; Swimming and hot tubing at Caesars; Sushi for dinner and the Bellagio light show

The Bad: Being too cheap to gamble at the casino; realizing too late that we were missing the ends to our new pump from Wal-Mart

The Ugly: The very annoying desert heat and WIND!; Finally getting a shower after exactly 60 hours since our last one; The trashy people on the corners snapping their “Girls in 20 minutes or less” cards

Pictured above: Utah, what a fun two hours.

Pictured above: Good-bye Utah. We’ll be back, I promise.

Pictured above: FYI. Nevada is just as hot as Texas.

Pictured above: Why didn’t anyone remind me that Lake Mead is in a freakin’ desert?

Pictured above: More neon lights per square inch than anywhere else in the world

Pictured above: “You may get this a lot. Did Caesar actually live here?”

Pictured above: We didn’t get a private showing like Ocean’s 11 did…

Day 7 (Thursday, July 1)

On the Road Again: Caesars Palace, NV > Boulder Beach campground > Hoover Dam > Kingman, AZ > I-40 all the way to Grants, NM

The Good: Driving the Las Vegas strip with our homemade pumpkin muffins and some much-needed mochas; touring Hoover Dam and being complimented on our Grand Canyon T-shirts; Ice cream in Flagstaff; reading from our new book; being prepared for a flat tire; having our second awesome personal assistant Kendra set up an appointment for us at the Discount Tire in Albuquerque for the following morning

The Bad:
Being deprived of critical, need-to-know information on how to let the campground hosts know we were paid up so they didn’t tow our trailer and bikes; driving hundreds of miles on I-40 with not much to entertain us; not finding one rest area and having to eat our sandwiches under the awning of an abandoned gas station

The Ugly: Making it 7 days into our trip and having driven on rocky, 4-wheel drive roads only to have a flat tire on the freakin’ interstate outside of Gallup, NM; making myself car sick because I can’t stop reading out loud to Brady from our favorite new book

Pictured above: DAM!

Pictured above: Only one more state to go!

Pictured above: Brady’s like a professional pit crew.

Day 8 (Friday, July 2)

On the Road Again: Grants, NM > Discount Tire in Albuquerque > Santa Rosa, NM > Billy the Kid’s grave in Fort Sumner, NM > Farwell, TX > Levelland, TX > Lubbock, TX > Roscoe, TX > I-20 all the way to Tiff and Brock’s in Carrollton, TX

The Good: Having a great experience at Discount Tire because Kendra made the appointment under Brandy Kujawski; enjoying a picnic lunch at Mr. Kid’s gravesite; Entering TEXAS!; Seeing our puppy who had really missed us and having ice cream and butterfingers with Jan-mudder; Splurging on pizza in Lubbock; Playing games to make the drive on I-20 go faster; Having a free place to stay for the night; No traffic in DFW at one in the morning

The Bad: Being on the road from 7 a.m. until 1 a.m.; eating an entire pizza between the two of us and not really caring

The Ugly: Doing a bad job of keeping Brady awake

Pictured above: Everyone tries to claim that Billy the Kid is buried in their town. This place looks legit.

Pictured above: Simple, desolate and beautiful.

Pictured above: “Holy crap, I missed you Texas!”

Day 9 (Saturday, July 3)

On the Road Again: Carrollton, TX > getting lost in Dallas > I-45 to Buffalo > Franklin, TX

The Good: Seeing Tiffany and Mia (Brock, I never saw you); cereal for breakfast; going to the 4 Wheel Drive store to get Brady’s jeep bumper; arriving home to Franklin around 3 p.m. to find all of our animals alive and our place still intact; taking a 3-hour afternoon nap in the comfort of our own home; realizing the awesome experience we were lucky enough to share together

The Bad: getting lost more than once in freakin’ Dallas; getting home 3 hours later than originally planned

The Ugly: Being worn out and tired but still having to unload a jeep and a trailer; knowing that we were already a week behind with our mowing; not caring about doing a dang thing for the Fourth of July except sleeping in, laying out and watching The Hangover