Since the weather at the Grand Canyon was apparently terrible over the weekend, I decided to stay a couple of nights in the random city of Kingman, Arizona while waiting to see if the weather would clear up. One night in Kingman is more than enough by the way. It’s a very sleepy town with not many terribly exciting things on offer. After driving around a couple of times I felt 100% confident that somebody could tell me the name of a place and I could give them directions as if I had lived there all my life.
I did check out a bar called the “Fireside Cocktail Lounge” which wasn’t far from my hotel. It sounded like my kind of place, yet I can assure you that the name is a misnomer. Well, it might have been just fine except for the very drunk guy that kept telling me “Welcome to the US. You’re safe now. You’ll be fine here”. I didn’t even tell him I was born abroad and most people cannot easily detect that since my accent is so well adapted at this point.
I think it might have been less weird if the gentleman didn’t have a very strong underlying hint of a Mexican accent with a staggered speech that was an attempt at masking it. Clearly he was projecting himself onto me. So I projected myself out the door and back to the hotel after one drink.
I will say that the people in Kingman were very nice. People at the grocery store talking to each, smiles on their faces, etc. I definitely felt a bit like the “big city asshole”, for although I consider myself a nice person I am not the talking to random strangers in the checkout aisle at the grocery store kind of nice.
While preparing to leave Kingman I was very conflicted about which route to take. I considered going South to Phoenix / Tucson knowing that it would be warmer (I strongly dislike the cold), however, that was in the opposite direction of the Grand Canyon. Instead I took I40 East towards Albuquerque, New Mexico (which was my original target for the day) since that was congruent with my general West-to-East direction and that I could decide during the drive whether or not I wanted veer North towards the Canyon. I wanted to take Route 66 East instead of I40, but the weather sucked, and 66 met up with 40 again anyway. Surely I missed some vitas on 66, but 40 still had quite a lot of mountainous vistas to offer.
When it came time to make the decision as to continue East to Albuquerque or head North to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, I said “fuck it” and went North. To be so close and to drive right by seemed anathema to me. Weather, be damned!
I did make it here in time to do the canyon today (about 12:30pm) but because the weather was so bad I decided to check into a hotel in Tusayan, AZ and hold off until tomorrow when the weather is supposed to be, hopefully, much better. Tusayan is as close as you can get without actually going into the park (I think). Hotels in the actual park itself need to be booked well ahead of time. And as you can tell by now I’m not that kinda guy.
So, in the meantime I will get some work done and gawk and the snow and hot-tub from my window and wonder…. would it be weird to get in? Would be kind of like the poor man’s version of the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa in Iceland. Which, I think I’m going to have to put on my list. Who am I kidding, I don’t have a list!