Made it to the Grand Canyon today! And covered some real nice territory along the way. I am just so impressed with New Mexico. The area before big sky had black clumps all over of what looked like charred, burnt rocks-- big ones. Jeff said they could be piles of dinosaur poop. Knowing nothing of geology puts me at a complete loss for an explanation. All I can do is be overwhelmed by the magnificence. We cross into Arizona and I'm shouting, "I want my New Mexico back!" Then once again it occurs to me how often it's been that when we cross over the state line it's as if a canvas gets finished, placed aside, and is replaced with a blank one. Here we go Arizona! This place gave new meaning to the word vast for me. We were coming up to the petrified forest national park area when everything turned into sand real quick. Sand and low low bushes. We started going over these bridges and instead of saying "Twin Creek" or "Twin River" it was "Twin Wash". They were all dry beds. I guess that's what makes them the Wash is that the water just washes on through. We passed an old timey hotel off to the right of where rt 66 is still running. We've been playing tag with that 66 since Oklahoma I think! But you could tell the motel had been really something in it's hay-day. Sort of like the snazzy resort of the 1970's. Then we passed the sign. It was called ROOT 66 Hotel! We hit Rt 64 and headed on up to the Grand Canyon National Park. We were a bit anxious so the 50 mile trip seemed quite a bit further than it should have. I had tried and failed to make camping reservations online but they said that walk ups were available first come first serve. Well, we were coming up on 3 pm. We didn't know what to expect as far as other accomodations either and it looked like we were getting further and further from civilization. And every camper that passed us going in the other direction we imagined were people heading back to Flagstaff because they were turned away. Not so! Paid our $80 (annual pass to all national parks), inquired about a tent site, he said should be no problem as it was going to be cold tonight, and sent us on our way in to the campground. Plenty of time to get set up and gawk at the elk meandering around our campsite. As we snuggled in our tent we could feel it coming.....cold. And colder. They said the low was going to be 38. It could have been 38 below! Finally slept I think. Pleasant dreams about seeing the Grand Canyon. But no pictures, no national geographic specials, no advertisement could have possibly prepared me for what I walked out and saw the next morning.