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|12th August 2008, 16:13||#32|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Singapore, Mumbai, Nagpur
Thanked: 144 Times
1100D, you have enacted an absolutely edge-of-the-seat escapade.
Anirbana Jones can never be called Junior.
Seeing Arizona by road was a great decision and an entirely different experience -- Dallas to the Grand Canyon and back in one stretched weekend.
But tell me:
The dusty state hwy 160 west must have been challenging.
The depth pictures of the dam were mind-numbing.
|12th August 2008, 17:59||#34|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thanked: 4,658 Times
Dear Anirban - ref this thread and your PM, the only thing I can say is WOW, what a trip and what lovely scenery. Obviously, if I am going to drive in "Amreeka", I would love to do this trip in my "right hand drive" Premier Padmini. Ha Ha just kidding. Another good thing is that I got your photograph now (trying to shoot yourself). Your daughter is very cute, upset and all with the backdrop of the bridge. Please pass on my regards to your parents and all in Kolkata. By the way, when are you coming back?
|13th August 2008, 01:40||#35|
Senior - BHPian
89cc to be precise!
Yes, the schedule was tight. I am situated at Dallas and that itself puts a tight schedule owing to the distance I had
to cover in 4 days (which also included a day to come later on in the report where I did not drive the Chrysler much).
On this particular day (Day 2) I was reporting on, we did not even have time to stop for lunch. We knew that was coming and had tanked ourselves up heavily in the morning. Some distances over here look quite small, say 140mph or so, but they still set you back by a little under 2 hours at an "average" speed of little under 80mph. All the time wondering, will we be able to execute our plans? Add to that the need to shoot certain sections of the road. You drive over them and then, you need to turn around and go back for shooting what you just drove on. I guess thats the purpose of a road-trip. The roads were characteristic part of this road-trip. However between Glen-Canyon and Marble Canyon, apart from one point where I stopped to shoot the road, most of the pics were taken from the driver seat while at the job.
Now, the world is an informed place, you see googlemaps, you see the pictures associated with those places and decide
what you want to see and what you absolutely can't do without. It will be clear what I was gunning for all this time,
on this particular day in my next posting. But like I said, only worry on my mind would be whether this can be achieved
Answering your questions
apart from Avis/Budget did assure me that I was going to get a specific car. But adding to specifying the car, I asked
them if they could give me a car in a dark colour. They had a good laugh at it, and told me they will keep it in their
collective minds (read: information system). On the day of departure, when I went to collect the car, the lady at the
reception, being curious about my nature, personally went with me to show me my dark coloured car. It was a dark
metallic red one. Her smile went from boom to bust in a matter of seconds when I said, oh no, I did not figure this in
my equation. She was on the floor laughing that I am acting like a kid that I dont want a red car, everyone wants one.
I seriously replied back that I dont want this rental. At which point her compatriot, now fighting to show her smile,
remarked, that they have had a car come in, but its not cleaned as yet. It was this one in the pictures. They must have
thought me to be crazy or something, raising a large hue and cry about not taking a spanking clean dark metallic red
Chrysler 300 and being absolutely ecstatic about this car which hasn't even been vacuumed. I asked them to Vacuum it
anyway but not bother about the exterior.
Being based on a Merc E-class, and knowing that I was going to do the Monument valley, which, various articles said was
rough and can be achieved by passenger cars only on a clear day, made me check the undersides. Mainly because, on my
W124 Based E-class the engine sump has proven to be a weak spot on unpaved roads. I had a flying rock damage it once.
So it was very important that I check this car out for the fuel line routing, for checking drive shaft layout and
angle. Now that dirt section was only a 17 mile one and did not want to take suffer a high vehicle for the rest of the
visitor centers, one the Monument Valley visitor center just off US163 at the Utah border, and another 4 miles into the
Navajo reservation, which is also the start point for the scenic drive.
Why didn't you choose to take "Route 66"?
Time. However I had made specific entry and exit into the famed route at points. There will be something coming up
later in the thread.
As you see the roads weren't all that dusty as we expected them to be. I had checked the Aircleaner and it wasn't dusty
at all (apart from the first evening at Monument valley)
word called "powershot".
Last edited by 1100D : 13th August 2008 at 01:44.
|13th August 2008, 08:18||#36|
Senior - BHPian
(No escaping the canyon)
All the photographs posted previously (apart from the last 2 in post#25) would be on a small detour for you (But recommend it highly).
Anyway back to our trip, soon we were at the Marble Canyon. Marble Canyon marks the official start of the Grand Canyon and it boasts of having the only bridge across its rims, the Navajo Bridge.
Apart from that, you get to see the vermilion Cliffs on the Western rim, the beauty of which cannot be explained.
We drove a little further to Lees Ferry. This is where all the rafting expeditions down the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon commences from. This location is also quite famous for having been the location where films like "Into the Wild" were shot. We drive down to the waters edge, the only place along the Canyon where a normal passenger car can do so. But here too the clouds were playing its tricks, just appearing out of nowhere, when we hit the place. Waited a bit, for it to give us its best, and then drove off, this time further Southwest.
All the time the clock was ticking and our target time to reach the next destination was 7:30pm local time. To see the Sunset. It was quite warm at Marble Canyon, worst still, the visitor center had closed by the time we paid a little visit to get cold water there. The chrysler center armrest console had a cooler, but then, the sole bottle that we had there did not have much liquid. But we were beginning to feel a little dry.
Pretty soon our GPS asked us to abandon driving southwest (on US-89 south) to go west on the famous US64 and within a few miles, the ranges that comprise the Grandeur were making themselves visible...down below.
The entire feeling is quite eerie. Normally when you drive to a mountain you see it in the distance, but here you dont. You just feel that the land is missing at some places and there is a big drop. Its like approaching a mountain from its top. This feeling is also exclusive to entry from the North, while entering from the south, you dont sense anything till you have actually hit the railings to find that the land is missing there ahead of you.
Wooho, we enter the North Entry of the Grand Canyon National park, where a lovely lady (the loveliness lends itself from the fact mentioned herein) allowed us to go in for free waiving the $25 entry fee.
Why? it was getting late and it was time for her to close her hut. Soon, we were at the Desert View Watch tower.
There what we saw, I have no words, I would let the pictures talk.
The famous watch tower
We were obviously going to see the canyon in a better detail the following day, so after the Sunset, we drove another 29 miles on US64 to reach Tusayan, the base, just off the Grand Canyon Village. Our Quality Inn was situated just beside the "National Geographic Visitor center". But given the time of the day and having pushed my family members for the better part of a whole breathtaking day, we just decided to hang out in the food court. The Barbecue Chicken platter we had at the food court was nothing sort of awesome, will recommend it highly to everyone visiting there.
As we quitely retire to our suite. the scenery I drove through this particular day kept on appearing in my mind (as it even does today).
Last edited by 1100D : 13th August 2008 at 08:24.
|13th August 2008, 08:35||#37|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Halifax, Canada
Thanked: 43 Times
As I had mentioned earlier (elsewhere..in kutkut),Anirban da, it was just and amazing experience to go through this write up....coupled with the photographs by you...for a moment I felt as if I was there in the middle of the Arizona desert...truely great stuff from a D-Tbhpian....
OT: By the way were the pics taken from your Canon Powershot camera?
|13th August 2008, 08:46||#38|
Senior - BHPian
Some pictures from the Marble Canyon Vermilion Cliffs area
The Marble Canyon visitor center.
The lovely visitor center being captured
The extinguished bhpian (before being on fire)
|13th August 2008, 08:49||#39|
Senior - BHPian
Okay let me elaborate! Another Powershot camera devoid of the rubber band. However, both of them were at work.
Last edited by 1100D : 13th August 2008 at 08:51.
|13th August 2008, 09:49||#40|
Senior - BHPian
Some more snaps of the Grand Canyon that evening
On the way to the canyon
The Colorado River, note the colour of the water now, we will make reference to this as to how it appears during the day.
The Watch tower
View from the top of the tower (Highest view point in the south rim)
I did not stay till the 16th minute to see if they de-parked themselves. By the way they are not captive and seeing them is luck.
Thank you Bugs Bunny for bringing me here.
Last edited by 1100D : 13th August 2008 at 09:52.
|13th August 2008, 09:59||#41|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: KA 05, MH 10
Thanked: 75 Times
Did you watch the Grand Canyon movie at the Imax theatre, I am sure you would have, its amazing.
Its recommended to see this movie before seeing the actual canyon to appreciate the beauty.
|13th August 2008, 10:23||#42|
Senior - BHPian
More of that coming soon, for me it was actually a disappointment for reasons I will mention, while posting the next part of the report.
However for most other people, its a must.
|13th August 2008, 18:49||#44|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Some Moving Vehicle
Thanked: 115 Times
All those pictures us posted....? Well thats America - that I dream of seeing
and all of us like me from tinsel town Kolkata keep on searching for traces of 'america' in our country's highways and terrains on the Deccan Plateau .
Hope to meet you sometime in future.
Last edited by btirthankar : 13th August 2008 at 18:51.
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