Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Catching Up

Saturday night we flew to Phoenix First Class. Ah, if only. We flew to Seattle First Class. Then, as usual, we got bumped back to Coach because our first flight was so late leaving Anchorage. Sure, how can you argue when they say they have to fix something, but still, every time?

We saw the Grand Canyon for the first time last night. They say it takes your breath away, and it does. Partly, of course, because you’re 7000 feet above sea level, so it doesn't take much.
We stayed in a lodge near the rim of the canyon. Slightly more expensive lodges were on the rim, when checking in, people are presented with a choice, abyss, or non-abyss.

Yesterday we drove along of the rim, getting out occasionally to look over the edge. It's a long way down. We went to an Imax movie about the canyon so we could see what it would be like if we had the stamina to walk down the trail, or the money to fly along the river. Even the movie was pretty grueling because I spilled coffee on myself, plus I had to eat the free popcorn that Karen couldn't finish. I could empathize with the hardy souls that first trekked the chasm. Later the Johnsons and I went to a tower on the rim that was built about a century ago in the style of Hopi towers I think. I wanted to go to the top, but we had dinner reservations and we needed to get back and eat in time to see NCIS (we're not exactly Walden Pond types) so I had to hurry. I briskly walked up the first flight of stairs, and then quickly up the next and then realized that I was experiencing exactly what the guide books had said was hypoxia. I paused on each landing after that and finally did make it to the top, but really, from the rim to the bottom is about 5000 feet. Adding another 70 feet or so didn't make it seem all that much farther. I had thought we were at about 5000 feet above sea level but someone told us that the top of the tower was 7,524 feet above sea level. Knowing how high we were made me short of breath just lying in bed. Or it may have been the crushing weight of the Doritos pressing against my waistband.
This morning we left the park in a blizzard. It cleared up nicely though as we drove towards Albuquerque. I had often talked about retiring to Flagstaff, without having ever seen Flagstaff. Since it was on our way, we stopped and had lunch there. There was more blinding snow and wind while we ate. People tried to tell us that it wasn't always like that, but Flagstaff had its chance and it blew it.
Now we're in Albuquerque for a few days. On Saturday we're going to the fiery foods convention that Sarah recommended.

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