Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Return

I woke up early with some stomach issues. (Big surprise since I've eaten all the things I stay away from- and have probably eaten more junk in the last 2 weeks that I have in the last 2 years combined) The plan was for me to get an 8 mile run around town in while James hiked up the mountain the campsite was under.. So I took Tuna out and then tossed him in the hammock with James (who had gone out there to try and get some sleep- still not sleeping well around here) so I could make coffee and eat something- hoping that would make me feel better. 

It totally didn't work, actually I felt worse. James went on his hike and I hung back, staying in the tent and getting some writing done while I tried to drink a ton of water and relax the stomach issues away. Sometime around 8:30 I decided to give running a try. I managed 3 miles- not what I had in mind, but considering, I was happy with it. 
I showered and chilled out in the hammock while I waited for James to return so we could pack up. His hike was a bit longer than he anticipated, so when he got back we were running around packing up like maniacs (check out time was 11)
(My personal favorite camp space of the whole trip)
 We literally finished and pulled out of the camp spot at 10:57. 
First stop, Starbucks of course. While we were at Starbucks, James spotted a BBQ food truck in the parking lot.. and then this happened

And the best part about it? It was the best ribs we've eaten this whole trip. The Mean Pig was still amazing.. But apparently the food truck overtaking is happening for a reason

So then we drove… 
And drove
And drove some more. 
We knew the ride home was going to be long and pretty tedious since we didn’t have any fun stops to make. But eventually we decided to stop for some sleep at a truck stop.. We are so redneck 
This place was really, super nice on the inside though. 

 After a night of rest
(Im tired just looking at this picture)

 we headed inside for a little breakfast
 Yup.. pancakes across the country!
These pancakes literally tasted like yellow cake.. or pound cake.. Either way, they were pretty good- though I was definitely way more excited about the thick cut bacon..  (As a side note.. hash browns are gross.. everywhere. Bottom line.) This restaurant reminded me of Denny’s inside

 We were on the road by 8:30. Though we didn’t have anything planned but the vague idea of “Driving until we don’t want to drive anymore” I accidentally found a little gem off one of the exits
A knockoff Cadillac Graveyard..
Ok, I think we can all agree that Volkswagen beetles are simply not as cool as Cadillacs.. but it was still pretty awesome anyway. Off to the side, there was my favorite part
I would totally rock that car.
We gassed up, and moved on… Hunting for buffalo jerky- unfortunately, it really wasn’t that good..
 Tuna was starting to get a little stir crazy.. but we kept him occupied with some tug of war
As for ourselves.. there are always interesting vehicles on the road
This is literally just a truck of onions.. 
We made our way to Arkansas and decided to stay the night at a campground. It had been a long couple days of driving and we figured a night in a tent would hopefully refresh us for the final leg home.
We were very wrong.. This campground ended up being pretty disgusting and a complete disappointment. The sites were totally unkept, the bathrooms smelled, and it was the one night it actually rained the whole trip. We pretty much just shoved the wet tent in the bag and drove for 45 minutes for coffee and breakfast
My first waffle house experience, ever.. Again, this place was just like Dennys- and the food was pretty good
(Minus the has browns, Hah)
Nothing exciting happened durning that whole day of driving.. and the only thing I really have to share was dinner..

I’m pretty sure my body didn’t know what to do with the veggies.. since I hadn’t really eaten any, but it was awesome to get some healthier food in my body.
And this is when things got serious.
We decided to drive straight through the night and get home a day early.
James literally drove 5 1/2 hours hopped up on Monster and 5 Hour Energy. By the time I got in the drivers seat it was 5AM- I grabbed coffee and drove until New York. We started to hit traffic since it was around 8- so we stopped for more coffee and another breakfast
 At this point we were 3 hours from home, and no one was happier about that than Tuna.
He had just had enough.
I don’t think I’ve ever driven through Connecticut so quickly in my life.
And we finally got home at 11:30AM. After 27 hours of straight driving- only stopping for a quick bite to eat and gas along the way.
One hell of a way to end our trip!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rt.66 Road Trip, Pt.1, Day 5

Waking up 3 hours before the alarm is awesome. I’m pretty sure my body is still on East Coast time. Neither James or I have slept well since leaving Arkansas, but I’m too excited to care. Today was no different.. I woke up at 3AM. Since we had plans to hit the Grand Canyon this morning, I checked the time of the sunrise- 5:11AM. 
Luckily James was already up so we decided to try and make it there..  but first there needs to be coffee (no matter what time it is) and some breakfast
 We left at 4:15, but had to get gas.. so we were running a little late. I was driving, and only stopped in the middle of the road once for a picture
 It seemed so much farther than 70 miles away.. Unfortunately we missed our time frame- but it was still beautiful as we drove into the park anyway (James took these so don’t worry.. I wasn’t driving 85 mph and taking pictures- not that that hasn’t happened before) 

 I’m curious.. Who knew there was a forest around the Grand Canyon? 
 I was expecting a desert.
Finally after hour we made it into the park. 
 We pulled into the visitors center to park and this girl was just hanging out
 I was 5ft away from that thing.. It was HUGE- like 2 times the size of RI deer. The visitors center was closed, but then we saw a sign pointing towards our first viewpoint
Looking out, I got chills and lost my breath. I have never seen something so beautiful in my entire life. The pictures and my words could never even begin to explain what it really looks like or feels like to be standing at the edge of something so massive and amazing. It literally looks fake- everywhere you look on the horizon, there are subtle differences in colors and shapes- just so much to take it.. My brain and my eyes couldn't take it all in.
Even Tuna was impressed

We drove around to a bunch of lookout points and took a million pictures- I don’t think I could ever get bored looking at it. Unfortunately, because we had Tuna with us, we weren’t able to go to the basin.. Guess that means I just have to come back :) Which I don’t have a problem with!
One last stop before heading back 
The little Colorado River Gorge

By now we were starving so we searched for a place to eat back in Flagstaff.. and ended up at a pretty old/gross looking diner.. Thats how you know your hungry.. when you just don’t fucking care hah.

Yup.. more pancakes- I just can't help myself.. All in all, despite the look of the joint, the food was pretty good.. but way to expensive for breakfast.. $36 after tip!

We got back to the campsite and swung in the hammocks for a bit to let the food settle before attempting a hike up the mountain that the campground sits under.. Apparently Tuna had other plans though.. We were literally dragging him down the path.. and then he got to the point where every little shaded spot, he would plop his ass right down and refuse to move.

 We got tired of this game before he did, so we brought he back to the site, set him up in the crate in the tent (Don’t worry- it was totally shaded and cool I promise) and then went back up the trail.

 The trails around here aren’t marked like they are in RI.. like there is one little wooden sign with an arrow, and then NOTHING. And it’s not like there is only one way you can go.. Its pretty funny actually.

 Eventually I got hot and was ready to be done with it, so I headed back and went to buy stuff for dinner while James did another trail.

After dinner, we brought Tuna over to the little dog park in the campground and he made 3 girlfriends
(From the Top- Maggie, Bella, Zola)
 Tuna has never played with girls before.. and he was pretty much a gentleman.. And I’m absolutely in love with these girls
Slobber and everything.. Such a love bug
Zola is my little soul mate… We have the same color eyes.. (Her owner was very excited about that)
Tuna played with the girls for well over an hour while we talked with their owners (Both of them actually worked for the campground and were super awesome people)
When we got back to our site- completely dusty and dirty- I put Tuna to bed in the tent and spent some time on the hammock. I’m sad to leave