Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Catching up with the fam

Yesterday after arriving in Flagstaff I met up with my brother at NAU. He's busier than I've ever seen him, which is a good thing - fraternity, school, dorm life... We went for some supper at Red Lobster. Tuesday shrimp special. Yes, there's totally a creepy oversized hand thing going on here.

After dinner he had a last-minute fraternity meeting come up, so I went back to the hotel for a bit and then re-met up with him at his dorm and proceeded to hang out and catch up and meet various friends until well past midnight. On one hand, I miss dorm life. On the other, the insanity of the dorms and never getting anything done isn't particularly appealing at this point.

My brother continues to be hilarious in his own quirky way. His nickname is "Smooth" and he had some great stories ("I'm sorry, Taco Tuesday ends at 11." "But it's still Tuesday!"). He proudly posted his restraining order against a certain ex on his room door. Long story.

After catching some shut-eye, I set out around the Eastern edge of the Grand Canyon to get to St. George. Along the way, I spent time enjoying the amazing views and utilizing my camera.

I took the time to explore the area at Lees Ferry, the Northern end of the Grand Canyon just past the Glen Canyon Dam holding back Lake Powell.

The canyon is much smaller here, but it's really interesting to see the bright green Colorado River in a small canyon, knowing how quickly that small canyon turns into a massive one just miles downriver. (It's not a small canyon per se, but scale-wise it has a long ways to go to become "grand" worthy.)

The Vermillion Cliffs were also intriguing. It looks like there's a ton to explore in that area when I've got time in the future.

The oddest part of the day was starting at 4000 feet after leaving the canyon area and driving up into a national forest (don't you usually drive down to find more vegetation?) at 7000+ feet. Here's a view on the way up looking back towards the cliffs and the beginning of the canyon.

The road for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon branches off in the forest - I was severely tempted to drive to the North Rim, but was a little concerned about running low on diesel and being able to find a good station, given our recent experience with bad diesel.

After driving through the Kaibab National Forest, you descend right back down into rocky desert.

Tonight has been low-key hanging out with my parents. They saw the truck, I saw the changes in the landscaping, and we had sherbert.

And since the post topic is family, I should mention that our (middle-aged) puppy Pepper whom I miss dearly is living it up with his newly adopted family in Alaska. Clamming, tent camping, rolling in smelly things... I'm jealous.

Seriously... what could be better than getting wet and rolling around in the mud?

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