we left karen and brian’s around 8am. ryan was sad and worried about nana. we started out with a goal of making it to the grand canyon. grant, a seasoned road tripper by now, was having his morning yogurt and watching chuck the truck. we drove about 2 hours to shiprock, nm. they have a big rock there of the same name (except two words). we didn’t actually drive up to it, but we stopped and took pictures.
shortly after ship rock we crossed into arizona. our next stop was monument valley. there were two ways to get there. go down into arizona and then back up to the az-ut border. the other way, the way we opted to go, is up into utah and back down to the border. i am really glad we chose that route because it was so beautiful. i think it was called the canyon lands of utah. we didn’t stop, but i took lots of pictures while we drove. one of the rock formations is called mexican hat. grant played with cars and watched cars and then took a nap, missing most of the awesomeness (but he was quiet and happy, so whatever).
as we neared the az-ut border we saw monument valley. the pictures definitely don’t do it justice. we stopped at a navajo market. it is basically a bunch of tables set up on a vista overlooking the valley. grant was still sleeping, so ryan got out and shopped around. they were selling handmade jewelry and hand painted rocks and stuff. grant woke up while ryan was shopping and we all got out and walked around and took pictures.
we crossed back into arizona and for hours we drove and drove, ping ponging between arizona and utah. we didn’t stop for a long time. i took pictures from the car. grant kept busy with his shows and coloring. he ate a whole lot of trail mix, but he would hand me the almonds and walnuts. it was perfect sharing trail mix with him because he likes the dried fruit part and i like the nuts. we finally stopped in page, arizona. we ate at a burger king. the fast food places really are a god sent with a two year old on the road. they get a toy in the happy meal and most of them have a play area. so grant go to burn off some of the pent up energy. ryan said he wanted to drive all the way home today. i could tell he was really not into road tripping. his mind was with nana. i was bummed, but if he was concerned and preoccupied with what was going on in texas, i’m not going to drag him to a bunch of tourist spots. so, we agreed to try and get home. the fastest way home bypassed the grand canyon. we stopped for gas and treats at a funky gas station in fredonia, az. it is really close to the north rim of the grand canyon. we continued on, passing into nevada and onto the 15, which we would take all the way to los angeles county.
we got within the las vegas city limits while there was still daylight. we stopped for gas right out side the strip. all pretty tired and ready to be home, we made the stop quick and got back on the road. we didn’t stop until we got home. we hit a bit of traffic around baker, ca, but otherwise it was pretty smooth sailing. grant had a dinner of peanut butter and jelly and more yogurt. he didn’t go to sleep like i was hoping, but he was content to watch how to train your dragon. i think he finally fell asleep toward the end of the movie, around 9. that was my cue to sleep, too. i woke up at 11pm when we pulled into the driveway. grant transitioned nicely from the carseat to his bed. i went straight to bed, too. it felt sooooo good to sleep in my own bed.
we put 3,674 miles on our little mazda. it was cut short, but we had the best time. i was surprised at how well i adapted to life on the road. the good times outweigh the very few cranky, frustrated moments we had. we saw a lot of cool stuff and by coming home early we left some stuff for another road trip (probably to the grand canyon).