Day 4: Albuquerque, NM to Williams, AZ

I’m a day late with this one, but better late than never!

We got up early and decided to walk to a nearby McDonald’s for breakfast since our hotel breakfast didn’t start until 6:30 and we got up at 5. It was 5:30 when we got to the 24-hour McDonald’s, only to find that their dining room didn’t open until 6:00. We decided we would check something we had never done before off of our list and walk through the “drive-thru” line. The guy at the window was a good sport about it, but told us that we would have to order at the 2nd window, which we thought was odd because he was the one taking the orders and the money, so we weren’t sure why he couldn’t take our order and money at his window. We stood behind the car that was waiting for their food so that we could place our order, but two more cars pulled up behind us and ordered their food before we could even get up to the window to order. We decided that this wasn’t working out, and so we decided to walk down the street to Denny’s instead. By the time we had finished breakfast and got back to the hotel and loaded up the bikes, it was already almost 7 o’clock and we had intended to be gone by 6:30.

Our first stop of the day was at the Petrified Forest National Park. In all honesty, we did not do the entire drive through the park, so we really did not even get to the petrified forest part because we knew we would want to spend more time at the Grand Canyon later that day and the Petrified Forest wasn’t super high up on our list of things to see.

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Next up was a stop in Winslow, Arizona because how could any Eagles fan go by and not stop in Winslow to stand on the corner and pose for a picture with the flat bed Ford?! While we were there we had lunch at the Sipp Shoppe across the street from corner mural, and let me just say that if you are a salad lover like I am and you ever find yourself having lunch here, the “Favorite Strawberry Salad” is absolutely fantastic. It was one of the best salads I’ve had. I highly recommend it!

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When we left Winslow, it was time to head towards the Grand Canyon. The temperature reached 92 before we got to Flagstaff, and when we got to the top of the mountains on 89 it had dropped to a wonderful 82 degrees. Unfortunately the cooler temperature did not last and as we descended the mountain it quickly went back up. By the time we got to 64 that leads to the Canyon, the temperature had reached 100 degrees. It did cool back off a bit as we got up into the park, but it was still quite hot in all of our gear.

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Unfortunately for us, we came into the park on the opposite side from the visitors center, and we both needed a bathroom break and to refill our Camelbak’s in a bad way, so after taking in the first amazing viewpoint of the canyon, we made our way across the park to the visitors center. We weren’t really prepared for the amount of people that would be there, as it didn’t seem like the park was all that busy. None of the overlooks were particularly crowded as we drove through, but apparently that was because everyone was at the visitors center, haha. We ended up parking underneath a shade tree at the end of the parking lot, not actually in a parking spot, but at the time we were so hot and thirsty that we didn’t care, we were not going to park in the sun and burn up, we needed to cool off.  After we took turns going to the restroom and refilled our water packs, we rode back to Grandview Point, and then we hit another one of the pull-off overlooks on the way back.

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By this point we were both getting pretty worn out from the heat and hungry, so we decided to call it a day and make the hour-long trip down to Williams to our hotel. It was an extremely hot ride to the hotel, and we were both developing headaches. Dwayne had a migraine by the time we got into our room, and he had to take some medicine and lay down to get rid of it while I took a shower and got cleaned up. Luckily he was able to shake it off and we walked across town to a little pizza place called the Station 66 Italian Bistro. We ordered cheese bread and a wood-fire pizza, both of which were absolutely fantastic. We had a really great server who was interested in hearing about our trip and talking with us about motorcycles, so that was fun, and they had good live music out on the patio as well, which made dinner even more enjoyable. To top it all off, they had gelato outside on the sidewalk that you could buy as you were leaving, which was a perfect ending to a delicious meal.

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When we got back to our hotel, it was 8:30 and we had plans to get up at 4:30 to try to beat the heat to Bakersfield, so I had to skip writing my blog entry and get things ready to go and get to bed early instead.

Mileage for the day was 500.

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