Wow the trip is over and we didn't make the north rim (250 miles one way) or a trip to the painted desert, but we did see painted desert hills and it was pretty. We put on about 1300 miles in the week and saw so much! (Over a 1000 pictures)
It was just great overall.
We went to Sedona and Jerome (mining town upside a mountain) one day, very beautiful. We went back to Sedona on the north side and hiked seven miles in oak creek canyon another day.
We took two days at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, the first day we walked the entire walkable rim (2.5 miles about) and took the free shuttle back to parking (though Hermits point and west were closed), then drove the east section (except for Yaki point). It was monsoon season so the afternoons clouded up most days, so one day we went back to the south rim early, caught a beautiful sunrise and walked the rim again then picniked lunch just one block west of Yaki point. (Sadly that day while we were picniking, someone (29) fell 250 ft. down from that point-we heard the next day, and we crossed paths with emergency vehicles on our way back to Flagstaff.)
One day we spend in Flagstaff and saw the Northern Arizona Museum Arts and Crafts Show (annual event) and saw beautiful American Indian Artistry. We also went to Sunset Crater, a volcano that erupted only 900 years ago, and we saw the indian ruins up the road from there--beautiful painted desert area too.
We drove to Page AZ one day and took a half day smooth water rafting trip in Glen Canyon from Powell lake down 16 miles to Lee's Ferry, it was a beautiful trip. Our tour guide, Candace (19) was great. We met a really neat guy, Otto, from Austria, he is a teacher and very knowledgable, and he does tours of many areas on different continents. We also noticed that more than half the people on the tours were foreigners, mostly spanish and french, because the US dollar is lower in trade to their currency.
We put on so many miles and had little time to eat out, only bringing back dinner one night when we did laundry in Flagstaff from a place called Stromboli--a Stromboli Calzone, Noodles Alfredo w/roasted garlic and shrimp, and minestrone soup with garlic bread. The only sit down dinner we had was a Black Barts in Flagstaff. It's a RV park and truck stop and it had a great atmosphere--waiters and waitresses performing with a piano the entire night. Nighties from the 40's (dresses) on the walls, old time photos, very entertaining. We had steaks salads potatoes and it was pretty good. My steak was perfect, and his was over charred (for medium rare), the rest was great. They even served biscuits with honey butter with the meal. I'm glad we went just for the atmosphere.
I wish we had the money and time to go to more places to eat out but we were usually exhausted from the early mornings and long drives to each place--I don't think we could have done it any other way.
We stocked up in the beginning of the week with salad stuff and dressing , sandwich stuff from the deli, a rotisserie chicken, pumpernickle bread, cereal, fruit, milk, snack food w/crackers and seafood salad, ice cream and sherbet. We had a refrigerator/freezer and microwave in the hotel, and had a rolling soft sided cooler to bring with us each day. (we brought lots of water for hiking and needed it) Usually before we went to sleep, I'd assemble sandwiches and salad, and baggies of fruit and snacks to pack in our backpacks for our hikes or to keep in the cooler. We made mocha coffees each morning, with caramel for sweetening and went through a lot of soda with the water.
Over all it was great and thank you all for the suggestions on places to go eat so we had some choices.
What a great trip, I'm so glad we went. Thank you for your help! ~Bliss
Yes I'm back and glad to be back!