Archive for the Utah Category

Easter Trip 2017 to Southern Utah with Jack & Lance

Posted in Arizona, Road Trip, Utah on April 23, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,423

Odometer (ILX):  195,000

Trip Distance:  827 Miles

The Arizona Department of Transportation has a sense of humor!

Back in the saddle again, at last!  My trusty silver steed came back into action 11 days ago after its recent bodyshop visit.  Two friends and I rode off into the Arizona sunset toward Las Vegas, then southern Utah.  The occasion?  Family fun in St. George for the Easter holiday.  It was an 800-miler with some of the best roadtrip tunes in the business.  Lance took over the backseat and I serenaded us with his in-car karaoke.  Our favorite artists to jam out to are Tracy Chapman and Jars of Clay.

“You got a fast car.  I got a ticket to anywhere.  Maybe we can make a deal, maybe together we can get somewhere.  Anyplace is better, starting from zero got nothing to lose.  Maybe we’ll make something.  Me, myself I got nothing to prove.”  Classic lines from Tracy’s “Fast Car.”

The Panda Express in Kingman, Arizona was just the spot to satisfy our cravings for orange chicken and Beijing beef at the halfway point on our drive to St. George Friday night.

Saturday was a day full of activities and good food.  We had breakfast at Bear Paw on Main Street in St. George, and then hiked around on the Red Hill overlooking town.  It was a perfect day with a light breeze and clear skies.  My brother Payton had laid out an assembly line for painting Easter eggs at his home in Santa Clara so we stopped by there and dyed a few eggs of our own with the kids.  I took Jack and Lance up to Snow Canyon and we played around in the sand dunes for an hour.

My grandma and grandpa were hospitable during our unannounced drop-in and even served up lasagna and garlic bread.  We got to spend an hour enjoying the serene backyard patio from the comfort of lounge chairs and chatting it up.  Later that evening, my brother Bentley had us over to his place for a test drive in his 1968 Chevy Nova SS, tacos on the menu, and a game night.  Great way to close out the night.

Easter Sunday consisted of an egg hunt at my brother’s place – complete with eggs of all sizes, filled with more candy than the entire sweets aisle at Walmart.  Stomach ache!

Add this road to your must-drive lists right this instant:  Arizona Highway 89A – Vermillion Cliffs.  It’s the best.  This two-laner runs along the Utah-Arizona state line and traverses some of the most vivid landscapes your eyes will ever see.  Plus, you get to stop at the Cliff Dwellers homesite where Native Americans are usually selling wares like jewelry, rugs, and other artifacts.  Finally, you can stop at Lee’s Ferry where a historic 1928 bridge offers a dramatic view of the Colorado River.

That’s the route we took on our return drive to Phoenix on Sunday, while eating way too much Easter candy and jamming out to more classic hits – mostly from the 1990s.

Thanks for coming along for the adventure!

Breakfast burrito from Bear Paw in St. George

Cruising around in mom’s 2004 Infiniti G35.  It turned over 36,000 miles!

View of St. George

Checking out brother Payton’s “Intensa Blue Pearl” Lexus IS300

Easter egg preparation

Nephew Rex collecting his Easter eggs

With Lance and Jack at Cliff Dwellers along Highway 89A

Enjoying the view from Navajo Bridge at Lee’s Ferry

Hiking South Mountain in Phoenix this past week with my friends Dante & Riley

My brother sold his 1993 Legend L coupe to a friend of mine, Brandon, yesterday.

Hanging with my nephews

Scenic pics along Old Utah Highway 91

 

The Legend Rolls 550,000 Miles on a Christmas Trip to Utah

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Legend, Milestones, Road Trip, Utah on December 26, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  550,085

550085

It took me 5 years to go from 500,000 to 550,000, but I finally got there last night.  I made a Christmas 800-mile round-trip to southern Utah this weekend and celebrated the milestone on my way home, along Highway 93 just north of Wickenburg, Arizona.

wikieup

Mechanically, it was smooth sailing aside from adding a little power steering fluid and getting a check-engine light.  As a matter of fact, somehow I achieved 29.7 miles per gallon on the way up Friday night.  I guess that’s partly thanks to the fact that my speeds were usually between 65 and 70 miles per hour.  They still haven’t paved an interstate between Phoenix and Las Vegas so it’s mostly back roads for that 4.5-hour stretch.

550000

Fittingly, my return trip took me through “Santa Claus, Arizona” – a now-abandoned tourist trap that in the 1930s was a gas station, gift shop, and restaurant.  Vandals have destroyed what’s left of it, but the map still clearly confirms its existence and I stopped for a few pictures at Saint Nick’s run-down residence.

santa_claus_map

The place can be yours, if the price is right!

santa_sign

Snow-capped peaks in the background – it was chilly out there, for Arizona standards anyway.

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Here’s the roll-over video and a few scenes from Santa Claus.

A few other photos from recent events.  Allie from Acura mailed me a “Nouvelle Blue Pearl” 2017 NSX model car.  I told her it’ll go nicely in my garage!

blue_nsx

Fueling up in Wickenburg on Friday afternoon

wickenburg_fuel

Sunset when rolling through Las Vegas, Nevada

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Visiting mom, and also a visit from our friend Jack

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Re-creation of a 20-year old photo (top) taken in 1997 with mom’s Legend.

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My brother’s 1993 Legend LS 6-speed (139,000 mi) next to mine.

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The ILX getting snowed on in Holden, Utah.  Jack – from a few pics above – borrowed the car this weekend and put it to good use.

ilx_snow

My uncle Dande picked up a 2013 ILX too.  “Polished Metal Metallic” automatic.

dande_ilx

Family photo of mom’s side of the family.

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A few other videos for your viewing pleasure today.

ILX in snow – thanks Jack for the clip:

Link to Xtreme Coupe YouTube channel – my brother’s page.  Watch his Lexus IS300 project updates:

Link to interesting video on the evolution of automotive design:

Link to Hagerty Engine Rebuild Video of a Chrysler motor.  Pretty fascinating stuff:

Have a great week!

Quick Northern Utah Trip & A Few Links for Light Reading

Posted in Utah on December 16, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  187,981

187981

It’s uncommon for me to ever have to navigate a vehicle on snowy roads these days.  I love to joke with my friends in snowy regions about how much of a chore it is to shovel the sunshine off my driveway each winter here in Phoenix.  But for a couple of my college years in northern Utah, I did get a hefty dose of “Slick Road 101” and the Legend and I both survived it.  Here are some photos from January 2005.

tyson_snow

The Legend had 150,000 miles on it at the time.  I’d barely gotten my journey started.

buried2

Sometimes, even I opt for a flight over a drive.  In this past weekend’s case, the choices were a 12-hour drive (that could easily turn into many more in inclement weather) or a 90-minute flight.  Given the short timeline, it made the most sense to hop on Southwest and let my pilot do the driving.  The ILX got left at Phoenix “Sky Harbor” airport.

ilx_at_airport

My rental car at Salt Lake City International Airport was a “gutless wonder” (I think my dad coined that phrase) 2015 Volkswagen Jetta with 48,000 miles on it.  It took a lot of coaxing to get it to freeway speeds, but comfort was OK and it got incredible MPGs.  My dad and stepmom live in a community called Providence, nestled on the east bench of Cache Valley at the tip-top northern end of Utah.  It’s a college community, home to my alma mater Utah State University, and I usually make it up there about twice a year.  The valley is a beautiful place, as seen from my dad’s backyard.

backyard_view

After an overnight stay at a friend’s house in South Jordan (SLC suburb), I made the northbound drive about 100 miles to Providence.  My 87-year-old grandmother is recently widowed and needed a lift to run a couple of errands in town.  We also met up with some other family members for lunch at one of my favorite pizza joints near the USU campus called Fredrico’s Pizza.  The garlic bread is always dripping in delicious butter.

jetta

Cache Valley got a dusting of snow on Saturday night and I got the chance to use that unfamiliar object called an ice scraper that Advantage Rent-A-Car had conveniently left in the passenger seat of my Jetta.  I paid a visit to my uncle Jeff in Taylorsville, south of Salt Lake, who’s been building and racing hot rods for as long as I remember.  His current projects are a Chevy Corvair and a 1965 Chevy II Nova.  I captured a short video of the Corvair.  I’m quite confident its growl woke up everyone in Jeff’s neighborhood from their Sunday naps.  Here’s a very short video I took:

Arrival at Salt Lake City International Airport.

slc_airport

Incidentally, this airport was the one featured in the classic 1994 film “Dumb & Dumber,” though the movie was supposed to have been set in Rhode Island.

Northbound to Logan on snowy roads

snow_driving

Morning in Cache Valley

trees

My workplace has become ultra festive.  Here’s a collage of photos taken the other night.

Had a couple of nice visits this past week from friends, including Chase and Michael who are both from Texas.

chase_michael_tyson

And Matt who’s local and who drive a 2001 CL.

matt_cl

Special thanks to my friend Kevin for sending me some classic Acura ads.

legend_ad_2

legend_ad

And here are few more decade-old pictures from my time at Utah State in the wintertime.

buried

snowing

frosty_legend

Lastly:  Check out a few cool links on articles that you might find interesting:

  • My friend Brendan Saur’s article about a 1995 Legend L coupe on Curbside Classic
  • My friend Ben Hsu’s article about Ryu Asada, Hot Wheels designer, on Japanese Nostalgic Car.
  • My article about a guest speaker at the upcoming Arizona Concours d’Elegance on ClassicCars.com

Have a great weekend!

Thanksgiving 2016: Zion National Park in Southern Utah

Posted in ILX, National Parks, Road Trip, Utah on November 27, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  549,008

549008

Odometer (ILX):  187,248

187248

Trip Distance:  849 Miles

sgu

What are some of the most expensive toll roads you’ve driven?

park_fees

On Thursday morning, I paid $30 to drive 14 miles on State Route 9 in southern Utah.  $2 per mile!  But that’s a small price to pay for this kind of scenery-per-mile, right?

ilx_at_zion

Truth is, that fee was actually the cover charge for Zion National Park, and it just so happened that I needed to pass through Zion in order to get to a Thanksgiving feast that was awaiting me at Aunt Jodi’s house on the other side in Rockville.

Knowing, though, that I wouldn’t need to re-enter the park since I’d be taking a different route home, I decided to “pay it forward.”  It was Thanksgiving Day, after all.  As soon as I got through the park and exited its west end, I hit the brakes, threw the hazards on in the ILX, and rushed out the driver door to hand my park pass to an unsuspecting motorist going the opposite way who was waiting in line at the ranger station to enter.  “Do you want a free park pass?  It’s good for 7 days,” I told the driver of a white SUV.  “Umm, sure!” he said as he took the brochure and receipt.  “Happy Thanksgiving!” I yelled as I ran back to the ILX and drove away.

zion_entrance

Growing up in southern Utah, my family’s home was only 45 minutes from the gates of Zion National Park.  Zion is one of Utah’s 5 colorful national parks, established 97 years ago and covering over 200 square miles in the southwest corner of the state.  There are some key features including waterfalls, gardens, and picturesque sandstone cliffs carved away by the Virgin River at the base.  Holiday tourist traffic was heavy on Thanksgiving but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the scenery and stopping for a few photos on my quick drive through.

tunnel

My favorite feature of the park is 1.1-mile-long tunnel called the Zion – Mount Carmel Tunnel.  It was carved away in 1930 and shortened the distance from Zion to nearby Bryce Canyon by 70 miles.  The tunnel is narrow and requires a special escort for oversize vehicles.  The interior of the tunnel is completely black except for 3 or 4 spots where there are ‘windows’ opening up to the outside canyon.  Unfortunately cars are not allowed to stop at those windows.

We dined heartily on turkey and trimmings at Jodi’s.  It was good to see my brothers and a couple of my cousins.  Here are a few photos and a short video from my Thanksgiving weekend.  Check out my cousin Dillon’s dance moves at 1:46 in.  I hope you and your families had an enjoyable one.

group

Highway 89 northbound just south of Page, Arizona

highway_89

Utah state line near Lake Powell in Page

utah_statel

I liked this Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah

parry_lodge_kanab

Highway 9 westbound

zion_road

Curvy road after exiting the tunnel

ilx_front

These backdrops never get old

ilx_at_zion_3

Quick jaunt to Salt Lake to visit a family member in the hospital

salt_lake_mountain

Sunset off mom’s back patio on Saturday night

mom_view

Visiting a couple of my favorite little people, nephew Rex and niece Vivienne

rex_viv_tyson

I was shocked on Thursday evening when my friend Chris messaged me about an article that had just been posted on Jalopnik about my garage and Acura collection.  Jalopnik is one of the largest automotive media pages around – with over 300,000 followers on Facebook, 150,000 YouTube subscribers, and a huge presence overall.  A couple of months ago, I had shot a quick email over to editor Andrew Collins who I also knew to be an Acura driver (with a > 200,000-mile TL).  He took enough interest in the story to put together an article about it.

jalop_feature

The level of response was pretty nuts.  My blog had its best view day in its 5-year history, with 2,558 views and over 1,200 visitors the following day.  Both the Facebook post and the article itself got about 300 comments each. I was terrified of reading them but eventually got the nerve.  To my surprise, most were overwhelmingly positive.  I’m glad a few people out there can relate to a my madness or at least consider it a little bit entertaining.

stats

The blog, by the way, is sitting at around 496,000 views overall since I started it in March 2011.  That means we are shortly coming up on a Drive to Five milestone of a completely different nature.  Thanks for being part of it!

Mexico, A Marathon, A Milestones, & Miscellaneous

Posted in ILX, NSX, Road Trip, Running, Utah on October 2, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  106,150

106150

Trip Distance:  424 Miles

phoenix_to_rocky_point

Hey, that odometer below can’t be real can it?  Sorry Gabe, I think you’ve tampered with it!  Though the number sequence makes me think of a catchy tune I once heard.

gabe_post

Seems one of my cars has been doing some road tripping without me in recent weeks!  Whilst I was enjoying myself on my travels to and from Atlanta recently, my friend Kyle took the ILX south of the border on a little weekend trip to Mexico.  His destination was called Puerto Peñasco, or, in English:  Rocky Point.  It’s a small beach town on the shores of the Gulf of California in Mexico that can be reached in about 4 hours drive time from Phoenix.  It is, in fact, our closest beach (getting to San Diego’s Pacific shoreline takes about two hours longer).

Thanks to Kyle’s contribution to the ILX’s adventures, the car has now traversed every country in north America this year.  You’ll recall that back in May, my friend Jason and I drove our cars to the Arctic Circle north of Fairbanks, Alaska.  If you plot a route on Google Maps from the Arctic Circle to Rocky Point, it comes in at just fewer than 4,000 miles one-way.  Heck of a road trip!

north_america

Kyle took a few photos to share with me, including shot of a fuel-up at “Why” just before crossing over the international border southbound.  You can read more about my visit to Why from 2013 at the hyperlink.

ilx_in_why

Arrival at the beach

ilx_in_mexico

Crossing back into the U.S. of A:

us_border_station

And getting a foam bath.  Thanks Kyle!

foam_bath

I have a couple weeks’ worth of miscellaneous news to catch up on here, I guess.  I had to hit the ground running at work after having been gone for 5 business days on the Atlanta trip.  Luckily, my coworkers were patient with me while I got caught up.  Last weekend was a nice relaxing time at home.  I hit the yard with my new Honda lawnmower on Saturday morning and washed cars that afternoon.

Thanks, Mark, for sending me the November 2016 issue of Automobile Magazine with a feature on the 1992-93 Integra GS-R!

gsr_article

My buddy Mirel bought a new car that I helped him transport.

tyson_in_mirel_coupe

6-speeders:

mirels

I’ve had lots of company at my house, including Jenn & Tiffany:

jenn_tiff_tyson

And Brian:

tyson_brian

The cars got a bath in the backyard.

dmm

And Jeremy and I took the Legend sedan to brunch.

sedan_brunch

This past Friday morning, I buzzed up to St. George, Utah in the ILX for a family visit and a marathon event.  Yesterday, I took a swing at my tenth full 26.2-mile marathon run.  Having run only a few 3-milers this entire year, my training was lacking to say the least.  But I committed to this back in April and as I boarded a school bus in the morning at 4:00 a.m. to drive me up State Route 18 to the start line, I thought to myself, “Am I insane?”  I think many of the people on the bus had the same thought process.

It became painfully clear at about the midpoint in the race that I was not adequately prepared, but I pressed on, using a jog / walk alternating method to get me through the course.  I never came to a complete stop or took any breaks, but just rather kept moving forward at a semi-consistent pace.  Luckily, the St. George Marathon is primarily downhill in nature so I was able to let gravity help me along.  My finish time was 4 hours, 54 minutes which is on the slow side for my competitive age bracket, but I was just grateful to finish in one piece!

A few more pics from my weekend follow here.  First, checking out grandma’s old Quasar video camera.  We dug it out of storage.  The date of manufacture is June 1985.  Anyone remember lugging around one of these?

doce_camera

camera_mfg_date

Visiting with my nephew Beckam:

tyson_beckam

And my niece Viv.  That’s her kitty “Marie” but we call her “Pizza.”  You’ll have to ask Viv why.

viv_tyson

Race morning!  With mom at the start line.

tyson_tia

Start line with our friend Jed.  My shorts (no, not a skirt!) look highly reflective.

jed_tia_tyson

This marathon participant is a “legend” in her own way.  Deb Zockoll is the only St. George Marathon runner who has now competed in all 40 runs in the event’s history.  She is an inspiration to many!

deb_tyson

Closing in on Mile 15 with Snow Canyon State Park in the background.

snow_canyon

Looking surprisingly fresh when I ran past Grandma and Aunt Jodi around Mile 24.

tyson_running

Grandma’s sign:

doce_sign

Taking a minute during my run to greet a few of my younger fans, Vivienne and Beckam.

viv_beckam

Best motivation ever!  This is what I most looked forward to at the finish line.

tru_moo

Final standings:

run_stats

Quick pose with Tanya.

tyson_tanya

Thought this was pretty cool – an old Caddy parked at the “Field of Screams” haunted corn maze in St. George.

hearse

Sending congrats out to my dad who rolled 200,000 miles on his 2010 Hyundai Sonata this weekend!

sonata_200k

He sent the picture to me and my two brothers.  He said he’s shooting for 500k.

sonata_texts

My friend Jack described my garage as “spearmint gum”  I wonder why!

spearmint

And today, I got to drive home in my 1992 NSX from Utah.  It had been since May that I last drove it.  The odometer turned 106,000 miles somewhere between Kingman and Wikieup.  I was reminded of how much I enjoy that car!  Best of all, it has a fresh leather interior thanks to my brother’s workmanship.  I’ll post interior pictures of it soon.

driving_nsx

I-40 in Kingman, Arizona.

kingman_i40

Turnoff at Burro Creek Campground along Highway 93.

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That’s it for now!  You’re all caught up.  Have a great week.

Quick Overnight Utah Trip in the NSX, with Route 66 Stops

Posted in NSX, Road Trip, Utah on May 12, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX): 104,315

104315

Trip Distance:  400 Miles

I’m sitting at Gate C25 at the Las Vegas International Airport and I already somehow ate $17 worth (!) of spaghetti and meatballs from the restaurant down the hallway, so why not kill a few minutes on WordPress?  I squeezed a little road trip out of this regular work week and it was a fun one.

route_66_sign

I’ve been needing to get a few maintenance items addressed on my 1992 Acura NSX for some time now.  The Anti-Lock-Braking (ABS) system has been on the fritz, the stereo emits a deafening static noise when you rotate the volume knob, and the small struts that hold up the rear trunk as well as the glass engine hatch have lost their holding power.  I can’t complain too much – the car, for the 4.5 years and 24,000 miles I’ve owned it, has required very little in maintenance aside from oil changes. My detailed 100,000 mile rollover post is here.

tyson_driving

At 24 years old, some maintenance needs are expected.  I reflected on my 400-mile drive last night from Scottsdale, Arizona to St. George, Utah.  It’s pretty remarkable I can hop into a car that old – the oldest I own, in fact – and spend the next 6.5 hours driving in complete confidence that it will get me reliably to my destination.  And it did.  Unlike most cars today, this one isn’t a rolling mega-computer.  It doesn’t have GPS.  It doesn’t have adaptive cruise control.  Heck, it doesn’t even have power steering.  But you know what?  It’s fun to drive.

trovatore_kingman

Along the way, I enjoyed some of the sights and sounds of northern Arizona:  namely, some Route 66 hot spots.  Kingman, Arizona is a halfway point on my Phoenix-to-Utah trip.  I routinely stop there for fuel (so frequently, in fact, that I have the clerks at the Mobil gas station on a first name basis).  But I rarely venture off the beaten path to take a look around at the sights on what used to be the “Mother Road.”  Places like this Mr D’s restaurant pay homage to a simpler time, with lots of color and greasy food because fewer people worried about nutrition facts.

mr_ds_kingman_nsx

Kingman still embraces its Route 66 heritage strongly and cruising along old 66, you’ll see lots of neat architecture that’s probably changed very little in the last 50 or 60 years.  An old power station has been converted into a Visitor Center, but sadly it had shut down for the day just prior to my arrival into town.  I continued on to Las Vegas, Nevada, stopping just briefly near the shores of Lake Mead for a photo at sunset.

nsx_at_lake_mead_2

Today, I telecommuted from Utah while paying a few visits to family members.  I caught a 5:00 p.m. shuttle bus to Vegas, and I’m about to get on my one-hour quick flight to Phoenix.  Speaking of which, they’re about to call my boarding group so I’d better jet – literally.  Big week ahead, as I’ll be departing Friday on a nearly 8,000-mile journey to Alaska and back.  And I’m taking you with me.  So, start packing.

arcadia_lodge_kingman

Get your kicks on Route 66

tyson_with_nsx_in_kingman

Breakfast with mom

tyson_tia

NSX keeping its new friends company:  My brother’s 1968 Nova and BMW M3

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Three nice looking two-doors in a row.  NSX power is far less.  But you know which one I’d take on a mountain drive.

b_garage

Talk soon!

Weekend Road Trip: St. George, Utah, Snow Canyon State Park, and Strawberry, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip, Utah on May 1, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,124

543124

Odometer (ILX):  162,648

162648

Trip Distance:  886 Miles

utah

Sometimes the best part about planning a road trip is throwing the plan out the window and winging it entirely.  What was intended to be a hiking weekend at Zion National Park with a dozen friends and family members ended up getting rained out and rescheduled.  While I had been looking forward to checking out the 14-mile “West Rim Trail” hike, Mother Nature had other plans that included thunderstorms in Southern Utah.

Still, my friend Rob and I made the trip up to see what kind of fun we could dig up.  And we found plenty.  On Friday we worked from “home,” or in this case, from mom’s kitchen table and Wifi network while she served up waffles, “fruit pizza,” and other snacks to keep us fueled.  I only wish my office had such amenities!  That evening, we met up with an old friend Josh who I’d known since high school but hadn’t seen for over a decade.

fruit_pizza

Saturday morning started out with mountain of French Toast at Bear Paw Cafe on Main Street in downtown St. George, followed by a hike on the Red Hill (also called the “sugarloaf”) with Rob.  The rain wasn’t yet coming down heavily so we scrambled up the rocks for a view overlooking the community.

sgu

Later that afternoon, we visited Snow Canyon State Park off State Route 18.  Snow Canyon is a 7,400-acre park just outside St. George city limits that is part of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.  It has nearly 40 miles of hiking trails and was set aside in 1959 as a state park.  Snow Canyon is one of my favorite places for automotive photography and videos.  Rob and I hiked around the sand dunes for a little while before heading to a family BBQ.

snow_canyon_2

Thumbs up!

tyson_snow_canyon

For the return trip to Phoenix, I wanted to introduce Rob to some other parts of Utah & Arizona that he hadn’t yet seen, so we opted to circle back to Phoenix via Flagstaff as opposed to back-tracking to Las Vegas where we’d come from.  About 90 minutes into our drive we’d reached the 7,900-foot-elevation Jacob Lake Inn, a historic lodge just north of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  There’s a small gas station, motel, restaurant, and gift shop on the site.  I couldn’t resist the grilled cheese sandwich so we stayed for a bite to eat before continuing on our way.  Spy the ILX in the window reflection here!

jacob_lake_inn

The Colorado River looked a lot like chocolate milk when we stopped briefly for a photo at the Navajo Bridge along Highway 89A about 40 miles later.  The old 1928 bridge has long-since been bypassed by a newer one, but pedestrians are allowed to walk out across it so we did that to get a good view of the river below.

colorado_river

Further adding to the adventure of our return trip was a sign along Interstate 17 just south of Flagstaff that stated “Road Closed 89 Miles Ahead.”  Rob took a peek at traffic on his phone and confirmed that things were at a standstill near the Bloody Basin Road exit just a little north of Phoenix.  So, we did some quick calculations and decided to make a detour at Camp Verde to Payson, which would add about 30-40 minutes to our trip but most certainly avoid any sort of delay from the road closure issue.  That seemed like the most logical plan of attack, so we went with it, and I’m glad we did!  Highway 260 from I-17 to the Highway 87 junction was a gorgeous two-lane windy road with very little traffic.

ilx_260

Soon we found our way in a few small towns on the outskirts of Payson, including one called Strawberry.  Most homes in that area have log cabin architecture which adds to a cozy feeling in the community.  Strawberry is also home to the state’s oldest still-standing schoolhouse, built in 1885, so we had to make a stop there.

strawberry

“Old school.”  Get it?  Never mind.

strawberry_schoolhouse

By the time we got back to my place in Scottsdale, it was nearly 6 p.m. and we felt like we’d spent the entire day in the car, but we covered some beautiful ground and enjoyed the road trip!   Below are the rest of my photos.

Thanks to PAPA member Larry Edsall for giving me this awesome mousepad!

mousepad

Dinner with my buddy Josh

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This is how long I’ve known Josh:  We took these photos of our Hondas together in January 2001.  Over 15 years ago!  Mine was the red Prelude of course.

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Prepare for takeoff!

wings

Breakfast with mom, sporting my NALM shirt of course

tyson_tia

Check out that French toast from Bear Paw Cafe!

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View of St. George from the Red Hill

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Old tunnel into St. George that has been bypassed by modern roads, and now serves as a storage area.

ilx_tunnel

Picking up my 5-year-old niece Vivienne

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Family BBQ with my brothers Payton and Bentley, and mom

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Rob getting cozy at the Jacob Lake Inn

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Leaving the Navajo Bridge

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Check out this Acura brand video entitled “30 Years Young” – pretty cool stuff!