From the Kolb Studio, we walked back out to a shuttle to take us back to the parking lot. I was amazed at how large the "village" at the south rim is. I didn't realize how commercialized it is. I commented to Thomas about how the Grand Canyon is a spectator sport. Sure there is hiking and camping, which we really hope to be able to go back and do, but it felt much more separate from us than our trips through other national parks. Don't get me wrong - beeeeeautiful!
We headed down to the east end of the rim and walked around. It was again stunning. The tower was crowded with people, so we wandered off on our own. The sun was setting, the winds were picking up, and the temperature was falling. I was amused at the fashion of the Grand Canyon, and Thomas and I laughed about the various styles. We were in the minority that lacked style - knee high leather boots, the hats, the sun glasses, the leggings and designer labels. A lot of them looked very cold at the end of the day. But we didn't go for people watching (just an extra bonus): more pictures!
Driving away from the Grand Canyon, the colors and sunset were all stunning. We basked in the glow of a beautiful day. We also looked forward to a good meal - a sit down affair with service (like I said, breakfast didn't count). Since our grand feast of sizzling soup and leftovers on Monday, we had mostly been snacking and piecing together meals. Amy & Pat gave us a delicious loaf of bread that we just ate plain out of the bag - so good! We also had crackers, cuties, spiced nuts, and Tom's beef jerky. We were able to get by on that considering that we were so sedentary. But Thursday night we were going out! In Flagstaff Tom found a bar and grill by the university that looked promising, and it was. I enjoyed a portabello mushroom sandwich, and Thomas went for the fish and chips. When all was said and done, it wasn't an expensive meal, but it was a good meal. It left Tom a little sleepy though, so I drove on to Holbrook, where we would stay the night. It was an uneventful ride down the highway into another tourist town holding on from the Route 66 days. We drove through an area that looked a bit run down, so tried our luck at the other end of town. The hotels had full parking lots, which was a good sign until we learned that they were too full - no room at the inn! We kept coasting along and found a Route 66 era motel with space in the parking lot. I was nearly finished with my book, so I let Thomas check us in alone. He came back to the car and said we had found an unbeatable deal - the room was cheaper than our dinner! And it was. It wasn't bad, and I haven't noticed any rashes or itches that won't go away, but the bathroom was at least fifty years old. The shower bore lost of rust stains from leaky plumbing, and the base of the walls showed where the steam ran down and tracked dust. It was just as well we would be home the next day in our own bathroom. All the same, we both slept well.