Miles Traveled: 56, Current Location: Grand Canyon, AZ

Well, the Grand Canyon is in fact Grand.  And it’s certainly a canyon.  In fact, it’s a place that I strongly recommend avoiding while in the presence of any known enemies.  I now understand why none of The Real Housewives casts have been sent on a trip to the Grand Canyon.  On your right, you have a beautiful wooded campground inhabited by moose and other woodland creatures and on your left, you have a 4,000 foot drop off into the great abyss.  Had Axl Rose and Vince Neil had the opportunity to venture together to the Grand Canyon, I’m quite certain that our American musical history would be a band short – although I won’t predict whether that would have been Motley Crue or Guns & Roses.

As I drove up the path to Grand Canyon National Park, I was greeted by Smokey the Bear.  He told me that only I can prevent forest fires. He also informed me that the fire danger is “high” today.  This fire danger marker looked like something that could easily be tampered with, so naturally, I was tempted to bump it up a couple of notches to “extreme” danger.  I resisted this urge and proceeded up the hill to the park where I saw at least three different people casually smoking cigarettes – smoking cigarettes like it was 1985 and they weren’t in the middle of a giant pile of kindle that I paid $25.00 to visit so that it can continue to remain a National Park.  And hadn’t they seen the bear?  While I did see people smoking, and many people who, like me, realized that this occasion called for tie-dye, I struggled to figure out how to actually see the Grand Canyon.  When the lead ant in a line doesn’t know where he is going, the whole group marches along the wrong path.  A Nissan Versa with South Dakota tags was my such “lead ant.”  I joined him in blowing past the visitor center, through 3 parking lots, and 2 dead ends.  Finally when I decided I would follow him no more, I realized that I was the lone car on the road.  When you’re the lone car on a road in a National Park that attracts 5 million visitors per year, you’re not a trailblazer… you’re an idiot.  Leave it to me to be unable to locate a 1218000 acre hole in the ground that’s less than half a mile away from me.  Eventually I did figure out how to see it, and I was not disappointed.  I really recommend that every American should try to make it to the Grand Canyon.  It’s reputation is certainly well deserved, and it’s amazing to see the natural beautythat our country has to offer.

My feeling of not being disappointed however was short lived.  After leaving the Grand Canyon, I was eager to check out the offerings of the “Wild West Experience.”  With twin cowboy statues planking the entrance, I sensed that I was in for a rip roaring good time, but when I approached the front door, I found that the Western Discovery Museum was closed for renovations.  Not wanting to leave the afternoon wasted, I decided to venture up the road to another museum that I had seen yesterday while driving towards my hotel.  “Bedrock City.”  As in the Flintstones’ Bedrock.  As in, America at its best.

I drove the 30 miles or so down the road back to Bedrock City and walked in the front door to see a moose head and Native American dolls proudly on display.  I was confused.  I approached the front desk and saw a sign for admission to Bedrock City.  A woman behind the counter asked if she could help me, and I told her that I’d like to buy a ticket.  “A ticket to out back?!” she questioned as though I had just asked to share a cell with Hannibal Lecter.  I was unshaken.  “Yes.” I replied confidently. “I want to go out back.”

I think it goes without saying that I was the only person in Bedrock City.  In fact, since it’s grand opening sometime in the 1970’s, I think it’s safe to say that I am one of the few people to ever set foot in Bedrock City.  Before I left on my trip, many people told me to “be careful” or “drive safe.”  Within the first five minutes spent with the Flintstones, I realized that up until this point on my journey, if danger were going to find me, it would find me here.  There were strange doll heads in the “beauty parlor” and a series of mannequins, each one somehow a bit creepier than the last.  I went into the theater and was relieved when I found it empty.  Bedrock’s “local UPS Airmail” was the first post office I’d ever been to that didn’t feature an hour long line.  The “goatasaurus,” the only other living being in the “town,” looked at me with the intent to kill.  Each of the houses came equipped with profane graffiti. I “toured” the grounds and took many pictures (they speak for themselves) before bolting back to my car with a huge smile on my face.  Bedrock City is without a doubt my favorite thing I’ve seen so far.  Since I think that every American should go to the Grand Canyon, and since the Grand Canyon is only about a half hour from Bedrock City, I really suggest….

After my riveting experience, I headed back to the area of my hotel.  Thanks to a tip from my cousin, I learned that Arizona is the only state to still offer the Spicy McChicken on its dollar menu, so I had one of those, and now I’m resting before going to the Grand Canyon IMAX where I will pay $12.50 for a 34 minute show.  But hey, I’ve been told that you only live once.  Tomorrow I will be driving about 600 miles to Roswell, NM where I know the fun will continue!  I hope that everyone is having a great weekend, and I really appreciate all of the positive feedback that I have been receiving as I continue on this crazy adventure!

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