OUR LIFE ON WHEELS - Jerry and Suzy LeRoy travel blog

It was 37 degrees all day at the Grand Canyon, but we...

I played "macho" and didn't wear a jacket.

The winter sun extended the shadows and heightened the colors of the...



These young Japanese tourists asked Suzy to take their picture.

At the door of Bright Angel Lodge.

The Lookout Studio, built n the 1930s, blends seamlessly into its setting.

My Dad taught me to "frame" my pictures to emphasize depth.

So I try to frame my pictures whenever I can.

Sometimes I don't frame them. The late afternoon sun emphasizes the texture.

We came home with about 150 pictures. Aren't you glad we aren't...

Back to framing the pictures!

Can't stop taking pictures! The canyon is beautiful in winter.


The Watchtower sits close to the rim and offers unparalleled views of...

Notice the "ruins" at the base of the tower.

The "ruins" were designed along with the tower to show what real...

Detail of the base of the Watchtower. There's a gift shop behind...

I climbed the 86 steps to the top floor to see the...

And this is the view from the tower window. Notice the Colorado...

The Snake Legend, painted by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie, adorns the second...

Our first stop in Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona.

Oak Creek flowed quietly past this red rock overhang. In spring it...

You can see the sunlight reflected on the rock in the center...

I have to get into the pictures once in a while.

These babies can be vicious -- watch out for the thorns.

Oak Creek Canyon is a red rock wonderland.

A tiny tributary tumbles tumultuously

What can I say?

Saguaros silhouetted against the evening sky.

A beautiful end to a wonderful day in Arizona.

Thanks for visiting us here again on our website! We want to wish you the very best Christmas possible, and a splendid new year for 2006.

We just got back from a little Christmas vacation. We packed up the car and drove to Williams, AZ, for two nights. From Williams we were able to visit Grand Canyon National Park for a day, and what a day it was! The weather was cold and clear (37 degrees all day), and the winter sun was low enough to enhance the canyon's form and colors; no washed out photos this time!. There were no crowds in the park, and driving from area to area was a breeze. In the late afternoon we met a young man who was taking photographs as fast as we were. He commented that he and we were "chasing the sun" that late in the day. We thought that was a very appropriate expression not only for the afternoon but for what we are doing in general: chasing the sun, going where there are things to do and see, and taking advantage of the generally good health that God has given us.

One of the things we did at Grand Canyon was to have lunch at Bright Angel Lodge. In all the years we have visited Grand Canyon we had never set foot in Bright Angel. It's a rustic old lodge built on the rim of the canyon in the 1930s. It was designed by architect Mary Elizabeth Colter, who supervised every step of the construction including selection and placement of the individual stones in the massive fireplace. Next to the lodge sits Lookout Studio, designed and built by Colter to blend into the natural setting. From the picture above you can see that she succeeded.

We also visited the Watchtower near the eastern entrance to the park. Mary Colter was instructed to "build a structure that provides the widest possible view of Grand Canyon, yet harmonizes with its setting." I climbed the 86 steps to the fourth landing and can attest to the wide view. The rock structure, along with the "ruins" alongside (also designed and built by Colter), definitely harmonizes with the setting.

Back in Williams for the evening we went out to dinner, then cruised the town. What an amazing Christmas display! On the main streets, every shop was garlanded with lights; one street was blocked off to display a 20-foot-tall decorated tree. The Grand Canyon Railway station blazed with brightly lit trees, shrubs and buildings; even an old steam locomotive was decked with strings of Christmas lights. Just off the main street was an outdoor ice skating rink. All this in a town of fewer than 3000 residents! Unfortunately, we were so tired after our day in the Grand Canyon that we didn't want to get out in the 31-degree night air to take pictures; we'll carry it all in our memory.

On the way back to Florence we meandered down Oak Creek Canyon and through Sedona. We stopped along the creek and found a small, quiet pool reflecting the dancing sunlight off the water onto the face of an overhanging rock. While the canyon's incredible red rock formations never fail to astound us, we have come to dislike what Sedona itself has become. I suppose if one is anxious to spend money as fast as possible while surrounded by hordes of other people doing the same, in a town where every building is designed to make the maximum impression, Sedona is the place to go.

To avoid the commute traffic in Phoenix, we took a back route through Payson and down to Mesa, where we caught sight of the full moon rising over the mountains and illuminating the Sonoran desert and its giant saguaro cactuses. We hope you like the pictures, and that you will continue to follow along on with us on ... Our Life on Wheels.

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