Cinco de Mayo

posted on June 1, 2007 in Travel,USA

After our jaunt to God’s mighty gash a little lubrication was in order. The guys wanted to watch The Fight. Michael the tour guy had suggested some place, ‘Granny’ something, but it looked to be a bit of a trek on the map so we just walked into Flagstaff. We went to Maloneys (every town in the entire world has an Irish pub regardless of whether they know where or even what Ireland is). The doorman says that the fight isn’t on inside but it would’ve finished by that time anyway. We go inside, get a round in and sit in a booth. It’s not too busy but hey, we’re just there for a quiet one right…?

Corona Rosey

Maloneys gradually starts to fill and we realise it’s Cinco de Mayo whatever that entails. Large bottles of Corona apparently. A large girl sits next to me and touches me. She threatens to see us later as she slides out the booth. Worried by this prospect I tell the guys I’m going go to talk to some different girls. Rosey and Lewis roll their eyes in unison.

The long and short; we ingratiated ourselves to a group and found ourselves in the late bar next door (a familiar tale). Here some girls took to the bar.

Cinco de Mayo Flagstaff
It was a noteworthy night for other reasons. “I got a number!” It was only a matter of time. I mean we play up the accent and claim to take tea with the Queen, who could resist?

Flagstaff number

Only one teensy problem. If you phone that number you would not hear the sultry tones of an American temptress. The one person who decided to give me their number was a bloke. Nuts.

The evening carried on as the haze descended and post kebab 5 or 6 of us bundled into a car and headed to someone’s house to continue the festivities. We walked in and I was pleasantly surprised to find a well stocked table of beverage. The guys had their hands full but I grabbed a bottle and made myself comfortable. Just then a bleary eyed girl in a dressing gown appears at the foot of the stairs. “Listen guys,” she said “I don’t want to spoil the party but we’ve got our finals this week and it’s church in the morning.” I took a slug from the bottle and put it back on the table.

Moments later we were bundled back into the car. The girl ferried us back to the hostel and we finally called our quiet drink to a belated close.

On seis de Mayo we felt a tad tired, but as a Sunday we stuck to tradition and went for a round of frisbee golf. Not before stopping at this dream wettingly disc laiden shop display:
Frisbee golf shop in Flagstaff

Tiger in the Woods.

Frisbee golf in Flagstaff

In conclusion, Flagstaff got the RCL seal of maximum approval. Take that Lonely Planet.


Flagstaff and The Grand Canyon

posted on May 23, 2007 in Travel,USA

We arrived at the Grand Canyon International Hostel in Flagstaff pretty mongtastic and took the day off before our planned trip to The Grand Canyon the next morning.

There were just three others going; a middle aged couple from Leeds and an Australian woman. A young guy called Michael lead the trip. We bundled into the red minibus and Mike drove us the 1.5 hours to the Southern Rim (ashamed to say rim jokes were exchanged). We were surprised at all the snow en route.
Snow en route to the Grand Canyon

The Australian woman only stopped talking when she fell asleep.

On reaching the canyon Michael lead us to the edge whilst we closed our eyes to maximize the effect. It was impressive, but as veterans of the spectacular we weren’t totally blown away. Perhaps after a few months of Finglands buses and defaced phone boxes I’ll be ready to be impressed again.

Us and the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

Mike drives us on further stopping at a lookout to explain how the canyon was formed. He gestures into the canyon. “And the layers have been gradually eroded over millions of years by tributary’s which is why,” he splays his hand to demonstrate “you have these finger like structures going into the canyon”. At this point the Leeds woman sighs and shakes her head as if little Michael has forgotten to tie his shoelace. “Of course, the Earth isn’t actually that old” she says. Yes, it turns out that the geologists have got it all wrong with their crazy theories on ‘erosion’ and ‘plate tectonics’; God made the canyon only a few thousand years ago. I’m glad she cleared that one up.

Coupled with the fact that Leeds womans’ husband suffered vertigo and never ventured more than 15 ft from the minibus I felt their addition to the trip to be very valuable.

We drove on again stopping at a lookout by a Native American market. We were surveying the drop when Michael calls us over. “Here guys, I’ve got some rocks” he points to a pile he’s assembled, “see how far you can throw them.” You’ve never seen three ‘adults’ become so excited. Lew, Rosey and me each grabbed a rock, but I paused. Throwing rocks off cliffs is like playing near a railway or not following the green cross code. Something that’s been deeply ingrained never to do. “Are you sure?” I ask. “Yeah” he said, “I’ve done it for years. I doubt anyones down there.”

Good enough for us. The stones made a satisfying crack when they hit the bottom of this canyon.
The Grand Canyon