We made it!

Trip Start May 12, 2006
Trip End May 30, 2006

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

We have had a busy and wonderful couple of days. Our first stop was Sedona. If there is one shop there are 500 - and I only went into two. Our off-road jeep ride was a highlight. It was just like those commercials - riding over a dry riverbed and coming out on a small rise. We were able to see an old cabin that was used for the movie, "Riders of the Purple Sage" written by Zane Grey. The odd thing was going behind the cabin and seeing a golf course. We thought we were out in this primitive area and here it butts up to a modern attraction. We were hoping to see some wildlife and we did - two squirrels. One century (agave) plant had sent up a 6 to 7 foot stem that will have a beautiful yellow blossom, throw out it's seeds and then die. These plants will bloom once in 40 to 100 years of growth. It was named the century plant because experts thought it only bloomed once in one hundred years but they now know that it can bloom earlier. It is also called the "cowboy killer" - if you fall on it the needles will kill you. They are very hard and extremely sharp. The agave plant is used to make tequila in Mexico. Our driver said that there are rows and rows of these plants as far as the eye can see. The red rock formations are magnificent - and, of course, they are all named - Snoopy, coffeepot, etc. If you have ever watched the old cowboy movies - you will know how beautiful they are. Yesterday were biked to the Grand Canyon. We were not prepared for how "grand" it is. It is truly magnificent. Each lookout point has a slightly different perspective. We were told that sunrise and sunset are the best times to see it but we try to avoid driving in the dark. Our highlight of the day was a helicopter ride over the canyon. Phil's brother Bob knows one of the pilots. Doug gave us a great ride (I got to ride in the co-pilot seat) and when we first went into the canyon the thrill is unbelievable. We have eaten dinner in downtown Flagstaff. The meals were excellent and I highly recommend the downtown area. Yesterday was the beginning of Friday night movies in the square. Phil and I commented that we wish we had more time to explore the city. We have met several people with Wisconsin connections. The father of our waitress last night was a assistant coach at UW under Don Morton. I sat next to a woman who lived in Dixon, Illinois as a child. So did I. Phil says I have to wrap it up - we need to get on our way - Boulder City.

One final note ----------------HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEN

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ehlbeckm on

Penny and Phil
I just finished reading the latest trip update and looking at the photographs. It all sounds and looks absolutely wonderful. I'm really excited about the Jeep ride and the Grand Canyon adventure and I'm only looking at the computer. If it's this good sitting here in my office, I can only imagine what it must be like in person... from land and from the air.

How about those Wisconsin connections and the woman from Dixon.

I've printed off one of the canyon shots and the two of you with the pink jeep.

Great stuff. Keep having lots of fun. Spectacular!!!

Love, Mike

ehlbeckm on

Re: Wow! Sarah (P&P too)
Thought I would take a shot at the reply message and make this process as complicated as possible.

Sarah - It was just this past Thursday I was telling a teaching friend about the Madison farmers market. Coincidence or what? Hope you and Owen had a nice neighborhood walk. Hi to Jason and Stephanie. Hi to Nikki when you see her next.

P&P - I've been showing the photographs and telling everyone who will listen about the great Grand Canyon adventure. Have fun.

In reply to:

I really enjoyed your photos from the most recent leg of the trip. They are really beautiful. The one of you two in front of the jeep is a nice photo one especially.

I went to the farmer's market and got nothing, not even a donut. Nikki was working there at her usual post and the weather is great. High today is 72. Owen and I will take a walk together later and enjoy the streets of the neighborhood!!

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