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Day 11, Tuesday, May 30, 2017:
Williams Arizona -> The Grand Canyon -> Williams Arizona

Today would be the train trip to The Grand Canyon. I had a fuzzy awakening as I dreamt a slideshow of old motel signs. Each picture was fading into the other. This stuff is infectious. As I was getting ready for the day, my Sonicare toothbrush became possessed turning off repeatedly. It then got into a Morse Code mode buzzing dash, dash, dot, pause again and again. It had a few more outbursts over the next day before expiring.

We went down to the resort dining hall for a buffet breakfast, they call it a Cafe. The omelet station did a good job. Overall the offering was fair at best. Beverage service to our table was very prompt and courteous. We went back to our room to gather our items for the day and went down to the bleachers for a Wild West show. After that we boarded the train for a 2-1/4 hour ride. That was longer than I expected. The train moved along at about 30 miles per hour. Part of me was torn between this excursion and just driving but the idea of not driving for a day was appealing.

Amber Rose was the hostess for our car. She was very entertaining as she offered general information, how to get the most out of our time at the canyon. She made it a point to come around to check in with each guest, making sure we understood our package. A photographer came through and a guitar player stopped by for a set. All things considered the ride went fast and was entertaining. The scenery was pretty bland but that's not what it was about. It was a bright, sunny day in the 80's and hydration was stressed. Guests ranged from families to seasoned world travelers and duffers like us. Some people were very on top of canyon history and information. I just came to see what it was all about. I was not expecting a religious experince.

We had opted for the bus tour that included a buffet lunch and some free time at the end. It actually was nice to sit back and be hauled to several diverse vantage points around the canyon. We had enough time to explore the areas, take it in and snap some pictures. I really had to stop and focus to appreciate the depth of the canyon. The bus driver presented plenty of information between locations. It was big and cool but I was feeling this was as much time as I'd want to spend there. The one catch to the day visit is that you see the sight at the peak of daylight. The more dramatic pictures come from the golden hours early and late in the day. The buffet lunch was also provided by Xanterra and was barely OK in selection and freshness. We had some free time to explore the canyon around the big lodge and a few other central locations. The trip back got underway on time. Amber Rose had more entertaining information and helped us process the experience. The photographer came by offering pictures for sale and the price we paid foreshadowed the outlaw train holdup that followed. On the way, another guitar player stopped by with some musical entertainment. Before long we rolled into the station.

We brought the daypack back to the room and it as time for diner. We had another set of dinner buffet tickets but I decided I didn't want to do that again. The food was painfully generic and provided no sense of having visiting the town.

We picked one place that seemed good and were seated on the patio. After waiting too long for service we walked. Across the street we spotted Pine Country Restaurant featuring pies. We came to find that pies are a big deal out here. Appetizers and pie was the plan. They had to remake my barbecue chicken flatbread pizza since the center was still cold. The replacement was good. That was followed by a ludicrous slice of Key Lime pie. While on the topic of food I was surprised to find Dunkin Donuts here and in other spots on the trip. I didn't think they were this far west.

It had been a big day, time to download and back-up pictures and get ready for a big day on the road tomorrow.

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Created June 7, 2017