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 A Weekend in Northern Arizona.

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Foodbme

  • Total Posts: 9581
  • Joined: 9/1/2006
  • Location: Gilbert, AZ
A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Tue, 10/26/10 12:43 AM (permalink)
Every year around this time the Bride & I take a little trip to celebrate our Anniversary. ( 52nd on 10/30!) This past Friday AM we headed North with the plan to visit the new Bridge over Hoover Dam and the Sky Walk Glass Bridge over the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. We headed up Rt 93 to Wickenburg and stopped in Wickenburg for Breakfast at the Twin Wheels Cafe. It looks to be pre- 1930s - very old & very wild west and full of Western memorabilia including a turn-of-the-Century Dentists chair with spittoon! Hundreds of autographed pictures of Western Movie Stars like John Wayne, Gene Autrey, Alan Ladd etc. who have eaten there. Wickenburg was where many western movies were made in the 30's, 40's and 50's.  The owner is the cook and her pleasant friend does the waiting on tables. They do breakfast and lunch. Like everything else here, the menu is very simple and basic including omelets, eggs , burgers, reubens, tuna melts, salads & chicken fried steak. Basic like your mom or aunt made it for you. I had their Signature Item which is a Chicken Liver Omelet, "Been on the Menu forever" she said! A 3 Egg Omelet filed with Chicken Livers, onions and a touch of green peppers, served with Home Fries, a biscuit and coffee. The Bride just had scrambled eggs, good bacon & toast. The Chicken Liver Omelet was very good.
 
As those of you who have traveled in AZ know, it's a BIG Butt State! We continued up Rt 93 to Kingman and then North to Hoover Dam. From Gilbert to the Dam is just under 300 miles! With the Breakfast stop, just under 5 hours through some of the most magnificent High Desert Country. Panoramic Vistas, Joshua Tree Forests , Mountains off in the distance, constantly changing horizons. Just breathtaking if you've never been to the high desert.
 
We arrived at the Dam around 1PM. The new bridge is now open, but in order to get a good view of it you need to crossover it and take the 1st exit in NV to take the old road down to the Dam itself. The road is open to cross over the Dam to the AZ side. Once you get over the Dam, the road is closed so you need to make a U turn to get back up to the Rt 93 Highway. They've constructed a parking area and a Walking Path from near the Dam up to the new bridge. You can climb up there and there is a Pedestrian Walkway on the new bridge! Beautiful View! From the Dam, you can get a visual perspective of just what a magnificent engineering feat it was to build the bridge AND the Dam! It's massive yet simplistic in design. They built the bridge from both ends to meet in the middle. They only had a 1/2" tolerance to make it meet correctly. The actual final measurement was 3/8 of an INCH! They inserted a slab and the bridge was complete! The bridge is only about 30 miles from Las Vegas. If you're in Vegas, you owe it to yourself to go see it. http://www.hooverdambypass.org/
From there, we doubled back about 75 miles to Kingman and picked up Historic Rt 66 East to Peach Springs. We passed several places that have been written up on roadfood.com like the Huckberry General Store and the Frontier Motel & Cafe but didn't stop. Peach Springs is the Capital of the Hualapai Indian Nation. The reservation is over One Million Acres in size and the Tribe operates the West Rim of the Grand Canyon Sky Walk.
http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com/
In looking at the AZ Map, I thought Peach Springs was fairly close to the Sky Walk. Wrong again Fry Bread Breath! It's about 125 Miles from Peach Springs to the Sky Walk because the dirt road shorter routes were washed out by recent rains. I told you it's a Big Butt State! From the most popular South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the West Rim is over 200 road miles! 125 as the Crow flies. 
We stayed at the Hualapai Lodge, a very nice, relatively new, nice hotel owned by the Hualapai Tribe.  Many Visitors use this as a jump off point for hiking the Canyon trails and rafting on the Colorado River. The staff was overly nice and accommodating. Our room was spacious, very clean & modern. NOTE TO MAYOR AL-- you would love this place! The mainline of the BNSF Railroad is 30 yards out the back of the hotel and the trains go by EVERY 30 MINUTES night & day AND, they blow their whistles for the crossing near the Lodge! The Hotel provides ear plugs if you want them! I just took my hearing aids out and slept like a papoose!
We ate at the Hotel Restaurant, The Diamond Creek Inn. The menu offered a nice selection of Regional items along with Steaks etc. I had the Pork-Green Chile Stew with a side order of Fry Bread. It was OUTSTANDING! The stew was full of Green Chile flavor and the pork was lean & tender. The Fry Bread was the best I've ever had. Light, fluffy & flavorful. a Squirt of Honey topped it off. The Bride is a meat & potatoes Gal so she had the Roast Beef Dinner with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy + Green Beans. I tasted her large portion of Roast Beef. It was thin sliced, very tender and very flavorful. The potatoes were real, not boxed. Very Good. She had a piece of made-from-scratch Custard Pie that was delicious. Since it's on the Reservation, no Booze served here. You need to stop at a Gas Station before you get on the Reservation to get your beer. To Bee Continued!
 
 
#1
    mr chips

    • Total Posts: 4715
    • Joined: 2/19/2003
    • Location: portland, OR
    Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 12:53 AM (permalink)
    Great first report. Hope I'll get to see the new  bridge someday.
     
    #2
      Nancypalooza

      • Total Posts: 3778
      • Joined: 6/17/2004
      • Location: Columbia, SC
      Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 9:30 AM (permalink)
      I think they should put the words 'Big Butt State' on the license plates now.  :)   Sounds like a lovely day with your bride.  How young were you when you got married, anyhoo?
       
      #3
        mar52

        • Total Posts: 7609
        • Joined: 4/17/2005
        • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
        Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 10:15 AM (permalink)
        Happy Anniversary to you and your bride!
         
        Arizona is a beautiful Big Butt State.  Cactus to Pines!
         
        #4
          kland01s

          • Total Posts: 2835
          • Joined: 3/14/2003
          • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
          Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 11:00 AM (permalink)
          That Grand Canyon Skywalk would scare the begebeez out of me!
           
          #5
            boyardee65

            • Total Posts: 1457
            • Joined: 8/28/2005
            • Location: Surprise, AZ
            Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 4:50 PM (permalink)
              Nice of you to stop in Wickie!! I used to work at the Twin Wheels and can vouch for the food and western atmosphere.
            You forgot to mention the pressed tin ceiling and all of the geegaws that are on the counter for children to amuse themselves while waiting for their food.
              Had you gone across the street you could have visited "Uncle" Wes who has been working at the Bar Seven Restaurant and Saloon for 60 plus years. His parents owned it when he was a teenager and he started work there as a bus boy. As far as I know, he is the oldest bartender in the state. He was featured in Arizona Highways a few years back.
             
              Glad that you and the Mrs. had a good trip and Happy anniversary!
             
              David O.
             
             p.s. I arrived in Wickie on Monday and am looking forward to eating at all of my old haunts like Screamers drive-in, Cowboy Cafe, and of course Twin Wheels.
             
            #6
              joerogo

              • Total Posts: 4468
              • Joined: 1/17/2006
              • Location: Pittston, PA
              Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 5:20 PM (permalink)
               Foodbme, 52 years!  Congratulations to you and the Mrs.  I would have never taken you for such an old fart  
               
              Thanks for posting such a great trip.  My favorite part of a trip to Vegas is going to Hoover Dam.  Now I have a new reason to visit.  How was the sky walk?
               
              Great food choices also.  
               
              #7
                Foodbme

                • Total Posts: 9581
                • Joined: 9/1/2006
                • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 6:45 PM (permalink)
                Nancypalooza


                I think they should put the words 'Big Butt State' on the license plates now.  :)   Sounds like a lovely day with your bride.  How young were you when you got married, anyhoo?

                I was a Child Bride! We were 17! I'll be 70 on 11/23!
                 
                #8
                  mar52

                  • Total Posts: 7609
                  • Joined: 4/17/2005
                  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                  Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 7:07 PM (permalink)
                  You're still just a baby.
                   
                  Older than I am, but still a baby.
                   
                  #9
                    Foodbme

                    • Total Posts: 9581
                    • Joined: 9/1/2006
                    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                    Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 7:12 PM (permalink)
                    kland01s


                    That Grand Canyon Skywalk would scare the begebeez out of me!

                    It was interesting "People Watching". First, They have you wear paper slippers over your shoes so you don't scratch the glass. They have attendents on the Walk. Some people had no problem going out there.  Others just crept out, shuffling their feet and holding on to the railings. When I looked straight down through the glass it made me a little dizzy. My Bride had no problem. When you look off to the side there's no problem. The line of sight from the Skywalk down to the Colorado River is 4.5 miles! Beautiful Panoramic View of the Canyon and the River!
                     
                    #10
                      Foodbme

                      • Total Posts: 9581
                      • Joined: 9/1/2006
                      • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                      Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 7:17 PM (permalink)
                      joerogo


                       Foodbme, 52 years!  Congratulations to you and the Mrs.  I would have never taken you for such an old fart   

                      I have 3 ages---- My Bride says I have the maturity of a 16 year old----My Birth Certificate says I'll be 70 next month----and my Dr. says I'm in great shape for a guy 83 years old!
                       
                      #11
                        Foodbme

                        • Total Posts: 9581
                        • Joined: 9/1/2006
                        • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                        Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Wed, 10/27/10 7:22 PM (permalink)
                        boyardee65


                          Nice of you to stop in Wickie!! I used to work at the Twin Wheels and can vouch for the food and western atmosphere.
                        You forgot to mention the pressed tin ceiling and all of the geegaws that are on the counter for children to amuse themselves while waiting for their food.
                        Had you gone across the street you could have visited "Uncle" Wes who has been working at the Bar Seven Restaurant and Saloon for 60 plus years. His parents owned it when he was a teenager and he started work there as a bus boy. As far as I know, he is the oldest bartender in the state. He was featured in Arizona Highways a few years back.

                        Glad that you and the Mrs. had a good trip and Happy anniversary!

                        David O.

                        p.s. I arrived in Wickie on Monday and am looking forward to eating at all of my old haunts like Screamers drive-in, Cowboy Cafe, and of course Twin Wheels.

                        Glad you got down there safely from AK! good luck on your job search.
                        I wanted to also try The Horse Shoe Cafe across the street from the Twin Wheels but was too full to attempt it. Give us a review of that place when you have a chance!
                         
                        #12
                          Foodbme

                          • Total Posts: 9581
                          • Joined: 9/1/2006
                          • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                          Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Fri, 10/29/10 6:26 PM (permalink)
                          AND NOW THE REST OF THE STORY:
                          We were still full from our dinner the night before so we just had the free continental breakfast but I looked at the regular menu. If you were a hotel guest, you could add the regular menu for $5 Bucks! A really good deal. Again, a very nice menu with regional items, Huevos, Rancheros, Buckwheat Cakes, and other good looking items.
                          We headed for the Sky Walk by going back to Kingman since the dirt road shortcuts through the reservation were closed. Even if the roads were open, the locals advised not using them with a regular passenger car. High clearance 4 wheelers advised. The Sky Walk is about 75 miles from Kingman, about 1 1/2 hours.. In Kingman, you head Northeast on Stockton Hill Rd ( County Road 20). It's a flat, straight, 2 lane road so you can make good time. It intersects with Pierce Ferry Rd (County Road 25), turn right and go to Diamond Bar Rd which is Indian Reservation Road 1. About 14 miles of this road is a dirt road winding up thru the mountains via switchbacks to get to the top of the Mesa where the Skywalk is located.  We saw some wildlife while on the dirt road. One you reach the plateau, you have a panoramic, 360 Degree view of the Beautiful AZ Sky. The elevation is about 5000 ft. It was cool & sunny, about 65 degrees. a sweatshirt or jacket was needed due to the winds that blow across the Mesa.
                          There is a small aircraft airport there that's used by Tour Operators who fly customers in from Las Vegas, Flagstaff and the South Rim Airport. Small private aircraft can use it also. Excursion Tour Busses also operate from these locations. so if you're in Vegas with no car you can get there.
                          http://www.bestamericandestinations.com/skywalk.html
                          The Facility is very nice and well controlled. Everyone must park in a central parking lot and then you're bused to the Sky Walk. You go into an inflated domed Welcome Center where you purchase your tickets before boarding the buses.They have plans to build a permanent Adobe style building in the future. The Sky Walk has been open about 3 years and they average about 3000 visitors a day. The're open 365 days a year, weather permitting. Prior to the Sky Walk there were facilities there and they averaged 300 visitors a day. The Sky Walk has made a big difference to the Reservations Economy.
                          We bought the all inclusive package that included access to everything as well as lunch. Our Senior Discount Package price was $158 for both of us.  Would you be surprised if I told you there's also a Gift Shop you must go through to get to the buses??
                          AND there's a seperate Gift Shop at the Sky Walk that sells Items that you can't buy at the first gift shop! Good Old Fashioned Indian Marketing!
                          When you get to the Sky Walk, there are posters explaning how the Sky Walk was built, how mant tons of Concrete and specially made glass from Germany was used and how well it's anchored. In other words they want you to feel safe there. It also reflects the amount of engineering that went into building it.
                          It was interesting "People Watching". First, They have you wear paper slippers over your shoes so you don't scratch the glass. They have attendents on the Walk. Some people had no problem going out there.  Others just crept out, shuffling their feet and holding on to the railings. When I looked straight down through the glass it made me a little dizzy. My Bride had no problem. When you look off to the side there's no problem. The line of sight from the Skywalk down to the Colorado River is 4.5 miles! Beautiful Panoramic View of the Canyon and the River.
                          We stayed out there about 20-25 minutes and were satisfied with what we saw.
                          We boarded for a trip over to the area where lunch and other viewing areas were located. Lunch was served mess hall style. BBQ Beef or Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy & Green Beans, Rolls and a Brownee. You sit outside under a Canopy with views of the canyon as well as Lake Mead off in the dsistance. They have an Authentic Indian Village set up with wikiups, tee pees made with sticks and tree broughs and some Tribe Members in authentic dress. There's also a pavilion for authentic shows including singing and dancing. Back at the Bus Stop, there was an area where Indian Women were set up to sell their hand made jewelry. Prices were reasonable and of good quality
                          Five miles from the welcome station, on the rim of the canyon, there's also a Ranch and Lodge where you can eat and stay in cabins. They have horseback riding, wagon rides and other activities there.
                          http://grand-canyon.com/grand_canyon_skywalk.htm
                          Having seen everything in about 3 hours, we headed back to the car and our return trip to Kingman and on to Flagstaff. 
                          To be Continued.
                          <message edited by Foodbme on Fri, 10/29/10 6:30 PM>
                           
                          #13
                            DirtDude

                            • Total Posts: 161
                            • Joined: 12/12/2009
                            • Location: Florence, SC
                            Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Fri, 10/29/10 9:13 PM (permalink)
                            Three egg omlet with chicken livers and onions? That sounds awesome!
                             
                            #14
                              Michael Hoffman

                              • Total Posts: 17852
                              • Joined: 7/1/2000
                              • Location: Gahanna, OH
                              Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Fri, 10/29/10 10:22 PM (permalink)
                              Fifty two, eh? Wow! Congratulations.
                               
                              #15
                                boyardee65

                                • Total Posts: 1457
                                • Joined: 8/28/2005
                                • Location: Surprise, AZ
                                Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Fri, 10/29/10 11:25 PM (permalink)
                                DirtDude


                                Three egg omlet with chicken livers and onions? That sounds awesome!

                                 
                                  They (Twin Wheels) also have deep fried chicken livers. I have heard that they are great although I don't care for them.
                                 
                                  David O.
                                 
                                #16
                                  mar52

                                  • Total Posts: 7609
                                  • Joined: 4/17/2005
                                  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                                  Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Sat, 10/30/10 12:21 AM (permalink)
                                  Very interesting trip.  Looking at that walk way I don't know if I could it or not.  I could do the livers.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    EdSails

                                    • Total Posts: 3592
                                    • Joined: 5/9/2003
                                    • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
                                    Re:A Weekend in Northern Arizona. Sat, 10/30/10 12:38 AM (permalink)
                                    Congrats on Number 52, foodbme. The fry bread with the stew and the honey nsounds awesome!
                                     
                                    #18
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