Shell Eco-Marathon Running Diary: Day 9

April 3, 2012

This morning our first stop was a lovely little gas station/tourist shop. The outside was done to look like fake old buildings and stores. On the inside you could buy anything from postcards and stamps to statues, guns, clothes, and sandwiches. There was even a section of the till devoted to rattle snake items. There were canes with rattle snake heads, stuffed rattle snakes, rattle snake skin wallets and shoes. The gentleman running the shop was a very nice fellow and we had a good chat with him. He pointed out some of the sights to see along our road. He mentioned the Apache camps in the hills, the locations of famous battles, and mining ghost towns. We were truly in the land of cowboys and Indians. Unfortunately we would be unable to stop at any of these locations as we had to continue our trip home. But someday we may find the time to explore the sights of New Mexico.

As we left the gas station and got back on the highway we saw a military convoy heading the other way with a massive column of heavy and light armor. They must have been heading to the large military base just south of us.

We turned west and headed into Arizona and then quickly turned north towards Phoenix. Just before reaching Phoenix we passed “Red Rock”. Which was this large sharp red peak of stone that stuck out of the sand. It was just to the left of the highway and may have been a nice place to stop. Unfortunately we wanted to reach the Grand Canyon before sunset, so we didn’t have time to further explore.

The remainder of the day as we traveled north the roads continued to improve and we had some really nice driving. We entered the rolling hills and the highway swooped between them and the views were spectacular. These roads would definitely be fun to drive if one could come back and didn’t have to worry about the 30ft trailer we were pulling. As evening approached we entered the Grand Canyon National Park. We sped through Grand Canyon Village and towards the canyon itself. We were able to run out to the canyon and get in a couple pictures with the sun in the sky. As the sun started to set we set off east along the south side of the canyon and we able to make a couple quick photo stops before the sun set completely.

 As the sun disappeared and darkness came we made a quick stop at an old watchtower over the canyon and then continued our drive north towards Marble Canyon and the bridge across the canyon. That night we slept at a turn off of the highway. The sky was completely clear and the starts were dazzlingly bright. There must not have been a major city for miles and miles.

–  Matthew Sponiar, Project Manager

About Adnan Arif

A fourth year Chemical Engineering student at the U of A, Adnan is passionate about alternative energy, climate change and computer programming. Between assignments, exams and killing people in GTA, he tries to find time to work on EcoCar's Electrical and PR teams.

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