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from the Phantom's postcard collection

Canyon Country, Arizona
by the Phantom

The Phantom's Virtual Postcard tour continues: because gas is so expensive this summer (2007), why not just take a virtual vacation instead. Sounds like a great idea to me. Arizona is one of the most picturesque places in the world, as far as postcards are concerned. Our opening card (as well as the next three), is an old Harvey "Phostint", circa the 1930s, as the dress of the featured couple suggests. When I visited the GC a couple of years ago, I saw NOBODY wearing knickers. However, the view was just the same, except for some smog that settled in over the canyon in the afternoon, which the Park Ranger said had blown across from Los Angeles. Really? Arrgh.

Caption reads: North from Pima Point, GC National Park, Arizona

When I visited the GC I was with a couple of friends, we did the driving trip from Las Vegas up to Bryce and Zion in Utah and then down through Arizona. This is one of those "must do before you die" driving trips. It's absolutely spectacular. We called ahead the morning we headed to the canyon and were able to snag a last- minute reservation at the GC lodge, which was a real coup. There are lots of visitors to the park and not too many places to stay over. If you know anything about Arizona, the countryside is beautiful but there's lots of open country between "visitor accommodations" so it's a good idea to have a reservation, and I'm not talking about "Indian" here. 

Caption: Daring jump by a forest ranger, near Bright Angel Cove, GC National Park, Arizona

I've never figured out whether this postcard was "doctored" or whether a forest ranger actually made that jump. Does anybody know anything about canyon jumping? There are hiking trails for all ability levels at the GC, but leisurely strolling and stopping often is also totally appropriate. I'm not recommending canyon jumping unless your insurance policy is paid in full.

One of the things I enjoyed was stopping at the roadside stands of the Indians who were selling beautiful hand-made turquoise and silver jewelry. Some of the stands actually advertised "Friendly Indians!" which I thought was very amusing. I found the Indians always friendly and their wares fairly priced. The craftsmanship and creativity of their goods was outstanding, so don't forget to buy something. Your family and friends will appreciate these inexpensive gifts, maybe even more than the hokey t-shirts we usually bring them, right? 

All day I face the barren waste without a taste of water...
All day I face the barren waste
without a taste of water,
cool, clear water...

There is nothing more precious in the desert than water (just ask the folks in Palm Springs :-). That reminds me, don't forget your water bottle, as we continue on our trip.

Monument Valley
This postcard is circa the 1960s. It's a lovely "chrome" of 
Monument Valley with a Navajo family in the foreground.

I have had the good fortune to travel through Monument Valley by car a couple of times now. It's hot, dry and desolate, but it is extremely beautiful, an absolutely awe-inspiring visual feast. For us old timers, we expect to see John Wayne riding up on us at any moment. But the reality of life in the Arizona outback is rather disheartening. The poverty is obvious and unrelenting. 

cattle country -- moo!
These cows sort of blend into the background in this postcard.

That's it for our postcard tour. I do hope that one day soon you will find time to make the trip in person. It's one of those drives where you should take your time, stop often and bring your camera. You won't regret it.

Please join the Phantom  as our virtual tour of the US continues. So far, our tour includes the following states:

California, Oregon, Washington,
Alaska, Hawaii
, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Massachusetts.

Stay with us as we visit all of the United States, 
and who knows where next...

American Black Bear Postcards
Backs of the postcards
Cruising, 1970s style

Couples: rules to live by
Dangerous postcard animals
Dear Diary: Italy again
Driving the I-95  (text by Johnna Kaplan)
Favorite animal postcards
Not sure I'd want to see this
Old Hawaii
Old Motels

Other People's Vacations
Places I'd like to Visit

Postcard recipes
Side trip to Europe!
Spring in the Desert
Ugly Postcard Tour
Where My Friends Went, part 2, part 3
World Tour
The 50 State Quick Tour

Diannek, clevermag's editor, 
is affectionately known as
the Phantom to friends and family.



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