Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vegan MoFo Day 5: Awesome Arizona, Part 3

After spending several days in Jerome and Sedona, it was time to pack up and hit the road again. Our destination was a place that was on my bucket list: the Grand Canyon.

We arrived at the South Rim around 4 pm on Halloween. We took some pictures, but mostly, we just stood there and stared. Pictures can't really capture it!

By the way, it's really funny to be at the Grand Canyon on Halloween. That night, we saw lots of little ghosts and goblins running around the park!

I wanted to wake up early and see the sunrise, so we got dressed and drove over to one of the lookout points. Of course, I had a particular lookout point in mind...
Hmph...the Bradys didn't have a chainlink fence...they must have heard about Jan's plans to sleep on the rim.

Another day, another hike. After fueling up on bagels and peanut butter, we hit the South Kaibab Trail just before 8 am for a hike to Skeleton Point.

Along the way, we noshed on some Clif bars and more bagels with peanut butter. We also carried lots of water in our Camelbaks to keep us hydrated.

We weren't sure how long the hike would take, because the hike back up takes longer (walking uphill). The guide recommended 4 to 6 hours roundtrip. However, the guide must have been referring to ordinary, meat-eatin' folk. Not us Super Veg*ns!

Yup, that's 3 hours and 49 minutes on my stop watch. Without no stinkin' beef jerky.

We might have been Super Veg*ns, but that didn't mean we weren't Super Hungry when we finished. Luckily, we just followed this guy straight to the dining hall...

I was so hungry, I think I would have eaten the insole of my hiking boot if left with no other options. Fortunately, there were some veggie tostados (ask them to hold the cheese and the sour cream, and it's vegan!) and veggie chili available for sale. It wasn't exactly fine dining, but when you're that hungry, you're just happy it's edible!

We woke up early the next morning to catch another beautiful sunrise. We stopped at the Desert View Watchtower before leaving the Park and heading to Flagstaff.

But first, I had some business to attend to at the El Tovar Hotel:

"But Clark...don't you want to look at the Grand Canyon?"
"It's great, let's go!"

We spent one night in Flagstaff. I think it's probably a cool place to go to school, but we didn't find a whole lot to do there. I do remember going on a nice run, eating some good vegan pizza at New Jersey Pizza Company, and watching a Patriots football game in our hotel room. All in all, not too exciting :)

We spent our last full day in Sedona, enjoying one last hike (Doe Mountain) and a drive through Red Rock Crossing. 

 We also wanted one last look at Cathedral Rock before heading to Scottsdale.
We had a very good, and very memorable, last meal in Scottsdale before flying home the next day. We ate at a little Jamaican restaurant called The Breadfruit, mostly because I have this thing for actual breadfruit. I say the meal was memorable because my hubby decided to spear something I'd cast aside on my dinner plate and pop the whole thing into his mouth. 

What was this thing I'd cast aside?

An entire Scotch bonnet pepper

If only he'd asked, "Gee honey, why did you set that particular thing aside on your plate?"

I would have answered, "Because, honey, this pepper was so hot that, even though it is fully intact and has not been cut or pierced in any way, it still made my rice hot enough to nearly melt my face off."

But he didn't ask. And so....yeah, The Breadfruit. It was memorable! 

NB: if you happen to consume an entire Scotch bonnet pepper, do not attempt to quench the flames by guzzling down a huge glass of water. From my hubby's facial expressions, I gather that it didn't help.

So, in honor of our fantastic trip to the Southwest, I decided to (un)cook up an old favorite - Raw Tortilla Soup from Gena's blog. Bell peppers, tomatoes, celery, sun-dried tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, and southwestern seasonings (cumin, chili powder, paprika) are blended together (I also add a zucchini for thickness and extra nutrition) and then topped with some chopped avocado, tomato, scallions, cilantro, and corn. I love to scoop up the soup with some baked tortilla chips!

We also had some salad on the side - baby spinach, arugula, cucumber, celery, corn, tomato, and avocado, tossed with some lime juice, Bragg's, and olive oil. The soup is a family favorite, and my hubby loves it because it does not include Scotch bonnet peppers. 

I hope you enjoyed our little trip to Arizona! Stay tuned for our next travel adventure!!


heather said...

You're right. Pictures never capture the colors of the Grand Canyon.

Bethany said...

Hi Heather! I know - the Grand Canyon is AMAZING. Everyone should get to see it at least once in their lifetime!