Day 5: National Lampoon’s Vacation Tour- A Trip to the Grand Canyon Hotel exterior… 10/06/16

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National Lampoons Vacation Tour Day 5… And the final day of the tour folks!

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We woke up in a beautiful rest area… With the #NavajoIndians selling their trinkets and just yards away from some huge hole in the earth…

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I felt bad because it looked like I was blocking a couple of stands… They set up the stands around me, which was nice but I felt I needed to get out of their way…

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We figured we would buy a trinket to pay for our overnight stay and any inconvenience we may have created…

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You know you are about to have a high dose of #MotherNature when you see signs like these… There’s a lot of things that can kill you out here, that’s for sure…

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On our way over to the gigantic hole in the earth… They had these great information charts that showed you the plants and animals that inhabit the area…

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I guess the #LittleColoradoRiverGorge runs through this #canyon… That would explain all of these creatures in the immediate area… Where ever there is water in these dry areas, you can guarantee life will be close…

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I wrote about these monsters in a blog about #DeathValley… #TarantulaHawks are mean little buggers that have one of the most painful stings in the world… What they do is lunge out of the air and impale the #tarantula with their long stinger, which injects a paralyzing agent into the spider… They want to keep the tarantula alive for their young to feed on for weeks, as they lay their eggs inside the tarantula and the young slowly eats the Tarantula alive, until it is strong enough to take flight and begin the process all over again…

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It was a gorgeous day out with a nice cool breeze… Tracey and I enjoyed a nice morning walk as we made our way over to see this magnificent site…

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You know you are just miles from #TheGrandCanyon when you see sites like these…

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And there’s the Little Colorado River Gorge… Even from up here you can see its a muddy river full of clays and rich minerals…

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A lot of #archeologists come out here to find all kinds of #fossils from when this area was actually apart of the ocean… The mud and clays have preserved those fossils over the millions and millions of years….

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I’m sure the #NavajoIndians used this land to travel through and maybe do some #hunting but I find it hard to believe that any man could live out here considering there’s not much to eat except for #sheep and #coyotes…

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I guess the Navajo would come out to this area to forage for plants which were medicinal… I can’t even imagine the potions and medical miracles the Navajo Indian has found… Too bad we didn’t continue to learn from them because I’m sure we would have found all kinds of new  medicines, inventions and ways to cultivate dry areas like these… But the White man is more concerned about owning and conquering land to worry about such simple, helpful things… So a lot of what the #Navajo discovered is probably lost and has died along with them… I know they still exist today and have held onto a lot of their heritage but important traditions and remedies get lost in war when the experts are killed… and when you separate people and imprison them on reservations, a lot of their heritage becomes lost through the process… We basically did to the Indians what we did to African Americans, just in a different way…

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Such a vast, rocky area… I had never been to the Grand Canyon before… If you have been following my #blog, you will remember I made an attempt at seeing the Grand Canyon in just the first few days of travel in #TheMillenniumFacon when I hit a sudden snow storm… I had to turn around and almost didn’t make it back down the #mountain… Luckily a semi-truck came and passed me… He let me follow him all the way down… He could have possibly saved my life…

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A quick, valuable early lesson from #MotherNature… I learned then that I needed to choose my time of year more wisely when I try to make my way up to the Grand Canyon… And even though doing things unplanned and on the whim is exciting, it can be dangerous… A little research before doesn’t hurt…

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Wouldn’t you know, I ran into my favorite creatures on this planet… A couple of #Ravens came over to say hi…

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Not only did my Raven pals come for a visit, they also posed for a photo shoot…

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They even let me take a picture with them!

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They let me get pretty damn close… I took a lot of pictures…

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What a gorgeous back drop that really captures the beauty and #spirituality of these creatures… Not many know this area better than the Raven… Over many generations they have overlooked this land… That’s what makes them so wise and admired by the American Indians…

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I absolutely love this picture because at first site you think this Raven is just sitting on a rock but if you look closely, he’s actually sitting on the shadow of a tree branch…

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God they are such beautiful birds… I wonder if you can own a Raven as a pet? If you watch the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Uncle who works in the bank has a Raven as pet… I don’t think I would want to domesticate this gorgeous bird yet I would love to learn from it… I believe the Raven has a lot of lessons to teach but being in captivity is not what its spirit is about… If I was to own one, I would want it spend its days out in nature and maybe spend its nights with me…

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God I sound like a #TreeHuggingLiberal for sure now… But some things are not meant to be in captivity… I think the Raven is so admired by the #Indians because of the #freedom they represent… Freedom is not an institution folks… It cannot be organized and doled out by man in small quantities… True freedom is living under the laws of nature… For when you take man out of the picture, those are the only laws that exist on this planet…

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That’s why Tracey and I do what we do together… It’s a scary life because we put our fate out there, with as few plans as we can… We just travel the open road and find things to do along the way… Some days we get up and don’t even know what we are doing for the day… Those days are usually the ones when we have our greatest adventures…

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We soon headed back to the #RestArea where Tracey bought a trinket, to thank the Indians for letting us stay at their rest stop…

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Then we headed to the grand destination of this trip… The Grand Canyon folks…

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It was basically what I expected… Just vast, uninhabited beauty… You could spend a lifetime staring at this one area and you still wouldn’t see everything it has to offer…

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Just absolutely magnificent even though you are amongst so many #tourists… It’s definitely a #TouristTrap folks, which does take away from the whole effect but then again the tourism also keeps the #GreedyDevelopers and miners off of this land… As long as the Grand Canyon keeps making money off of this tourist trap, it gives them reason to be here and preserve this amazing natural phenomenon…

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The problem is the whole nobility of it all gets lost in the money and that’s what The Grand Canyon is becoming… Just a tourist trap for #Corporations to make another buck…

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And this country is constantly fighting to fend off the ever powerful companies who lobby in Washington to pry pieces of this land from the Government so they can profit off of its destruction…

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I admire the many #ParkRangers and #documentarians like #KenBurns who try to preserve these precious areas…

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They are unfortunately losing the fight because the Rich and Powerful never relent… They have the money and time to wait…

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And once a tiny loophole appears they exploit it even over the objections of the people in this country… Because if you ever did a survey in this country, I guarantee the average American would not want these lands touched! It’s only the greedy and inhuman monsters, who are so short sighted, that they are willing to destroy such beauty just for a smelly, green piece of paper… God they make me sick!!!!

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I love this single boulder teetering on the edge… I wonder how long it has sat in this position…

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In the picture above, it looks like there was some sort of old development here… Or maybe its just how this mountain crumbled…

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We took a good hour sight seeing, as we headed over to the next #NationalLampoonsVacation #FilmLocation…

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I couldn’t resist petting this over friendly #mule… He came right over to us and let us pet his long nose…

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I wouldn’t mind seeing a mountain lion up here… From my vehicle of course… lol…

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We soon parked and passed through an #OldRailwayDepot… Which was built for tourism, believe it or not… A few tried to build a lumber operation out here but the terrain and conditions were too harsh to make any feasible profit…

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#TheodoreRoosevelt was the first to ordain this land as a #NationalMonument… He didn’t have the power to make it a #NationalPark, that took an act of congress… So Roosevelt used his power as President to protect this land as a National Monument, where only people can improve upon the area but have to leave it in its natural state… If you don’t know much about Theodore Roosevelt, he is one of those hidden heroes in our history… National Parks probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for this mans love for our natural country… He was the first in the history of the world to preserve land and protect it so people could see america in its primitive, natural form…

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And here I am folks, running up the steps to the hotel #ClarkGriswold robbed…

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After this shot of Clark running up the steps, the film cuts to the interior of #TheStraterHotel, which is at least a 100 miles from here… Good old camera tricks folks…

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Then of course you can’t forget this famous scene where Clark rushes the family into the car… A lot of people who come to The Grand Canyon like to reenact this scene… Of course #TheTravelingMac and Tracey couldn’t resist…

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Clark: okay, let’s go. come on.
Ellen: Where’s edna?

she’s in the car.

Clark: come on, kids, get your butts in the car. go.
Ellen: Don’t you want to look at the grand canyon?
Clark: Great. let’s go.

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Believe it or not, people fall into the Grand Canyon every year… They do foolish things like teeter on the edge or try to hike parts of the Canyon their not supposed to while intoxicated… Imagine you come out to this magnificent place with your family only to attend a funeral because people don’t respect the dangers of Mother Nature… Mother Nature rarely gives second chances…

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I myself am petrified of heights, so you won’t see me fooling around on the edge of this monster…

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I don’t let my fear keep me from doing adventurous things but if I hear of someone dying for some reason or the other, I probably am not going to partake in that particular adventure… Hey, at least you won’t read a story of #TheTravelingMac falling off of some edge somewhere…

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I have so many pictures of the Grand Canyon, if I posted them all, it would take like four or five blogs…

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It’s definitely a place to visit once in your lifetime… More than four million people visit the Grand Canyon every year…

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And more than 310 million people visited our National Parks last year… That’s almost our whole population in this country folks… And a good majority of them were tourists from overseas… So any money grubbing dickhead who claims our National Parks are over protected and unnecessary, just throw this fucking statistic at them… They have no idea how much money these parks bring into this country because every one of those tourists have to buy plane tickets, food and lodging… So not only are the parks making money, small and big businesses are profiting from it also… If that doesn’t impact jobs and our economy, then I don’t know what does…

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I guarantee it benefits us much more than their short, quick capital gain that only leaves destruction of our lands and people in its path… I never hear of stories about our Parks polluting water, destroying ancient lands and disrespecting this country’s heritage in the guise of capital gain… You know why because our Parks are not here to make money solely…

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They are here to enrich our souls and anyone who visits them… This is what America is supposed to about and when you ever hear stories of tycoons trying to mine and profit off of these precious protected lands, you should take it personally… There is nothing more important than preserving our land for our children to enjoy… Capital gain lasts only years, these parks last a lifetime and beyond!

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Then when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we run into a herd of #reindeer… It was dark, so the pictures didn’t come out so well but they are still beautiful in the dark…

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That’s how wild this area is.. Reindeer just pass through like they have no worry in the world…

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So magnificent… If you look hard enough at the picture above, you will see a baby reindeer falling a little behind…

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We soon arrived at the next location… It was actually to our advantage that it was dark because these scenes were shot at night… This is the street where they filmed the #Griswolds driving in the rain with Aunt Edna strapped to the roof of their car… And they also filmed the scene where Clark has his freak out…


Clark: [ Tires squeal ] I think you’re all out of your fucking minds.
We’re 10 hours from the fucking fun park, and you want to bail out.
I’ll tell you something — this is no longer a vacation.
It’s a quest. it’s a quest for fun.
I’m going to have fun, and you’re going to have fun.
We’re all going to have so much damn fun, it’ll take plastic surgery to remove our smiles from our faces.
You’ll be whistling “zip-a-dee-do-dah” from your asses ..
I got to be crazy.
I’m on a pilgrimage to see a moose.
Ha ha!
Praise marty moose!
Rusty: Dad, you want an aspirin or something?
Clark: Don’t touch!

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And here is #CousinNormie’sDriveway, where Clark leaves a dead #AuntEdna on his back porch with an umbrella over her head.. lol… You can see the garage has been renovated… No more stone… looks like they replaced it with aluminum siding…

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The scene on the porch in the back of Cousin Normie’s house was actually filmed on a set in Phoenix, Arizona… but the garage they pull up to is an actual house in Flagstaff, Arizona…


Ellen: [ Thunder crashes ] this is terrible.
Clark: Ugh, what a nightmare.
Ellen: [ Doorbell rings ] don’t just blurt it out about edna dying.
Clark: How about if I ask them to play 20 questions?
[ Doorbell rings ] he isn’t even home.
Ellen: Maybe the neighbors know where he is.
Clark: The moron knows we’re coming, and he isn’t home.
Ellen: Normie’s always been flighty.
Clark: He’s always been a horse’s ass.
Ellen: You watch your mouth.
Clark: Here’s a note.
” jeez, what a worm.
Ellen: Oh!
Clark: Darn it.
It’s locked.
Okay, let’s go.
Ellen: We can’t leave her on the patio.
Clark: Would you rather I slipped her into the night deposit box at the funeral home? come on.
Ellen: It’s raining all over her.
Audrey: She can’t catch a cold now, mom.
Ellen: Clark, we have to at least say something.
Clark: Okay, bow your heads, bow your heads.
Oh, god, ease our suffering in this, our moment of great despair.
Yea, admit this good and decent woman into thine arms and the flock and thine heavenly area up there.
Ellen: Though the hindus speak of karma,


Clark: I implore you, give her — give her a break.
Ellen: I’ll do it myself.
Clark: Honey, I’m not an ordained minister.
I’m doing my best, okay?
Ellen: Lord, we love this woman with all our hearts.
Audrey: Let’s not overdo it, mom.
Ellen: Shut up.
We know she deserves better than this, but my husband wants his beloved family to get to walley world to have their vacation.
have mercy on his soul.
Clark: Amen. let’s go.
Come on.

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