The Grand Canyon, of course, was one of our planned stops while in Arizona. We had to move our timeline up a couple of weeks, which put us in the middle of a winter snowstorm and single digit temperatures for the area. We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Resort in Williams, Arizona, within driving distance to the Grand Canyon.
While snow, wind, and freezing temperatures blew up a storm outside, we were nice and cozy on the inside. We used electric, water, and sewer hookups only as needed to prevent freezing, and Mike had a portable heater in the basement to keep things warm and toasty. We pulled our slides in at night to keep the heating area at a minimum and help prevent freezing pipes and hoses. We weathered the storm without damage and kept comfortable throughout our time in Williams. The blanket of snow only enhanced the charm of the small town.
The snow brought out the midwest childhood memories in both of us. We tried to throw snowballs with the unpacked and powdery flakes, but only succeeded in raining down small snow showers in each other’s direction.
I did try to build a snowman. I packed the dusting snow as best I could, grabbed a couple of Mike’s bloody Mary olives, a carrot, and some small pebbles. Once I was done with my creation, I topped it off with a hat and little flower (it WAS a girl, by the way). I built a perfectly adorable snow blob.
Aside from the cold and snow, we were close enough to the Grand Canyon to visit twice, albeit layered to the gills to ward off the freezing winds. There is a challenging blog to come–I’m still struggling with how to do the Grand Canyon masterpiece justice.
Williams is the last town to be bypassed by I40, essentially decommissioning Route 66 in its entirety. The town kept lawsuits active until it was decided to have three Williams exits off of I40, thus maintaining it’s tourist capabilities. The main drag is full of Route 66 memorabilia–a gas station museum, restaurants, cafes, bars, and coffee shops–all the usual tourist nostalgia. The Grand Canyon Railway has its depot in Williams and tourists flock to visit the Canyon via train with accommodations both at the historical hotel and RV park.
During a walk downtown, I found the historical plaques on some of the buildings to be helpful. This Old West town is rich in history, and pride in their roots was everywhere.
Our friends, Roy and Judy, weathered Williams with us. We had a couple of nights out on the town, the first at the Grand Canyon Brewery. The food was overpriced and under-flavored, but I loved their Sunset Amber Ale and enjoyed one or two or a few during our stay.
We also had dinner at Cruisers Route 66 Cafe. Again, the food was overpriced and under-flavored, but they did have the nostalgia of the old roadway. Our dinner companions were excellent company, so we muddled through the lackluster dining experience.
Williams is a picturesque town with and without snow. It’s a great location in relation to the Grand Canyon. There’s access to a grocery store, gas stations, fast food restaurants, and places with Route 66 flair. Most of all, we enjoyed our warm and cozy evenings with good friends.
Safe travels. See you on the road!
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