Bodaway Trip 1 – Day 1
We had an uneventful flight to Phoenix. We arrived around 9:00 am on Friday and started driving toward Flagstaff and then Bodaway. Phoenix was hot – no surprise. But as we climbed out of the desert and into the mountains it cooled down. We drove through some heavy rains during our two hour trip to Flagstaff. We stopped to see some Indian ruins built into a hillside at Montezuma. We made it to Flagstaff for lunch and noticed that many of the people around us were Native Americans.
We left Flagstaff for Bodaway even though it wasn’t on the map. The town on the map was called Gap and it would be about another hour and a half North. As we left the beautiful forests and green valleys in Flagstaff, we dropped elevation into the high desert. It was barren. The only signs letting us know that we were entering the Navajo Nation were the house trailers in the distant sand baking the sun. It was typical to see a trailer and several outbuildings encircled by many old cars off in the distance. These home sites were so spread out. We didn’t notice at the time but many of the structures in the distance were actually hogans; small octagon-shaped homes which seem to be the traditional shelter design for the Navajos.
About an hour from Flagstaff was an intersection which led to the Grand Canyon. Not far from the intersection was a place near a dry river named Cameron Trading Post. We stopped and walked around. It was mostly a tourist stop for native arts and crafts and lots of Grand Canyon items. I asked two natives about Bodaway. The responses were:
“Oh…you mean Gap. Up the road about 30 miles.”
and “The only stop is at Gap but don’t blink or you’ll miss it.”
We continued on. The 30 miles was more of the same. We found Gap.
Gap consisted of a gas station on the right and a Laundromat/small store/post office all in an old building on the left. We followed a small road to the Bodaway Gap chapter house and continued further to a newer school. We parked at the store for awhile and just observed. Then we drove down to the chapter house and parked, observing a series of portable buildings around a mobile home / office with several cars and people and dogs. We were on the prowl for signs from God regarding this place called Bodaway – something that may indicate why we were there.
We went back to the store and Cindy noticed a VBS poster taped on the ice machine outside the store. The VBS had been held at Cedar Ridge Baptist Church. We looked up the church on line and found an e-mail address for the pastor. I e-mailed him to see about church services and really to see if we would be welcomed to join their Sunday worship. I would wait for a reply.
We continued North about 10 miles to the place called Cedar Ridge. Nothing about Bodaway there. We visited the closest native ‘town’ near Bodaway / Gap called Tuba City. Nothing about Bodaway there.
We ended up driving about an hour and a half to the Grand Canyon to spend the night. We arrived just in time for a sunset at the first observation area. What a nice time! We enjoyed the cool wind and incredible views. We visited a gift shop in a historic building just before it closed and then drove to the Grand Canyon Village for a room. I had called ahead and there were plenty of rooms but upon arrival they had no vacancies anywhere in the park. What a disappointment. We ate dinner in one of the old lodges there and were planning a dark drive for about an hour and a half to the nearest vacancy in Williams, AZ.
After dinner we went outside and walked around. Even in the darkness, this was an incredible place. I was in awe at the moon lighting up the incredible sky and I praised God for His creation. I told Him how nice it would be to stay at the park. I assured my Lord that I was thankful because we were fortunate to have enough money for a hotel – He has blessed us. But I couldn’t stop thinking about how nice it would be to stay at this great place and not have to drive away in the darkness. I decided to go back in the hotel and ask if, by any chance, something had become available. I found that a room HAD become available. One room…in the entire park. It was to be ours and we were praising our Lord.