Amazing Views, Generous People

Arizona / June 3, 2012 / by Gelb
Amazing Views, Generous People

What a week. We started out in Las Vegas, and today we are heading out of Arizona, on our way to California. This has been one of the most unique weeks we've had so far on the trip.

Sunday was spent recouping from our TV appearance, exploring Vegas, and catching up on work. After all of this publicity, we needed to try and work it to our advantage. Unfortunately, we haven't found our millionaire who wants to help us out yet, so work work work! On Sunday evening, most of us were tired, but Amy Wallace and I went out to get some Go-Pro footage of the strip all lit up at night. Unfortunately, something went wrong with the camera and all was lost. Oh well, you've seen it, right?

Monday morning we woke up bright and early and headed out around 9:00 towards Arizona. We were stuck in traffic for the longest time (1.5 hours), but eventually came to our first destination: The Hoover Dam. After eating lunch, ooh-ing and aah-ing a bit, we were back on the road. The strange thing about the Hoover Dam was that you could drive to the Arizona side on top of it, but then there was no way to continue into Arizona. You had to turn around, go back into Nevada, then up and around to the interstate. I found that very odd.

Late afternoon we got into our campground in Williams. We were all pretty tired, I found myself frustrated with my efforts at raising money, and the hosts at the campground weren't the friendliest or accomodating. So often your focus on specific things boils over and affects your whole outlook. I have to get better at that. We all went to sleep relatively early, as the next day was going to be pretty cool.

Tuesday I was up at 5:00 for a call. I got to explore the town of Williams a bit - it's a beautiful little town with Route 66-themed shops and restaurants, but done in a tasteful way. Their coffee shops seemed quite fancy, and they obviously catered to explorers of Grand Canyon. There is an old train that can take you up to and around the canyon that starts and ends in Williams. Only $375 for five people… (hah).

The team got moving around mid-morning. We hopped into the van and made our way to Grand Canyon. It was absolutely stunning. Following the advice of some of our campground neighbors, we took the Desert Views road and got some truly magnificent views. Amy Chin and Chris went for a little hike, and we all took more pictures than we know what to do with. The visitor's center was really cool - they have this floating sphere that images are projected onto - it starts out as a spinning globe. The film was also excellent. We had a fantastic time at the Canyon, and it was a great way for everyone to relax a bit after quite a stressful couple of weeks.

We headed out on Wednesday morning pretty early from Williams. Our aim was to be in the Cottonwood area by early afternoon so we could get some work done. After a 1.5 hour drive, we pulled into our campground and headed to a local coffee shop with good wifi. The hosts at our campground, Turquoise Triangle were absolutely delightful. When we got back from the coffee shop, we found a bunch of tennis balls wrapped in socks sitting on our picnic table with a note. A woman named Dana who saw us on the highway recognized us from CBS and was very excited - she wanted to come and meet us. When she had worked out where we were, we had already left, so she left her note, the socks (which we were puzzled about) and two dozen eggs! We gave Dana a call and she came over. She is a massage therapist at an exclusive spa in Sedona, AZ. She, who was quickly joined by her friend and fellow therapist Stepha, were telling us about how much great things we were doing. They gave us massages, and left us a water-filled hula-hoop (for de-stressing), homemade heart-shaped ice packs, and those socks - which are for putting under your back when you are sitting or driving to release tension. We were a bit overwhelmed at their kindness and generosity. 

But it didn't end there. They wanted to organize us coming to their spa - Mii Amo, the following day. They left and told us to expect a call in the morning about arrangements. I didn't know what to say - it was incredible.

We woke up - quite refreshed - and got going for our story. It was on Biodiesel US Inc. Mike Rogers, a parent who was concerned about the local school system and the decreased budgets wanted to work out a way to help decrease costs for the district, particularly with regards to the school buses. Mike goes around to restaurants and takes their used oil and grease and tuns it into biofuel to then give to the schools. It is quite amazing - restaurants are literally fueling schools, and it isn't costing them a thing. This is such a brilliant idea - I hope Mike can spread it around to more cities. I think you'll like this story.

After saying good-bye to Mike and his little bus, we headed for Mii Amo. Mii Amo is an extremely exclusive spa, that you usually have to be a guest to use. We were given a traditional welcome - beaded necklaces with Juniper seeds to help us relax. We met the Spa Director, Serene, who gave us lunch at their fantastic bistro. Then it was an afternoon of massage, hot-tubs, saunas, steam rooms, nature walks, and swimming pools! It was incredible. None of us have ever experienced anything quite like that. I must say, I felt quite out-of-place, not only for being in a fancy spa, but for the fact that we are just doing what we set out to do, and weren't expecting this kind of treatment at all. Dana and Stepha were there. They and several of the other therapists were giving us massages on their own time. I cannot tell you how overwhelmed we were at everyone's generosity and love.

After experiencing the magic of Mii Amo for several hours, we melted into the bus and got back on the road, heading for just outside Phoenix, in Apache Junction. We got in shortly after midnight and all fell asleep pretty quickly. In the morning, we made our way into Phoenix to meet Barbara, Carina and the rest of the people at Face In The Mirror at St Joseph's Hospital. Face In The Mirror is an organization that provides massages, facials, and cosmetics to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The act of taking the time to make someone feel beautiful can not only brighten their day, but encourage them to get better. It is such an uplifting story. I know you ware going to love it. Barbara and Carina were so wonderful and you could see how much love they bring to the work they do. It was a blast.

Phoenix is hot. Very hot. After the story, we made our way to Mama Mia's Pizza for some grub. Anythign just to get inside into some air-conditioning! The pizza was excellent and did it's job nicely. We headed back to Apache Junction where the bus was, and had an afternoon of work.

We were originally going to be driving to San Diego on Saturday, but instead decided to spend an extra day to re-charge, as even though we had that fantastic spa-day, we've been moving quite a bit, and in the heat. Saturday was spent working in the A/C. Steven and Amy had the chance to go to the Apple Store to get some phone issues looked at, and Chris cooked his fantastic Macaroni Buffalo Chicken - so all was good.

Next week, we head to San Diego and Los Angeles, before heading on our two-week break. Fear not, though! We're still going to be pushing out our usual two stories a week. To our dedicated viewers, we shall remain un-interrupted.

Mileage: 93238