Home Is Where We Park It: Grand Canyon Railway RV Park, Williams, Arizona
June 17, 2020
What A Difference 3,400 feet Makes
Historic Williams, Arizona
We Have Our Train
We’ve gone from temperatures during the day around 95 degrees and night time temperatures of 75 degrees to a refreshing daily temperature in the low to mid 70’s and night time temperatures in the mid 40’s. That’s the difference that 3,400 hundred feet higher up makes. The winds, though, wow are they strong. We have the jacks down and still at times Elvira rocks when hit with a strong gust. All in all it suits us just fine.
Time to go exploring.
We wanted to learn more about our new home’s history so we made a stop at the Visitor Information Center.
Even before we learned a thing about Williams itself we learned that the Visitor Center was once a passenger train depot. In 1902 a new brick freight warehouse was built next to it.
In 1914 the two buildings were joined together then abandoned in the early 1970’s. The City of Williams bought the two structures and in 1994 restored the buildings into a Visitor’s Center.
Traces of the buildings past are everywhere you look. There is the original freight scale and the old wooden loading dock doors. If you look closely you’ll also find notes on the walls regarding various transactions.
We move on now to the history of the town of Williams itself.
We leaned that the City of Williams is located in the heart of the Kaibab National Forest.
Founded in 1881, Williams was named for the famous trapper, scout and mountain man Old Bill Williams.
This is his statue which stands in Memorial Park on the west side of town.
The picture above this one is of Bill Williams Mountain.
Today the City of Williams is also known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. In 1901 service started from the Town of Williams to the Grand Canyon. However, by 1968 automobiles made the service unprofitable. From 1968 to 1984 the line was used for the storage of railroad cars. In 1989 under new ownership the line began regular service again and the rest, as they say, is history.
This is one of the Grand Canyon trains. We had a trip scheduled this year on the train but decided that now was not the time to be packed into a train car with a bunch of strangers. Especially, a train packed with people who for the most part seemingly don’t believe there is a virus running loose in our country. How do I know? I watched them board and no one wears a mask. The train staff asks you to wear one, but leaves it to you to decide if you will. Maybe next year we’ll come back and make the trip.
Speaking of trains, the tracks for the freight train are about 100 feet from our bedroom window. The crossing is there as well. You know what they blow when coming to a crossing? Yup, the horn. Now, some engineers are polite and give just a little toot; but, others really want you to know they’re coming – if you know what I mean. They lean into that horn as if their very life depended upon it. It’s OK, though, since we really would not feel at home without a train nearby.
This is Monument Park that is at the western entrance into town.
Time for lunch.
This is what several locals recommended.
Barbara was hungry so she wasn’t waiting around for me to take pictures!
The wall mural you pass on the way in.
The back of the menu gave a brief history of the restaurant. It was at one time a filling station and then a pizza restaurant.
They had outside seating with tables spaced well apart from one another.
There was live entertainment. This gentleman was playing songs from the 50’s and 60’s and he was terrific. We’re so glad we were able to listen to his music during our lunch.
This was Amber our waitress. She was terrific. A wonderful smile, first class service. Unfortunately, the food was not what I would call first class. It was good, but nothing that would make you say that was terrific. Maybe the cook was having an off day. Maybe we’ll give them another try before we leave. Time will tell.
A couple of pictures from inside.
More to come but for now we’ll call it a night. Oh, one special picture for a very special person in my life.
Love you Sis.
That’s it for today on The Road of Retirement. We had an absolutely fantastic day doing what we love best, discovering new things together. Oh yea, hand in hand we’re making our way around this great country of ours and loving every minute of doing it as a couple. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks for joining us today. We always appreciate having you with us and we especially enjoy your comments. Catch you tomorrow.
These are the voyages of Elvira and it’s two intrepid travelers. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.
See you on down the road!