It has been decades since we have tent camped but we decided to give it a try. We bought a new tent, large sleeps six and is so tall KD could stand up in it. We bought large cots, Mark’s is larger than a twin bed, that is why we need the large tent. We bought three inch pads that inflate by themselves and new sleeping bags. We check our camping list multiple times and pack the car. We are not fans of long drives so we plan our trip with stop every six hours. Our first stop is in Barstow, no camping yet we check into a hotel. We have decided to stay in hotels if we are stopping for one night or if it rains. Our car is a Honda Clarity which uses gas and electricity. At home we just plug it into a outlet in the garage and charge it no special connection needed. I am a little nervous about finding charge stations along the way. We find a charge station in a mall that is mostly dead with lots of empty shops. We leave the car and walk to a movie theatre. We watch Avengers End Game
while the car charges.
In the morning we head to Grand Canyon National Park. We check into the campground but there is snow on the ground and it is freezing. Since we are wimps we go to a Starbucks outside the park. Our phones get no internet in or outside the park. We stand outside Starbucks and Mark books a room using Hotel Tonight app, he downloaded this app before we left just for this type of occasion. The town called Tusayan is right outside the south entrance to the park. The next morning we head into the park using our Senior Park Pass which gets us into all National Parks for no fee. We bought the pass when they were $10 for a lifetime pass. We hike along the rim trail. It is 14 miles long so there are lots of sections to walk along. It is Memorial Day weekend so the park is very busy. Most of you have probably visited the Grand Canyon but this is our first time. The pictures we have seen cannot prepare us for the beauty. We check out our camp site and decide to set up camp. The campground sign says
the campground is full but they should say the campground was reserved but only about ten percent of the camp sites are full. I guess we are not the only wimps. At night we sit in the car and watch a movie Mark downloaded to his iPad. Thank you Christopher for that idea. We survive the night, our tent is a summer tent with lots of cold air coming in through the netting at the top of the tent and it is cold.
We have decided to hike into the canyon taking the Bright Angel Trail thetrail goes all the way to the bottom of the Canyon but we decide to hike to the 1.5 mile rest stop. We are feeling pretty good so we continue to the three mile rest stop. There is a bathroom and water, we use both. There is also a shelter and we sit, eat our lunch and chat with the chaperones of a Boy Scout troop. The hike up takes twice as long as the hike down. The hike takes about six hours but you have a great view the entire time. We notice a lot of people have hiking poles and we are glad we brought ours. If you want to buy poles get ones that break into four parts so they are small enough when broken down to fit into your suitcase or backpack.After our hike we head to Miswik Lodge for a beer, dinner and to watch some basketball on TV. At seven we head back to the rim of the canyon and wait with a lot of people for the sunset. This is a nightly event all along the rim trail.
The park is like Yosemite with free busses that take you all around the park. There is even a bus from Tusayan into the park. There are multiple lodges or hotels, lots of campsites, a large store, restaurants and even a food truck. There are some small museums. There is a train that brings visitors from Flagstaff to the South rim in the middle of the park. It sounds like a great way to travel to the Grand Canyon.
We survive another cold night and head out for another hike after breakfast. We take the bus to the South Kaibab trailhead. You have to take a bus to this trailhead the road is closed to cars. This trail is steeper and has no shade compared to our previous day hike. Our legs and my hip are tired from our previous hike so we decide to hike down about 1.5 miles. There is no water on this trail but we brought plenty with us. It is colder and windy today. We hear so many different languages being spoken by our fellow hikers. We chat with some people as we hike and others while resting. One young woman seems to be having a hard time but she says she has water and is all right. We meet and talk with multiple park volunteers who hike the trail every day giving emergency support to hikers. Helicopters can fly into a few spots on the trail if someone needs to be airlifted out.
When we get back to the top we decide to walk two miles on the rim trail back to the visitors center. There are not a lot of walkers on this section of the trail which is nice, when we get to the visitors center we stop in to check the weather report. It looks like rain clouds and the wind is picking up. We are told that snow will fall tonight. We head back to our campsite and pack up. Since it is so cold we do not want our tent to get wet because we don’t know when it will dry. We head back to Starbucks for free WiFi and find all the rooms in town are booked so we decide to head to Blanding, Utah.It is a 228 mile drive and we check in around midnight. Arches is our next stop.
Tot: 0.128s; Tpl: 0.031s; cc: 15; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0158s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb