We headed out of Hurricane around 11am. Driving to the south rim of the Grand Canyon should take about 4 hours...plus my little stops! Heading down highway 15 looking at all the beautiful colors on the mountains. I took the first driving shift and Larry got to drink coffee and take some pictures. We didn’t get to make a stop that I would have liked but time wasn’t on our side. We drove right past the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. We will make sure we come back to see it when we have more time to spend in the States.
We stopped for a late lunch at a small little town in the Marble Mountains, The Gap. They had a gas station, small grocery store/Deli and The Gap-Trading post. We found some tasty treats at the store and ate across the street at this really cool abandoned house. After I ate, I took some photos and chased some lizards unsuccessfully but it was still fun! Back on the road, Larry took his turn. I like to let him drive when we are close and it gets tricky finding the campgrounds and maneuvering through lots of traffic. I like the easy driving shifts!
We got to the south rim of the Grand Canyon at 4pm. We hadn’t secured a campsite in advance…..still playing with luck. We stopped at the first lookout point to get our first amazing view of the canyon. I had found a few options inside the park for camping and drove what seemed to be another hour to find out everything was booked. It was starting to get dark now and I really like to find someplace in the light of day. A nice Ranger suggested an RV park just outside the park about 7 miles south.
We stayed two nights at Grand Canyon Camper Village in Tusayan Arizona. The campgrounds were just a large parking lot with maybe 2 trees. There was plenty of room for us and the lady in the office was super sweet and helpful. When I walked in, she was watching Youtube videos of 80’s Rock concerts that had naked folks in them. She shared that with me. We talked a bit while she was checking me in and I found out that we were the same age! She had 6 children starting when she was 14. Now she had grandchildren and some great grand kids too!! It sounded like she had the perfect life for her. She was all about her family and she was so proud to tell me about them. I love hearing about people’s life journeys.
Just outside the campground was an amazing General Store with everything and more, that a person could need. We took advantage of this to restock the trailer with essential food and snacks. I had a hard time resisting the souvenirs at this place. I am not big on souvenirs or collecting stuff, especially because there isn’t really any place to have it in the Airstream. I looked for mugs with Jillian and Riley’s name on them with the Grand Canyon. Nope. Resist. Then I saw a 500 piece puzzle of the Grand Canyon that was beautiful but $14.99. I thought I should get it for my mom because she Loves to do puzzles. But I resisted. I stayed strong and bought nothing. Sorry Mom, Jill and Riley! Ha ha ha
We got up early and packed for our day in the Grand Canyon. It was chilly and a bit windy. I wanted to bring some extra jackets, hats and my mittens. Larry was still sick ...I think this cold has lasted more than a month now. His energy levels were pretty low when we got up so I wanted to take care of him the best I could as we hiked around the rim. The Grand Canyon has a shuttle bus system much like Zion but with more lines. We aren’t perfect but were getting better with the buses. We parked at the Visitor’s center and went inside to get maps. We saved ourselves another $35 for entrance fees with my annual National Park pass! Cha Ching!! $$$$$ The visitors center was packed ...so many people. I found out that the Grand Canyon is the second most visited park after the Great Smoky Mountains.
From the visitor’s center, we walked to Mather Point and down the paved trail to the Yavapai Point and Geology Museum. It wasn’t even a mile so Larry was good. The wind started to pick up and the jackets in my backpack were necessary. We saw so many people enjoying the canyon from all over the world. So many different languages being spoken and so many people posing for pictures. I even saw a girl wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt!! So cool. The Museum had a bathroom and was warm. We stayed here a bit and then headed to The Village where we planned on getting on the shuttle to make stops along the way to Hermit’s Rest. It was a short 1.4 mile walk. Larry was getting a bit whiny so I told him that we could ride the shuttle for the rest of the day. While we were walking the rim, the wind got so bad at times, I was afraid to get too close to the edge for pictures because I didn’t want to be blown off!!
When we got to the Village, we found the Grand Canyon train station!! Yahoo!! I wanted to take the train but it isn’t a day trip. It’s in or out of the park each day. You would need to plan a bit better than we had been. No train for Rhonda ...boo sad! :( I got some pictures though and we hopped on the shuttle to see some more cool stuff!
We arrived at Hermit’s Rest about 2pm. We had our tasty lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and fruit. They had a really nice gift store that was heated with a fabulous fireplace with chairs close by. We got coffees and sat inside to warm up for a while. I found some great books and cool maps of the park that I enjoyed looking at but left in the store. Resist the urge!!!
Back on the shuttle and a few more stops to see the lookout points we skipped on the way. Off the red line and onto the blue line which took us right back to the visitors center were we parked in the morning. We probably only walked 3 miles but that was good for Larry. I actually think he had bronchitis. Some nights his coughing was so bad that He chose to sleep on the couch as to not disturb my sleep too much. What an Angel!
We got back to our campsite right around dinner time. We thought about going out to eat but couldn’t decide where to go so I ended up making on of my amazing salads with all the tasty yummies I put in it. Larry even admits that they are good but has a hard time with the fact that Salad is Dinner. We went to bed early again so Larry could get his much needed sleep. We were heading out to the Sedona area in the morning. Another super short visit to one of America’s favorite National Parks. I just feel like we are sampling, like at a buffet and will return for our seconds next year. Ha ha ha
Well, when I woke up, Larry hopped back in bed and said,”Guess what happened last night?” I said, “It snowed!” Winner Winner!! I guessed it! Larry wasn’t amused with me or the snow. Poor sick Larry in the snow in Arizona……..how does this even happen?