Hermits Rest Route today at the Grand Canyon.
West Route is where only shuttle buses are allowed. Now looking above I
guess it sez that, doesn't it. We have been out on this side in the past,
but again like I said in a prior post the views were much more than I remembered.
All breathtaking. Might help the weather was perfect. It's to turn nasty
next week so me thinks we hit it just right between storms.
gathered at the start point to the West route.
We got on the second bus
heading west at this start point. Sounds busy but the line went fast and
in summer I would not care to guess the wait times for these shuttles.
Today only about 10 min between busses.
First stop we could look
back at the Village and see where the mule trail goes down.
A zoom in on the river .
We could see some rafts at times going through the rapids. It was, I have
been there. The best thing I have ever done... As a once in a lifetime
thing. (I need to find the film slides that were stored years ago and relive
that time.) I would do it again if I thought Terry and I could. We shall
see. It would be a goal to get in shape for.
the NPS guide to rafting the Canyon
The above link has all the
info and links to the Commercial River Concessionsrs.
Onward to the canyon views..
I didn't put a lot of
verbiage in the above post. What is there to say. The views are more than
the mind can deal with. And way beyond what can be shown with limited pixels
on an internet web site. It has to be experienced. (All pictures posted
are below 100K but I have them in the orig. 1.2 Meg version if you want
a copy of any shot.)
I now contemplate... when
we were thinking about a return visit to the canyon, I thought why come
back as we have been there in the past. "I had been there done that, even
floated through it on a raft, and got the T-shirt" so to speak. But
I'm now so glad we did, as this time is different. Might be as with age,
my mind has expanded, as with my soul, to try to understand this planet
we have known as home for our brief lifetimes, and wonder what it's all
about. We are each, here for less than a snap of our fingers... .
If world leaders could just gather here on the edge, and see our petty
differences just don't matter.
We live on a small planet
in the vast universe. Why do we not get along.
We are all just predators,
me thinks. We learned at the San Diego Zoo and here in the GC that we saved
the California Condor from extinction so it can live a normal life. This
is a big deal for the NPS here in the Canyon. This bird has been
on this earth for thousands of years and we saved it. They went from about
22 birds to now over a hundred.
Why can't we do that to what
we want for us humans on our planet.
Desert View Drive today to the east side of the park.
we stopped at Lipan Point I knew I had not been there before. How
could that be, as I thought I had seen it all. You live and learn, me thinks.
This is in my estimation the best view of the canyon.
Now if you trun to the right
the view goes on.
We came back and stopped
at Hopi House in the Main Village rim area where we found a parking spot
and didn't have to climb the hill if we had used the bus. I was tired from
walking yesterday so we drove a little today.
Picture from the Hopi House
Terry relaxing at Hopi House
right next to El Tovar Hotel. This is where so many come to be housed and
dined in style.
Wonder if they get past
this viewing area and see the rest of the park?
The weather was warm and
clear. Just right for sitting out to enjoy the views.
Terry claims he is getting
up early to go see the mules take off with people down Bright Angel Trail
at Canyon Village.
They leave at I think 6:30
AM and if he takes the shuttle bus he we will have to move fast to make
a transfer to get there in time.
He did get up this AM and
went to the rim for sunrise, or should we say an after sunrise event.
He sez he is going to make
a (Terry reporting here) post soon with his pictures and thoughts).
I have been showing him
how I do picture manipulation with FastStone
Image Viewer, Capture, and Picasa
This is good stuff to use.
It was time
to get our butts to the canyon to see the views.
We drove to
the visitor center to check it out. We had been here a couple of
years ago right after it was built and we still get the feeling it is a
little less than what it should be as a world class national park visitor
Nice but me
thinks maybe they didn't want to out class the reason we were all here.
see this world class Canyon.
We left the
truck at the visitor center parking lot and hopped on the Blue Line to
see what we shall see.
OK this shot
is of the Green Line (ours was where I was standing) which goes more east
which we shall explore later. We wanted to head back west toward the Village.
See the maps
and things in a prior post below.
I'm not going into heavy verbage
with each picture tonight, as I'm tired from the day. Me thinks there is
a reason they let us in on my Senior Pass... To kill us off so they can
stop paying SS. Our first day trip and we got a workout. How many
more to come I don't want to to count. Terry just said we need to get up
early tomorrow. OMG...
A view from inside the Yavapai Observation
Station where you can view the wonder.
A close-up looking down at the foot
bridge and Phantom Ranch from Yavapai point.
OK here I go, as this view brings
back the time I and a group from Iowa many years ago floated all the
way through the canyon on a float trip. It was the best thing I have ever
done. The memories that brings to mind are some of the best of my life.
If you are able it is one of the things in your lifetime you should do.
We started the float trip from Lees Ferry, and our next stop is to camp
there after we leave here. Maps later... to be sure...
We got off the bus and struggled
up the hill to El Tovar Hotel where I got a shot of Terry looking west
to Lookout Studio. This is a shot of Lookout Studio closer up on
At a point just west of Lookout Studio.
At this point which is a good location
to view California Condors they say, we stopped and went to the NPS Ranger
led talk about them. She informed us of all the facets of how they were
brought back from extinction and she did knew about each one of them in
the park. We heard which ones are doing well and how they we brought back
to their life here at the canyon. This ment more to us as we saw them up
close at the San Diego Zoo last week.
She looks like... I have to do this
again, waiting to give her speal, but she got into it and was very personable
and did a great job. She was ahead of schedule (so as in the shot was waiting
to start) so talked about her tours of duty in the NPS and where she and
her husband have worked.
Special people doing jobs we envy,
but not many could do.
Some who come to the Canyon do use
the GC Train and get to see the sights on the rails via the doom car. But
you have to stay in Williams and get up early to catch the train and it
leaves mid afternoon to go back south. So if you don't stay here
and take a later train you only have a couple of hours to see this wonder
and for some it's a once in a lifetime event. So you get off the train,
rush up the hill, go to the rim, have an ice cream cone, then go home and
think you have seen it all.
More in the next few days as I hope
my post today was just an overview. We plan to get more involved
in this world class destination. There seems to be more people from
other counties than we people of the USA. A world draw and to think what
it must cost for them to get here.
We hope they felt welcome and felt
this was as special as they had imagined. By their comments and gestures,
which didn't need any translation, we knew they were thrilled with what
they were viewing. A good day was had by a varied all encompassing group
of people, viewing this wonder.
snow can't stop us from landing at the Grand Canyon.
The snow had
melted by the time we reached the entrance gate.
And with my
Senior Pass we got in Free. We did miss our first turn within the park
and had to make the rounds to get back to the RV park trough Market Plaza.
That was after a little yelling to get things started. But that's normal,
don't Ya Think.
news is the truck is running great again under load pulling the 5er. More
power than ever.
Vince, at the
campground registration office at Trailer Village was very friendly and
reassigned us to a site with clear skies for our satellite dish. He knew
just what I was talking about and said "Sure I can do that" when he came
out of the building to greet us. Took my name in the drive and had
my reservation up on the computer when I walked in. Now that's customer
I wrote to
Xanterra Parks and Resorts to complement them on their employee. (I mean
team member or associate or what ever the PC term is nowdays.) Whatever
it is, he does them proud in what me thinks could be a stressful postiion.
We plan to
relax and get acclimated to the 7000 feet and then on Wednesday do some
exploring. We are not in vacation rush mode, as we have six nights right
Just so you
can get your bearings for future posts, here is a map of the south rim.
Terry did take the shuttle to the Market Plaza to look around late in the
afternoon. Shuttles run everywhere so no need to drive. Who would want
to do that, anyway. Us RVers are more Green than that.
Click on it
to get the full .pdf version.
Now for the
links to the GC
Home page and all the Maps
of the GC from the NPS.
now curious those should get you and us started.
out in Williams, AZ
at 7 PM we have a snowstorm going on... WTF
Tad your wish
First off Terry
called the Car Quest parts store and they did have the fuel filter we needed
so the day got off to a good start. He got it installed without a problem.
We went out for a test drive on AZ HW 73 south of town and to explore the
We made it
to Dogtown lake and campground.
Of course the
campground was closed as you can see. Later we tried another Forest Service
road but didn't get far. Had to turn around. We were not looking for a
campground as we are in a RV park in Williams and have reservations at
Trailer Village at the Grand Canyon on Tuesday.
We would have
loved to have been able to dry camp in the Kaibab NF but we know that at
this time of year it is still too cold and the Forest Service roads are
not ready for boondockers. Even the FS large campgrounds right up close
to the GC are still closed till at least May 1.
Now back at
the RV park but still having high winds. At times I wanted to take the
Internet dish down, but have not done so as it is rated to withstand 60
MPH winds. Just makes me a little nervious when a gust makes the trailer
Now thay are
calling for AM snow showers as we move to the GC RV park in the morning.
The weather is going to improve and we are going to have a great time.
I just know it, me thinks.
it to Williams but it was slow going. Had truck engine trouble...
I had been
complaining of loss of power when the truck downshifted going up major
hills. You know the ones where the trucks are required to use the left
two lanes. Well we were right there with them a couple of times with our
4 way flashers going also. We were losing power. Then the check engine
light came on and I know. We were having engine shutdown to hold it below
2K RPM most likely due to clogged fuel filter. The Duramax is designed
to do that with low fuel pressure so to not damage the engine. We stopped
and Terry got out and primed the filter to clean it out but to no avail.
We limped 15 miles to Williams when having to downshift going up long grades.
It ran pretty good when under 2K RPM so we made it and checked into our
RV park. There is a Car Quest in town but not open till Monday. Terry always
said we should carry an extra filter, but Oh No me sez not us. So we never
got an extra one in our travels. Ya know he didn't bring that up today.
Very nice of him.
We had this
happen a few years ago in Colorado. Did a little research on the internet
forums and got advice as to what our problem was at that time. Next
day it did it again and we called ahead and found an auto parts store that
would stay open late to help us out with a new filter which Terry replaced
in their parking lot on a Sunday afternoon. That took care of all problems.
So this time
we had a clue so we needed to get our act together and get this fixed on
Monday. That works since we are here in the RV park in Williams waiting
for our reservation in the GC Trailer Village RV Park on Tuesday. So if
we are lucky the little parts store in Williams will have the filter and
we can get back in business. The truck runs fine except under heavy load
when it needs extra fuel.
Now a little
background to this story and our problem... It would have helped if we
didn't have a full fresh water tank in the 5er. 70 gals. of water
weighs how much pulling across northern AZ. No wonder our little trucky,
truck was struggling. We hadn't been this route for a few years and forgot
about the pull. We had been worried about maybe dry camping out in the
desert in CA so had extra water on board. Shame on us. How long have we
been doing this and still learning.
to the blog...
We are in Canyon
Gateway RV Park.
They offer PassportAmerica discount
for four days with a 48 hr advance reservation.
Nice view overlooking the area.
Very friendly to deal with.
With 90 ft long pull throughs and
level. Later when the trees leaf out it will be nice here.
We went for a drive to look around
and pick up few things at the Safeway store. It was a very nice store and
filed with good deals. Nicest Safeway we have been to in a long time.
The town is nearly empty as this
is early for the season. No crowds just the way we like it.
But you could feel they were getting
ready for the tourists and hoping for a good season this year.
I bet what could be a better place
than the south entrance to the Grand Canyon to be recession proof. People
on vacation are going to visit the GC no matter what.
This town has a double draw, Old
historic US Route 66 and the Grand Canyon.
No to mention the GC Train that
will take you to the rim and back.
This is a tourist town and all is
geared to, how shall I say, service the people heading to the GC.
The gas prices are very high as
you can imagine in a tourist town but the RV parks and others, will give
you a coupon for 20 cents a gal. off when you need to fuel up to get out
of town. If you stay and spend money you get a break. But if you just stop
for gas passing through, you get screwed so to speak.
And yes there is still snow in them
there hills. Tad you didn't see this.
We are comfy
in our home on wheels and Terry is all excited about making chicken noodle
soup tonight. I think the weather is to be a little cool for a couple of
days and then warm up while we are camped in the Park. We were getting
used to the 80s but now that we are at 6700 ft. I guess we need to adjust
to the conditions. I'm watching my breathing at this altitude. So far doing
on the rim we are talking about temps 60-70 and lows in the high 20s with
partly couldy and clam winds. I think that can work , No I'm sure it will
work for us.
to happen... I just keep on going and going.
We left Mary
and her little RV park at Desert Center and drove on some rough blacktop
roads all the way up to Needles, CA. I had printed out camping sites
at Needles and Kingman but it was only 1:30 PM when we passed Kingman on
I-40 so why would we stop so early, me thinks. We did stop at the Pilot
truck stop for fuel at the trun off to Lake Havasu City where I had a Wendys
#1 and Terry had to have their Chili... as he sez it's good stuff. He said
it would take care of his chilli fix for a few days. I just rolled my eyes.
He did eat most of my fries don't ya know. We even left a bunch that we
We kept on
going as I had Terry get on his cell phone and Google
411 for other options.
If you don't
know how that free service works check out the link.
We found a
good stop might be at Ash Fork, AZ.
So we did,
and here we are at The Flagstone Capital of the USA.
We landed at a RV park right off
the interstate at Ash Fork. Price was right at $20
On a drive through town before we
landed at the RV park we spotted remnants of how the old Route 66 shaped
this town. This was a big stop on that route we could tell from many landmarks
in this forgotten burg.
We found this closed truck stop and
if you have been to Quartzsite there is another one just like this one
that is also closed. It was a chain, so to speak, me thinks.
An early Flying J that didn't make
Our next agenda now that we have
landed was we needed to see if we could get into Trailer Village RV park
at the Grand Canyon. I hadn't made advance reservations as I didn't know
when we would get here. And I hate to be on a timetable. As soon as the
dish was up and locked on I checked the Xanterra web site and found they
were booked-up on Monday but the rest of the week was open. I had been
checking every few days and the GCTV campground always has had open sites.
But not today it was filled on Monday. So I called Canyon Gateway RV park
in Williams so we could get a spot to wait it out till our GC Trailer Village
campsite opened up on Tuesday. That was a challenge as they normally
require two days notice to reserve under PassportAmerica. I was lucky to
get a site for two days with one day at 1/2 price. Things are looking up
now as we have reservations at Williams, AZ for two days (lots to explore
right there) at $55 and 6 whole wonderful days at the Grand Canyon for
about $215. Me thinks we lucked out big time and now time to relax on a
Saturday night and watch a little HBO. It's only about 20 miles to
Williams so we can sleep in, web it, check email and cruise to Williams
time frame. That's what fulltimers are supposed to do aren't
Terry was really excited about spending
time at the Grand Canyon and I didn't want to disappoint.
I think I did good... Got on the
phone and net and got us in.
We have been here together before
but never staying in the big rig Trailer Village RV campground.
We tried to stop a couple of years
ago but it was full and we had to stay in a RV park just outside the park.
We did stay many many years ago in the Mather campgroud in a tent in cold
pouring rain and I got very sick from the wet and cold and later Terry
got air sick big time, when we took a flight to view it all.
I have done the big time float trip
from Lees Ferry all the way through it, many years ago. Me thinks one of
the the best things I have ever done in this life. That was pre Terry,
so life just go better after that. I have seen it from below and above
and still am looking forward to this and every time we can spend time at
this wonder of the planet.
We have seen and camped at the north
rim, not at the main toruist site mind you, but at the best site to view
it all if you have the guts to get off road.
This is where you find in the guest
book it sez ... Scotty beam me up, it doesn't get any better than this...
For that you need to go to the Toroweap/Tuweep
Area or At
the Edge of the Tuweep Wilderness Now that you are into Tuweep
this site with a bunch of pictures.
Now that I have listed the
Tuweep info I long to go back to that area. But you can. I hope I gave
you a few hints to explore this out of the way point as they say. Now don't
tell anyone as we want to keep it pristine ya know. The road to Tuweep
is not improved (not fit for RVs) and it was a NPS choice with local input
a few years ago to keep it a primitive road to discourage it from becoming
a tourest trap. The idea was you had to work to get there. Do a Google
Earth on it and you will see why. I kind of got off topic but why not,
it's the GC after all.
This year we are going to be thrilled
to camp for 6 days on the south rim and just experience it again, like
it was the first time we saw it.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
Have question or
comment about our blog life... We love email. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org