The gentle sound of rain hitting the RV is some how relaxing. I stare out the window as the rain leaves a random pattern of water droplets on the pane. I can almost sense the cacti smiling, arms stretched, rejoicing in the much-needed moisture.
We’ve been camped in the Phoenix area for about a month now. This cold, rainy day allows Al and me to reflect on the past month of travel.
In November we were exploring the Grand Canyon. Wow, what an awe-inspiring place. Did you know the canyon is about a mile deep and 277 miles long? The north rim of the Grand Canyon sits at an average elevation of 8,000 feet, while the south rim sits at about 6,800 feet (2072 meters).
The average distance between the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the south rim is about 10 miles with the greatest width measuring 18 miles and the nearest a mere 5 miles. The diverse landscape and abundant wildlife, make the Grand Canyon a MUST SEE at least once. I know Al and I will return.Our journey takes us from Grand Canyon National Park to Cottonwood, Arizona. After a little research, Al and I decide on Dead Horse Ranch State Park as home for a few days. This turned out to be the perfect campground for us to regroup.
The weather is sunny and warm. We have hiking trails literally in our backyard. The restrooms have nice showers. Ahhhh….after weeks of Navy showers, I’m able to bask in gallons and gallons of hot water. Hey, with my long, thick, curly hair a long hot shower is indeed a treat.
Oh, but it doesn’t end there. There’s a skylight perfectly positioned above the shower stall. So as I tilt my head back and revel in the glory of tons of hot water streaming over my head, I watch the thin, white fluffy clouds slowly drift by against a gorgeous blue sky.
The shower felt wonderful. However, it was never my intent to resemble a raisin, thus all things must come to an end. After all, tomorrow is another day. And speaking of tomorrow….we have some serious exploring to do….. Sedona here we come!
The Grand Canyon….wow, what can one really say about one of the Seven Wonders of the World? We enter the National Park via the less traveled east entrance. As the road bends bringing us closer to the canyons edge, we’re graced with spectacular views. Then the road bends us back into the forest of pine trees. The twists and turns in the road continue to tease us with amazing scenery for approximately 27 miles before we arrive at The Village.
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is more popular and commercial than the North Rim. The weather front that brought our little wind storm to Lake Powell brought the first major snow of the season to the North Rim, officially closing the North Rim until spring.
There are two campgrounds within the National Park boundary at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Mather’s Campground does not offer hook-ups and all information indicates a 30′ length restriction. The next day without RV in tow, Al and I drive through this campground. And oh boy, are we ever glad we did not explore with the rig attached. The roads and the sites are fine, it’s the pine trees. Mather’s Campground sits within a highly populated forest of pine trees. A narrow road with a series of tight twists and turns along with low hanging branches, makes it almost impossible for large rigs to navigate without sustaining some sort of body damage.
Prior to physically seeing this campground, we actually considered trying to squeeze in. However, generators are not allowed and with below freezing temperatures anticipated, Al and I seek electric hook-up….heat baby, heat. I need heat! Thank goodness for the cold weather, (don’t expect me to say that too many times) we drive past Mather’s Campground and pull into Trailer Village. The Trailer Village Campground is old, sites are unlevel, there is uneven pavement with large pot holes, but plenty of pull-thru’s with hook-ups and room for just about any length of RV.
We quickly get the rig set up at Trailer Village and get the heat running before heading to the “Rim”. Al does not hook up water to the spigot due to night time temps. We have water in our holding tank and with the forced air heat running, it’ll keep water in our RV system from freezing.
It quickly becomes obvious, Grand Canyon National Park operates like a well-oiled machine. We walk to the campground entrance and hop on one of many buses transporting tourists efficiently from one place to another. The ‘blue’ bus line operates within The Village; hotels/lodges, campgrounds, stores, visitor center. The ‘orange’ bus line operates mainly east of the visitor center from Yavapai Point to Yaki Point, making stops at some of the scenic overlooks. The ‘red’ line takes a visitor from west of the lodges to Hermits Rest. The buses are free and frequent AND very convenient.
Our first night at the Grand Canyon we go to bed early. This click happy camera operator wants to get going before sunrise the next morning. Al and I sleep great in our toasty warm RV. By 5:45 a.m. the coffee is brewing and I’m out walking Bear. It’s fricken a*s cold at 17 degrees Fahrenheit. When Bear and I return to the Rig, Al and an RV neighbor are visiting.
It turns out all the water spigots in the campground are frozen. The neighbor used something to warm up his spigot and offered to help Al thaw ours. Al politely declines and was able to take a shower from the holding tank water….smart move. A short time later we notice water spewing out from the rear of the neighbors rig. That can’t be good!
With kid like exuberance, I rush Al this morning. We have to get to the Rim while the sun is still low. Al leaves our sewer line attached. Normally this is not a problem, but there are warnings posted that the Raven’s will peck away at the plastic piping if left connected. Sure enough, we return later in the day to a destroyed sewer line. I know, it’s all my fault for pushing Al to get going. I accept responsiblity and bake brownies to make amends……….