Thursday, April 18, 2019

#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon

Before we left Granbury, Texas, I made reservations for three nights at the Mather Campground in the Grand Canyon. While we'd been stationary in Granbury, doubts plagued us about continuing our journey but after a little rest, we shook off those doubts, knowing there was so much more to see. Making the reservations gave us more of a plan than we'd had in weeks, and a goal to work toward to keep us moving forward.

After our great night's stay (cheap!) at the Bellemont Days Inn, we headed to the Grand Canyon.

Tim wasn't feeling so well, and not getting around very well, so we weren't sure of our plans once we got there. I'd checked the weather forecast and it kept changing, getting colder every time I checked. (For new readers: I'm blogging this trip after-the-fact, it is not real-time, so weather I write about here is not current to the day you read this post.)

A special guest was waiting to greet us as we arrived at the Mather office: Mama Elk. And yes, we noticed snow still on the ground, too!

The campground employees were helpful and kind. When they saw Tim was having trouble getting around, they changed our campsite to one near a restroom to make it easier on him. The campground was great - peaceful, spacious, beautiful. The restrooms were clean and maintained. Because it was still early in the season, not all the restrooms in the camp had been opened yet. The park also had pay shower and laundry facilities in a building close to the office. 

Once we saw our campsite, Tim suggested we just start sight-seeing before the weather got too bad, and we decided we'd just car camp for the night. We put our nametag on our site post, then headed for the Marketplace - we were told we could park there to catch one of the shuttles.

The shuttles allowed us to see so very much in a short time. Tim could handle getting off and on the buses okay, but not much hiking. The winds were brutal so they made it a little more difficult for him, too. 

[Side rant: One thing that amazed me during our visit - people's sheer stupidity. The wind was blowing so hard, everyone was having a hard time walking along some of the paths. We saw several folks unsteady on their feet, and if the wind was powerful enough to knock ME about, you know it's some strong wind. Yet, at every stop along the way, someone - different each time - had to take a selfie or have a picture made with them in a precarious position. One man balanced on his toes on a rock outside the guardrails, just so his partner could take a photo of him "in" the Grand Canyon. At the same stop that the wind almost knocked me off my feet on flat ground. So when you read about the deaths at the Grand Canyon - of people falling over and dying - this should give you a clue. Rant over.]

You can tell by Tim's face the wind is hitting him hard on the left side. 

My favorite part of the Grand Canyon South Rim was Hermit's Rest. The history behind the building - since 1914 - was amazing, and the views were incredible. The fireplace was a welcome sight, and hard to leave once we were there. 

We traveled every loop the shuttles took us, and explored many of the stops. 

Tim still fighting the wind.

Once we'd made the full journey, we took refuge in front of a fire in the Yavapai Lodge lobby where I was able to get online and check the weather. 

Notice the clouds and haze in some of the photos. That's snow moving in. 

We checked out the market, scored a whole roasted chicken (delightfully warm and fresh) for only $4, and took it back to camp for our dinner. 

While we ate, we discussed all the possibilities, our current needs, and a timeline. And decided we'd take off the next morning to try to outrun the snow once again. The park refunded the remainder of our stay when we checked out, so that was a blessing. We hope to return to the Grand Canyon again some day - hopefully, in warmer weather. 

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Betty Thomason Owens said...

I loved the GC! I hope you will return in better weather when you can really enjoy it. We even had elk join us for lunch at an outside picnic table. I really want to go back to this awe-inspiring place.

Tracy Ruckman said...

Yes, I want to go back, too. I said next time, I'd like to see it from the river. Tim wants to see it from a helicopter. LOL!

Thanks for reading my blog!