29th – 30th Sept 2018
Bryce Canyon, Utah to Kaibab RV Camper Village, Arizona 115 miles
Gosh, what a beautiful spot. I am so glad that we made the effort to get here and see these amazing formations. On top of the canyons and Hoodoos, we spotted a couple of unique birds that live around here (we got a couple of pics, but they are just not good enough), and met more wonderful people. Jim, Debbie and Sean, chatted to us yesterday, and we all enjoyed a good sharing of stories. We waved to them as we drove out, and headed back towards the Red Canyon, and highway 89.
The Red Canyon. It really does bring out the blue in your skies.
A couple of tunnels like this one are enough to stop Will breathing, and turn his knuckles white. But he navigated them like a boss.
It’s not a common choice, to backtrack, but it was the only way out, if we wanted to maintain a doable schedule, and see The Grand Canyon, in any way. It was a pretty cruiser drive, with some very spectacular views. We are still way up in the elevations, and pretty much sticking up here. We pulled into one view point, as we entered the Kaibab National Forest, and we could see everything from Zion, Bryce and The Grand Staircase Escalantes National Monument. The colours were stunning, and while we gawked like stunned mullets, another couple arrived, and they seemed to have the same reaction as us.
A M A Z I N G! Different coloured canyons, cliffs and they are miles and miles away.
Another super friendly and lovely to chat to pair, who we forgot to introduce ourselves to, from Austin Texas, who we just related to so easily. The lot of us were heading to The North Rim, so hoped we would run into each other there. Then we all chugged off in our respective giant motorised living quarters, to enjoy more of the roadside views. Mount Carmel was the first town of any size, it was still tiny, but as it was the turn off for Zion, it had fuel, and we needed fuel. A funny thing when trying to get “gas” here in the states, it is always prepaid, and quite often asks you to put in a zip code. Of course, our Aussie Post Code won’t do, and we have no idea what to enter. Several times, Will has had to go inside and pay for how ever much he thinks we might need. It is frustrating and time consuming. One time he put in 90210 (Beverly Hills), as he knew that from the 90’s TV hit show, Beverley Hills 90210. Ha ha ha. It didn’t work.
Before we found our campground, the last town of any significance, was Kanab, and we also needed groceries. So we found their local market, and did a big shop. Enough for about 4 days. It was a nice looking town, very touristy and full of Hotels and other accommodations. It was set in some stunning red canyons, and right on the border of Utah and Arizona. The cliffs literally just stopped at the Utah side. The Arizona side was flat and desert like. Amazing!
We headed south east towards the Grand Canyon National Park, and The North Rim. It was a beautiful drive, heading higher in elevation the whole while. Bright golden Aspen groves in amongst the pines, were blinding in the sunshine, and something we really haven’t seen before. Their colours ranged from lime green, gold, light orange and even to a lovely red. It made the hills look like they were on fire.
While at Bryce, we had tried to book a site at The North Rim Campground, but had no luck, so instead, we had booked at Kaibab RV Camper Village, and decided to drive in tomorrow, do a bit of walking, then see if we could get a night at Demotte Campground, about 25kms from the Rim. That way we could relax and enjoy the park. So we got to the RV park in good time, and chatted to the Manager, Joe, who gave us great information about the area, and the famous Kaibab Squirrels, with their Snow White tails. I looked up, while listening, and there were two of the cute little critters, running amongst the Ponderosa Pines. Way too quick to snap a photo. Bugger.
This is the best I could do for the cutest squirrels ever. They are real quick.
Getting the Motorhome of Madness set up, is a piece of cake, and we did a bit of research, some forward planning, some blogging, some reading, then thought we should take a walk around to see what we could see. Hopefully another squirrel. It is a peaceful and pretty setting, in the Ponderosa Pines. They are a tough and beautiful pine, very straight, with super thick bark. They also have a distinct smell. I personally thought it smelled like hazelnut, but Will and Joe both reckon vanilla. Either way, it was gorgeous.
These bloody Squirrels, are slippery buggers. Zipping around the trees, like little ninjas, I just couldn’t get a picture. I did, however, start chatting to our van neighbour, Dean, who is from Washington State, and we ended up enjoying a great evening, sharing his fire, and cooking our dinners on it. He was a fascinating man, with some interesting tales. His wife Sue, was a bit under the weather due to over doing it that day at The Rim, so we missed out on meeting her. These two have been married 52 years. Just bloody fantastic. They also had a gorgeous dog, named Ruben, who was a Poodle/Golden Retriever cross. He was a character too. It is just so overwhelming, the amount of wonderful and interesting people, we are meeting. Best part of this journey so far.
Kaibab RV to Demotte Campground (Nth Rim Grand Canyon) 62 miles
A bit of cloud about this morning, and it was a bit nippy, for sure. But it all cleared up and warmed up, by the time we were ready to check out The Grand Canyon. At last. As we were almost ready to head off, we met our other neighbours, who were packing up too. So funny, as they also had a poodle/Labrador called Charlie. Ruben was black, and Charlie was white. They were very cute dogs, and had super cool personalities. As we pulled out, we also got to meet Dean’s wife, Sue. She was feeling much better, and had enjoyed listening to our night, from her comfy bed. It would be lovely to catch them again.
Enjoying the lovely drive, the pines and the Aspens, we wound our way (well, Will wound our way, I just sat and enjoyed) to the entry gate to the Park. Choice to make here, do we pay for a yearly pass ($80), or just another $35 for this park only? We’re not planning to go to anymore, so let’s just pay for this one, and we’ll save $10 overall. Yep, cheers, done, get going! Right, another 13 miles into the park, and we are finally at The North Rim. Wow, cool! Parking was a bit of a pain, but Will managed, and we just locked up the Beast and started walking away. There were people everywhere. Ugh, the only dampener. But, we just got to the Bright Angel Walk, and the immensity of this Canyon, just hits you. It is HUGE! The North Rim, is 1000 feet higher than the South Rim, and it really is a maze of rips in the earth. Changing colours, levels, and amazing cut outs, and jutting rocks. How do we get it into our thick heads, The enormity of it?
Of course I could put up a billion fantastic pictures of this amazing area of the world, but they just don’t give you the perspective and size of this crack in the earth. Go and check it out for yourself.
The walk was up and down, but not very high on the difficulty scale. We were huffing and puffing a bit, but we were up pretty bloody high here. Everybody was the same. Lots of people using poles, and I think I will make a concerted effort to do the same. My Mum let me have a go of my Dad’s poles, and I still have them at home. Time to see how they might help my stupid dick knees, I think. So we enjoyed the amazing Canyon, and the sunshine, and are super happy that we saw some of it.
Yeah, the adventure hair is getting out of control, but the wind is taking care of keeping it out of our eyes. Hold on to your hats hey?
Too many people, and we were actually happy to get out and away from the centre of it all. Demotte Campground, was set off the road, in an Aspen grove, and was pretty full. Just as we were starting to think that we might have to go to plan B, we found a space for The Beast, and nabbed it. A nice little spot, fairly flat, and surrounded by little trees. A big van next to us, that looked just like the Texans we’d met yesterday. I wonder if it is? In the meantime, a few rain showers developed, and we relaxed in the dry warmth of our Motorhome. When the rain stopped, we went for a walk to enjoy the Autumn colours, and see if any animals had ventured out. Apparently there are Bison around, and Mule Deer. Well not in our meadows! Bummer!
The Aspens are just beautiful. All the trees in a grove, are growing from the one root stock, so they all change colour at the same rate. Will enjoyed the comfort while the weather had a bad turn. Bloody Madness.
We went out to look for Bison. Can you see one in our meadow? Ha ha ha. 😂
On our return, the guys next to us were about, and we were happy to note, it was the friendly Texans. I bet you can’t guess what we did? Yep, stood around gas bagging like old friends. Brad and Lisa are about our age, and been together for 30 years (just like us), and are getting out and seeing some new and amazing things in their own country. They have travelled a fair bit, all over the world, and still love exploring their own backyard. Why wouldn’t you? Eventually, we all got cold, and it was getting dark, so we made note to chat again in the morning and swap contact details. Wow, again, people! The world is just full of lovely, interesting folks. How lucky are we to meet some of them?