We had very mixed emotions about leaving the Grand Canyon this morning. This is the perfect time of year to be at the Canyon -- as the crowds we ran into attest. It's relatively cool compared to the intense heat of the summer. And even though it was busier than we expected, compared to the millions that show up during the summer, the late fall crowds are easy to take. We know we'll be back, we know we'll do more hiking deeper down into the Canyon, we'd love to take a float trip down the Colorado river, a helicopter flight down the middle of the Canyon would be good too. It may sound touristy, but these are other ways of experiencing one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. There's something about it... once you see it you want more. You want to see it from different places, angles, elevations, seasons. You want to hike, float, climb, jump... did I say "jump"? Hmmm. Scratch jump... touristy enthusiasm.
Anyway, we were on our way before 10am. The only minor concern I had was the less than quarter tank of diesel fuel we had and the 75 miles we needed to travel to get to the truckstop where I planned to fill. The bus-house's ECM computer was telling me I had 150 miles to empty... there was some comfort in that. But as we traveled along the fuel guage was closing in on "E" faster than we were closing in on the truckstop. Do I trust the guage or the computer?
Well, we made it. When the diesel tank was topped off we had pumped a bit over 85 gallons into a tank that's supposed to have a 100 gallon capacity. Assuming the tank does in fact hold 100 gallons, and further assuming that there might be 5 gallons at the bottom that are below the dip tube for the fuel pump, we may have been able to go another 70 or 80 miles... about what the computer said. This is the lowest I've ever taken the tank, so it was a learning experience.
The route today took us south, through the Parks south entrance, on AZ-64 to Williams. There we picked up I-40 East, around Flagstaff to an exit out in the middle of nowhere, exit 233, which is Meteor Crater Road. There's an RV Park just a short distance south of the exit -- Meteor Crater RV Park. Hmmm... there must be a meteor crater around here somewhere.
More on that tomorrow.