Thursday, November 5, 2009

The South Rim Boogie

evening edition
Well, we made it... all 257 miles from our camp in Zion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon without major incident. There were a couple of minor ones... headlight problems with the motorhome again (an electrical gremlin I'm sure) and a flapping chunk of back tire rubber resulting from a curb strike while squeezing ourselves into the overly-narrow driveway at the Glen Canyon Dam Visitors Center in Page, AZ. The former has been nagging me for months... one headlight is working fine but the other is a mear glow of it's former self. I've been counseled that it's probably a ground issue with the headlight fixture, but I haven't taken the time to really dig into the issue. However, today I flashed my bright-beams at someone I was starting to pass (a real stick-in-the-mud if I have to pass him) and the brights stayed on... I couldn't flip them back to normal beam. Hmmm. This is not a major issue because we almost never drive at night. But it sure is something I've got to get resolved before too long. The latter problem was solved when we stopped, investigated a noise Dar (the cute one with the great ears) was hearing, and found the flapping chunk of rubber. As it was a small chunk (4" by 1/2" or so) I ripped it off the rest of the way and we proceeded, but I'll keep an extra close eye on that tire for a while.

An observation: Utah roads are terrible... at least based on the roads we used during our almost two week stay. Today, from Zion almost all the way to Page, AZ... a distance of a hundred miles or more... the fillings in our teeth were being jarred loose every painful inch of the way along US-89. Everything smoothed out nicely as we crossed the border into Arizona and for the rest of the drive to Grand Canyon Village.

The drive today was on the aforementioned US-89 to the junction, near Cameron, with AZ-64, which took us westward and into the Grand Canyon National Park from the east. Although a little pressed for time (headlights, remember?) we did make a brief stop at the Desert View Visitors Center near the East Entrance and took in our first views of the canyon. This is the first time either of us have been here. Impressive, to say the least.

Another 25 miles along the south rim of the canyon and we arrived at Grand Canyon Village. We found an adequate, though expensive, site in Trailer Village Campground right in the Village. We quickly set up and settled in just before sunset.

This is the highest elevation camp for us since we started the Sabbatical Project two and a half years ago -- over 7,000 feet. We'd love to stay longer than the three nights we're planning now, but old man winter hits the high country first and we're going to be lower and warmer before he gets too serious.

At the Grand Canyon...
Thom Hoch