After leaving Carlsbad Caverns we headed north toward the Grand Canyon. We spent two days on the road and camped at the Flagstaff KOA for two nights in order to sit out another windstorm. On the way we drove through the Petrified Forest National Park. We sat out the wind storm and took care of laundry and hiked in the National Forest adjacent to the KOA while waiting for the wind to die down. The wind was brutal, but at least we didn’t have the dust we had at Big Bend! I am still trying to rid the camper of Texas dust!
We had a short drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon, and camped in the park at Mathers Campground for 20 dollars a night, no hookups. Our site was spacious and gave Woolly Bear plenty of room to roam! Site 137 , if you are interested. Elk visited the campground each day, western bluebirds were abundant, and huge ravens were everywhere. We walked the greenway walking/ bicycle path to the market plaza and the rim, about 1.3 miles one way. There is a free shuttle bus, but dogs cannot ride, so we walked a lot!
We spent five nights at Mathers Campground and hiked mostly above the rim(13 miles) because Woolly Bear could walk with us. He was not allowed below the rim on the trails. Twenty five years ago, we had visited and hiked the Bright Angel trail into the canyon. Now we were perfectly happy to roam the canyon rim on a well marked trail with very few other people! What a difference a few decades make.
Gray headed Junco
We had some mechanical issues with our sprinter van, and spent one whole day driving back and forth from Flagstaff for the necessary parts. Fortunately Charlie is handy, and in consultation with both my brother Bob and his brother Pete, the RV was soon in running order again.
Our last full day at the Grand Canyon was spent with another short rim hike, a visit to Verkamps Visitor Center, a visit to the Yavapi Point and Geology Museum, and a road trip to Desert View, with a stop at the Tusayan Museum and Ruin. We hiked the watchtower at Desert View, then had to wrestle the wind on the return trip of 25 miles. The wind was gusting up to 65 mph, and our little camper is very difficult to handle in serious crosswinds! The winds died down over night, and we left camp before 7:00 am to head for Zion National Park in Utah.
Watch Tower at Desert View
We did not have cell service or wifi, nor electricity for the 6 days we were at the Grand Canyon, so this entry is a bit behind. Our temperatures have been downright chilly, sometimes dipping as low as 18 degrees at night. We are expecting the weather to shift to a warmer, kinder climate in the next week or so.