City: Tusayan, Arizona
We packed up again. When I saw our stuff as well as Wombats and Val stuff on a bench, I was wondering how it would fit onto the bikes.
At the end of the day it did. A short farewell from Tod and Gaila and off we went.
Mike was coming with us too. He had wanted to get an oil change done in Flagstaff but the workshop was closed on Mondays, so he decided to come with us to the Grand Canyon. On the way to flagstaff I guided all of us through the University campus, because the GPS didn’t know that one of the roads was a one way street. We wriggled our way out of there. After twice running in circles, we drove further back and finally got out.
Back to Flagstaff, Wombat was expecting two parcels at the hotel, one from Garmin and one from Twisted Throttle. When we arrived, only one was there, the Garmin one. Sigrid and I went to the post office to get my battery charger for the helmet camera, which was there this time. So putting the name on the parcel seems to help…. Who knew? 😛
Getting back to the hotel, Val was looking at accommodation around the Grand Canyon. Nothing was available. After some telephone calls she found a camp ground, just outside of the Grand Canyon NP for just 26US$ including Wi-Fi and power in the tent. So we went to Tusayan and pitched the tents. We camped on a hill, the underground was a bit rocky, no mains power and only marginal Wi-Fi but we had the view. Wombat felt a bit dizzy when he pitched the tent, not sure what it was, luckily it went away after a couple of hours. After tea we went to the Information Center with the IMAX cinema across the road. There we enquired about the busses to and within the National Park. When we came back, we met our neighbours, 3 Germans (Father with 2 sons). They just came back from a long hike to the base of the Grand Canyon. They went down the Kaibab Trail, walked on the Grand Canyon and came up the Bright Angel Trail (the easy trail). All up 12 hours of hiking! So we’ll consider going down all the way, but we would have to set ourselves a time limit when we have to turn back.
City: Tusayan, Arizona
Got up early (6AM), went to McDonalds for a short breakfast and then to the Grand Canyon. We carried plenty of water. When we arrived, we got straight to the bus. We arrived at the South Kaibab Trail at 8:30 AM, so we calculated that we should turn around between 11:30…12:00. We were amazed when we saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.
It was much bigger than I had it expected. The first decent was relatively steep; you can see the people from the top (little black dots in the bottom middle of the picture).
The walk to our first view point was partially in shaded, so it was not too hot.
After the first view point it changed and it was considerably hotter. On the way to our second view point, ‘Cedar Ridge’ we saw some cacti flowering,
And a squirrel that wanted to be a film star.
The time that we needed to arrive at the 2nd view point was good enough that we could make it all the way down. There were some warning signs that said that it would not be recommended to go down and up again at the same day.
After Cedar Ridge the path became a bit steeper
but the heat was still bearabl (While going down 🙂 ) We meet a couple of horse/donkey groups which were supporting the accommodation at the bottom with food and other materials and carrying some hikers up.
When we arrived at the 3rd point (Skeleton Point) we started to feel the heat and our legs. It took us just under 2 hours to arrive here. So we looked for a shady place, took a couple of pictures of the one bit of the Colorado river that we could see and talked to some people passing by.
All of them had accommodation booked at the base and it seems that the way down would take a bit longer than we thought. We had so far travelled two hours, the long trip would take us another 10 hours. I was not sure if we could manage that, since we were going only downhill and felt a bit tired already. So we decided to have a nice lunch (with Muesli bars and water) in our shady place. After an hour or so we started our return trip, it was really hard not to continue, particular after we could see the Colorado River. The temperature did rise considerably in the meantime; by now it must have been 35 degrees. So we started the same way up that we came down. The view was stunning
and we could look back onto the track that we just came (white zick zack) .
The temperature kept rising, so we decided not to push it and make frequently stops and water refills. After ~ 4 hours of walking (with breaks) we arrived he top again and we were happy that we didn’t go down to the river. That would be something for the next time, but we would book accommodation at the bottom and make it a 2 day trip (maybe on the way to Mexico).
We went back with the bus to the Information Centre and changed our clothes. By this time I was so tired that I had a power nap on the table/bench. Wombat and Val parked on the side of our bike so we left them a note that we would go to the sunset at Pima Point. We rode to the marked plaza, parked the bike, had something to eat (a banana) and hopped on the bus to the sunset. Looking at the sunset was great,
For the first time I tried the time lapse mode on my Video camera. It worked well, I’ll have to use it more often from now on. We had some Tonic water to celebrate our first sunset that we watched. And yes, it was tonic water, the champagne in the village was not cold :/
After the sunset we hopped on the bus back to the marketplace. On the way back, a lady ask us about the Diddles, so we started to chat. She and her partner travelled quite a bit and they recommended some places in Belize and Costa Rica to us. It turned out that they managed big jots all over the world. Anyway, we had dinner at the market place and rode back in the dark. We saw something that looked like a fox crossing the street but nothing else (lucky us). When we arrived at the tent site, Wombat was fitting his GPS to the bike in the dark. We had a beer and I was catching up on my diary. Then,….. I tipped beer over my laptop, *&^%$%#@#@@,.to cut the story short and reduce the amount of cursing, only some keys of the keyboard kept working, the rest was drunk and refused to work at all. I had a look at the keyboard (it could be easily removed) but there was not much to repair, it looked like a sealed unit. Ok, I had a shower and went to bed… possibly grumbling a little.
City: Tusayan, Arizona
Cumulative miles: 4251
Sigrid and I discussed our options today; we had to find out if the laptop would work with a USB keyboard. After some mucking around we found an internet cafe where we could borrow a USB keyboard, it worked. So we searched on the internet for some rollable keyboards, didn’t find any which could be delivered over night (most of them are from China and it would take 2 weeks to arrive). So we opted for a normal USB keyboard, called into Flagstaff IT shops if they had them in stock and send Wombat the address. Wombat was in Flagstaff to pick up his parcel from the hotel. He bought a wireless keyboard that was smaller than the normal one, (he couldn’t fit the normal on into his pannier), which was great, since that meant that it would fit into our panniers as well. Below my precious new keyboard J. By the way, that ‘accident’ did show us that we really need a second laptop since we use it for our banking and I would not like to use a PC in an internet cafe for it.
Wombat fitted an additional carrier rack plate onto his back carrier and installed the new communication headset.
Knock, knock, can you hear me?
Oh, yes I can J
Sigrid and I did some blogging and email. In the evening we went to a Mexican Restaurant, Val and Sigrid had a Mexican coffee with all sorts of spirit and some cream on top, not sure if there was any coffee in at all 😀
Wombat was allowed to have a tiny sip as well.
After the dinner we went to see a movie about the Grand Canyon in the IMAX theatre opposite the road,
which we really enjoyed. It was great evening.