On our way to a new camp . . .
I hitch up and drive to the intersection of Forest Road 22 and Highway 67. DeMotte Campground is just up the road a bit. It’s only seven miles north of the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. No utilities, but there is a water spigot, trash receptacles, and restrooms. A pretty campground built on a slope, it has good separation between gravel campsites with plenty of vegetation and tall pine trees.
Being that it’s at an elevation of 8,800 feet, the weather in May is comfortable, night and day. It’s first-come, first-served. (Motorhomes no longer than 22 feet) Today’s a weekday, and there are plenty of empty sites to choose from out of a total of thirty-eight. The fee is $8.50 with the senior discount ($17 without it). So convenient and probably cheaper than the campground at the North Rim.
I set up camp, including the crew’s exercise pen.
I take the crew on a walk around the campground so they can get used to their new surroundings. I notice two Casitas without their tow vehicles. Hardly any people around. Must be at the National Park.
After we have our lunch, I relax in my camp chair next to the crew in their pen, looking out over the trees, campsites, and grassy area below.
I need a little break. I’m not going to rush off to see the Canyon until I feel like it, even if that’s not until tomorrow.
By two-thirty, I’m rested and in the mood to go see the Canyon!
The drive to the Canyon is lovely, lots of green meadows and trees. Of course, entrance to the Park is free with the pass. I find a shady parking space near the Grand Canyon Lodge.
The crew and I walk along the path and stop at the overlooks. (I’m not going to try to describe the Grand Canyon!).
There are lots of people around, but not so many to be obnoxious. People are strolling along, taking in the views on this sunny afternoon. It’s very pleasant.
Spike and Bridget love this!
I can tell they enjoy a clearly defined path to walk on. Spike always wants to socialize. People stop to say how cute they are or to ask their breed. Bridget is very happy to get so much attention.
I ask a couple to take a photo of us.
They respond with a few words . . . Scandinavian? Dutch? The man smiles and I hand him my digital camera. I scoop up Bridget and Spike and we strike a pose. (The photo was very bad. Believe it or not, this is the photoshopped version.)
Further along the path we approach a young couple holding a baby no more than a year old.
I smile at them and, looking at the baby, I say, “Gee, I had to wait 63 years to see the Grand Canyon.”
They laugh and we go our opposite ways.
People are sitting on the porches of their little, rented cabins or on benches around the viewing area. Some are listening to a Park Service employee explain the Canyon’s geology. We continue strolling along the winding sidewalks. Spike stops us several times to make the acquaintance of various canine tourists.
The Canyon views are outstanding, of course. I start to take more photos and then I quit. Why bother with that. Just enjoy the afternoon.
Some of the viewpoints have signs, “No dogs.”
That’s okay. I’m happy with what I’ve seen. If we go back to the PTV, I can get online, finish a blog entry, post it, look at emails, and share a snack and a drink with the crew.
Later I drive into the Grand Canyon campground looking for Geogypsy.
She works at the North Rim. I soon learn she’s at the employees’ campground and I never do find her campsite. I can’t get her on the phone. She’s probably working.
The tourist campground is packed with tents and RVs of all sorts. Two tame deer graze between campsites.
On the way back to DeMotte Campground, I pass signs for trails and roads going to overlooks.
Bridget and Spike are dozing off on the bench seat. What sweet little tourists they are. They don’t need any more walking today. I’ve seen enough for this afternoon to be a wonderful memory.
The next morning we get ready to leave Demotte to drive further north.
Oh no, a slow leak! The PTV’s right front tire is low. I grab the tire gauge . . 15 psi. Not good.
I check all the other tires and they’re at 44 psi. That’s really good.
I get out my little RoadPal air compressor, pump up the tire, finish breaking camp, and we hit the road.
We meet a caravan of five Casitas going toward DeMotte and the Canyon. I give each of them a big wave.
After a quick stop for gas and propane at Jacob Lake, we continue north on Highway 89A. The steep descent off Kaibab Plateau presents a horizon of magnificent red cliffs.
I try not to be concerned about the leaking tire.
It was down 2 PSI at Jacob Lake and that’s after driving 25 miles. Fredonia soon comes into view. The wind is picking up considerably and the town is swirling dust. I don’t stop except to jump out and take a quick look at the tire. I want to reach Kanab. Then I’ll decide what to do next.
P.S. This day is so full of adventure; I’m breaking it into two entries, the second half later today. Entries are long these days, there’s so much for me to record! I’m sorry, but I want to preserve the memories. I’m also writing with a time delay of four days and want to catch up to the present soon.