Southwest 2021:
Day 14 - Grand Canyon


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Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Monday, March 1, 2021: Good morning, Lees Ferry!
We weren't in any hurry to leave, so we spent a couple of hours enjoying our perfect campsite before heading out around 9:30 AM.
We couldn't resist the lure of the Navajo Bridges, so we visited again on our way out.
Did you know that the original Navajo Bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places? We did not, until right this moment.
There were three condors on the cliffs this morning: one near the top right, and two near the bottom right in this picture.
Near the top was condor #947, tagged as XX. He was hatched at World Center for Birds of Prey in May 2018. His father and mother are condors #48 and #97.
He is handsome and he knows it.
On the rocks directly below us were P5 and V5. V5 was back in his usual spot where we had seen him the day before.
P5 is condor #735. He was hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo in April 2014. His father and mother are condors #27 and #139.
Here's Debbie again, gazing longingly at the river, ...
... and taking yet another picture of this view.
Eventually, we drove over the new Navajo Bridge, ...
... and waved goodbye to Marble Canyon and the Colorado River.
There are the Vermilion Cliffs in the distance.
We were on US-89A, near the junction of US-89, ...
... where it goes up the side of the hill and off to Page, Arizona in one direction, and south to Flagstaff in the other direction.
We were heading south to the Grand Canyon. The South Entrance was still three hours of driving away, but the McDonald's there just wanted to make sure you knew it existed. Oh, yes, McDonald's at the South Entrance, we will be getting to know you well.
We crossed the Little Colorado River just north of the Cameron Trading Post, ...
... which we were very sad to learn was completely closed. We had been hoping to have their delicious Navajo tacos.
During the pandemic, they had been offering curbside service, but that was no longer an option.
Their gas station was open, though, so Tom filled up The Ocho and washed the windows. This time, he used the step built into the front of the vehicle to more easily reach the top of the front windows. We had just recently learned about this little feature.
The road between Cameron and the Grand Canyon's east entrance was closed due to the pandemic, so we had to use the south entrance which added over an hour of driving to our route.
Tom walked the drive-thru at the Cameron Burger King to get us lunch.
We didn't mind the extra driving, because it meant a little more sightseeing for us.
We got to add a Coconino National Forest sign to our collection.
We also got to stop to see Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument, but if we had understood the park better, we would have entered at the Wupatki entrance that we had passed 15 miles earlier rather than at the Sunset Crater entrance.
Our plan was to only visit Sunset Crater, but when we checked in at the entrance shack, we learned that there is a lovely loop road that links both monuments, so off we went.
The first place we stopped to get out overlooked a massive field of lava.
There was lava everywhere, on either side of the road, ...
... and on the hills and mountains around us.
This one is Sunset Crater.
We got a photo of the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument sign as we were leaving it ...
... but continuing on the loop drive.
We stopped at the Painted Desert Vista picnic ground to check out the view in the distance.
Some of the plants had identification signs in front of them. This bush is called Mormon Tea ...
... and this is Apache Plume.
We arrived at Wupatki National Monument.
After seeing so many rock layers over the last couple of days, it was interesting to see eroded rock that had been covered by volcanic ash.
We stopped at Citadel Pueblo to do the short hike to the top.
Here's the Nalakihu Pueblo on the way up.
The trail wrapped around the hill ...
... and the entrance was in the back.
Here's what it looks like up there.
Here's what Tom looks like up there.
We passed a few more pueblos ...
... just before leaving the monument.
We retraced our steps again on US-89, ...
... passed Sunset Crater again as we continued south.
Hello, Flagstaff Del Taco! We'll be back in two days, we promise. (This is a lie. There are two Del Taco locations in Flagstaff. We ended up going to the other one. But we still love this location, last enjoyed ten months earlier.)
There's Humphrey's Peak in the distance.
We listened to Casefile True Crime podcast episodes as we drove north to the Grand Canyon.
Is it just our imagination, or did the elks on the elk crossing signs get a little upgrade?
We just love the name of this restaurant in Tusayan. It is very direct. It does not mess around. It wants your family to eat here. "We Cook Pizza and Pasta." Genius.
We're here!
We headed straight to Trailer Village RV Park to get our campsite assignment, ...
... then headed straight to the visitor center parking lot ...
... to walk to the edge of the Grand Canyon. It never disappoints.
We got out our binoculars to check out the sights, including the South Kaibab Trail across the way.
Debbie's dad had hiked this in 1984.
We could see a small building and a couple of people.
The cold and the pandemic drastically limited the number of people at the Grand Canyon, but not all of them were masked.
We headed down to Mather Point next.
Hey! There's the Stephen Tyng Mather plaque! We had seen one just like it earlier in our trip at Golden Spike and would see another at Petrified Forest.
We headed to the little spot on the right side of the huge Mather Point overlook where most people don't go. We have fond memories of bringing our girls here when they were little.
Hey! The Grand Canyon has condors too! We didn't see any on this visit.
Here's the classic Grand Canyon shot from Mather Point.
Of course, Debbie had to get a closeup of the river. That's Pipe Creek Beach next to the river, and the very top of Pipe Creek Rapid to the left.
We used our binoculars ...
... to check out Phantom Ranch, ...
... which was nearly completely in shadow by this time of the day.
We opted not to go any further, having seen enough of the Canyon and unmasked people for now.
We stopped by the village store on our way back to our campground. It's always fun to shop here but we just picked up groceries instead of souvenirs this time. We bought some chicken salad, blueberries, sliced cheese, gravy mixes, milk, and beer from Grand Canyon Brewing Company.
We settled in at our campsite. It was nicer than we were expecting, and we appreciated the full hookups. Originally, we had planned to camp at Mather Campground, which offers no hookups, but decided it was worth the extra money to have electricity and water.
We loved the view out of our skylight of the tree right above us.
We had cold beer to go with our appetizers of blueberries, cheese, crackers, and sausage.
We had moved on to turkey and chicken salad sandwiches when a silver 2021 Thor Sequence 20A pulled up outside. We couldn't believe it! A rig just like ours except for the color!
We had a great conversation with our new friends, Rebecca and Joe, who were traveling with their four-year-old. We kept our sliding door open while we spoke, so they saw the table leg we had installed in our dinette, so we sent them information about it later when Rebecca emailed us. They were the first Tellaro/Sequence owners we had met, but they had just met a Tellaro in Sedona earlier in their trip. After all that excitement, we finished out the evening by watching season two of Fleabag.

Day 15 >


Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

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