After exploring the cave we drove North towards the Grand Canyon and looked for a place in the national forest to camp for the night. We ended up choosing one we could tell was heavily used but luckily we were traveling during the week, and before school let out (and just before Memorial Day Weekend) so it was empty at the time. We actually drove further looking for a more secluded spot but the road got really, really bad and we knew we could get stuck. The ruts on the sides of the roads were so high there was no way for me to turn around (some were upwards of 2 1/2 feet) so I put the car into reverse and backed a quarter mile down the road to this spot. Since it was used regularly (so it looked) the turn it was flat enough my car could drive in fine.
We were about 20 or so miles from the Grand Canyon at this point.
As we prepared our dinner (we opted for pizza this night - from our frozen and dehydrated foods - and I'll post more on the foods in a completely separate post) we had a couple young guys in trucks flying past us on the main road - going towards where our car couldn't really go safely. I assume they had a camping spot further down... we hoped they stayed there. But then a guy in his camper pulled in so we no longer had our 'solitude' anyway. At least this was a middle aged guy and looked to be just him alone - so we were happy we wouldn't have loud, obnoxious neighbors! We didn't figure him to be one to sit around blasting music, laughing and talking loudly to himself and drinking beers until early morning like the younger guys in sunglasses, windows open, music loud, flying down the road in their trucks might have.
And we were right. WHEW! The camper-guy pulled his rig to the other side of the area, and even went behind a tree somewhat to his own 'spot'. He probably wanted as much privacy and quiet as we did!
This spot had a few trees so my daughter hooked up her Eno (hammock) and I got the meal prep ready. But she soon found the trees were giving gigantic red ants access to her by climbing down her hammock so she took it down and we made pizzas together.
The night before was so cold we woke with (literally) numb toes and fingers. It was supposed to get even colder tonight - down to 33 degrees - so we decided to try sleeping in the car. Yes, in a back of a Kia. We set up the tent to store all our things in and then made our beds in the back of the tiny car. In the end, it was a great idea - we stayed much warmer with our body heat helping to keep the car warm enough to rest comfortably. However that first night was a 'trial and error' of the best direction, positions, etc. to sleep. It worked out fine but the second night we did a better job at figuring out better 'comfort' tricks and slept even better.
Since this was just a quick sleepover, we packed up our things the next morning and headed into the Grand Canyon... This would be home for the next night because the campground there had pay showers. We would finally get to shower for the first time in a week! $2 for 8 minutes would be soooo worth it.
Starting to make our dinner for the evening....
Sleeping in the car went well! Who would have thought two adults could sleep in the back of a Kia Soul?
As the sun comes up we enjoy some coffee and quiet before packing up our things and getting back on the road.
As we headed back to the highway, this was on the corner - of course we had to stop and take a peek.
It was a quick drive to the Grand Canyon. Lots of 'round-a-bouts' which I despise and wish they had NEVER been carried over to America from Europe. But once you get through the stupid things, and get through the tiny little town nearby, you suddenly find yourself in line to enter the Grand Canyon.
You have to pay a fee to enter the park but we had our National Parks Pass so it didn't cost us anything.
The first thing we did was find the campground so we knew where we would be staying that evening and getting our bearings. We stopped at the front window but we were 1 hour too early to check-in. I asked if we could at least drive around and see our spot so I knew where to go? They said yes... but I got a stern warning and reprimand that I was NOT to stop at the site, I was NOT to slow down at the site, I was NOT TO SPEAK TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT CURRENTLY BE AT THE SITE!
Omgosh. Okay - I get it! LOL. Lord knows I don't WANT to have to talk to anyone! I just wanted to get my head wrapped around the layout of the campgrounds so I knew where to go later.
Well, there was NO ONE at 'our' site anyway. They were long gone. So we got to see it, scope it out and then we drove on, to park our car at the Market Place, grab a bite to eat and then hop on a shuttle to start our day at Grand Canyon.
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