Grand Canyon and Mather Campground continued.....
As I mentioned in another post, we aren't fans of 'campgrounds'. Packed in like sardines, almost on top of your neighbor, loud with kids, music, drinking; vehicles driving through all night long disturbing sleep with noise and headlights...
But we did book one night in an actual 'campground' that week; for the showers!
Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon as pay showers - $2 for 8 minutes - that sounded like heaven as it would be our only official shower that week. I was making reservations early enough in the new year that many sites were still open for me to study on the online map. I chose the site that looked to me, to be fairly private and more secluded than some most. In the end I was happy with it (Maple Loop). We were pretty close to one neighbor on the side and the neighbor right across from us; but as campground standards go, it wasn't bad.
Like most of the area, elk roam free - but are quite docile and used to people. Because my daughter and I were pretty boring, quiet guests, we had a visitor who felt right at home. She ate her fill, nestled down into her 'spot' and proceeded to hang out there... maybe slept there that night. I have no idea. We got used to her being there and didn't pay any attention.
I plan on doing a post about the food options we chose and our reviews... but that is for another post on another day.
Not only is there showers at the campground - but there is laundry facilities!!!
Not too expensive either. We had brought our own soap (an almost empty laundry bottle I filled with water at home before we left. We used this for 'clothes washing' during our road trip; great for washing wash cloths, shirts, socks and underwear, etc. with the soap and water already mixed; and not having to use our 'clean' water resources for it.
But we took advantage of the laundry facilities and got our clothing washed. Actually that leads to the next part of our 'what could go wrong NEXT' story....
You see, after our night at the public campground, I had reservations for 3 days at an old historic cabin in the national forest. I chose it for a few reasons - not only was it different and cool but it would allow us to sleep in a warmer space, as I knew the temperatures in this area at night would be down in the 30's; it was also a chance to put our sleeping bags on a bunk bed instead of the ground and it would serve as a great home base that was solitary and secluded while allowing us to be just a short drive away from all the other 'look out points' in the Grand Canyon park that we wanted to visit.
As with most rentals you make your reservations and pay for it and then right before your check-in you have to call to get the code to get into the front door. I planned on calling for the code on Tuesday but if you're following our Girls Road Trip 2018 story, you already know we were completely flying by the seat of our pants after the fire evacuation of Chiricahua National Monument and the Bonita Campground - which left us basically stranded in Arizona with no reservations, no plan, no idea of what to do. So we ended up camping in random areas across the state in National Parks that week; and therefore - didn't get to call in for the code until we were back in 'civilization' at the Grand Canyon Wednesday.
And another glitch in plans when I dialed the number only to hear a voicemail recording letting me know that due to the lack of government funding; they had no one to staff their office and they would be closed until the 22nd. Which was the next week...
So we had paid reservations in a cabin that we couldn't get into because the government office was closed. WHY didn't the employee simply call the 2 groups of people that had paid reservations while they would be closed down and give them the code BEFORE THEY SHUT THE OFFICE AND LEFT?
Seriously. TWO groups. Us and the one checking in on Saturday after we left (according to the online reservation system). So two phone calls with the code to get into the cabin we had PAID FOR already... was too much to ask?
Their number had the message they were closed.
The government reservation people had no other numbers to reach anyone and no information.
I'm not going to go into all the details - it was crazy and... stupid. But with so much work on my part, I tracked down that friggin code and Thursday morning after our laundry was done, checked out of the campground and headed over to do the touristy "Grand Canyon Visitors Center" and then leave the busy public part of the Grand Canyon for the more off the beaten path and less busy Eastern side of the park... and our solitary cabin. (Which I determined that if we got there and the code didn't work I'd pitch a tent and stay there anyway even though tents are not allowed on site. I figured if someone with the authority to kick us off the site due to erecting a tent came - then they should have the authority to know the code to get into the cabin so either way; we had a place to sleep that night. I hoped.)
To be continued.........
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