The Grand Canyon

October 3, 2012

Day 11

This morning brought excitement to the boys.  The KOA offered “all you can eat” pancake breakfast for $1.99 per person.  I thought it was an interesting marketing ploy, as eggs, sausage, and coffee were all considered “extras” and were an additional charge.  They were not bothered by this and were out the door by 7:00 for their “cowboy breakfast.”  I had the motorhome to myself to get ready and clean things up, and have another go at the Internet.  Again… luck.

By Dad’s account, we were on the road at 8:18, which, to him, was a sign that we should be eating breakfast out every morning.  Call me crazy, but I’m not a fan of this.  I need my peanut butter toast and latte, and I need it EVERY DAY.  I am not a high-maintenance gal.  This is just about my only request, other than shopping, which I seem to be living without.

We stopped to get gas and the blessed gas station was at a Safeway.  I was able to grocery shop while the boys were filling up the Hag.  We are out of milk (for lattes) and dangerously low on coffee for the espresso machine.  This was a mandatory stop.  I got these and also some fresh sweet corn, and a small pork loin.  As I was going through the checkout, the woman behind me and the two women in front of me were chatting.  They said they were going to a quilt retreat.  The woman in front of me looked at my purse (it was sitting in the shopping cart) and said, “Did you make this?  We’ll I’m just going to pick this up and look at it.”

Nice big roomy bag that quilters seem to like

I told her that was fine, and we discussed the pattern and how the handles were made.  (it’s really comfy on the shoulders)  I had a brief moment, when I was ready to stow-away in one of their cars and go quilting for a long weekend.  But, I’m actually not a quilter, so this probably wouldn’t have worked well for any of us.  So back to the Hag I went with my wares.

Today’s plan was to go to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was a relatively short drive, compared to our marathon days of driving.  The Grand Canyon has to be one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, and the National Park Service is truly the greatest steward we could possibly have.  As we were gazing out on the magnificence, someone near me said, “You just can’t take a bad picture of this.”  So. True.  If you have never been, go.   If you haven’t taken your kids, take them – no matter their age.  Several times on this trip, I have thanked Dad for choosing a different route or suggesting stopping to see something.  His reply, “I wanted you to see this.”  We will always be someone’s children.  That is the message of the day.

The Watchtower

Mather Point

Mather Point

Dad and I inside the Watchtower

Many years ago, after I graduated from college, I did a research project at Mt. Rainier.  The project was a re-design of a campground in an old-growth forest.  The idea was to rehabilitate the forest floor by re-establishing undergrowth in an effort to save the existing trees.  It was through this, that I gained an appreciation for the federal agencies that protect and maintain natural areas.  They believe in good design, and the notion that, art and design are vital elements in our lives.  Creativity, and the subtlety of enhancing what is already there is paramount to the mission of these agencies and the artists, designers, architects, and landscape architects they employ.  I may be a little biased, but good design lasts forever.  I picked out a couple of the details that really struck me:

Fence details

Rawhide wrap on the handrail in the Watchtower









The weather today was hot and we did a lot of walking…..and, I guess the KOA breakfast was…….greasy.  By mid-afternoon, Dad wasn’t feeling well.  His nose was running and his stomach was upset.  He took a nap in the back of the Hag on our way out of the Grand Canyon in route to the rv park.  I, of course, worried.  He packed 2 short-sleeved shirts for the trip and he WILL NOT recycle clothing.  This means, he wore a long-sleeved shirt in the heat, because his other shirts were in the dirty clothes.  My dear Father likes to do things the same way he has always done them.  I am able to get him to drink water, but the clothing thing is not as easy to implement.  I did laundry, so I am safe for 2 days, or until we get to Las Vegas and I go shopping.  We’ll see if that happens – the shopping, that is.

With the exception of Dad’s not feeling well, it was a good night of laundry and great Internet.  Who could ask for anything more?  We stayed at the “Grand Canyon Railway RV Park.”  It was one of the nicest parks we have stayed at.  Great Internet connection, the laundry facilities were good, it was quiet, and clean.  Xanterra, the concessionaire for the NPS, runs the campground, a hotel, and also the Grand Canyon Railroad, that runs from Williams to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  The railroad excursion would have been a great trip, and I think that Dad would have really enjoyed it.  He could not be convinced to go, even with Craig, and even before he felt sick.  Maybe next time.

Miles driven: 248 miles

Today’s gas price: $3.69

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