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Grand Canyon Fandango

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Offline RichardM

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Grand Canyon Fandango
« on: March 21, 2018, 04:53:28 PM »
About a week before Spring Break, I finally got Jennifer to commit to a destination: Grand Canyon National Park
I checked for last minute camping and lodging openings, but as there weren't many we decided to just wing it. We spent Friday night at my mother's house in Austin, then hit the road Saturday morning. We made decent time until we were around Littlefield. It was then that we received a text from my ex-wife asking if we had intended to leave behind a duffle bag full of clothes. That'd be a no. Lesson learned: always check to see if a 13 year old actually did what you asked of them. Turns out she only started to carry the bag from my bedroom to the car. Somehow it only made it to the door to the kitchen and I didn't notice it before we left. A minute or so after getting the text we came up on the Shopko store outside Littfield. I picked up a couple of shirts, but decided to hit up a WalMart later in the trip to get underwear and socks. I had a couple of days worth of clothes in my travel bag, but not enough for comfort. My shell jacket and hiking shirt were in another bag that I had loaded. Somehow Jennifer didn't neglect to load her stuff, although she did inform me that her mother had only packed her two pairs of underwear. This unplanned stop may have been a blessing in disguise. Just short of Tolar, in between Clovis and Fort Sumner, traffic suddenly came to a complete stop. We spent 30-45 minutes there waiting for a wreck to be cleared. We saw six ambulances transporting victims back to the hospital in Clovis. Three cars totalled, but I don't think there were any deaths or serious injuries. We stopped for dinner in Santa Rosa, then continued on to Albequerque to spend the night. I had booked a cheap motel during dinner via booking.com, but Jennifer did a little research on reviews and advised (more like demanded) I pick a better place. The Booking.com app wasn't cooperating with me trying to cancel, so I had to spend 10 minutes on hold waiting to talk to a live person. We ended up at a Howard Johnson's Express that was fine and only $15 more than the Rodeway Inn I had first booked. I checked out the reviews and concur with Jennifer's decision. ;)

We got a liesurely start Sunday morning and stopped off at an Academy for some headlamps and flashlights (which I never actually opened). Stopped at the WalMart in Gallup, where Jennifer commented that everyone was staring at us. Apparently not many of our color shop there. Regardless, we got our needed replacement clothes and supplies and continueed westward. I insisted on standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, much to Jennifer's bemusement.



We took the turnoff to the Meteor Crater but didn't make it past the visitor center, as the admission prices scared us off. Had we had more time, we probably would've paid and done the full tour, but we just wanted to check it out. We also stopped at the Goodwill store in Flagstaff, where I found a decent pair of sweatpants and fleece jacket. Those came in handy while camping in sub-freezing temps. It was raining on us as we continued on towards the canyon and Jennifer said she didn't want to try camping in the National Forest where we would not have bathrooms and showers. We stopped at the Bedrock City Campground in Valle where we set up our tent for a few nights at $12/night. Unfortunately they had a mechanical problem with the women's showers so Jennifer would have had to use the one in the men's room while I guarded the door. She declined. We still had enough daylight to drive into the park and stop at Mathers Point.



I think this was my second ever selfie. First was of my partially dislocated shoulder on the BBC 10th Anniversary trip, so this was a lot more pleasant.



Dinner was pizza in Tusayan followed by a dessert frappacino and Wi-fi at the local Starbucks. We had a fitfull night in the tent, thanks to a wandering stray cat and the near-constant road noise. Our cheap sleeping bags and temps in the 20's didn't help. Not to mention that Jennifer's air mattress would only hold air about 4 hours. We hit the road early in the morning and stopped at the McDonalds in Tusayan for breakfast. Two egg McMuffins, one hash-brown, and one orange juice cost over $18. Yikes, but they know how to sock to the tourons. Lots of road construction in the park, which made getting around problematic. There were also occasional other obstructions.



We drove over close to the trailhead for the South Kaibab Trail and parked at a pullout. The road to the trailhead was closed except for buses. We headed down the trail, dodging the numerous piles of mule manure and puddles.

Love this warning sign


We made it down to Ooh Aah Point in decent time. Jennifer kept griping at me about getting too close to the edge on outcroppings. This from the kid who stood on the edge of a cliff on top of Casa Grande with her legs crossed casually. She now says she's afraid of heights.









I hadn't figured out how to use the panoramic mode on my cell phone camera yet, so it looks like no "money shot" from Ooh Aah Point.  :icon_rolleyes: Here's a stitch job:


It's also possible I might post pictures out of order and from different areas of the canyon. Facebook is a pain with the way they strip metadata and order pictures. Update: already posted two pics that weren't from this hike.  :icon_redface: I'll put them in the followup post.

More to follow...
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 04:22:46 PM by RichardM »

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Offline badknees

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 05:48:06 PM »
Cool! You been holdin’ out on us?
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 06:42:49 PM »
Nice pics Richard!   Despite the problems,  road tripping with just you and your kid is worth it!   Glad y'all made it back ok.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app


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Offline Quatro

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 06:50:09 PM »
Just short of Tolar, in between Clovis and Fort Sumner, traffic suddenly came to a complete stop. We spent 30-45 minutes there waiting for a wreck to be cleared. We saw six ambulances transporting victims back to the hospital in Clovis. Three cars totalled, but I don't think there were any deaths or serious injuries. We stopped for dinner in Santa Rosa, then continued on to Albequerque to spend the night. I had booked a cheap motel during dinner via booking.com, but Jennifer did a little research on reviews and advised (more like demanded) I pick a better place. The Booking.com app wasn't cooperating with me trying to cancel, so I had to spend 10 minutes on hold waiting to talk to a live person. We ended up at a Howard Johnson's Express that was fine and only $15 more than the Rodeway Inn I had first booked. I checked out the reviews and concur with Jennifer's decision. ;)

Having done that stretch twice last week, I can believe it.  The road from Farwell to Fort Sumner is crappy.  The Hampton Inn Airport in Albuquerque worked well for us, but was difficult to find until I turned on the GPS.

Looking forward to the rest of the report.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 08:06:30 PM »
Been to the same Walmart.  I think it is an Indian thing in the way they look at people. 

Your pictures are awesome .  We have a permit for a 6 nighter in a few weeks there, and you can bet I'm going to make sure everyone in the house gets a good look at them to get them excited too.

That warning sign should be at every corner on 6th street!
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

May God Bless America!

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Online mule ears

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 08:45:09 PM »
Great stuff Richard, I had seen some of the pictures on Facebook but glad to see a report with details.  I'm with el hombre on the warning sign, one of the best I have seen!
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Cookie

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 06:54:22 AM »
Great trip and great pictures!! We went to Meteor Crater for the first time back in 1999. I love all things NASA and space. It was $8 per person if I remember correctly. The first time we went that way with YoungHiker, she was maybe 4 years old, we played up going to meteor crater big time. When we drove up and saw the price, $20 each, we almost turned around. We ended up paying it and having fun, but OUCH!! That's some serious cash to look at a hole in the ground. How much is it now?



Your pictures are awesome .  We have a permit for a 6 nighter in a few weeks there, and you can bet I'm going to make sure everyone in the house gets a good look at them to get them excited too.


 :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:


~Cookie

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 07:48:05 AM »
My youngest is 12 (daughter) and I'm thinking of taking her to Big Bend this coming fall/winter.  Your trip/pics made me imagine that trip.  Thanks!!!

Oh, regarding Meteor Crater, funny how we'll pay to see something like that. I was fortunate enough to attend some training in the very secure Nevada Testing Range at Mercury, Nevada (think Area 51 stuff).  We were able to visit Sedan Crater (Area 10 I think), which while man-made by a nuclear blast, is an impressive hole at over a 1000 feet across.  Looked like a giant ant lion hole.  We got to see the Apple House and other historical sites from our nuclear program.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2018, 08:25:58 AM »
Cool! You been holdin’ out on us?
Nah, just lazy.

Your pictures are awesome .  We have a permit for a 6 nighter in a few weeks there, and you can bet I'm going to make sure everyone in the house gets a good look at them to get them excited too.

That warning sign should be at every corner on 6th street!
Ha! Check out Shoshone Point either before or after your head down into the canyon. It's probably the best viewpoint without a railing and doesn't get a lot of traffic.

Great trip and great pictures!! We went to Meteor Crater for the first time back in 1999. I love all things NASA and space. It was $8 per person if I remember correctly. The first time we went that way with YoungHiker, she was maybe 4 years old, we played up going to meteor crater big time. When we drove up and saw the price, $20 each, we almost turned around. We ended up paying it and having fun, but OUCH!! That's some serious cash to look at a hole in the ground. How much is it now?
I believe it was more than what their website lists. It was going to be either $34 before tax for one adult and one junior. Whatever it was was significantly more than I was expecting. I'd fork it over if I had time to at least try to get my money's worth, but we just wanted to spend 5-10 minutes there.

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Offline badknees

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2018, 08:46:31 AM »
I checked the web page for the Meteor Crater and it was Adult $18 and Junior $16.

I was there once a really long time ago and we stopped at the cafe near the entrance road (don't know if it's still there), where part of Starman was filmed. My wife asked the waitress..."Is this where Starman was filmed?" The waitress rolled her eyes and gave an disinterested yes. Wonder how many people asked her that every day?
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2018, 04:33:45 PM »
After hiking back to the car, we headed back to the Mathers Point parking lot and began a stroll along the Rim Trail to Grand Canyon Village.

These two would have probably worked better as a pano.




Here's a stitch of 4 pics from the same spot.


We checked out the Geological Museum by Yavapai Point, then continued on along the rim.

location

We debated getting ice cream at the shop in the village, but decided to wait until after riding the shuttle bus out to Hermit's Rest and stopping at various viewpoints.

location

Finally figured out how to enable panoramic mode on my cell phone camera.
location

I may not get all of the Google Map links correct. I'm not as good at multitasking as I used to be. Trying to dig out Exif info from the original images and correlate them with Facebook posted ones. For example, I can't seem to find the original for this one right now, but apparently I liked it enough to post to Facebook as a status update. This one was taken by Jennifer with her iPhone.

location

I also modified my first post to include a pano.

More to come...
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 04:39:38 PM by RichardM »

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2018, 05:12:05 AM »
Looks like a fun trip, filled with interesting things that can happen on any trip! :) 

(and unlike the sign warning against it... I have hiked from the rim to the river and back... in August!  Dumbest thing I've ever done.)

If you guys like panos, you should check out this site for Grand Canyon panos.  The owner has hiked every trail in the canyon and documented it...

http://www.gcpano.org/

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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2018, 06:27:37 AM »
I don't know if the Grand Canyon is "officially" one of the seven wonders of the world, but it should be.  Definitely worth the effort to go see. I went to school in Phoenix and we went hiking/camping there several times during that period.   
Sounds like another great father - daughter trip, and thanks for the pics.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2018, 06:56:21 AM »
And for folks who don't like crowds at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon... try the North Rim.  It receives only 10% of the visitors. 
Some of the Grand Canyon's most difficult trails start out from the North Rim.  Google 'Nankoweap Trail' for a good example.

The North Rim can be combined with a trip to Zion National Park.  Outstanding scenery there.

I've been on the North Rim in mid-Oct and had many of the lookouts all to myself.  Just don't expect to find any McDonald's over on that side.  :)

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: Grand Canyon Fandango
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2018, 02:31:11 PM »
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

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