Today we woke up at 5:15 in the morning. After such a shoddy sleep in the car, it was a little rough. Then I reminded myself that when I went to bed and when I got up were sadly similar to my “real life” sleeping patterns, so that made me feel better about it, haha. We deflated the air mattress, and shoved everything haphazardly in the back. We climbed into the front seats, still in our pajamas, and drove the 15 minutes to the Canyon’s edge. We just made it just in time to see the sun rise, but then realized there was actually a better vantage point about 5 minutes away. We madly jumped in the car and sped around the corner and got set up again. As a result, we missed the very initial peeking of the pink colouring coming over the edge, but caught a stellar sight regardless.
I apologize in advance how picture-heavy this post will be, but it was so hard to choose what to upload and what to keep on my hard drive. I edited these in our tent last night, but finally have wifi at the laundry mat to upload them today. Our phone’s data is not enough to do any uploading on the road unfortunately.
We explored a little on our drive back to the “camp site”, pulling off to follow this short trail, and even found a friendly deer or two. The deer photos were taken by Nick driving onto the opposite side of the road and me literally climbing over his lap and hanging out the driver-side window. Thankfully, the deer weren’t in a hurry 😉
We took everything out of the back and dumped it onto our large tarp. Then we blew up the air mattress again and climbed in for a 2.5 hour nap. We got up around 9:30am and made some instant porridge taken from one of our Best Western free breakfasts earlier in the week, and then packed up properly. Honestly, if we ever went to the Grand Canyon again, we would probably choose this free service road camping over the $27 a night camping that’s only 10 minutes closer to the rim. If we had been only 4 days earlier, we could have had a fire as well. As it was, I may have lit some of our garbage on fire quickly right before we left in the fire pit. (If there’s a fire in the Grand Canyon near the time of my posting this, that last sentence never happened, okay?):
We decided to go explore the Canyon in the daylight and drive all along the Southern edge. It took us about 3 hours to drive 24 miles, but it was worth it. The photos don’t have the stellar light that the early morning ones do, but it was still awesome to experience nonetheless! At one point, we saw some people hike into the woods and come out on this huge, rocky outcrop over the Canyon. It took us about 4 times as long to follow with me babying my injured feet, but we finally made it out there. This was the point in our relationship where we discovered Nick has no fear of heights, and heights make me feel like passing out. He dangled his feet off the edge while I fought light-headness safely from the middle of the outcropping. There was also a little museum near the Canyon’s edge that we popped into as well.
NOTE: In this photo, you can’t see them unless you know EXACTLY where to look and blow up the photo, but there are two cars in the trees off the cliff. One of the hikers said they were insurance claims, but it makes me shudder because what if they weren’t….
Again, sorry for SO MANY photos. I just couldn’t decide!
We left the Canyon in the early afternoon and headed out to Utah. We decided to try and find another campsite and popped into McDonald’s to borrow their wifi to do so. We found one called Devil’s Canyon that we could arrive at by about 6pm, and thankfully arrived much sooner as we forgot about the time change! This is our cute little desert campsite with no fire bans :).
We still had more than enough food in our cooler to provide us with a very filling dinner. Afterwards, we sat by the fire listening to our VERY LONG story-on-tape and then climbed into the tent for the evening. Nick read his novel while I used up about half of my computer’s battery editing all these photos! I think the hardest part was culling – deciding what was worth keeping and editing and what was just an unnecessary duplicate.
Now we enter the large camping phase of our trip where internet will be rare, but I’ll do my best to post somewhat regularly!