May 29th, 2009
Not as cold this AM. Quick bfast and then on road North to Grand Canyon.
On road around 7:30 their time and the road was almost clear of traffic. Stopped @ FS ranger station just outside park for info on Rainbow trail on North rim. By time back on road traffic was picking up heading in my direction to the park.
Entry fee is $25. Found XG. Stood in line behind 3 people for 30 mins. My turn, I asked for a site for tonight. She said she had none and wouldn’t know until later in AM after checkout. I saw maybe 4 “I’m leaving” cards deposited. I didn’t press it. I was pissed that I wasted 30 mins and that the staff was not statusing their customers.
Drove back to ranger station and asked where I could primitive camp. Picked a logging road just South, found a site, and placed my carpet & chair for squating notice.
I drove back into park and finally found the parking lot for Mather Point which is right in middle of tourist population. The lot was plugged and drivers were queued down the center of the lot waiting for next opening. I was next. A car to my left was backing out of a parking spot and I am next. Before I could shift into drive, a car zoomed by on my left and swiped the spot. I waited for the Washington state driver to get out. I said I was waiting for that spot. He said something to the effect that there are more places to look @ the canyon.
Shortly a spot opened and I pulled in. The place is plugged w/ people. I walk out to rim, the first time I looked into the canyon. WOW!!! It is so big and spectacular. Pictures capture such small portions of the entire view. Seeing it in person was literally breath taking.
As I walked around the mass of tourists I heard almost all foreign languages. Lets make America the environmentally healthy place to visit, a tourism nation.
I drove over to Bright Angel Inn to maybe hike a bit of trail. T-Storm moving in and I could not find a place to park. Just soo many people.
With that I left the park for my non populated primitive site where a short T-storm struck.
I might try a short Bright Angel hike tomorrow and then drive over to North rim for Rainbow trail.
May 28th, 2009
Warmer this AM: 36 degrees. Again looked forward to sun cresting the ridge.
Today is another ride from camp up Schultz Creek and then up obscure 2 track / single track at high point. 2 riders caught up to me on Schultz and we ended up visiting long enough to cool down from climb. Older guy was @ Fruita Festival also, his was his 4th. He said never again, its gone downhill from earlier years. I already decided not to return for my own reasons.
Made climb and started on Brookhaven. I was practicing lofting the front wheel over smaller rocks. I lofted over a small one without a strong forward push and the front wheel landed just off edge of trail ramped into a rock that stalled the bike and pitched it out from under me. My left foot disengaged from the eggbeater but the right stayed in. I twisted my right knee. No sharp pain or discomfort and I was able to pedal on it. Shit.
Continued down mtn w/ some nasty ups and finally to Pipeline that would lead me to eay up to Rocky Ridge. Trail was not marked per map. I saw a hiker ahead of me. I caught up to a young woman. She asked me if I knew where we were before I could ask her the same. I had a map, she had drive. I asked her what she is up to and she said she was torn between backpacking around Europe or thru hiking either the AT or PCT. OOOh, and our conversation went on for maybe an hour. I pedaled away with a pleasant buzz.
Rode Rocky Ridge except for what i walked. Contrary to reviews it is a challenging trail. Over shot camp spot of Shultz creek and returned down the road to camp.
Plan is to shower @ aquacenter, grocery shop, drink the Scotch of the month @ Flagstaff Brewery, and buy the Kaibab NF map.
I paid $5.00 for my shower. Outside a small T-storm was flashing nearby lightning. I was buck naked and reaching to turn on the h2o when a voice says showers are closed because of the lightning. Shit, again. Put my clothes back on and walked to desk and asked for a refund. Girl said all she could offer is a day pass. I told her that i would not be around to use it. She said she would check on shower situation. Finally some official says showers are OK. There is an age break @ 55 for $4.00 but the girls saw me as younger than 55.
Downtown Flagstaff is lively. It is the last city b4 Grand Canyon. Made Brewery. Asked for filtered h2o for Scotch but they had just tap w/ chlorine. I was told where I could buy h2o and I took off and returned for my Scotch which I forgot the name of which I have never seen. Carefully shot glass measured shot in acorn glass. I splashed h20 and savored the nose from the glass. I like Scotch.
And then I left the downtown activity for the quiet of the woods back where I have been staying. This time I left the carpet & chair to stake claim to spot. Both were there and I was still by myself. Evening T-storm w/ a small dose of hail. Forecast calls for low probability of T-storms for 5 days out.
Tomorrow is drive day to South rim of Grand Canyon, maybe spend the night in XG and then on to North rim and Rainbow trail.
I hit my head on cutting board again. Shit, again.
May 27th, 2009
34 degrees when I slipped out from under the double down blanket. Lived w/o heater waiting for sun to clear ridge for warmth.
Today begins the search for missing hat or purchase of new one. Drove back to aquacenter and asked about lost & found, she said yes, I described my hat, she left, and returned with my hat. I figure I left it in shower stall. I spaced on retrieving it from a hook.
Decided to check out the possible hat stores and found myself downtown in old buildings. Checked out several stores and a bike shop. I looked w/ my hands in my pockets. I passed Flagstaff Brewing co on way in right on rt 66. Checked it out @ now lunch time. Its a brew pub and also a Scotch bar. Tender said that they have the 2ndmost choices West of Mississippi. 3 pages of smalll type dinner menu, I saw $67 shots. Wow, what heaven. I only bought a tasty Porter.
I stopped@ Albertsons and saw 2 like mtn bikes w/ BOBs attached which are 1 wheeled trailers to pull behind bike for gear in lieu of panniers. Each displayed a sign, “Biking around the world”. OK. But no riders visible. Didn’t see them in store. Started driving out of parking lot when they arrived @ their bikes. I parked and went over to talk. 2 brothers who started from Seattle area and are enjoying their definition of around. Under diverse and intense questioning one divulged that they just like to ride bikes and adventure and embarked on this trip. Their 3X5 Glossing card says that they are doing it for the orphans of the world. They developed a cause after the ride idea. Tried to compare their purpose w/ mine to no outcome. Saw them later outside the brew pud although not imbibing. Their BOBs are stuffed.
Putzed around & then drove back to Shultz Pass rd where I have been staying. Hardly a rider goes by during day but after work hours a few go by. Afternoon T-storm again that dropped non serious rain.