day 3 continues...
so we turn off on Forrest Service Rd 611 and start to head up into the trees. nice, easy graded road, no worries, just taking it easy on the tire. get a few miles in and start to see some camp sites that look interesting. we push ahead and turn of the main road to the right, and head toward the edge of the canyon you could see off to your side. in there were several, awesome sites with nobody in them. we picked a smaller one and stopped to make the call.
i crossed the dirt road and took a few more steps, and this was my view...
maybe not the edge of the grand canyon but what a view. you can actually see part of the east end of the canyon below. this would do for night 3.
at this point i looked down at my verizon phone (the "can you hear me now" guys) and thought for sure i would have a signal. sure enough my phone showed 3 bars. plenty. i dialed up my wife to inform her of the change in plans, and waited for the connection. it never came.... although it showed bars, they came and went as quick as the wind, it just wasn't steady enough to make a call. no biggie, i will send a text. type up a wordy text explaining the situation and hit send.
text failed. connection error was all the phone said.
so, i chop the text down to just a few words, figured maybe i was trying to send too much, maybe a small one would be able to make it?
nope. same story over and over. tried my daughters phone with same result.
now i'm starting to get nervous. i have to be able to call the wife, she is expecting a call from us soon and if that doesn't go out, all hell will break loose. she is a cardiac nurse that works emergencies and is on call a LOT. she would go into rescue mode and not be able to stop it. if i can't get a signal in the park, i'm going to have to ride out today, use more tire, then maybe change camping plans all over again. not what i wanted.
so we look at each other, knowing we had to go into the park reguardless of how much we just wanted to sit down and make camp. it's was worth the risk on the tire and one of the main sites we wanted to see. we loaded back up and drove back out to the highway, once again taking it easy on the tire.
the entrance to the park was just a few miles up the road and no where near as busy as the south rim had been the day before. i already had a pass from the prior day and was granted access again at the north gate.
no sooner than we cross into the park we see this.
if you have never been to the north rim side of the canyon you need to go. it is soooo different than the south end. elevation is higher, terrain, wildlife, tree's, everything is nicer. the temps were perfect and the road was a nice, twisty, 2-lane with incredible views on both sides.
after the gate, the north rim lodge is just a few miles ahead.
we pulled into the parking lot and found a site to stop. jumped off the bike and this was the view.
with a parking lot view like that, i can't wait to see the main show.
the lodge is built on the top of an edge sticking out into the canyon. there are small cabins for rent and a campground behind. the main lodge is beautiful and has several big rooms. they do have a restaurant and best off all. they had a signal. still a little sketchy, but i could make a call, and do some quick googling to find a new tire in St. George.
a few pics from the North Rim...
there are little walk ways like the one above all over and you can make your way down for the views.
if you look closely the distance, the mountain on the left is Flagstaff.
after a short walk, some lunch, and having made my call, and found a tire to have mounted tomorrow, the day was looking up. now let's hope no one stole our camp site.
we jumped back on the bike and headed back, luckily when we arrived there were even less people than when we road in, and still nobody on our little dead end trail. instead of taking a smaller site, we rolled right into the main site and pitched tent.
one thing i will say we got right so far was the packing. my paniers were full. 1 had food, cooking supply, and H20. the other tools, air pump, bathroom stuff, and all my medical stuff, and H2O. on the back we had our 2 bags, tent, 2 tri-pod chairs, and 2 camp pillows. with more room if needed. we could pull up, unload, and have camp set really quickly and easily. it packed up just as quick and really made things pretty easy.
now that we had our stuff set, time to explore. we followed the trail ahead down a nasty, little, rutted hill, then back up to the end. we were now at the tip of the cliff and i knew there had to be a trail that took us to the edge. we found it...
after a sit and almost a nap (what can i say, it was peaceful) we waled back to camp to prep dinner. i have to say, day 3 was turning into a great one. loved the CAMP SITE
and all seemed to be working out.
one other nice detail was were were allowed to have a camp fire. there was plenty of wood lying around so we gathered some and made a small fire. this was the cherry on the top of the cream on top of the sundae. what a way to end a day.
day 4 tomorrow...