5/12 Williams, The Grand Canyon, and stink butt camp
The morning was indeed frigid and the warm bed kept us from the road north to the Grand Canyon until 7 am. We didn’t see the sunrise over the big river in it’s deep red cradle but we were early enough to have the Rim trail mostly to ourselves for the morning. What can I say about the big great cleft that would be new? This was mrs. a-go-go’s first visit so I’ll let her photos make their excited disbelieving overwhelming describing.
Later we took the park shuttle to the end of the line at Hermit’s Rest and walked more of the Rim Trail back toward the main park village. By this time, after lunch, the crowds were upon us. Nothing like the summer rush I’m sure, but still a bit trying. People get pushy, and impatient. It’s a really special place so I understand so many coming to see it but it makes me worry about how many of us hairless house apes there are. On the plus side, we listened to German, Korean, Portuguese, Hindi, Italian, French, Japanese, and a mess of languages and accents we could never recognize. Jeepers, the world comes here…and almost gets along without arguments and tension.
By 1pm we were walked out. Back to our hot car on an hour-long shuttle ride, and we were on our way to Flagstaff and Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona, AZ. The weather south of the canyon was a little daunting with short flurries of big raindrops and sheets of distant rain hanging from big white anvils. Flagstaff briefly confused our directions and we had a quick glimpse of the old town where we’ll have to visit on another trip. I had hoped to score a campsite at a tent-only campground north of Sedona. Rodney did his best to grip the road on the twisting Oak Creek Canyon Road as we scanned the brown signs for Manzanita Campground. Full!? Really!? On a Wednesday afternoon? Well, the camp-out season starts early in the red rocks of Sedona. So we backtracked to another campground that is heavily used (and I mean USED) and frequented by lots of RVs. I won’t mention the camp’s real name, but we call it stink butt. We took a site for two nights in spite of the stinky pit toilets that waft the valley with a grey brown smell and the badly abused surroundings. We needed a place to stay so we could do some hiking in the area and stink butt would have to do. The local inns were way out of our budget so we sucked it up and decided to accept what was available. Chiggers can’t be boozers, and our day peering into and across the Grand Canyon left us needing dinner and a dry tent. Yes, a few more spatterings of rain fell, but we were dry for the night; dry but with wrinkled stink-noses and the headlights and “mon-back” calls of the late arriving RVs until midnight stilled everything but the hum of the pit toilets’ stink-vent fans.