Indian Sunrise

It’s a lovely blue sky this morning but a very cold start. We want to walk the Navajo Loop first thing before the tour buses start arriving, it’s the walk down into the canyon that goes to the bottom and loops round (funnily enough) and comes back up to the rim further along.

Not quite sunrise, bur not far off, we are able to get some cool photo’s and enjoy the relative quiet before brekkie. Back at the General Store we have a well earned sausage sarnie followed by some laundry, a shower and a bit of forward planning on the PC.

Once all the jobs are done it’s pretty much lunch time which we make up and have in the car before setting off for the drive to Kanab (the town with the ranger office that you need to visit to get in the lottery for “The Wave”).

It’s not a huge drive but frustrating because when we arrive we find that we need to go to a completely different office in a place called Paria, a further 40 miles down the road. Also, we find that the permits, if we are lucky enough to get one are not for the day you enter the lottery but for the day after … Hhmm…

Before moving on we go on a coffee mission, we are recommended a place but can’t find it. A place with good coffee and wifi… It’s a small town, but plenty less salubrious and much more out of the way places we’ve been have had both and not as tricky to locate …

Eventually we settle for a local version of McDonalds and here we hatch a new plan…

Why not go do the Grand Canyon first and then go to the other office and investigate The Wave?!! Afterall the Grand Canyon is up there on both our lists and until Nathan mentioned it none of us had even heard of The Wave!!!

So money and fuel obtained we head south for the entrance to the North Rim of The Grand Canyon… We arrive about 6ish and decide to camp at De Motte Campground which is about 12 miles outside the park. It’s a lovely forest site but very very cold and at about 8000ft. A fact that doesn’t miss our attention, but it’s effects do…

There’s an Alaskan RV near us that has a small kiddie and two huge dogs – a husky and a St Bernard, they won’t be cold … Unlike us. We light a fire and soon realise we need more wood. Huw goes in search of the campsite host to buy more wood and pay – it says on the board that he’ll come around to collect the fees and we hoped he would so we could ask to buy wood then, but he hasn’t. Huw pays when he buys more wood but we get no receipt (Bernice wants this for her collection so is a bit miffed especially as the host promises to bring it up to the site later but doesn’t – we could have got away with paying no fee probably!!!!

Eventually it’s so cold we have to turn in, it’s barely 9pm and as a consequence we are up for the loo in the night. On the moonlit walk to the drop toilet* we notice that it’s so cold fellow campers are actually sleeping in their car, not that we’re sure how that could possibly be warmer….

*all national park, state parks and pretty much all forest campsites in the US we have visited are great in that they have fab pitches with a fire pit and picnic table, but they usually only have pit toilets (no showers). These are usually always really clean – except in the very touristy places where they are heavily used – with loo paper and not too smelly ….

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