Tag Archives: staging post

You Can’t Get There From Here

“Were you bored out of your mind?”

“No. I enjoyed it. The fellow across the aisle was bored. He woke himself up twice snoring.”

We were killing time and had just been to the cinema to see a film chosen for my sensibilities, not the blood and guts, mumbling gangster type of movie Jimmy prefers.

It seemed that the only purpose of our “world” tour was to see the Grand Canyon and we just couldn’t get there.

We had a deadline for the end of March for flights booked from Seattle and as it would be a 2,200 mile detour added on to the next leg of the tour, it seemed sensible to bide our time for a day or two.

Each of the last three campsites on this leg – Hope, Cottonwood and Prescott, all in Arizona – was a staging post to get us to Williams, Arizona, the nearest practical campsite for us to drive to the Grand Canyon. Now here’s the rub. Williams was snowed in.

Click pic to enlarge.

Waiting for it to become passable and campable (yes, spellcheck, I know that’s not a word. I’m American. I make up words) we’d been for coffee, for lunch, toured the local area including Tuzigoot and Jerome, done laundry, washed the car, made soup, baked a cake, surfed the web, dawdled at the local discount store, hired DVDs, cleaned the trailer inside and out, caught up with correspondence and still couldn’t get near Williams.

After a daytrip to Flagstaff three feet of snow blanketed the entire area and the weather was coming towards us so we retreated further south from Cottonwood to Prescott only to find that it was colder there. I was hoping we’d flee further to Hope, or better still evacuate to Yuma with all the wrinklies baking in the hot Arizona sun for the winter.

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A little bare patch for us. Looks innocuous doesn’t it?

A good internet signal allowed us to watch the weather and when a day came with no snowflakes falling from the cartoon cloud picture for Williams we made a run for it. It was very beautiful when we arrived. And very white. We hadn’t taken into account that although it wasn’t snowing that day it had already snowed – a lot. What is obvious to normal people isn’t always apparent to us.

We successfully pitched our camp in the sunshine and twinkling snow – someone had occupied and vacated a campsite and left a handy bare spot for us – and the following day we had our first experience of the Grand Canyon from the south rim. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know that it has to be seen to be believed. If you haven’t, words (and pictures) can never do it justice. The vast splendor of the canyon can barely be taken in whilst there.

The weatherman had a little game with us and promised snow for two days and so we hurtled along the rim of the canyon where the National Park Service has made the rugged landscape accessible to tourists, stopping at every viewpoint and snapping hundreds of pictures to get that last perfect shot just before the weather closed in.

Defying the meteorological experts, the vistas became brighter and clearer. Though treacherous underfoot with hard packed snow and ice, even the coach parties dressed in their capris and canvas shoes were able to make the most of the winter viewing. That was in the daytime. The daytime weather was good.

I’m too cold to continue. I’ll see you same time, same place on Friday.