Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Ain't she Grand!

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7:04 am - Tuesday - November 7th - Grand Canyon - 41º F, humidity 84%, wind 2 mph out of the west.....forecast high for today is 57º F......cloudy with clearing skies.......rained last night.

We began our day 114 miles from our ultimate destination for this winter.....The Grand Canyon.  We have known we would be here.....God willing, and the river don't rise......since July.  I made an effort not to think too far ahead, because when you are already living in paradise (Yellowstone) it seems like bad form to be thinking about the next paradise, no?  We have been to the Grand Canyon twice during our 46 years of marriage, but only for a day each time....hardly enough time to really explore, so being able to spend the winter there has really got our juices flowing.

At any rate, we were up a little after 7 am getting ready to cover those last 114 miles and return to the workaday world for a few months.  While I put away the few things we had taken out, and dropped the trailer back on the hitch TLE ran down to the local Walmart to pick up a few more things for our cupboards.  We do not know how well stocked the store in which we are to work is, so we wanted to stock up a little more on a few of our necessities.  As employees we will be getting a 50% discount in the store on groceries, so we are hoping there is a good selection, otherwise we'll be driving to Flagstaff once a month to resupply....we'll see.

TLE returned around 10:30 am, and within 30 minutes we were on our way southward, and after a quick stop at the Shell Oil fuel station to top off our propane tank we were on US-89........

.....we immediately began to climb, and climb, and climb......we topped out at 6,000' elevation to find ourselves atop a large plateau.....eventually we crossed the plateau and after passing through this cool, almost 'window' like section of US-89 we began a 4 mile descent on 6% grades.........

......I always hate giving up all that altitude when I know we will ultimately be climbing back up to over 7,000' elevation by the time we reach the Desert View Watchtower, but it is what it is.  We descended all the way down to just over 4,000' at Cameron, AZ where we left US-89 to SR-64 for the final 30 mile slog up to 7,400'......that 30 miles was the longest sustained climb we have ever done in the Newell....at times the grade exceeded 8% and we were down to 28 mph in 2nd gear, but our faithful Detroit Diesel 6v92 purred along at 2,000 RPM's (just under redline of 2,100 RPM's) and our coolant temp stayed around 198º........

The view along SR-64

......at last we reached the Grand Canyon.....unfortunately this Jeep was parked so close to the sign TLE could not get the entire sign in the picture, but you get the point.....

.....within a few more minutes we were passing through the pay station (no charge to us as we are employees) and driving to our RV site for the next few months.....just as we turned into the employee residential area we were met by Scott, who led us to site #2.....we're glad he was there because we would have had difficulty finding our spot.

As it turns out these sites are 'pull in' sites as opposed to 'back in'......I like having the front of our coach facing the juniper tree forest which surrounds us.......

......plus we have a concrete patio which we put our artificial turf grass over.....the entire site, with the exception of the patio, is gravel, and the utilities are perfectly placed meaning I don't have to use any extensions.....electrical, water, or sewer.......perfect!

And the trees do not block our access to the southern sky for our DirecTV.....we are able to get 98% on our signal strength.  As a comparison.......the best signal strength we were able to get in Gardiner was 79-80% due to the placement of the trees in our site.  According to our altimeter our official elevation in site #2 is 7,410'.....it should be an interesting winter!

By the time we got everything connected, our turf in place, and removed the trailer from the hitch it was after 3 pm, and time for a nap for moi.  We (I) still have a lot to do outside as far as deploying our stuff for a multi month stay, and I'm sure I'll get that done over the next couple of days.  Tuesday we have to drive 25 miles over to Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim to check in at HR, and then I  assume we'll begin working Wednesday in the store.  We love our RV site, we love the ambiance of the area, and are very excited about what comes next.....stayed tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Clarke, I have a big fake-grass mat like the one you have but have always opted to use my 2 patio mats instead. I like the way yours is trimmed to look more like a natural patch of turf. Did you do that for effect or is there a more practical explanation? I'm intrigued. :)

  2. Hi Steve! The piece was given to me by a friend who was the one who trimmed it to the shape it now has.