October 12, 2018

Texas Road Trip - Day Eleven

Friday, September 14, 2018
Kingman to the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Distance:  167 miles
Campground: Fire Road 310 (boondocking)
Cost per Night: Free
Duration: 1 night
Weather: Sunny and warm

We were up early and on the road before 9:00 in order to avoid the mid-day wind gusts. It was pretty much easy driving, though, on I-40. The trees were just beginning to show hints of yellow, but we were too early to see any real fall colors. The sunflowers, however, were in full bloom along the side of the road. Highway 64 (Williams to the Grand Canyon) is long and very bumpy. We were happy to finally reach the national park where the roads were wide and smooth. The sky was blue, with no sign of smoke, although once we reached the Grand Canyon, we could see smoke from the fire near the North Rim.

Once again, we saved the National Park entrance fee ($25) with our America the Beautiful Senior Pass. It sure has come in handy and has paid for itself ($20) with our visits to various parks. We decided to skip the Village and Visitor Center and drove out toward Desert View and the fire road, at which we were hoping to camp  for the night. The first viewpoint had a large, open parking space that I was able to snag, so we stopped for lunch. I literally gasped when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. Actually, I almost cried. It is so beautiful! And, HUGE! What a thrill to see it and have lunch in the RV right along the south rim. It was just after noon and there were only a half dozen or so people strolling about. We met a sweet young couple from Holland and they asked if we would "make a picture" of them. They did the same for us and we enjoyed hearing about their two-week trip in the U.S. 

Wow. Just Wow.

Lunchtime. View from inside the RV!

After lunch we drove out the Kaibab National Forest to find our boondocking site. Thanks to the GPS coordinates, we didn't have any trouble and found several spots that would work. There was only one other camper a little further away, so we were happy to have the place pretty much to ourselves. 

After getting set up, we went for a short walk and decided to climb the Grandview Lookout Tower, which is 80 feet tall. This steel tower was erected in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

Up we go!

Nice view of the Grand Canyon.

I was able to shoot this without actually looking down!

Can you spot our RV?

I wasn't prepared to get so scared, but I did, so we both agreed to stop at 40 feet. We later saw some folks go all the way to the top to watch the sunset. I'm not sure I'd want to climb down in the dark, but they did!

Great dispersed campsite.

Relaxing and avoiding the horsefly that decided to join us outside.

So peaceful.

Yep, we'll come back here again!

This sunset picture doesn't do it justice.

Halibut tacos for dinner. Mmmmm!

What a memorable day! Tomorrow we explore the Grand Canyon.


  1. Our first glimpse of the Grand Canyon was at Desert View, too.... we entered from that side of the park, by mistake. I wasn't prepared for the scale - just overwhelming! That senior pass has saved us a fortune over the past few years. When my husband turned 60, they had a deal where that $20 fee was for a lifetime pass! There was a torrential downpour when we were at the visitor's center/gift shop,so we stayed longer than we should have and spent more than we'd planned. But we both got really nice vests ;-)

    1. JoAnn, I don't think I was prepared for the scale of the GC, either. I can't remember the last time my breath was literally taken away from me. We got the senior pass for $20, too. Even at the current price (I think it's now $80), it still saves you a lot. Oooh, I'll bet your vests are wonderful. I got a t-shirt. :) I'm trying not to buy too much on this trip since the fuel cost is so much of our expense. I'm dreading the price of gas in California.

  2. What gorgeous views of the Grand Canyon. I have to tell you, there is no way I'd climb that lookout tower! Here in the south, we have our picture made so that Dutch couple wouldn't have sounded funny to us.

    1. Kathy, the views were beyond incredible! I still can't get over how gorgeous it was. There are so many different shades of color, depending on the time of day and the cloud cover. I think it would be so awesome to see it in the winter. Yes, that lookout tower was unnerving! I've climbed to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, but that was an enclosed staircase, so it was nearly as scary. I didn't know that Southerners said "make my picture" instead of "take my picture." Learn something new everyday! :)

  3. WOW! I haven't been to the Grand Canyon but it's definitely a place I want to visit one day. And, your taco dinner looked yummy.

  4. Iliana, it's a place everyone should visit at least once! I'm ready to go back again! Yes, those fish tacos were delicious. Simple, but very tasty.


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