Grand Canyon Visitor’s Center and South Rim Trail

Monday, July 18, 2022

What a change! From 107 degree highs with little escape to 59 degree low in Ten-X Campground in the Kaibab National Forest 10 miles south of  of Grand Canyon National Park. We went to sleep with all the windows open after a lovely stir-fry dinner while watching three elk bucks wander through the campground. 

I was awakened by talking and laughter outside our front window. A group of young campers had come in and were setting up just across from us at 11:30. Speaking Chinese I think, they were having a big time, but with no regard for their neighbors. I resisted the urge to go out in my underwear and tell them to consider others.

We slept relatively late. There was an unexpected time change, as Arizona doesn’t recognize daylight savings time. As we got ready for the day and tried to find Martha’s lost iPad, I slammed my car door several times. I wanted to honk the horn, but Martha said I would wake our nice neighbors to the right. They had come in yesterday afternoon in a big camper with a young boy and girl. After setting up, he came over to introduce himself. They are from Michigan and have been on the road for a couple of weeks. It was cool to watch the whole family do their part of the set-up. Then the little boy hopped on his bike and explored the campground.

There is a small city at the south rim around the Visitor’s Center. There are stores, restaurants, coffee houses, hotels, two campgrounds, a services center, everything you need in a maze of roads. Like Zion, the Visitor’s Center is mostly outdoors, using sign’s to give you information. Angel’s Landing hike in Zion gains 1600’ and is considered difficult. The Bright Angel Trail here is 5,000’ change in elevation and 25-20 degrees in temperature. You would have to carry a gallon of water and four sandwiches for each direction.

We opted to walk the rim trail, which is really a road. It was fairly crowded, and most people were nice. One big group however, decided to take 30 pictures at a big overlook with no concern for others. Like Zion, people come from all over the world, speaking many languages.

Martha pointed out a lady taking pictures of goats. I quickly turned around to see her. She smiled and pointed to a rock platform where there were five or six goats. Of course I had a 35-70mm lens, but she was shooting with a phone. She went ahead along the rim to get closer and I followed. She left the rim, going down the side to get closer. At first I refused, but seeing it was a well-worn path, I followed, and we got some pretty good shots. We have been looking for goats for a month. Then they show up in numbers right below the busy Rim Trail.

I looked through several stores for a 30 amp breaker switch with no luck. Our air conditioner has been tripping that breaker, and the top three breakers get very hot. Worrying about a fire, I shut it down for a couple of hours. In Zion, where high temperatures were 104-110 every day, it was torture. We finally learned to nurse it by setting it to 84 at night, and gradually lowering it through the night.

Martha Googled RV electricians and called one. The secretary said he had stepped out and would call us back. The next day Jeff with a southern accent, called. I explained the problem to him. He said it sounded like a breaker problem, so I asked if he could come and help us with it. He asked where we were, and I told him Watchman Campground. I was surprised when he said he never heard of that. When I said it is in Zion National Park, Jeff said he was in Arkansas!! We both got a laugh, then he proceeded to tell me what to do. I could barely hear him, but I thanked him profusely. 

I then emailed Lew Farber, who did all my solar work. A quick reply said it was strange it didn’t trip the 20 amp air conditioner breaker. He recommended replacing the breaker and see what happens. 

A man told Martha there was a hardware store in Valle, 20 miles south. Otherwise, it’s an hour and a half to Flagstaff.

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