Saturday April 25, 2009

This morning we packed up at the hotel, ate breakfast there and headed straight over to the Grand Canyon National Park camping area.  We setup camp right away and we put all of our stuff in the tent so it wasn't sitting on the bike in a parking lot all day.  It was a chilly morning and going to be a chilly day with only a high of 59, so we kept layers on and went to the cafeteria for some hot chocolate.  The Grand Canyon offers several free shuttle bus tours and we got on the one that goes to the eastern route, Hermits Rest.  We stopped at several points along the way,too pics and had some snacks at the last stop.  We had good views of the Colorado River and different views of the Canyon.  After that we went back to the camp site and made lunch, which was freeze dried chicken noodles and chili, just boil water, wait 9 minutes and presto...yum(?).  We couldn't leave without doing some hiking, so we geared up, including more layers because it was getting colder, and did some hiking on the Bright Angel Trail.  It's nice to get down into the Canyon and feel what it's like on those switchbacks and to see the views looking up, if only for a little snippet of what GC offers.  We had dinner at the Bright Angel Lodge, in a perfect window seat giving us canyon sunset views.  Back at the campsite, we knew we were in for a cold night - forecasted low of 29! - so we broke out the hand warmers for in the bags while we slept (lifesavers-thanks Ron!) and left most of our gear on.  We only had our summer sleeping bags due to space on the bike; it was a cold night!  Packing up in the morning was no fun, but we were rewarded on the way out when we saw our second herd of elk, grazing along the side of the road... but I'm getting ahead of myself.