Saturday, June 20, 2015

Yes, it was grand

I was afraid that after spending a week going from canyon to canyon, the Grand Canyon would be a bit of a letdown. Plus, the boys were already saying they were canyon-ed and hiked out. However, since we had white-out blizzard conditions the last and only other time we’d been to the Grand Canyon, we knew we had to go.

There is no way the Grand Canyon could possibly be a letdown. It was gorgeous, yes, but what really struck me is just the sheer size of it. We stopped at the visitors’ centre and did a short hike where we oohed and ahhed for an hour or so, then drove some more, got off at another stop, and oohed and ahhed even more. Just when we thought we were done, we did one more stop, and got, as our brochure promised, a “spectacular view” with yet some more oohing and ahhing.

I left feeling utterly humbled.

One of the cool things about doing a trip like this is discovering cool and unique campgrounds. On our last major trip, we nicknamed one scary, yet amazing spot the “Deliverance” campground, and we still laugh about the deck precariously dangling off the side of a cliff, ready to fall into the ocean.

While not even close to Deliverance, the campground we stayed at after the Grand Canyon was certainly memorable for the boys. I should have caught on when the receptionist told me three times on the phone that “There are absolutely no refunds.”

The spot promoted itself as an RV park, which, in our minds, comes along with certain amenities. It also promoted itself as being “On the Grand Canyon’s North Rim.” When we passed it about 45 minutes before the entrance to the park, we realized the mistake we’d made in not confirming its location.

The rough, gravel road we had to take to get there was our first sign that something wasn’t quite right. The extensive list of rules was another. The boys read them all over and were aghast at how many there were. One of the workers escorted us to our campsite and watched to make sure we didn’t put our sewer line down on the ground. The gravel spot was on a major slope, so it took awhile and a lot of effort to get it level.

Then the boys came back from the bathroom, which turned out to be an outhouse with a sink outside warning it was for drinking or washing dishes only—NOT for washing hands. There was a series of communal firepits in the middle of the campground.

Finally, when I went to the laundry room to do much-needed laundry, I was dumbfounded to discover that the laundry room closes at 7:00 (most RV parks’ laundries are open until at least 10:00, if not 24 hours).

At least it was in a lovely, shady location, with a forested field of horses adjacent.

I should say none of this really would have mattered much, had it been what we were expecting based on its website. Clearly, they took some creative license.

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