We almost froze to death. Well, we would have if we hadn’t noticed the sign posted: “Tonight’s temperature: 23°F”
After almost two months of camping around the Pacific Northwest, Southern Vancouver, Montana and then Utah, we had developed a habit of nonchalance in deciding where to lay our tent.
But it was now October. We had just driven into Arizona and taken the long road into Grand Canyon National Park. We had traveled up and up, higher and higher to an elevation of nearly 8000 feet without realizing it.
After arriving at the sprawling park, we soon found the official North Rim campsite and paid in advance for two nights. We set off to find dinner and watch the sun set over the Canyon.
But then we saw the sign. 23°F. We were dead, without the proper equipment for sub-freezing temperatures. Then and there, on Day 52, we ended the camping portion of our road trip adventure. We begged for a refund on a hand written note taped to the door of the Park Ranger’s office, and booked a room at Thunderbird Lodge on the edge of the Canyon. I felt sad and relieved at the same time.
Gazing into the Grand Canyon is something words and photographs fail miserably to describe. Just make sure you see it some day.