Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 13: Grand Canyon to Bakersfield, CA

Day 13, Friday: Grand Canyon to Bakersfield, CA
KM start:160,406 Km
Trip Meter: 3,949 km
Time Driven: 9am - 5pm

Waking up at knowing you were at the Grand Canyon was cool. Though it was silly early (5:45am) we were excited to see the sunrise. We almost slept in and missed it by accident but managed to haul ourselves out of our sleeping bags and a quick thermos of tea and a bagel later, we were on our way. We only had to drive about 5 minutes to the rim and then walk about 10 to a great viewing spot. Mathers Point. Man was it beautiful. 

I apologize for this bombardment of pictures. I can't help it. 

It blew our minds.
Our God made all of this and we get to enjoy it.

Paul looking particularly blurry eyed

Excited to be here!

Love the juxtaposition of the blues and oranges with the dark of the rock

Happy Happy!
In love and sunsrising.
Yes, please.

I love this shot!

And then the sky changed moments later.
Even better.

We weren't the only ones watching the sunrise

In fact we met a German couple at the sunrise. They took our picture above and we took one for them. We chatted while we watched the sun rise and then later invited them over for coffee back at the campsite.
Classic Mitchell move. 

I love all the shades of grey

Finally we realized the clouds would continue to hide the actual sun so we began the trek back to our campsite for unpacking, lunch prep and coffee with our new friends.

This is the point we watched the sunrise from

It was a great way to spend a morning. 

Then we headed back to the campsite...through the village (complete with Post Office and General Store) and back to the Pine Loop camping area at Mathers Campground.

I worked on sandwiches for lunch while we waited for our new friends and Paul packed up some of our gear. Then we heated up water for tea and coffee and got to have some wonderful conversations with Eva and Jan (pronounced Yan). We chatted for about an hour - and what was really cool was since Eva and Jan are from Germany and only in the US for 2 weeks, they only had their rental car, a tent, sleeping bags and their clothes. They'd been eating out...and Eva had just said to Jan, I wish someone at the campground would offer us coffee...and then they met us and we did. So fun!

Our campsite was great.
It was close to the bathroom (which I consider a plus) and to the water outlet.
It was also gorgeous.

Then we packed up.

And while we'd finally gotten an amazing system, it was still pretty full!

We headed on the road by about 9am - feeling very luxurious in our travels.
We stopped in Williams, just outside of the Grand Canyon for McDonalds and an wifi instagram bragging break. McDonalds were amazing this trip - fairly clean bathrooms, free wifi and cheap drinks. Excellent.

Then we continued driving.
We drove and drove and drove.

And ate our sandwiches

And kept driving as the landscape changed around us

More windmills!

So many windmills through California

We were so impressed with the topography of this region.

Seriously, I love this.

Then we arrived in Bakersfield, CA. It was dry, hot and kind of plain. We also didn't know where to stop so we pulled into a Starbucks next to a Walmart. Paul ran in to buy a swimsuit at Walmart since we'd forgotten one of my swimsuits and his only swimsuit in Deming, NM. I popped into Starbucks to look up camping in the area. 

I discovered River Run RV Park. The website said it did RV's and tenting - it seemed clean and near to the highway. It also boasted free wifi, showers and a hot tub and pool. For $34 a night we were in! When we arrived we realized that the website wasn't entirely accurate - there definitely wasn't tenting. They have, since our visit, removed that from their amenities list, haha. But regardless we decided to sleep in an RV spot since River Run was cheaper and nicer than a budget hotel. And there was a small outdoor kitchen area we could use to cook in - plus an air conditioned TV room that nobody but us used! It was a complete score. 

I made us dinner in luxury

It was easy to make a great dinner with such good conditions.

And then we retired to the pool and hot tub for a while, before heading into the air conditioned lounge to watch Big Bang Theory and do some blogging.
Especially in the heat...because it was not cool.

I'd say the only negative was the heat - we were boiling all night. California is hot. Like really hot. It was not completely pleasant overnight but thank goodness the pool and air conditioned lounge were moments away for when we needed to pop in and cool off.

And again, we got to "sleep in" until 8, leisurely make breakfast and then head off towards San Francisco!

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