So, here we are… at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon! My gosh is it everything we hoped for… and more! The views are amazing… It’s the best backyard we have ever had and the National Park Service supervisor (Ranger) we work for is about the happiest person you ever want to meet.
They require very little of us in exchange for our campsite with full hook ups, including propane. Our main job here is to be friendly and helpful to campers (educate them). First thing in the morning, Ken goes out to do a check of the campsites to see which are vacant, occupied, or packing and reports that info back to the Ranger (I sleep in while he does this). Around 11:00 a.m., we go out and clean fire pits on vacant sites. The afternoon is ours to do what we like and then around 6:15 p.m., we go to the registration kiosk until 8:00 p.m. to check in any late arrivals.
This is our first camp host position and I can tell you that we really hope that it will be this great at Gold Head State Park in Florida when we are there next September. Wait! I am forgetting about the know-before-you-go part of this blog entry…
It is true that the Ranger forewarned us that cell phone, wi-fi, and TV service was not a guarantee, but really it is practically non-existent. As I sit here typing away, I am in a little camping chair sitting in the corner of the General Store using their free wi-fi and hoping that it holds up and doesn’t quit before I finish typing. No guarantees!
Cell phone service is a real pain… We have to go about a quarter of a mile from our RV and walk or drive out to the edge (rim) of the canyon to get any service at all. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I’m able to make a call from a few hundred feet of the RV, but I have to stand in the middle of the road and the conversation is “guaranteed” to include the words, “can you hear me now?”!
And, then there is TV, or rather, the lack of it. We bought a satellite thingy when we were in Texas just so that we would have TV here. Nope. Not going to happen. According to Ken, we need a clear view of the southern sky and the Ponderosa Pines here are abundant and blocking all hopes of that happening. We moved it here and there and everywhere, but it just kept whirling and twirling and finally we felt sorry for the machine and put it away. No TV. We had a few DVDs already, so we have re-watched them and bought more on a subsequent trip to Walmart in Hurricane, Utah, which is a three hour drive one-way.
I don’t mean to sound bitter about any of this… in fact, I’m not. It really is a blessing… Not having the TV on is quiet and peaceful. Ken and I actually find ourselves talking without interruption, which leads to fewer miscommunications. Instead of TV, we play cards and read the USA Today.
We know that the paper arrives at the General Store by 3:30 each day, Monday through Friday, and we know that because Ken has it clocked. Not only will he be standing here waiting for it, but the store employees know that he is so desperate for news, that they actually will hold a copy for him!
Back to the services… I know you’re thinking, “Hah! She is always posting on Facebook, so how bad can it be?” Well, you know what they say, desperate times call for desperate measures! This chair is so uncomfortable and some days, I can’t even get to the chair for all the others who are starved for communication with the outside world!
This corner of the store is sometimes so seriously overpopulated (standing room only) that the store clerks can’t even get to their office without tripping and climbing over bodies sitting on the floor. I try to make myself as small or invisible as possible and tuck myself as far into the corner as possible so as to stay out of the way and allow people room to shop and work, but some days I can almost feel the ire of the staff. I promise to take a photo and include it so that you can see just how ridiculous we junkies truly are.
While I realize that we should be out there enjoying the beauty and solitude this place offers, we still need to check email, pay bills, look at Facebook and update the blog every now and again. In fact, I actually hand wrote my blog entry in hopes of typing it quickly… Adding the photos will be another challenge.
Back to the reason we are here at the North Rim. Our experience here has been wonderful. The campsite we are on is awesome and puts us at the entrance to the campground with quick access to everything. We share camp host duties with another couple whose RV is on site #2 (we are on site #1) and sits just behind ours as the sites are really one paved loop. The schedule allows us plenty of time to explore and get down to Hurricane or over to Kanab, Utah for supplies.
As for exploring, we have hiked several trails already. Some we love and have/will repeat, and others we won’t do again. A typical hike for us is 4.5-5.5 miles roundtrip and we are making good use of the hydration packs we purchased (Ken thought we would buy them and store them without using them, but we love them and use them all the time! Anyway, there are so many great trails here. My favorite is Cape Final, and Transept is cool, too. I really dislike the North Kaibab trail because of all the mule droppings and Point Imperial Trail was gnarly with lots of thorn bushes and huge fallen trees to climb over. We have taken many pictures during our hikes and I will attach plenty of them so you can see for yourself the natural beauty of the North Rim.
I have far outlasted the typical wi-fi signal while typing this and I’m sure the staff are thinking they are going to have to boot me out of here so others can have the chair for a while, so I will close for now and come back tomorrow to add photos and post this entry.
One last thought… we hope all the fathers out there had an awesome day (yesterday). Ken and I would be so proud if our dad’s were still with us so that we could share with them all that our RV journey has given us… We know they would love to hear all about it!
Dorothy & Ken