Gateway to The Grand Canyon

Apologies for the lag in posts, but our recent stays have had really spotty wireless access, making regular updates more difficult. And, while we love our girl Caira, she’s never been a chill at our feet while we access free wifi at a coffee shop kind of dog. We’ll be posting a few successive entries to catch everyone up, so read on friends!

Since we were already so close to The Grand Canyon, we decided to drop down into Williams, AZ and make that our base for a few days before snaking west towards Southern CA. I think “SOCAL” is the hip way to say it? Williams is an endearing combination of quirk and history, surrounded by the Kaibib National Forest, and the campground was just off Route 66 next to a section of the Grand Canyon Railway. While we didn’t ride the railway (no pets), Mike got a kick out of seeing the passengers in their pjs one evening for the Polar Express event.

As luck (not planning) would have it, the southern rim of The Grand Canyon was the more dog friendly of the two access points. Dogs are not allowed down into the canyon (bummer), but there were ~18 miles of trail available to us that were dog friendly. We call that a win! Unlike most of our national park visits, this one happened on a weekend, which meant it was insanely crowded. While it was fantastic to see so many people from so many places taking in the views, one of us prefers her nature experiences to be a bit more solitary. It’s harder to enjoy that humbling, awe filled moment of wonder when there are throngs of chattering humans nearby.

While our first few vista points were pretty crowded, we ended up ultimately moving the jeep farther up to an area that was more difficult to access, finding ourselves a nice little section of trail, and netting about 6 of those 18 miles on foot. Caira was a champ and even let us quietly watch a group of deer that were about about 10 feet away with no attempt to bark or scare them off. Mike was pretty well behaved too!

We’ve been pretty careful about proper hydration even though our hikes rarely exceed 6 miles – in order to make sure Caira can do it comfortably. This day was no different, but I somehow would up with a headache as we made our way back to the jeep, and it progressively got worse. Mike drove home so I could recline and close my eyes (only advisable as a passenger), and even ran back out after dropping me off to pick up some crackers to help deter the nausea. Two peanut butter crackers, a stomach churning episode, and two (three) Tylenol later, I was out cold from about  7-7. Mike,being the considerate guy he is, even took the couch for the night. …That’s no small feat when sharing with a 65lb catahoula! That was our first experience dealing with sickness in such a small space (23′) – hoping it will be the last – if we’re lucky.


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