Thursday, July 3, 2008

G-d Bless America!

We arrived at the Grand Canyon on day 18! Since we were two days ahead of schedule we decided to hang out for a few days and see the sights.

Doug was the first person we met as we entered the park. He is an ex-firefighter who now does jeep tours at the bottom of the canyon. He told us the bottom of the canyon is a miserable place to be at this time of the year. Temperatures soar up to 120 degrees on some days. Visitors die or need to be rescued regularly from heat stroke! We had a nice chat with Doug about our bike tour, what a nice guy. He even donated money to our cause. Thanks a bunch!

We entered the canyon on the first day of Monsoon Season in Arizona. The clouds were heavy overhead all day, which shielded us from the sun during our ride. But no rain. Yay!!!!!

Check out this sign we saw at the ranger post.
Really? 250 People look like that guy in the Grand Canyon??? Or do they just not rescue the uglies?

Squirrels at the South Rim of the canyon feast on American treats. I wonder how much junk food these little guys can take before having a cardiac arrest?

Day 19: We spent the morning hiking the first part of the Bright Angel Trail at the South Rim. We didn't have any hiking shoes just a couple pairs of flip flops so we didn't get too far. The sights were amazing and we did manage to capture some beautiful photos.

I farted really loud right before these photos was taken.

Do you like my hiking outfit?
Male donkey + female horse = Mule
"The mule possesses the sobriety, patience, endurance and sure-footedness of the donkey, and the vigour, strength and courage of the horse." Would you trust your life to a mule?

Debbie's working on her tree of life portraits.

Twilight portrait

Day 20: Happy Birthday America!!!! Happy Fourth of July. We started the day off hiking to a secret spot called Shoshone Point that a ranger told us about. It's the most panoramic view of the canyon you can find in the South Rim. It's not even on the tourist maps. We had to hike on a unmarked trail along the rim for a couple of miles just to get there. We kept seeing animal poop, and we got scared thinking a mountain lion would eat us.

The hike was definitely worth it. The view was spectacular. Definitely IMAX worthy!
The photos speak for themselves...

We met some locals who drove up the dirt path to have a wedding at Shoshone Point.

The little boy with the horse reminded us of baby Grant.

The country wedding was complete with banjo player and boots for the bride.

We suped up our bikes for the Fourth of July!!!!

This is not a picture of us, it's from the IMAX movie. The people who don't read will never know.

Sunset at Yavapai Point

Day 21: We met a really awesome guy from Japan who is biking from Alaska to Argentina. Ryoo in his 7 month of biking.

I got my first flat that morning, and I'm praying to God to give me the powers to fix it.

Rose hiked from the North Rim to the South Rim and gave us a bag of peanut M&Ms.

My new crush.

Mural inside the Watchtower.

On our way to Cameron we heard a loud "Baaa" from the roadside. We stopped and saw a baby lamb with its head stuck in the fence. We tried to cut the wires with our utility knife, but the wires were too thick. Then Debbie grabbed the lamb's head and pushed it through the fence saving the little guy. He ran off so quickly afterwards we didn't get any other photos. We are truly Girls Gone Wildlife, saving the animals one at a time.

We finally made it to Cameron, and camped at an RV park across the street from the Navajo trading post. There were no showers there, so Karin had to take a hillbilly shower.

I filled up the jug, it's your turn to shower.-K

In the middle of the night we heard two crazy drunk rednecks screaming and cursing at each other. Debs and I got really scared and were ready to S & S! Then there were snorting noises and dogs howling all night. I thought it was some crazy inbred leatherface rapist chained up in the basement, but Debbie said it was probably a javelina (desert pig).

Day 22: Karin got another flat tire. Jimmy helped us fix it and gave us some beef jerky for the road. We ate Navajo fry bread for breakfast.

The clouds started moving in overhead midday. We tried our best to outride the storm, but it overtook us. Then came the rain. We kept pushing along until the lighting started flashing all around us.

Thank goodness we found this abandoned shack on the side of the road because the rain turned into a monsoon. It was at least 40 miles before the next town.

At first we thought it was funny, and took lots of pictures.

Then our shack started leaking and we had to hide under the table.

We sat there in the muddy ground with a sleeping bag over us from almost three hours!

A clearing in the sky.

We took off for Marble Canyon hoping to make it there before sunset.

And we did.

Day 23: Breakfast at the lodge in Marble Canyon. Our plan was to ride uphill 4,000 feet, 40 miles to Jacob Lake.

Colorado River

Cliff Dweller

When we got Cliff Dwellers, the last stop before Jacob Lake, we were warned by several people of the dangerous road conditions up the hill. When the road was repaved two years ago, they didn't put in a shoulder because of an endangered cactus that grows right next to the road. Many people offered us a ride, but we declined them all. As we filled up our waters, someone asked us, "you're biking up that hill? what are you, stupid?" and then ten more people told us it was a bad and dangerous idea. Then they told us about a girl who just flew of the edge a few days before and flipped over in her car, also there had been a cyclist killed nearby a few days ago too. (our hearts go out to him!) So after enough of these stories, we decided it'd be best for us to hitchhike up the hill. Except now, no one stopped for us.

We spent most of the day on the patio in front of the Cliff Dwellers Restaurant (best food for miles!) and got to know Nat, who ran fishing tours, and Marn, the chef of the restaurant. They tried to help us get a ride, but when we couldn't get one, they decided to take us themselves.

Nat's "river purse", painted by a local artist.

They are both from Utah and moved to the desert together to follow their dreams.

When we got to Jacob Lake, we offered to take them out for a drink to say thanks... Since there was no bar in Jacob lake, we kept driving to Fredonia!

We had a few at the Buckskin and met Z, the bartender.

They ended up driving us all the way to Kaneb, Utah! Then Marn gave us some necklaces she bought from a Navajo woman earlier. They were so beautiful. Thanks Marn & Nat, you guys were our angels: I yo nish na!!!!! (means I love you in Navajo) We'll be back!! Next time we'll ride the river together.

A sign at the Hitch n' Post that we stayed at.

We're headed to Zion Park today. Thanks for all your comments, they really make spending all this time in the library worthwhile! LOVE YOU!!!


Anh said...

were the cliff dweller hills really that dangerous? what did you think of them while in a car?

Maren said...

Debbers, you totally have to send these pics to Mr. Pietsch, he'd be so proud!

Say hi to mi in-laws in Utah!!!

Victoria said...

I second Deidra's suggestion for the Mormon pompador whilst you guys are in Utah! This has been Andy D.

elaine said...

I love the squirrel fattening itself up on a broken hot dog and some milkshake.. cue the "my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!" hahaha good luck chicas! keep on riding !! and take pics of all the sunsets~ stay safe and cool!

Jessica said...

Ok, can you please get off that rock in the sky, you girls are scarrrring me!!!!!!!

Sarah said...

wow!!! everything looks like its been so much fun so far. I bet sitting under that shack for 3 hours was even fun. I wish I could be there with you guys! <3333

Deidra said...

Karin, your holding up a boulder!!! You are super-strong now and I'm afraid of you.