We arrived at my good friend Kelli’s house in St. George, Utah 3 days early – broken and tired from a rough start to our trip. We were able to park the camper in Kelli’s side yard and took the car into the local Toyota dealership for repairs. We all settled in and took advantage of the Wifi, air conditioning and the modern conveniences of living in a house.
We were supposed to camp at a nearby state park, but Kelli and her fiance’ Kevin convinced us to stay for the entire week at their house due to the extremely hot temperatures (105 degrees) during June/July. It didn’t take too much arm twisting before I was online canceling our camping reservations.
By the next day, Erin was feeling better and we made plans for the week. Some highlights include:
- Girl’s Day Out with massage, pedicure and lunch at Red Mountain Spa
- Car repair only took one day and seemed to be fixed
- Dinner at Cliffside Restaurant
- Hiking the Narrows at Zion National Park
- Kayaking and a picnic at Kolob Reservoir
- Brunch at Xetava
- Teaching Kelli and Kevin a new board game every night
A mama and baby elk decided to visit us the morning we left the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. In fact, the mama came right up for a drink while Nancy and Erin were washing their hands at the sink outside the bathrooms. She decided to rip down the flyer for preserving water before getting her nose in the sink. Nancy made sure to stand clear.
We absolutely had to get the suspension in our towing vehicle fixed, so we made arrangements to skip our next destination and head directly to St. George where we would find a Toyota dealer and one of our best friends in the world, Kelli.
Given that she works at home and we didn’t want to get in her hair, we planned to camp in Snow Canyon against Erin’s protests of “I want to get in her hair!”. But best friends don’t let you camp in temperatures of 105 and Kelli insisted we spend the week with her and her fiance, Kevin. In her extreme lethargy, Erin breathed a sigh of relief and proceeded to pass out on the couch.
The views on this trip have been beyond our Florida east coast comprehension and the ride out of the Grand Canyon did not disappoint. We even spotted an antelope standing as a lone sentinel on top of a hill. Epic!
Sean and I decided to go horseback riding the second morning of our stay at the Grand Canyon with the Apache Stables just outside the park toward the town of Tusayan. The trails we rode on were in the Kaibab National Forest, which is 1.6 million acres surrounding the Grand Canyon managed for preservation by the US Forest Service. We got to see lots of big Ponderosa pines and I am pretty sure I spotted a Hooded Oriole, but no elk or other mammals were out due to the heat.
At this point my broken ankle was getting a lot better, so after the horse ride Sean and I decided to hike the mile down to the town of Tusayan and catch the bus back to the park rather than have Nancy come pick us up. We had no idea we’d need proof that we were returning to our campsite in order to get back in, but after a short discussion with the bus driver, he decided to let us ride.
We all kept to the campsite later in the day, playing some of our favorite games like Qwirkle and Dutch Blitz. I had also brought our collector’s edition of Tokaido, which arrived just before we left, so I read through the new rules. Ian spent most of his time preparing a new Pathfinder campaign for Sean and I to play.
Turns out the antibiotics Erin had been prescribed were not needed as the test results came back clear of infection. They were almost impossible for her to get down and really were just making her more sick, so we all rejoiced to find that we could dump them down the drain. It would be a few more days before she was completely healthy again.