05 June 2009

This time, last year

Grand Canyon North Rim

We spent the last two nights of the Road Trip at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The first day we got there, we set up camp, hiked for a few hours, and then enjoyed a very nice evening by the fire. We thought the best way to end the trip would be to roast hot dogs and marshmallows on the fire our last night before coming home. 

The next day we hiked around the North Rim; it was sunny with no signs of any storm all day long. When we came back to camp and started the fire, the sky grew ominous, and then... dumped monsoon type rain drops, then hail, and finally snow. We climbed in the tent, listened to the thunder, rain, hail, and then the silence that comes with a snowfall.

We started to worry about roasting our dinner when the hail turned into snow with no signs of letting up. This was not just an early summer storm. We also had nothing to eat other than what we had planed to cook on the fire and a of couple apples. We waited. Finally, after reading, playing cards, and some general thumb twiddling, we gave up and had our hot dogs unroasted in the tent. It was one of the most unappetizing meals I have ever had. 

At the camp ground, we were one of only two groups sleeping in a tent. Everyone else had campers or RVs. The couple right next to us was watching TV inside their RV, probably admiring the snow fall! I cursed them (my comments becoming increasingly inappropriate) each time I had to climb out of the tent to go to the bathroom and then shake the snow off of me before I got back into the tent.

We spent the night listening to the storm and arguing about wether we should just leave and drive back in the middle of the night. At one point a thunderous crash woke us up - it was still snowing. We spent a while trying to figure out if something fell on top of the Jeep, but neither of us wanted to get out of our sleeping bags to see. The next morning I saw it: a 5 foot long, 1 foot wide branch had fallen about six inches away from the tent. At least the car was OK.

We got up around 4 the next morning and, in near silence, literally threw everything into the car (we didn't even bother to fold the tent after we took out the poles). The other two guys who also spent the night in their tent were rolling up their camp just as hurriedly and grumpily as we were. All the other bastards were still asleep in their warm campers and RVs. I didn't mention the giant branch to Brad until we were 3 hours away drinking coffee and eating McMuffins, thinking it best not to start the "we should have just left last night" argument before we had something to eat.

Not exactly the way we wanted to end the Road Trip. But, the June snow was pretty....

dinner in the tent - cold hot dogs, cold beer, and apples - and heavy duty sweaters, hats, and gloves. We never did open up the marshmallows. 
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