|Distance||34.84 kms||21.75 miles|
|Climbed||411 meters||1,348 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||2.69||-|
|Avg speed||8 kph||-|
|Distance||25,134.64 kms||15,618.16 miles|
|Climbed||264,405 meters||867,470 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,780.77||-|
Sunday, April 6th, 2014
I know I’m not going far today so I’m in no rush to get going. I head up to the store first thing to get a cup of coffee and hang out for a while. I come back to the campsite to break everything down ever so slowly. I decide to make breakfast closer to the bathroom building so I can charge my laptop while I’m cooking. It’s tough to keep everything charged during a long stretch of camping; the most annoying thing about it is that it's usually ends up being unproductive time just sitting around waiting for things to charge up, which I don’t like to do.
I chat with a few people here and there in the village, by the time I actually start pedaling it’s already well past noon. I follow the east exit road and stop at all of the overlooks, invariably I end up chatting with someone each time as well. I was hoping there would be water at Grand View but no dice. I take a few pictures and keep going, thinking maybe I will ride back here to see the sunset if I can find somewhere to camp nearby. The guy at the visitor’s office the first day told me that there was a road not far past this point where I could get off into the National Forest. It’s not far from a car driver´s perspective, riding back here at night in this cold wouldn’t be fun so I ditch the idea of camping as close as I can to the road and just keep riding into the forest.
I stop at a kiosk to check out what it says when up walks Jake, a retired gentleman from Idaho who strikes up a conversation with me. He is camped close by in the woods with his wife in a camper van. The kiosk is for the Arizona Trail, I wonder out loud if it can be ridden by bicycle but say I don’t have enough water to be adventurous and he invites me to his campsite to fill up my bottles. I meet his wife, we chat for a while, super-nice people. She sends me off with a bag of goodies for the road.
I continue deeper into the forest when I spy a ridge that I think might have possibilities. I drag the bike up there and I can see the cliffs of the north rim of the canyon. The perfect campsite: free, alone for miles around, so much firewood I’m tripping over it, and a view of the canyon. I get a roaring blaze going to cook dinner and try to stay warm as night falls. It turns out that the meeting with Jake was very fortuitous because I’m already well into the water he gave me by the time I go to bed.