Well we headed west. We are currently sitting in Trailer Village about 7200 feet up in the Grand Canyon National Park. It was pretty cool seeing the girls faces as we twisted and turned our way into the park. Ashley looked out the passenger side window and saw a small gorge for the Little Colorado River and asked if that was the Grand Canyon, I said, “kinda.”
We then crept into the ranger station and paid our fees, $30.00 bucks, kinda steep but then again this is one of the seven wonders of the world. I was excited to get to the entrance as I thought the driving was almost complete. I had been driving all day as we left from Albuquerque, NM and headed into Page, AZ. On that note Page was our intended destination for the day. But that is one of the amazing byproducts of this lifestyle. While in route we said, “hey, lets go see the Grand Canyon.” So we did, we turned left when the plan was to go straight. Back to the entrance, I asked the Ranger what our “boondocking” options where like and received a less than stellar response, “zero”. My goal was to avoid paying camping fees whenever possible, hence the solar and other upgrades to the RV. He then laid on me what at the time seemed devastating, we still had 22 miles of twisty, ice patched, and slow driving to go.
As we made our way past the entrance we saw a sign that said “first look at the Grand Canyon 500ft. ahead.” I called to the girls to look out of the right side of the coach, thus fulfilling my dream of saying “this is your captain speaking, if you look out of the right side of the plane…..”
The sound of the gasp and glee was pure delight for me. The thought of the $30.00 and the next 22 miles faded instantly and I was struck into silence at the shear sight of my daughters eyes as she looked out of the huge RV windshield at what was sure to be one of the most amazing things her young eyes have laid upon.
While the experience was amazing for three of us, one was struggling. You see Ashley, while brave like a lioness and fierce as a grizzly protecting her cubs, is a wee bit afraid of heights. When I say afraid I mean grappling with the seatbelt, making it as tight as possible, all the while refusing to look to her right and see this amazing vista. When I was able to coax her into a sneak peak it would be followed by tightly closed eyes and rhythmic slow breathing in an attempt to quell her fears. So as any good husband would do, I tried to get her to look as much as possible. 🙂
So we arrived at our destination Trailer Village RV park, the only thing open and able to accommodate the size rig we have. I looked at the sign and my heart sunk, $44.00 per night! The checkin station was closed so we found an open site and settled in for the night. The park was tight, everyone was stacked on top of one another, I was surprised to see so many RVs here. It was a balmy 27 degrees when we parked and the site was snow and ice covered. The water spigot was frozen and the sewer dump snow covered, but hey we were on top of the world.
The next morning I slipped out trying not to wake the girls and headed over to the check in station and paid the fees for the next two days of camping. I wanted to try and escape with only paying for one night, but then I remembered the time and gas that it took to get here and I didn’t want to sell that short by cheaping out on some camping.
I headed back to the “house” (we are trying to use that term as opposed to camper, it makes it feel more like home) to find the girls bustling around and begging to go see the sights. After a bit of breakfest we headed to the vistor’s center, that led us to our first glimpse of the canyon, Mather Point. It was just as amazing this time as it was almost 20 years ago when I was a freshman at Pattonville Sr. High School on a trip to compete in the National Speech and Debate Tournament. Our government teacher insisted that we see the Canyon, a gift that I will forever be grateful to Mr. Schulte for.
The girls where awestruck, they were taken aback by the sight before them, mean while Ashley was standing just close enough to see, but not to close. 🙂
I was able to photograph the canyon and really enjoyed the day with the girls. So all in all it was an amazing day, but the best was yet to come…
To be continued.
Author: Zachary Rackovan
I am a 33 year old father of two amazing daughters! I am lucky to be married to the most amazing wife in the world. I am a retired Detective and currently pursuing my dream of living on the road with my family, while working as a professional photographer. My work can be found at www.abi-photo.com/art