May 17, 2021

From Tucson we first drove to Chandler to visit Alan, Jinhee and the twins. We had fun talking to them. I needed the kids to say I am the best uncle because have I visited them the most.

Later that afternoon we drove to North Phoenix and spent a few days with Hilda. We will see her in a few days, but we wanted to visit before heading home.

This morning we left Phoenix at 9 am and drove to Sedona. We had never been there before and were excited to see the town and do a few hikes. The scenic drive into town was very pretty, however, the reality of visiting Sedona hit us when we got close to town. The place was packed with people. We thought being Monday it be less crowded, but we were wrong. Everywhere we tried to visit had full parking lots. We were able to see the Chapel of the Holy Cross, but only after getting caught in a full parking lot and retreating to park 1/4 mile down the road from the entrance. We took several pictures from the road, but there were too many cars to make it very safe.

We thought we could go west of town to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead, but it was worst there with no where to park, so we skipped the hikes and hurried out of town. I say hurried, but we probably spent close to an hour in traffic as we passed through town.

Once we were out of town heading north, it was not nearly as crowded. The canyon drive was nice and we took a few pictures from the overlook at the head of the canyon.

After gassing up in Flagstaff, we continued north on Hwy 89A. We stopped at the Navajo Bridges which cross the Colorado River in Marble Canyon. 

From the bridges it was another 80-90 miles to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The road to the rim had just opened for the year two days previous, on Saturday and we hoped that we would get a campground in the national park, but at the entrance the campground was marked full, so we backtracked a few miles and found a camping spot in the Kaibab National Forest.

We are camped at almost 9000’ so we expect a cold night and morning. Tomorrow we have reserved a mule ride into the Grand Canyon, the ride starts at 7:30 am and they ask that we be 30 minutes early, so we will need to get up early and drive 20 more miles to the Grand Canyon lodge.

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