Oct. 15-19: Monument Valley and Grand Canyon National Park South Rim

On October 15th – day 30 – we left the National Forest close to the Grand Canyon's North Rim, and drove back towards Page, AZ, stopping along the way at Lee's Ferry, part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Here, we refilled our waters, wandered around a little bit, and saw our second tarantula. When we arrived in Page from Lee's Ferry we headed to Dollar Tree where we loaded up on cheap dry foods, and then walked over to the Safeway where we grabbed our greens and protein. It was our most successful shop yet, where we got a plethora of groceries for only USD$40, saving a great amount of money.

Then, we headed towards Monument Valley, which is the quintessential western movie setting, and located right on the border of Arizona and Utah. I had images in my head of the valley that I wanted to capture, but upon arrival in the area, we were both a bit let down. We found the myriad of tacky signs, cost of entering the Navajo Tribal Park, the panhandlers at the gas stations, and the good amount of litter a bit of a turnoff. We decided not to go into the Tribal Park, and just take a few pictures from the highway (reflecting on this, I do wish we'd gone in). We then ate dinner along the side of the highway, and spent the night at the Burger King's parking lot in nearby Kayenta.

The next morning, we left Kayenta after a quick stop at McDonald's to use their wifi, and headed towards the Grand Canyon South Rim. We arrived in the South Rim after a few hours of driving, and did our laundry, showered, and spent some time on our computers. We were still a day early, so we spent the night in the nearby National Forest, free of charge.

The next day, we left the National Forest and headed to the South Rim's Desert View gas station, where we filled up and then checked out the historic tower at Desert View. From there, we drove to the visitor's center where we parked, and then checked it out. Then, we began walking the South Rim trail. We walked the trail for probably six or seven kilometres, from the visitor's center to Mohave Point. Walking the trail was a bit of a surreal experience, the grandeur of the canyon is otherworldly and a bit hard to comprehend. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful walk.

From Mohave Point, we caught the shuttle bus to the end of the line at Hermit's Rest. There we took a quick look around, hopped back on the shuttle bus, and travelled back to Bilbo at the visitor's center. From there, we drove to our campsite, checked in, and then walked to the Park Headquarters' Research Library where we spent half-an-hour on our computers.

We then walked to our campsite, made dinner, and fell asleep.

On day 33 (Oct. 18) we woke up after a somewhat cold and restless sleep at Mather Campground on the Grand Canyon's South Rim, and had a slower morning, making breakfast burritos as our first meal of the day. Then, we basically chilled out for quite a few hours as I caught up on long-behind blogs, and Danielle called her parents.

Danielle then went on a run along the Rim Trail, while I remained at the Market Plaza working on my computer. Eventually, I left the lodge where I was, and met Danielle in the village to get some icecream. After finishing our good but overpriced cones, we returned to the Market Plaza and watched the sunset from the rim nearby.

We walked back to our campsite in Mather Campground as darkness began to descend, stopping at the store to grab some firewood, a couple beverages, and most importantly, Jiffy Pop. We made hotdogs and Jiffy Pop around the fire, and then went to bed.

Our last day in the canyon (Oct. 19) was spent making pancakes, showering, and doing laundry. It had been a good few days in the park simply chilling out and not doing too much. We left the canyon and headed to Flagstaff, AZ, where we spent five hours at Starbucks working on our computers. As it got later, we headed to some BLM land just outside of town where we spend the night.

Follow along with our adventure in real time by clicking here.

Along the highway between Grand Canyon National Park North Rim and Page, AZ.

Monument Valley, AZ.

Danielle inside the Desert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon South Rim.

The Colorado from the Watchtower.

All along the watchtower.

The watchtower exterior.

Sun setting over the South Rim.