Saturday, September 1, 2012

9/1 Biking the Grand Canyon

I have not had much opportunity or ambition to ride my bike so far on my trip, but I did bring it along.  Bike rack is very easy to get bike on and off, and the bike does not swing or move at all while driving:

Yesterday, I rode into the almost-deserted Mather Campground.  Ranger said it would be full today, but I am too tired to check it out again.  There are over 300 spread out camping spots.  Even though it has no hookups at all, it is definitely the nicest campground in the area, with large and wooded camping spots.  I remember camping here when the kids were small:

Then, I took a very nice bike path into the main tourist area around Bright Angel Lodge.  Very wide and good asphalt.

Today, I tried to ride from Trailer Village to the bike path near the visitor center, but took a wrong turn and ended up at the market, so I hopped a bus and had it take me to the visitor center.  Shuttle buses have bike racks on the front, like this.  Took me a while to figure out how they worked, but got some help from drivers.

Rode 2.5 miles along the east rim bike path from the visitor center to the start of the Kaibab Trail.  This intersection, at least was well marked.  Took the bus home, as I was really worn out from only  5 miles total riding.  Altitude is a killer, made even harder by the slightest of grades.  Glad I did it, however, as it was really beautiful and peaceful along the rim and the woods to get there.  Picked up a pint of Cherry Garcia to treat myself on the way home. 

Weather was perfect today for bike riding--high of 75 with occasional clouds and a nice, cool breeze. 

Darn!  Should have taken a photo of  one of the water bottle refill stations!  Water for this whole community, including the hotels and campgrounds, comes all the way from springs on the north rim through pipes.  (It is stored in huge tanks near the trailer village where I am camping. I was told tanks store 2 weeks supply because the pipes in the canyon keep breaking and need repair.) At various places along the rim and visitor centers, they have water refill stations where you can get fresh, spring water for water bottles.  Water is not sold at all in the park in plastic bottles, so they encourage you to refill at these stations.  Water is ice cold and tastes terrific! 

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