A pre Dawn (I am not sure who she is but I have seen her and Quel before, this is subtle by the way, think about it) get up and shockingly I have a flat tyre. An extra 30 minutes spent on this, yet another puncture from the reinforcing for car tyre walls.
We did not get away as early as we liked but made a good start, an excellent shoulder and easy cycling for the first 10 miles. Then two things happened firstly the road steepened considerable and secondly we gained a very gusting headwind.
The views were stunning as we gained height, you could see the Little Colorado River Canyon weaving it’s way along in the plain below. The climb though was proving very difficult and we went through a moment at lunchtime, this soon passed and we were off again.
Navajo roadside stalls (empty)
At 20 miles we got a short respite (the tall one was too fast and I could not catch it) and there was a nice down and we moved out of the Navajo Reservation into Kaibab National Forest and yes trees started to florish (well grow) here.
It was the final climb to the campground, the trees did a grand job of blocking the wind which made a huge difference. The Rulerman (or woman or person or transgender or …) as the road layout planner shall herforth be known as was working well here, huge straight roads again.
At 30 miles we entered the park and at 32.5 crossed the fee barriers, our passes purchased at the North Rim are still valid so we were waved through.
A final quarter of a mile to Desert View Campground, it was full but we were told to ask for Bill who would find us a place. Sure enough he did, site number 50 (the emergency overflow site, it was an emergency though, there was no chance of getting Janet to go another foot let alone 25 miles to the next site!)
One tent set up later, a quick shop visit and we were cooking on gas (or white gas to be precise).
We went for a walk to the viewpoint and visited the watchtower. The tower was built in 1932 designed by Mary Colter and is beautifully put together. For a change we stopped to see the sunset, only a short weight (as opposed to a long wait or striped paint) and we were disappointed, very poor tonight.