Grand Canyon and Horse Shoe Bend

April 27th, 2013

day 3,

I survive the night without being murdered and I am happy to be alive mostly because of avoiding the accident yesterday, not because I actually thought I escaped murder.  I set off quite early and eat/freshen up at a supermarket in Williams, Arizona; the gateway to the Grand Canyon.

A couple of hours later I am reminded once again how small I am and my mind gets taken to different places while I relax and have lunch on a secluded flat rock jutting out into the canyon.  I love just spending time in front of great views and peaceful areas.  Throughout my life I have always managed to find spots around me where I can spend time alone and feel the influence of a view, whether it be a river, cityscape, mountain, valley, beach, etc..

grand canyon

I want to make decent time to be able to meet people I know in Utah so I say good bye to my spot and move on.  About an hour later I am taken aback when I find a second Grand Canyon a couple thousand feet lower in elevation northeast of where I previously had my picnic.  I can’t resist pulling over and soaking a bit of that in too.

"mini" grand canyon

I continue and and fight the wind in the dusty desert for hours until I get to Page, Arizona to see Horse Shoe Bend.  It’s getting close to sunset and I debate taking the hike to see it because I still need to find a place to camp.  I decide to push my luck and stressfully run the trail, see the view, be quickly amazed, snap a couple of photos and rush back to start searching for a spot.  I’m worried now cause sun is running out so I take the first dirt path off the road and charge it.  The next thing I know, the path turns to deep sand and my bike is laying in it.  Luckily no injuries for me or the bike but now I have to deal with getting it and me out of there and still finding a place to camp.  I dig out a path to be able to pick up enough initial speed and  momentum to get going through the sand again.  I turn the bike around, stop it right there and set up camp about ten feet away from the crash site.  I get everything set up just as the sun dips behind the distant mountains in the west.  That was close.

I read some desert survival techniques in my survival guide to put me a little more at ease even though I could easily walk to the highway for help if I really needed it.  I am glad I have much experience hitchhiking and surviving with no money so the fear of breaking down or getting things stolen is not as great.  I have another paranoid night and finally fall asleep.

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