There are two more things that a cross country trip across the united states can’t go without, they are driving down rt. 66 and the Grand Canyon, and that’s what was on the agenda for today.
I woke up at 6:30 in the morning, and after a sad farewell to barrel roll, moosecharmer, and slappy (the trailnames of my friends) I was back on the road. I was fortunate to have some (rare for San diego) cloud cover as I left so the air was pretty cool. That didn’t last too long though as I moved up 15 towards 40 the air started heating up again. It wasn’t as bad as north of vegas (which I’ve now found out may have been as high as 120 farenheit!) so I just stayed hydrated and still made good time.
When I got to a town called Kingman, AZ off of I-40 where I was going to pick up 66, I started to notice big dark raonclouds filling up the sky ahead of me. These weren’t the single rainclouds that I’d run into previously, these really filled the sky and there was little chance now that the road would avoid them. Little more I could do though then to bundle up, put on my rainpants and keep going.
Turns out my luck was still sticking with me. As I drove down 66, I noticed that the road had recently been rained on, I was following behind this storm! I joined back 40 in a town called seligman and that’s when I finally got wet. It was really coming down, not as intense as my rain cloud in Ontario but this one clearly wasn’t going to let up.
After about 20 miles trailing behind in a car’s tracks and shivering uncontrollably, I pulled into a gas station in Ash Fork. There, I saw a motorcycle parked under an overhang and three people, two men and a woman, squeezed in together all wearing full matching bright yellow rainsuits. They had extremely thick southern accents and as I talked with them they would bicker about things like how women talked too much and men complained too much. I found out they were on their own cross country trip. They were going back home to West Virginia and they had also gone to San Diego.
It seems like I got really lucky. They had only come from Kingman today, about 50 miles because they got completely dumped on. They even started getting pelted by hailstones!
The rain had stopped and as I warmed up and ate a bit another guy on a bike pulled up entirely in black wearing what looked like a trenchcoat. I guess it was some kind of oil skin coat and he was still completely dry. He had come from the other direction, and eventhough we could see a patch of sky clearing up and coming our way, he told us there was another storm coming from the north and that was my cue.
I headed 20 more miles to Williams where the road to the grand canyon picks up. Being wet and thinking of the prospect of possibly more rain, I decided that if I could find a motel foe under $30 I would take it. Well turns out that on labor day weekend at the town at the entrance to the grand canyon, there really aren’t any good deals.
I got lucky though when at the last place I checked (where “low rates” apparently means $85) I was given directions to a free place to camp. So after another adventure winding through back roads, at one point inadvertantly following a group of people down a dirt road to their driveway I got to a nice spot with a bunch of RVs already camped out. So rather than spend 80 bucks I got a free camp spot right near the grand canyon and it’s stopped raining… for now.