From December thru the end of February, you get to drive along the roads to all the viewpoints in your very own vehicle. As of March 1, you have to take the bus. Your vehicle is not allowed on some of the roads.
Personally, I like it when other folks drive. And, since it was only the beginning of the tourist season, the drivers were still pretty talkative. And since there was still snow on the ground, it wasn’t too hot to go outside. And since it still a few weeks before the busy season, it’s not crowded at all.
The sunsets were beautiful. Hiking down into the canyon for 1.5 miles was awesome, and only required about a quart of drinking water. The mules were friendly and didn’t smell bad at all when they passed us.
I was a little bothered by the altitude. It’s like 7000 feet. That’s like a mile and a quarter high. And I thought Denver would give me nosebleeds. But I was OK, and didn’t even get my usual high altitude headaches.
So here comes the other shoe. After all that hiking and stuff, it was finally time for a shower. Before the busy season, the showers close about sundown. So you actually have to forfeit part of your Grand Canyony experience in order to get clean. (Later on, when it’s much busier, the showers stay open till like 11pm. But by then it’s standing room only.) And that would have been really irritating, but I was kinda tired of being all Canyony, so taking time out for hygiene was a nice diversion.
Then you get into the showers, and it’s like $2 for 7 minutes. That’s less than a minute per quarter! And I was dirty!!! But it turns out, it’s pretty difficult to take an entire 7 minute shower, even if you have longish hair that needs rinsing. I had to turn off the water before the timer ran out because I was getting prunish, and my skin was becoming raw from all the scrubbing. So that was definitely a false alarm.
Here’s the one thing that I actually got pretty ticked off with about visiting the Grand Canyon: in the showers it’s mandatory soap-on-a-rope because there’s no place safe to set down your bar of soap. That’s right: there’s no soap tray or recessed cubby hole. You either keep it in your hand or you put it on the floor next to all those germs and mouldy things.
And boy am I upset about it. In a few weeks, once I calm down, I’m going to write my Congresscritters about the whole fiasco. At $2 for 7 minutes, it’s highway robbery not to include a safe soap resting place. The horror! The Humanity!
Maybe I should ask for a concession to sell personal soap slings from vending machines?