Lesson Learned. Again.
I would have put a picture of an elk right here, but for today’s trip to do laundry and visit the dump station and get a few more tomatoes at the market inside the Grand Canyon in preparation for leaving tomorrow, I figured, “Hey, what would I need the camera for? I’m not visiting anything.”
On the way into the park, a couple of cars are pulled over because there were two elk a couple hundred feet off in the thin woods. Naturally, the people were taking pictures. I do my business in the park and leave. Lo and behold, I’m tootling along on a small road leaving the market, and three cars are stopped in the opposite lane. They’re stopped because there’s a standard-sized elk with a full set of moss-covered horns grazing right beside the road. And I don’t mean fifty or 100 feet down, I mean two feet from the edge of the pavement. Paid no attention at all to the cars.
Outside the park, a van has pulled over and a woman is photographing a few elk grazing in the woods. Back at the north end of Tusayan in the four-lane, the right lane is stopped completely. At first, I thought it was one heck of a 35 MPH chain reaction accident, which
of course made no sense. Then I see that people are on foot and milling around, going to and from their cars. Why? Off to the right in a very nearby clearing are several elk grazing. I could have clogged that lane better than any of ’em, but I have no camera. Lesson learned once more.
One of the things I did on this trip in was to haul in a discarded lounger that was crapping up the campsite next to me. I’m amazed that people will occasionally leave things out there where they stay, as if it will just decompose and go back to nature. There was also a residential-style window screen frame down the road in a bush, but I forgot to stop for it on the way to the park. They have dumpsters in the park, for those who don’t view campsites as their own personal toilet.
Before I left camp though, a county sheriff stopped by to remind me that no open fires are allowed. It has been extremely dry and windy ’round these parts, and a major fire has been having its way father south between Flagstaff and Sedona, he said. Mandatory citation if they catch anyone, but with all the signage, you’d have to be the kind of person who discards furniture at campsites to earn one. He was a young officer, real nice, and shook my hand after I told him I was about to return to Illinois the next day. Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that, but he did shake my hand as we said goodbye.
The market in the plaza is really quite something, as they not only have tourist souvenirs and gee-gaws, but camping equipment for rent. As you all know, I really enjoy spending money, and happened to spot the very same model of Victorinox folding utility knife (#39 Camper) that my mother had given me when I was a troubled teen. Handier than a gun at a knife fight. Had both stanley and phillips screwdriver tips, leather punch, can opener, bottle opener, two blades, etc. I had loaned it to a friend decades ago, who promptly lost it and couldn’t seem to remember ever borrowing it, whatever. I missed that knife, and nobody ever seemed to stock it. I’ve had others over the years, but they all had problems of one sort or another. So I bought this one. I was surprised to see a little Grand Canyon logo on it, but that will probably wear off in a couple of weeks. Oddly, even though she didn’t give me this new one, I remember Mammy every time I see it. Just as good. Now all I have to do is figure out how to properly rotate it with carrying my pappy’s old Case pocket knife that I’ve been using since. That reminds me of him. A pleasant problem. They kinda liked each other, so I don’t think there will be any jealousy. The Case is a very tough and high-quality knife, while the Victorinox is a no-nonsense problem-solver. I’m set for life.
I then spied a very nice Grand Canyon souvenir T-shirt with a cougar on it, and picked that up for my little grandson. I hope it fits. He’s almost three and I think it will fit, but at the rate he’s growing, I better not stretch out my return trip to my home turf.
Yesterday I made it to the airport on the bike just to see aircraft taking off and landing. Lots of people, it seemed to me. Oddly, after I returned home today, packed away the food and clean clothing, and began this article on my iPad, a car pulled up, people spilled out, and they began taking pictures and knocking on the door. Turns out they had just completed a helicopter tour and had flown over a weird TT with some big solar panels hanging off the side, making for a rather expensive awning. They thought it was notable enough that they actually hunted it down to investigate. See, one of them is another RVer who just picked up five big 230-watt solar panels. Sheesh! The Defiant’s funky setup is just weird enough to raise questions about the how and why of side-mounted solar panels. Naturally, I’m too lazy to explain much of the whole thing, and gave him the Strolling Amok blog address so he could dig through the 200-plus posts to find the one diamond in the cowpie that he needs. Once he reads that, he’ll know not to do what I’ve done.
Posts from this point on will be pretty thin and look a little odd (like this one), since the WordPress software for the iPad is a little gimpy. But since I hope (weather permitting) to stow the panels and drive a little for the next nine days, I don’t want the office battery pack to sit partially discharged over that length of time. (That”s one of the drawbacks of not having the panels mounted permanently on the roof – no recharging during transport.) So I’ll use the iPad, since that uses almost no electricity.