• The Microtourists

Hot Zone

We should have listened to whoever it was that suggested June was not the best time to visit

Arizona. Who would have thought, right? We left our spot in the Gila National Forest, where large

Ponderosa Pines were shading us and a small creek was running though our camp site, and headed for

Arizona. We arrived two hours later at a campground in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest where it

was so hot the lake that was supposed to be there had dried up. Welcome to Arizona. Luckily we were

only there for a night before heading north to Flagstaff, and an electric hookup at Woody Mountain RV

Park where we could blast the AC.

It seemed to be unusually dry in Arizona, most locals telling us how long it had been since the

last rain and all fire precautions available were in full effect. The Forest Service had gone so far as to

close all hiking and other activity in the National Forests around Flagstaff because of the high fire risk.

This prevented us from doing our favorite activity, hiking, and so we were forced to resort to our second

favorite activity, Happy Hour.

With our town needs taken care of we headed out to some of the local breweries where dogs

are allowed. Olive slept by our feet as we sampled some of the town’s local flavors. It was about 9

o’clock when we found ourselves at a small brewery that announced trivia would start in 10 minutes.

We wasted no time in signing up.

"What was John Jameson's profession before he made his fortune

selling Jameson Irish Whiskey?" Lawyer! "Wrong, he was a Watchmaker."

"A 'blessing' is the collective noun given to which fabled creature? A doggie! "Wrong, a unicorn."

What was the name of the longest ship in the world between 1858 and 1899? The Titanic! "Wrong, S.S. Great Eastern."

...needless to say we did not take home any prizes that evening.

We departed for the Grand Canyon in the morning after downloading a trivia app on our phone

to practice on the drive. You never know when your next shot will be. We found a shaded spot in the Kaibab National Forest a couple miles south of the Grand Canyon entrance. Having set up the R-Pod we headed into the park for our first look. Ron Swanson once said “Crying: Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.” and we will tell you it wasn’t sweat running down our faces. It truly is an impressive site. We didn’t think it would be as glorious or breathtaking as it was. You gain perspective into how small you are, and how big the world really is as you peer over the edge of that magnificent crevasse. Since we aren’t much for crowds we decided to pick a trail a couple miles west of the main visitor’s center for our second day. It was a great choice and we only saw four other people the entire hike, compared to roughly 30,000 at the visitor’s center. We walked along a dirt path for about a mile before emerging on the canyon rim. There were several great spots to take pictures and it was both peaceful and relaxing without the crowds. If you ever choose to go there, let us know and we will send you the trail info, until then we will keep that little secret to ourselves! We headed into Grand Canyon Village at sunset to gaze outward with the throngs of visitors, as the last rays of the day sparkled into the canyon. It was worth the crowds to see something like that.

The final stop in Arizona was Page. We camped just West of Lake Powell in the open desert. It

was roughly 100 degrees both days and the nights weren’t much cooler. We spent most of our time

with our folding chairs in the water down on the sandy shores of Lake Powell. It’s safe to say this was

probably everyone’s happiest time in Arizona. The water providing an escape from the heat, the little

waves breaking on our feet as we sat. After two nights of laying sprawled out naked in the camper we

had had enough. We packed up our stuff and headed north to Utah. We know we didn’t get to see the best side of Arizona and we hope to return another time, preferably in the winter. If anyone is wondering, we can vouch, June is not the best time to visit Arizona.