Flashback Photo Fridays: Camping on the edge!

My how the weeks pass!

It’s Friday which means it’s time for another post in my new Series Flashback Photo Fridays where I  reflect on my travels by selecting a photo and share a story, a moment or a feeling about a place!

My first visit to the Grand Canyon, I had the luxury of time and a willing and flexible travel companion, my brother who was ok with only having an outline of where we may stay and where we may end up. We opted for the less visited side, the North Rim, that’s only 10 miles from the South as the raven flies  but 215 miles/346 km and 5 hours driving from the South entrance.

It was 3 in the afternoon and we had just stalked up on ice and cold cuts but without any idea where we’d set up our tent for the night. By chance, we stumbled upon a tourist office and figured if anyone knew best,the rangers stationed at the office would know! With big smiles and their National Park service olive-green uniform, two upbeat rangers greeted us as if it was their first day on the job, happy to give us information and shiny maps! What do you know? There’s a free campground on the edge of the North side rim. The only catch: You have to drive 25 miles on a gravel road and its first come-first serve, plus no services! ( Who needs a toilet, anyway? Squat and go!)

The road to the edge of the rim, North Rim Grand Canyon

The road to the edge of the rim, North Rim Grand Canyon

What beautiful timing!

As the sun beat down on us on a Mid-August day with the air-conditioner blasting, we looked at each other and said, “Why not?” and off we went driving like turtles in hopes of a campsite.

Why hello there! How are ya?

Why hello there! How are ya?

Luck was on our side with only one campground left as new neighbors seem to give us the eye, “whatcha doing here? You heard about this cool spot too?

We quickly set up our tent and took a walk on the rim just as the sun was setting. What a beautiful place! Completely disconnected from our phones, city noise and sounds of traffic completely immersed in nature only hearing birds chirping and crickets singing!

Vistas from a Northern Rim trail by our campsite

Vistas from a Northern Rim trail by our campsite

Have you ever taken a road trip without many plans or knowing where you were going to stay? Were you pleasantly surprised?


See other Flasback photo Fridays: here and here


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2 thoughts on “Flashback Photo Fridays: Camping on the edge!

  1. Yes and yes! Just a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were in Oakland lamenting how all our friends had flaked out on us. I looked at him, said “Let’s get out of town!”, and just like that we drove to Nevada City in the middle of the California gold country. It was such a great spontaneous decision. We found a cheap but colorful motel to stay the night in and had an amazing getaway weekend!

  2. Love that cow!!

    One weekend Richard and I decided to head up to Bodega Bay area on his motorcycle to spend the night somewhere. It was mid-April on his birthday so we didn’t expect crowds. Neither of us knew the area and wanted to explore. It was his idea to be spontaneous. There was really no place that appealed to us in Bodega Bay so we kept driving to Jenner, a tiny speck of a town located on the coast where the Russian River meets the sea.

    We were lucky to find River’s End in Jenner, a beautifully situated five-star restaurant in the middle of no where, with 5 cabins to rent. One was available. It was really a miracle since we had no idea it existed. We enjoyed a fine dining experience with a view of whales spouting out in the sea. It was magical to say the least. Finding the unexpected is the fun part of any adventure.

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