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Wednesday, April 27 - Grand Canyon National Park

38 low, 60 high.  As we came into Arizona again, we lost an hour, so we got up at 6:30 (early for us these days).  It was cloudy and cool, but as we found out that tomorrow was to be 44 high with snow in the afternoon, we got on the trail and tried to see all we could!  Lots of photo opportunities.  We really enjoyed hiking the rim trail (about 5 miles worth); not much up and down but staying close to the rim (sometimes VERY close) , and enjoying the brisk air. 

South Kaibab Trail

Grand Canyon Vista




The Rim Trail





Grand Canyon has shuttle buses on a 15-minute schedule like Zion, that you can catch whenever you want and bring you wherever you need to go.  We came back to the central "village and walked through the beautiful park lodges, and in and out of shops, then stopped to eat about 6 pm.  We are pooped, so after a stop at the grocery store, we're back at camp, trying to stay awake until bedtime.  Saw a white breasted nuthatch and a rock squirrel.  That's Patty in the next to last picture getting close to the edge to look at flowers...  What do you think of the last sign we saw when we needed to visit the bathroom and saw "family"?



Then, the storm.....




West Trails


Well, how do you follow that experience?


Thursday, April 28 - to Flagstaff

They said it would snow today...and it did! We attended  a well-done talk on the geology of the Grand Canyon about 10 am, and then we were going to walk the rim once more.  However, the wind was up and it hurt.  By the time we got back to the camper and ready to leave the park, it had started to snow.  We went towards Flagstaff because the muffler was making some noise and it needed someone to look at it.  In Flagstaff, the mechanic at Magic Muffler looked at the truck, and said it didn't need a new muffler...the main problem seemed to be the heat shield needed re-riveting.  But, he could not get to it before noon the next day.  It snowed on us all afternoon.  We parked at the Flagstaff mall, and spent some time there "shopping" where it was warm. Ed discovered Wi-Fi in a sitting area of the mall, and was happy uploading parts of the website.  When we came out at about 9:00 pm. there were a few inches of snow on the pavement and truck.

Friday, April 29 - muffler replacement  

35-65 today.  When we woke up, there was absolutely no trace of the snow.  We arrived at Magic Muffler about 11 am, and found the shop to be very busy.  We visited with a young man named Kenny, from Phoenix, who was having a new exhaust system put on his truck.  He knew the shop had a good reputation, and had made an appointment a week earlier to  come up to Flagstaff.  When the mechanic welded the heat shield, he told us there was still a problem with the muffler.  Unfortunately, he said, there was no replacement available because our muffler was a Banks muffler.  He could order one, and it would come in on Monday or Tuesday. 

Jehovah-Jireh, the God that provides, the One who sees ahead was already mightily at work.  It turns out that the muffler that Kenny just removed from his truck was in good shape and exactly what was needed on ours!  It would have been thrown away, but was readily welded onto our truck.  It was like a transplanted organ!  We were all excited - us to receive the muffler, and Kenny to give it to us.  It opened up an opportunity for us to witness to Kenny about God's all-knowing provision and goodness.  Patty witnessed to him, and as he said he needed to think some more on it, she told him to read a bible, and The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.  When we thanked him for the muffler, he told us that he may have received the greater gift.

We left Flagstaff about 3:30 pm, just after Gary Simmons called to say that Thelma Tidwell, Patty's aunt, had died in Reno, NV.  She was Patty's mother's only sibling, with her daughter, Donna, looking after her in the past few years.

 April 30 - Sedona

A short way out of Flagstaff, down Hwy 89A, we dropped 2500 ft to Sedona, where we found the Manzanita Forest Service campground on the famous Oak Creek Canyon. Trees!  Water!  Warmth! Birds! That's a balloon flower.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, and the private residence below.


Saturday, April 30 - Oak Creek Canyon

The campground host had lots of bird feeders, so we saw a few new grosbeak, painted redstart, acorn woodpecker.  We meet a nice couple, Dick and Paula Heaton, from near Sacramento, California, who also had an Alpenlite Camper, but somewhat bigger.  We visited Sedona, took a hike up Soldiers' Pass to the seven pools, then came back and got together with the Heatons for brats and marshmallows on the open campfire.   Spent another night at this campground.

One flower is called...prepare yourself...beakpod nippletwist!



At the end of the day, especially since it was Friday, it was difficult to find a we found a parking spot near the Colorado river (near=3 feet!) opposite a sandstone wall with many Fremont Indian petroglyphs.

We are collecting pictures of petroglyphs...perhaps soon we'll post them on this website.


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