Easter Saturday, April 11
The US$70 train journey was enjoyable but I only got to see part of the canyon for about 10 minutes. The rest of the day it snowed and sleeted. This is better than rain which just soaks in. At least with snow you have a chance to brush it off. I had decided that this was probably better than trying to ride the bike out there – but that would have been impossible anyway.
Our host in Carriage G, Joe, was affable and amusing and kept everyone amused and informed. On the way back we had some outlaws stage a holdup but the sherrif was soon on their tail – not very enthusiastically it seemed. It kept the kids amused.
I wandered around, caught the shuttle to the visitor’s centre, went to the book store and generally tried to fill in time. I recall the Steve Martin movie Grand Canyon but no major revelations came to me. Lucky I have seen the canyon before otherwise I could have been bitterly disappointed.
Back in town at 6.45pm i stopped at a restaurant for dinner and was surprised to find that the chicken and rice soup was also full of vegetables and was most probably the healthiest thing I have eaten in the USA on this trip so far. I balanced this out by having the country fried chicken and fries as the main.
I passed the motel the Germans were staying in last night and they were gone. I cannot believe they got out. I don’t think they could have made it to the Grand Canyon today. If they did they are madder than I am. They said that they were heading to Kingman and Las Vegas so I might see them again on the way.
For a brief while in Joshua Tree I thought about camping because the national park allowed it and the sites looked great but put that out of my mind for another time. But you could do an incredibly cheap trip if you didn’t mind camping a few days a week. Also, if you can plan your trip so you are not in a tourist destination on Fridays or Saturdays you can also save a heap of money.
Good to get an email from Gerald at Byron’s Bluesfest. You’ll never hear me mention the fact that it rains in Byron at Easter. I have been berated enough about that in the past. but that’s another story.
It is perhaps a complete coincidence that I received an email from Lloyd Williams (Petit Louis) who travelled with me by motorcycle throughout Europe for 4 months in 1976! I have not heard from him in at least 25 years so it was nice to be in contact again.
Here I am on another bike journey 33 years later. The difference then was that I was able to carry my entire worldly possessions on the bike with Lloyd and his gear. And I still had room to fit in a radio cassette recorder (remember them) that I bought in Andorra.
Tomorrow, I hope to get out of Williams and reach Las Vegas. Williams is a lot livelier than I recall from our first visit here in early 1984, where we got a flat battery in the rental car and had to replace it. It was fogged in at the canyon then and we had to go back the next day. I had thought of going around to the north rim but the road is closed until May and it is a 1,000 feet higher and a lot colder.
The top temp today was 41F with a low tonight of 30F. I hope it warms up a little before I leave.