Determined to get up to date with our blogs before hitting the Grand Canyon for five days, we were up pretty early and taking turns on the laptop. Lizzie ventured across the road to the supermarket and brought back a feast of croissants and chocolate milk for breakfast. Once we were showered and packed, there was enough time for one more episode of Roswell High before hitting the road. Route 66 to Flagstaff wasn’t too exciting, and once there we detoured slightly to find a Starbucks. Due to the lack of internet the night before, we needed to finish our planning of the final few weeks, assure family and friends that although we were going to be incommunicado for a few days, that we were still alive, and to book somewhere to stay in Las Vegas after our 5 day stay in the Grand Canyon. After thoroughly outstaying our welcome (or so we felt anyway) at Starbucks, it was back to the car, for a final hour or so of Route 66 before heading north to the Grand Canyon. Arriving in Williams, we eventually found the supermarket and stocked up on food for the next few days, non perishable and edible without cooking being vital, since we assumed that there was a burn ban in place (as there has been elsewhere). It turned out that there wasn’t a burn ban, but buying charcoal and wood does end up pretty expensive, so we didn’t bother. The 60 or so miles north to the Grand Canyon was on a straight and boring road, much like the ones we have been driving on for a while now. Arriving at the entrance station, we presented our “America the Beautiful” pass, thus avoiding the $25 fee, and proceeded to the campsite. Lizzie’s navigation skills brought us to the entrance to the campsite in no time, where we parked the car and joined the queue to register. We both had to return to the car for jumpers as it was so cold. Although the queue was short, the Swiss girls in front of us had not noticed the “No RV sites available” sign and were asking lots of questions, we spent the time looking in apprehension at the forecast temperatures for the next few days. Eventually it was our turn, and after commenting that we were staying for a long time, the lady behind the desk gave us our car park pass and directed us to our site. As practiced as we are by now, putting the tent up was a quick affair, but anchoring proved slightly more difficult, why do they insist on making people camp on rock? After repositioning the tent several times, we got most of the pegs in, and secured the final troublesome line with a large rock, done! With everything set up, we ate a quick dinner at the campsite before heading over to the (now closed) visitor centre to find out what the “Ranger Led Program” was for the evening. It turned out that they had a guest speaker (a rare occurrence, or so we were told) who was giving a talk about astronomy. This sounded good, so we caught another shuttle bus (they run all around the main visitor area and to the trailheads, very useful) to Shrine of the Ages for the talk. It was really interesting and focused on how the National Parks are some of the best places to see the stars because there is so little light pollution. We were all given a star chart and the talk concluded with telescopes being put up in the car park for us to look at Saturn. They took some time to set up, but as we waited in the cold, a ranger and some of the lecturers students used laser pointers to show us different constellations. Eventually the telescopes were ready, and it was amazing to be able to see Saturn, however small and fuzzy it was in the view finder. After a short wait at the bus stop it was back to the campsite to get ready for bed. Several layers later, we were tucked into our freezing tent, for a very cold night.

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