Day 3 – Brakes in the Desert & the Grand Canyon

Made it this morning from Needles to Kingman in good time and got to (name withheld) brake shop just in time to wait for an hour for them to take a look. The mechanic had two speeds – and neither one of them was fast. He started removing the rear wheels and, when I told him it was the front brakes that were causing the problem, he replied, “Just doin’ my job, bubba!” Good thing there was a WalMart Supercenter across the street ‘cuz I had to kill a couple of hours.

It wasn’t a huge deal, but it did put me off my route and schedule enough to make me bypass Zion National Park. Oh well – next time. The good news is that it gave me more time to scout the Grand Canyon and find my setup locations for sunset. Getting to a motel earlier in the day also seemed like a good idea since I’m dog tired and was having a hard time staying awake at the wheel. Working too hard at having fun on my road trip? Nahh!

I am amazed at how little people really know about our own country. Case in point – I had a conversation with a woman this morning and was describing the road routes and places I would be visiting. When I mentioned the Texas Panhandle, she quickly cautioned me to keep and eye on the weather. Hurricane Alex was about to hit. She leaned in conspiratorially and said in a lower voice, “You may want to consider avoiding the coast and keeping up with the latest weather.” “In that case, I’ll be sure to stay a little further north,” I assured her. I think Hwy 40 should be “north enough”.

Finally got back on the road to the Grand Canyon. Between Kingman and Williams, Hwy 40 is pretty monotonous. I didn’t see any canyons up ahead – Grand or otherwise – but I have heard that you could drive a mile away from it and never see it. And it’s true. You don’t see the canyon until you step out on one of the paths. Wow!

View From the South Rim

Unfortunately, the light wasn’t very cooperative today. The thunderstorms over the canyon were beautiful but I just couldn’t capture the essence of what I saw and felt standing there on the rim.

Storm Over the Canyon

I waited around for sunset just in case. One of the park rangers told me that last night’s sunset was “spectacular” but tonight, not so much. Thanks.


Dawn at 5:15am. Maybe tomorrow will be better.


About Gary's Road Trip

Television Producer and Professional Photographer working with humanitarian organizations on behalf of the world's impoverished.
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