Grand Canyon 2018 Day 5 – Drive to Grand Canyon and glamping under the stars

We must either be tired or the bed was extremely comfy, but we woke up 9am – late! We had to move quickly and we were only ready to move out by 11am after our breakfast of cereals. Soon we checked out and found ourselves on our way towards Grand Canyon. As we drove, K fell asleep.

Lake Mead next to the road

2hrs into the drive, a pretty boring one at it, we reached the mid point in big town of Kingman. Pumped in $40 of gas before continuing down the highway to Grand Canyon.

We arrived into Williams, a quaint little old town that was part of the historic Route 66. Our car slowed down to a stop in front of an equally quaint little Western restaurant, Cruisers Route 66 cafe. We ordered a platter to share and chicken fillets for K and as typical American dish sizes, it was very filling, a 45ish price tag. Before we left, we took some photos with the surrounding decorations that hinted of Xmas. Though we would like to spend some time to explore this town, we had to leave as we were rushing for time.

Stretch of road that seemed to go on forever
Quaint little town
Cruisers Route 66
Inside the restaurant
Toilet with same theme
Platter and chicken fillets

We initially wanted to drop off our luggage at the accommodation first before proceeding to Grand Canyon but we had to change the plan and drove direct to Grand Canyon instead. The Autumn sunset was horribly early and we were literally chasing the sun to see the Grand Canyon. We arrived at the entrance and paid $35 per vehicle, a permit that would last for 7days. Then it was still quite some drive to the visitors center, along the way the cars stopped for wildlife crossing. By the time we finally arrived at the visitors center, the daylight had dimmed.

On the way to Grand Canyon
Wildlife crossing

Quickly I parked the car and as we were about to go, I couldn’t find the vehicle fob. Tried desperately to find but to no avail, and running against the setting sun, I surrendered and continued to get onto the walk path for Grand Canyon and leaving the car unlocked.

The visitors’ center was long closed by this time and the only point of reference for us was the map on the information board found on the walk path. Mather point it was, a prompt choice and we headed in the general direction in the hope of trying to catch a glimpse of whatever our eyes could master. The winds were strong and numbing cold in the plummeting temperatures without the sun. We arrived at the viewpoint and there were still a few people there, trying to see whatever there was to see, and quickly, we took some photos in the dark. Tried to call out to hear echoes but wasn’t successful. With the cold tolerance depleted, we returned quickly to the car.

Pano of the Grand Canyon

Then it was the return journey to our first family glamping experience, Under Canvas to check in, after a good 30mins drive in the dark. We missed the entrance the first time around and had to check website for the directions to drive in and it was to go through the museum carpark. In the dark, I drove cautiously guided by tiny lights on the ground, like fallen stars lining up a invisible path. Soon we saw a lighted up large tent and we knew have arrived. I went into the reception myself to do the check in with the nice staff who asked me about my day in which I replied that it wasn’t so well as I lost the car fob and didn’t get to see Grand Canyon. He advised that I should continue to check in my car cos the car can be started meant that the fob was still nearby.

Reception tent

We were brought to the car park near to our suite tent by the staff driving a buggy and we followed behind. We attempted to check if the fob was in our bags by moving away all our baggage and concluded that it was somewhere in the car. The staff then helped us move all our luggage to the tent itself as the walkpath wasn’t paved and not easy to maneuver in the dark. He also started the stove with me observing how it should be done in case I needed to do get it up again later on. The tent internal became quite smoky after starting up the fire and placing the dried logs into it but it wasn’t for long.

When we were finally settled with the stove, we went out to Grand Canyon Inn just across the street to get dinner, ordered grilled trout and chicken pasta which costed about 38ish. We packed the food and returned to the reception tent to eat. While I was buying dinner, mommy miraculously found the fob!

Grand Canyon Inn
Grand Canyon Inn Reception
Grand Canyon Inn restaurant

The tent was really nice to have dinner even in plunging temperatures on the outside. There were heated warmers which we sat next to to enjoy our meals which was pretty decent. K had to go to the loo to poo but there weren’t any nearby and the staff ferried both K and me to the nearest shared loo. There it was cold but somehow K managed his business and we were soon back at the reception, K laughing along the way as we sat at the back of the buggy.

Breakfast section
Nice and cosy chilling place
Fish Fillet

Then K and I went out to sit near the campfire (what’s camping without campfire!) to eat mash mellows and drink hot choco underneath the blanket of stars. We were offered crackers but I was not familiar with that recipe and declined. We didn’t stay long thought because as inexperienced I was with a campfire, we made a mess out of the soft mash mellows.

When we retuned to tent, we found the tent cold and the stove extinguished. Time to put what I had learnt into practice and we tried to start up the fire. There was fire but a lot more smoke! I had to ventilate the tent by flapping the tent covers furiously.

It was time to bath and the shower was something that I didn’t get on how to operate. There was hot water available but when water flowed, it was either too hot or too cold! Quickly gave K a quick shower since the tent was quite cold despite the stove. I skipped.

As mommy and K got into bed with storybooks, I spent some time outside to admire the universe of stars. Tried feebly to take some photos of clear night sky with my not so powerful camera. Until satisfied (and enough of the cold) then I went to bed.

Starry starry night
Orion clearly seen