Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bleaky day, soon turn drunk...

It has rained on us off and on today, and is raining as I type. There is also thunder and lightning, so the dog is inconsolable.

Rain normally would not bother us, but Odyssey has several leaks, and some of them are actually pretty severe. In particular, the upper windshield was installed incorrectly (by a glazing subcontrator that we long since fired) and leaks quite badly, especially while traveling. We've gooped it up twice to no avail, and the ultimate solution will be to remove the trim, gouge out as much goop as possible, and inject BetaSeal into as much of the gap as we can expose. Since Odyssey was painted after the trim was installed, we will then need to have the paint touched up. We're hoping to have all this done in July when we return to Infinity.

In spite of the rain, we had a lovely drive from our wonderful camp spot last night to the Grand Canyon, where we are now (map). We are actually in the park service campground here, which is a stark contrast to our attempt to do just that at the south rim in April. The campground here technically has a 35' length limit, and is usually fully booked months in advance. Nevertheless, we stopped at the campground on our way in to the park and, notwithstanding the giant "Campground Full" sign right in front of him, asked the ranger if there was any way he could accommodate us. After seeing Odyssey he expressed grave doubts, but agreed to look at the list. It turned out there was a space available (due to a cancellation), but his chart said it was for a 27' rig. He invited us to check it out, though, and told us that we could have it if we could fit with all our wheels on the asphalt and nothing protruding into the road.

Now, as is often the case with these government campgrounds, the spec is far from reality: the space is actually a pull-through that could easily fit 50' or so of rig. I suspect that the lengths on the chart are for trailers, and they assume another 17'-20' or so of tow vehicle. We had to back into it, because a low tree precluded just pulling through, but otherwise Odyssey fit the space easily. The biggest problem we had was a handful of low branches on the loop road, but they were small and non-damaging.

You may recall that, in April, we had tried to get into the Mather campground on the south rim. We knew from experience that Odyssey could fit in many parts of this campground. Nevertheless, the rangers at Mather would cut no slack on the "max 30' motorhome" rule (even though trailer/tow vehicle rigs could be, ostensibly, any length). We're glad they are more flexible here. Also, note that it always pays to ask, even when the sign says "full."

Tonight we have dinner reservations at the Grand Canyon Lodge, which is a 1.2 mile hike from the campground.

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