Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Having no idea when I would arrive at the Grand Canyon, I didn’t apply for a backcountry permit in advance and therefore have to obtain a walk-in permit. The process is as follows: You wait for the backcountry office to open in the morning, accompanied by a group of other twitchy backpackers, and are assigned a number based on your order of arrival. In that order you’re called to the counter to request campsites. If your campsite isn’t available, you’re assigned a number for the next day, so if you come as number 4 on Monday and don’t get the site you want, you’ll receive number 1-3 for Tuesday. Simple and fair, unlike the stupid Coyote Buttes lottery system (someone losttt). I was a distant number 8 today and couldn’t reserve a site, but tomorrow I’ll be number 2.
I’m fine with the delay since Grand Canyon Village is awesome! It’s filled with happy travellers and everything is free, from presentations to shuttle buses to museums. Recycling bins are everywhere, the toilets inform me not to drink from them since they make use of reclaimed water (damn, I was really looking forwards to that toilet water) and the scourge of bottled water is banned. Hallelujah.