Roaming the Southwest Day 5: Grand Canyon South Rim, Laundry, and Pizza!

This morning at the Grand Canyon South Rim, we awoke to find that the rental car’s leaky tire was now totally flat. But before dealing with that, we hit up Maswik Food Court for some breakfast. They have cooked to order eggs, omelets, breakfast burritos, etc. and everything is priced about $7 to $9 which is pretty fair. They also offer bottomless coffee which you can put in a to-go cup too.

So after getting a sufficient dose of caffeine, we put the spare tire on the 300C, threw the flat tire in the trunk, and drove over to the Grand Canyon’s “Garage”. While the garage is clearly intended to service the park’s vehicles, they also do emergency tire and battery repairs for park guests. It cost $20 to have the screw hole patched and they do it the professional way – from the inside – not a “plug”. Sorry, I didn’t take any photos of the garage’s fascinating waiting room.

Car trouble taken care of, we set off to walk the entire length of the rim trail to the west of the Bright Angel Lodge, about 8 miles one-way. Today was extremely windy – we heard that gusts got up to 50mph – so the trail was deserted of people. But we were lucky enough to encounter about a dozen mountain goats on a ledge below which was cool.

Grand canyon south rim trail
View from the Rim Trail.
Grand Canyon rim trail
Your author looking grumpy from walking four hours in tropical storm force winds.

At the end of the rim trail is the Hermits Rest building which has bathrooms, a snack bar, etc. From here, you can take a free shuttle bus back to the village if you don’t wish to walk back, which we certainly didn’t! Upon returning to the village mid-afternoon, we decided to use the downtime to wash a load of laundry since we only ever travel with small carry-on bags and usually run low on essentials.

The laundry facility is located at the Mather campground which is far enough away to have to drive. After getting the wash started, we drove to the visitors center to catch a ranger-led presentation about wildlife at the grand canyon. This presentation turned out to be a real hoot since it was held outdoors in the blustery wind and the ranger, a self-professed sci-fi geek, had a bunch of props made from paper towel tubes and aluminum foil (yes, seriously).

Following the surprisingly memorable wildlife talk, we made a quick stop at the Tusayan General Store to pick up a couple beers. This is truly a full-scale grocery store with meat, produce, frozen food, hardware, the whole nine yards and the prices are actually reasonable considering that they have such a captive audience. The beer selection is quite good as well.

grand canyon laundry
Mather Campground laundry, which also has showers. Thrilling, I know!

 

Back at the laundromat, we put our stuff in the dryer and drank IPA’s from paper bags at a picnic table as the sun went down. I actually managed to polish off an entire bomber of Lagunitas Hop Stoopid before the dryer cycle finished. Awesome! Colleen decided to go local with LumberYard’s Flagstaff IPA, which was solid, but kinda dry/straw and almost like a session, which belies it’s 90 IBU’s. As an aside, the gold can vaguely reminded me of Miller High Life.

For supper tonight, we hit up the “Pizza Pub” at Maswik Lodge, which I quite enjoyed. It wasn’t best pizza ever but it was certainly respectable. I would stick with whole pies if you can because the slices seemed to sit around for a while under warming lamps getting rubbery.

Maswik Pizza Pub
Maswik Pizza Pub.

Beer-wise, Maswik Pizza Pub six tap handles, half devoted to macros and the other half being local crafts. We tried LumberYard’s Bright Angel IPA and Grand Canyon Brewing Company’s Black Iron IPA. We both found them to be fairly similar, with a slight edge to the Bright Angel (single hop citra) for being juicier and less malty than Black Iron.