GCA is Grand Canyon Association and it is the reason I traveled to the GCNP North Rim this year. Just as one might support the High museum or Atlanta Symphony, I was a supporter of the Grand Canyon National Park. I was so impressed with my visit in 2015 to the south rim, that as I purchased a souvenir, I joined the GCA (after quality conversation with a retired nurse behind the counter). I received a quarterly newsletter and then about a month ago, I received this email from the GCA volunteer coordinator that GCA was putting together a team of volunteers to work with the NPS on the north rim. I jumped at the chance to see the north rim. So for a small fee, I signed up and then wondered for weeks how I would get there. From Sunday, May 29 at 4 pm to Saturday June 4 10am, I would be a volunteer again supporting a cause I believed in. I was worried about my age at first, but was encouraged to check out the videos on line from previous groups. (Ok, I might fit in). I wondered if I would fit into the group (another fear of mine) but knew that based on the Global X trip, God would be with me. I wondered if I should drive or fly and did not decide until the last minute, having checked flights to Las Vegas, LAX, Phoenix and Flagstaff, even Amarillo, then car rental. It was going to be logistical nightmare. I realized that I needed a lot of clothes and gear that I don’t think I could have done with out. I packed the SUV with some food, gorp, refillable water bottles (no cases of disposable, would need too much) and clothes, tent, sleeping bag, pillow, CDs, maps, books. As it turned out I forgot to bring a lawn chair, should have brought an air mattress and more jeans/work clothes. I was never able to do laundry, (thank goodness I brought enough underwear). I should have brought Trek and actually went through separation anxiety (next time, he goes with me).
I met the group and staff/leaders on Sunday at 4pm, where we were provided our instructions and agenda for the week. Also learned about the history of the park, and volunteering for the NPS. I had received an agenda via email also before I left, so had some idea for the week. There were free showers for park staff near the admin building or $1.50 / 3 minutes at the campground; free laundry (it’s a hassle doing laundry, too much to see and do). We were shown where to park and then it was time to put up our individual tents. Thank goodness, Sarah, my daughter in law had shown me how to put up my tent. The others were professional campers! Really! 4 man tents, organized containers of stuff, coolers, lawn chairs, lanterns, head lamps, etc. I felt like such a novice. It took me about 15 minutes to set up and organize my stuff. It took the others about 30 minutes cause they had lots of stuff (including the air pump that is electric to pump up the air mattress, some 3/4 size (not a twin)! I learned a lot about camping out of my truck! Too bad the showers and laundry were not in our area; plus we needed to use port-a-potties.
Supper was at 6pm each evening, it was nice to sit down to a hot meal. Every thing was cooked outside out of a trailer by 2 other volunteers for the week, Debbie and Leanne. Thanks, ladies, it was so good! We just walked about a hundred feet to the dinner table, eating under the stars/ or sun. Plenty to eat!