No, not Cameron Diaz ! This is a small town in the middle of nowhere, east of the Grand Canyon. It used to be a trading station, and now people continue to live here, having forgotten why.
Leaving the canyon village a bit late – it takes me a long time to break camp – I rode along the south rim in the forest, with an occasional, and always spectacular, view on the canyon.
At some point on the way, I encountered a warning sign “cougar – next 10 miles”. I didn’t stick around to check. Instead of a cougar, I saw two female elks just by the road. They are supposed to be cranky at this time of the year, to protect their babies, so I didn’t stick around either. As for squirrels, they’re too busy signing autographs by the village.
The last point east is Desert View, where, true to American museum logic, a tower was built *recently* to *simulate* what *might have been* ancient Indian constructions. There’s another set of impressive views there, including the Vermilion Cliffs where I’m supposed to go, in the far distance.
Next was a very long way down along the little Colorado river gorges, much more entrenched than the canyon downstream. I encountered another cyclist going up all the distance I just rode down, and I was feeling for him. And all this time, lots of headwind, then sidewind, then tailwind, and I was feeling like a weather vane ! The sun was hitting pretty hard already, and I hurried to Cameron. The whole area looks even more like a desert than Nevada.