It’s just over two and a half hours to drive from Page to Grand Canyon Airport. This is for the big one. A helicopter flight over the most magnificent thing I’ve ever seen.

Our planned departure time allowed for an extra hour on the road. Rachel took some bits down to the car. I tapped the route into my phone. All was going to plan.

Then Rachel appeared. Distraught. “I’ve locked the keys in the boot” she semi-wailed. My mind went into a bizarre spin. We’ll miss the non-refundable helicopter flights. What’s the emergency Avis number as I’ve left it in the car? How do I ring an American number from my phone? We can call out the local version of the AA via Avis, hire a new car for the day and return later to collect our stuff.

These “solutions” ran through my head in about six seconds. Rachel stood there waiting for an angry outburst that never came.

We headed downstairs, Rachel returned in panic to the car. I stood in reception getting my plan in order. Find Avis number. Get a man out to sort our car out and leave key with reception. Hire a new car and bolt it to Grand Canyon, and back, and then onto Williams to end the day.

That’s a lot of hours on the road.

My thoughts turned to getting the reception staff to help with dialling strange USA numbers. Maybe a lift to nearby car hire. Still frozen, ideas slowly coming out in a sensible order. Then Rachel returns with a look of beautiful relief and a set of car keys. “The front door remained open!”. Saved. I didn’t think to ask how she opened the boot. She just had and we got on the road.

Making good time to Grand Canyon the car clock suddenly jumped forward an hour. And so did Rachel’s phone. The time difference between Utah and Arizona seems to have affected us even though we’ve not even been in Utah! WTF!

I work out that we’ll arrive six minutes after our flight departs. Little chance of making that time up but I put my foot down anyway. Several hundred dollars gone by misjudging time zones!

We cover the miles but only recover five minutes. Still going to be late. Then, as we turn west towards the Canyon a light show starts. Lightning. Thunder. Darkest of dark clouds. It’s spectacular. And scary. And might delay our flight! This could be great news!

As we got closer and closer to the Canyon, and the weather deteriorated further my mind was bouncing this one hour time difference around. One moment convinced we would be late. The next moment juggling the hour the other way convincing myself we’d be fine.

In the end, mind mushed, I think I’d decided we were good on time. Utah can do one. We parked up and went to check in for our flight. Excitingly we discovered “Mountain Time” does indeed exist at Grand Canyon and matched the time we thought it was. Then the punchline.

“I’m afraid the weather means you probably won’t be flying today”.

Screw car keys and time zones. The weather has done for us. Gutted.

Permanent Pins & Needles to Greet Monument Valley