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Old 09-24-2010, 10:44 AM   #71
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Hi Mike,
Looks like you made it home without incident...no big rocks jumped in front of your van again! We too enjoyed meeting everyone. It was a memorable trip for us.
Chris/Ruth
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:34 AM   #72
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Chris, I know you meant to type 'mac', not Mike.

It was surprising to have 6 vans with 6 different powertrains in one spot. from 2wd, to Salem-Kroger, Quadvan, Sportsmobile, Advanced 4wd, and Quigley!

And the people were fun also! And nobody fell off the 3000' cliff!

I'm at the Grand Canyon, no cellphone service, but the store has WiFi.

I'll be home in a week or so and will have more to say then.

Mike
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:44 PM   #73
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Mike....Mac....tomatoes....tomaaatoes! Came home to 100 degree temps. So glad we were able to aclimate in Toroweap.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:12 PM   #74
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

So, Chris, I suggest we meet up someplace cooler and closer to you guys next time -- maybe in the Sierras somewhere. I've never been to Yosemite or Kings Canyon.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:53 AM   #75
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Next time we plan on heading that direction I'll shoot you a note.
Chris
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:44 PM   #76
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Here's my trip report - I've added some pictures that I took.

Day 1: Leave Santa Clara and head through the Sierras. When I pass Tuolumne, the sigh says 'Camping Space Available' so I turn around and spend the night there. Really rough roads in the campground. Low of 24!

Day 2/3: Head down to Death Valley. Drive up to Mahogany Flats (8300'). Drive 10 miles past the 'No Trailers' sign with my little trailer. Hope for no Rangers. Steep, rough, very rough road. Trans temp hits 260. Stop and pour water over the radiator and continue. Camp alone. Next day hike up to 11,049' Telescope Peak (15 mile R/T). Spend a 2nd night.

Day 4: Drive to campground at Kolob Canyon as mentioned by Mac. No campground (it is on the Kolob Reservoir Road instead). Go back to Cedar City and stay at the KOA and grumble about the price. Wake up to find another SMB right next to me. He is on his laptop, so I talk to him about the forum. When I leave he is on the forum and has been for 30+ minutes.

Day 5: Drive up to Cedar Breaks. Nice little campground, limited hiking. Free, hot showers, free firewood.

Cedar City from Cedar Breaks

Brian Head Mtn from Cedar Breaks
Day 6: Drive up to Brian Head Mountain. Continue down to I-15 and back to Cedar Breaks for a 2nd night.

Cedar Breaks from Brian Head

Brian Head town from Brian Head Mtn.

Day 7/10: Get a campsite in Zion. Hike up to the West Rim for some great views. Next day hike up to Observation Point and look 600' down on Angel's Landing. Spend some time talking to Gail who has a Sportsmobile in the campground. Next day see a Sportsmobile cruising the campground. Run then down and find REF. Told him he could share my site and I walk back and don't see him. So I walk over to Gail's site and tell him where to go! They (Rick, Alex and ~3yo Lake) get settled in my site and see some bicycle friends and they come over and settle in also. The 6 of us spend 2 nights together, then I break off and head for Toroweap.

Day 11/13: Toroweap! Meet up with Chris and Ruth at the Many Wives Cafe in Hildale. Cruise down to Toroweap. The road in was in great condition. The road in the park was not! Get settled and get a visit from the camp host. Chris takes over site 8 (we have group site 10) because it has great shade and is a natural meeting place for the group. Hike to the rim in the heat of the day - bad idea. Later, REF shows up and we get his van leveled with about 12" of wood stacked up. Next day, Steve and Mac make it in - after Mac has to be winched off a big rock. No real damage done - except when Robert (Steve's friend) falls and scrapes his knee.
Great sunrises and sunsets. Warm days and great evenings. A Swiss couple shows up in a 4wd van! Much noise is made after dark playing a variation of Boche Ball with lighted balls (brought by Chris).

Sunrise at Toroweap

Chris at sunrise

REF at sunrise

The gathering spot

Mac's Flag


Day 14: Leave Toroweap. Everyone makes it out ok. Steve (and Robert) and I head to the North Rim. My reservation starts the next day, and there is no room at the inn. Still, we all use the showers. We walk over the Transept Trail to the lodge. Thunderstorms come and dump a buch of rain. Bribe to empoyee transport driver to take us to our vans. Then we head 20 miles back to De Motte campground outside the park. Again, it is full. But, the host directs us to a great little spot with canyon views about 6 miles up a good gravel road.

Mike and Steve boondocking

SMB at sunset

Day 15/18: Back to the North Rim. Hike down the Kaibab trail to the Supai Tunnel and back. Check into the campground. Walk back to the Lodge for a Ranger talk about Condors. Grab some Pizza and back to the campground. Burn some wood. Next day Steve and Robert head back to LA. Hike out to Uncle Jim Point (9 miles R/T).I tell the Ranger at the registration booth that I have extra space in case she sees someone in need. A Dutch couple come and spend the night. Nice people (Daphney and Johann) and they were very greatful. Next day they leave and get a young couple - Felix is from Germany, Austin is from Boulder, CO and they met in Australia. They spend two nights. A last hike out the Widforss trail (~12 miles).

Kaibab trail switchbacks from Uncle Jim Point. Yes, Steve we went down those - and back up them!

Day 19: Just heading home. How sad. Drive though Zion from the East. Stop in the campground and use the dump station. Spend the night at Cathedral Gorge State Park in NV.

Day 20: Drive across Nevada and up into Yosemite, hoping for another night at Tuolumne, but it is closed for the season. Head down to Porcupine Flats for the night.

Day 21: Head home.

Some nice color's in the Sierra's

Mike
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:09 PM   #77
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Glad you're home safe, Mike. Sounds like quite the trip. It was great meeting you and the rest of the gang at Toroweep. I've already checked into having my van lifted and the locking differential put on. With new tires and wheels it will be about $5000. I'll probably get it done next week. My wife and I are headed out tomorrow to either Zion or Pine Valley for two days of camping in the Sportsmobile. She's not real thrilled about having the van lifted. She likes it low to the ground so she can get in an out easily. I, of course, need the more manly looking vehicle.

One thing for the record, I'm pretty certain I said the Lava Point Campground was by Kolob Reservoir (and not in Kolob Canyon). As you discovered, Kolob Canyon and Kolob Reservoir are a long way apart and there is no camping in Kolob Canyon (unless they somehow close the gate at sunset and don't notice you are still in the canyon).

It was great camping with you. I hope our paths cross again soon.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:07 PM   #78
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Well Mac, what you said and what I read may not be the same thing. I'm not going to go back and read the message cause that was then and this is now. And it isn't important. Everything worked out in the end.

Mike
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:04 PM   #79
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

I was just kidding. Glad you had a great time.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:08 AM   #80
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Re: Get Together Around Vegas/Southern Utah in September 2010?

Thanks for the trip report Mike, we had a great time meeting and sharing stories and creating new ones with all of you. Thanks all for being so great with Lake and celebrating his 3rd birthday with us, he still gets excited talking about you guys. My first attempt at using my camp oven to bake brownies was not too shabby, gluten free to boot (thanks Ruth and Chris for letting me use your stove) Who knew we would also be sharing the area with a Swiss couple celebrating a birthday too! Our adventure continued, after setting off from toroweap following Steve out, we made our way to Lee's ferry, where we decided to stay at cliff dwellers lodge after checking out the unimpressive campground up the road, not that it was that bad, but after camping at a place like toroweap, camping under ugly metal shade structures was not what we felt like doing, so we opted for an ugly room with stained carpeting and a shower instead. I fished the next day, with no success, but did manage to spot a 4x4 van camped in the campgroud we had avoided, so we went to say hi. It was a couple from around Sedona, he wrote some articles for overland journal and we chatted up a bit about our vans, after which they told us about a couple with a Sportsmobile that was camping on the beach at lone rock on lake Powell outside of Page. Our plans to do the antelope slot canyon tour never hapened, maybe next time. We made our way to lone rock beach and found the other Sportsmobile camped near the end of a sea of rv's, trucks and toys. What a scene! We spent 2 nights with our new friends from Salt Lake before heading home, with a quick stop in Durango for some Thai food. There was even talk of putting together a trip to Alaska with them next summer, I will certainly post up as things materialize so that more can join us! Untill next time, adios...
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