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Old 07-25-2018, 11:43 PM   #1
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Maiden Voyage (Picture heavy)

Hi All! This is John and Janet (with Patrick and Bodhi, our dogs)
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and we want to share our first van road trip!
Days 1-5

We started from Southern CA in our 2007 Ford E350 EB and headed for Potato Patch Campground near Jerome, AZ. Jerome is a great town with lots of dog friendly patios at local restaurants. The famous 89A with its 158 turns taught us that we needed a better place for our large dog to ride - he was sliding all over the place. The next day we added velcro to the bottom of his bed and the floor and we were in business.

On the third day we headed to Scott Reservoir Campground (not the best place we've ever stayed). The puddle in the campground from the storm was deeper than the reservoir!

Then on through Pie Town (we highly recommend a stop here to buy pie) to Sant Fe and a two night hotel stay.

To be continued . . .

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Old 07-26-2018, 12:37 AM   #2
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Maiden Voyage 2 (still picture heavy)

Days 6-7

From Santa Fe we headed northeast to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge for a quick photo op then on to the Chaco Canyon Cultural Center. Reviews complain about the washboard road into this park, but the van (4wd with lift) handled it with no problem. If you look carefully you can see that we were camped with ancient ruins just a ways away - too cool. The ruins in the canyon are amazing!

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The next day we had reason to use the 4wd and lockers as we followed google maps route over the mountain on the dirt Three Turkey Road (Rt. 7) to Canyon de Chelly. It would have been no problem, except for the hail storm and heavy rain. We lost traction several times and I was turning the wheel while sliding in the opposite direction! All part of the adventure. Check out the mud on the van.
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Old 07-26-2018, 12:54 AM   #3
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Maiden Voyage 3 (pics again!)

Days 8-10

The following night we spent at a dispersed camping site along the San Juan River near Mexican Hat.(The goat you see was feeding across the river - it is wearing some sort of collar).

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When we left Mexican Hat, we had another drive through incredible scenery in Monument Valley over the San Juan River Bridge and up the Moki Dugway to another dispersed camping site at Mulkey Point, overlooking Moki Dugout.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:45 AM   #4
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Maiden Voyage 4

Days 9-11

Days 10 & 11

The drive down the Moki Dugway (gravel with pavement at each of the hairpin turns) was as exciting as the ride up, especially since I don't like heights!
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Next we headed over a very rough road (4wd required for the last couple of miles) to Alstrom Point overlooking Lake Powell. (Look at the top of the rock in the second picture and you will see the van).
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It was really, really, hot, so instead of camping there we headed toward the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and stayed at Jacob Lake. The next day we listened to google maps again and ended up on NF269. According to a local, it is the narrowest road on the mountain. It was barely wide enough for the van (We took bark off of a few trees and stopped to hold up trees and break branches!) We thought there would be body damage, but luckily there was not.
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:07 AM   #5
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Maiden Voyage 5 (almost there - still lots of pictures)

Days 11-13

We continued on (and stopped using google maps and returned to motion X where you can see the difference between a trail and a fire road) to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and camped at the North Rim campground which has trails with beautiful views of the GC. Janet saw a deer on the trail in the morning.
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We saw a herd of bison as we drove along the highway and then we went off road again to a primitive campsite at Indian Hollow Campground. Thunder River Trail at the end of the road has great views of the GC.

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We stopped at Crazy Jugs point for a last look at the GC.
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We headed west toward Las Vegas and stopped for a look a the Valley of Fire in the 120 degree heat on our way back to CA.
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I hope we didn't get too carried away here, but it was a fantastic trip and we wanted to share!
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:00 AM   #6
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Awesome trip. Great photos. Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:15 PM   #7
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Not carried away at all. Great trip report and my favorite part of the forum. Thanks.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:44 PM   #8
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looks like you had a fun adventure. Obviously you're excited to share the experience...they only get better!

We all learn from the trips we take the first year. Your photo of the Van in the rain brought back a fond memory from one our first trips. At first, I never really thought we would use ours much, until the first rain encounter that lasted the better part of 3 days - We quickly found the awning to be convenient and very useful.
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:06 PM   #9
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Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. We took that same picture at Crazy Jug this summer.

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Old 07-31-2018, 08:32 PM   #10
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Shower curtains and magnets then a tarp and bungees worked in a pinch, but a real awning is definitely on the list!!
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