Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
twolost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: WA (USA)
Posts: 402
Garage
May, 22 (Day 25)


Date (day): May, 22 (Day 25)
Source: Peach Springs, AZ
Destination: North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ
Travel Miles: 350
Resources: Campgrounds; Grand Canyon Lodge; North Rim Campground Map


Deviation from plan: Not wanting to get caught in a flurry of rafting activity early in the morning, I got up just about first light (4:30am), took a few pics, and then started getting my side of the fence ready to get out of there. One by one, the other members of our convoy began stirring around as well. Our family had a very long drive ahead of us to attempt to get back on schedule at the North Rim Campground, so by 6:30am we said our goodbyes and started the climb out of the canyon. About half way up (7:00am), we encountered the same policeman (who looked to be in a hurry to see if any of those vans were still on the river bank). Shortly thereafter, we encountered a couple trucks hauling rafts down to the same place that we just came from. Good timing.


Moment(s): We ended up back in Flagstaff to purchase fuel and grab a quick lunch. While my wife ran in to get some fast-food to go, I notice this kid walking through an adjacent vacant lot. Kid looked to be a male in his mid-teens. Nothing really stood out. Just a normal kid wearing a backpack, ear buds dangling down from his head (presumably plugged into some electronic device), carrying a bag of fast-food. If I had to guess, I would have assumed he was just walking to school (just like any other day). Then, without warning he picked his breakfast sandwich out of the bag, he unwrapped it, and then in one natural flip of the wrist he just discarded everything but the sandwich right there on the ground as if he did not have a care in the world. The path that he was on took him right past a garbage can (within two feet). He never looked up as he walked right past the garbage can and right past our van. I guess the thing that stunned me more than anything was just how natural it was for this kid to be so contemptuously oblivious. What I wanted to do was to get out of the van, grab the kid by the scruff of the neck, return him to his Hansel and Gretel moment, and then impress upon him the finer points of properly disposing of his packaging. What I did… was to watch this kid walk by our van (unchallenged) and simply continue on in this moment of his life without a concern in the world. My advice to this kid would be to not get too used to going through life unchallenged. Someday, that kind of ignorance and defiance is bound to catch up to you. My hope for you is that you live long enough to care and that you care long enough to become responsible.


One other noteable moment was when my wife’s new iPad III died. She had been reading the night before when she fell asleep and accidentally left it on all night. The battery drained to a point of no return (no boot of any kind, it was totally dead). We attempted to charge her iPad in the van off of the DC charger but had zero luck in resurrecting it. As my wife is an avid iPad user, this was not sitting very well with her. Turns out her iPad would be down for a few more days until we shocked it back to life using AC power.


Takeaway(s): The flexibility that we had built into our fully packed schedule had really been paying off. Having added a couple of buffer days at the start of our trip while in Moab; to having a few down days at Expo; to having a few stationary days at the North Rim Campground; we utilized all of these flexible buffer days for repairs or spontaneous adventure. Going into this trip, we knew that this was really a scouting mission. There was just too much to see and do to accomplish everything in the approximate 40 consecutive days that we had available. Establishing this trip as a scouting mission as much as anything else took some pressure off too as we knew that we were really just making notes for future trips into this area and fine tuning where we would like to spend more time. Other than a couple of missed days traveling the Flint Trail, everything was working out fantastic.


Sportsmobile Note(s): Once again, I had to clear the same diesel engine OBDII error codes that we had first seen on the White Rim Trial.


Camping along the Colorado




Diamond Creek Road




This type of cactus was only seen near the bottom of the canyon




Grand Canyon National Park; North Rim, Grand Canyon


North Rim Campground (campsite #5)


__________________

twolost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 06:24 PM   #52
Senior Member
 
twolost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: WA (USA)
Posts: 402
Garage
May, 23 (Day 26)


Date (day): May, 23 (Day 26)
Source: North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ
Destination: North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ (Point Imperial, Cape Royal, Point Sublime)
Travel Miles: 100
Resources: Uncle Jim Point; Mule Rides; Cape Royal; Grand Canyon NPS; Area Map


Deviation from plan: None, other than I would have liked to have spent more time tooling around off-road out by Point Sublime as well as the other nearby points.


Moment(s): Today was the day where my wife had pre-arranged to go on a mule ride (her first ever). I have known my wife for a number of years and I had no idea that she had some deep-seated inner bucket list that included riding a mule along the side of a cliff. Out of the 10,000 things I need to try (again) before I die, riding a mule still does not make that list. Thankfully, there were a couple of small details that ruled me out. 1) There were no child safety seats available on the mule ride. That meant that our daughter could not go along (the inference here being that somebody had to stay behind in order to watch her… me, me, me). 2) There was a weight limit of 200 lbs. The last time I was less than 200 lbs was when I was 15 years old. Luckily, the trails were too narrow to hook up two mule’s side-by-side in order to create a higher GVWR mule ‘dually’. Well, at around 7:00am we dropped my wife off at the North Rim Lodge pick-up location where she was scheduled to go on the half day trip to Uncle Jim’s Point. A shuttle van showed up to retrieve the dozen or so mule riders for the day and that was that. Not wanting to sit idle back at our campsite for half the day, I decided to drive my daughter out to Cape Royal and Point Imperial. The drive was nice and there were a few good viewpoints to checkout along the way. However, the highlight for the two of us was the trail out to Cape Royal Point (above Angels Window). Admittedly, not the safest place for a very inquisitive 2.5 year old… but between riding on my shoulders and having a tether to my daughters backpack we managed to safely explore all of the way out to the end of the trail and pretty much had the place to ourselves. We got back in the van and meandered our way back to the North Rim Lodge where we ultimately met back up with my wife. My wife was all smiles and said that even though she was the only one that had signed up for Uncle Jim’s Point; she had a great time too. Now that we were all back together, what’s next?


Well, we decided to first stop off at the North Rim Ranger Station in order to inquire about primitive camping at Toroweap/Tuweep, SB Point, and Kanab Point (our proposed schedule for the next few days). The ranger was very helpful and she arranged all of the required paperwork (permits) we needed for the next few days. I also indicated that we were thinking of going to go out to Point Sublime for the remainder of the day. The ranger said that while she had not personally checked on the road conditions so far this year she had heard reports of recent downfall and had informed me about the potential for high winds that remained in the area.


After leaving the ranger station with info and paperwork in hand, we headed out to Point Sublime (via the Point Sublime Trail). Wow, what an amazing road/trail system. We did encounter one rather large tree that had fallen across the road and blocked our access - which I proactively took care of. Throughout the course of the day we encountered one other Jeep Cherokee full of grouchy old duffers as well as a young couple in a Dodge truck with a camper (from Expo) who took advantage of this newly cleared route. The meadows, the dense forest, and the numerous overlooks were just awesome. We even encountered one lone remaining patch of snow. Thinking back on it, I would say that this was one of my favorite sections of our entire trip. Too bad we were note able to spend a few more days in this area. By the time we were leaving Point Sublime and headed back to our new campsite (campsite #11) at the North Rim Campground, it had already started to get dark. It was pitch black and blowing like crazy by the time we arrived back at our designated site. Even though this campsite was supposed to be one of the three best sites (due to its close proximity to the edge of the canyon) we never did get to spend any time in daylight hours to see what this spot was all about.


Takeaway(s): We will definitely make the time to explore the Point Sublime trail system and surrounding area in more detail on our next visit.


Sportsmobile Note(s): We had our daughter out all day long and only near the very end of the day did she start to let us know (verbally) that she had reached her limit and was getting really tired of riding around in her car seat. Having a step through, self-contained, vehicle was key to allowing us to service all of her needs throughout the duration of the day and this trip. What we accomplished in this very long day (and many days before) would not have been possible (IMHO) if we had a camper or trailer where we had to keep getting out of the cab to go and fetch something else in the living space; back and forth. The van configuration is about as close to perfect as I have come across with specific regard to seamless access to any interior area at any time. Additionally, with our specific Sportsmobile interior configuration, we have a hallway that extends all of the way to the back of the van… ensuring that we can access the entire interior (even while in motion). At this point, I would not even consider purchasing an overland vehicle that did not have some form of step through cab-to-cabin access.


Dad's travel buddy for the day. Overlanding is cool!!




Walhalla Overlook; along Cape Royal Drive




Angels Window




Point Imperial




Point Sublime Trail










View from Point Sublime











__________________

twolost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 07:17 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
twolost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: WA (USA)
Posts: 402
Garage
May, 24 (Day 27)


Date (day): May, 24 (Day 27)
Source: North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ
Destination: North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ (Toroweap Overlook)
Travel Miles: 150
Resources: Toroweap/Tuweep Area;


Deviation from plan: We had planned to stay at the North Rim Campground for a little while during the morning so that we could walk around the place a little. However, this plan took a back seat to the more hurried approach of getting up at 5:30am in order to get moving to our next destination, Toroweap. Toroweap has a first come first served camping area with a limited number of campsites (10) and there are no reservations, except for the single group site (site #10). As I was lying in bed and thinking about the days plan (and backup plans) I started to get a little apprehensive about our chances of actually getting a Toroweap campsite if we arrived at Toroweap too late in the day. We had about 150 miles to get there and half of these miles were reported to be intolerable washboard. Per the brochure, 25% of visitors experience one or more flat tires. My apprehension got the best of me and I lent a helping/encouraging hand in order to get the remainder of the van occupants up and on the road before 6:30am.


Our first stop was to top-off on diesel a Jacob Lake, AZ. The only entry I had in my notes was that "diesel was very expensive". Next, we stopped in at the Kaibab National Forest Ranger Station in Fredonia to check up on the local road conditions. As it had not rained in weeks and no rain was on the horizon, the roads were fine. As we were leaving the ranger station, we noticed a convoy of three overland vehicles heading our way. We proceeded to get out in front of them and then made a b-line straight for the Antelope Valley Road (our off-road entry to Toroweap). Because of my concern with obtaining one of the few campsites, we did not stop in Fredonia to stock up on supplies. While this was ok, we had plenty of food and water to survive; we probably should have stopped and purchased a few more pre-apocalyptic, perishable, moisture included (i.e. tasty) items. Once we turned onto Antelope Valley Road, the mini convoy of overland vehicles did not drop in behind us and they continued their travel on highway 389. Whew.


Moment(s): Washboard, washboard, washboard. I tried various speeds and all were equally intolerable. At something along the lines of 35mph, we shook, rattled, and rolled the sixty or so miles to our day’s destination. The only vehicle we encountered going in our direction was a KTM dual sport motorcycle. We also encountered about seven vehicles that were headed in the opposite direction. With so many leaving and nobody passing us, our hopes remained high that we would get a campsite. Our backup plan would have had us boondocking somewhere relatively nearby in the adjoining Kaibab National Forest. The trouble with that plan was that we would have had to drive back over the washboard again and again if I really wanted to see sunset and sunrise at Toroweap. As my fillings were about to rattle out of my head… I could not help but think that additional travel on this road would have gotten me voted out of the van by the other members of my family. Best not take that chance.


Once we pulled into the Toroweap campground, it was obvious that we were going to get a spot of some kind. Out of the nine sites available to us (site 10 is a group site that requires a reservation) there were only two sites taken. Sites 4 through 9 required driving down a small rock shelf/cluster that was a walk in the park for our van. As nobody had ventured past the rock obstacle, we had our pick of any 4 - 9 site we wanted. We chose site #6. Flat, open, and included a nearby tree that provided much needed shade above the picnic table. During the course of the day we watched several others try to navigate the rock obstacle (including a small car and 4x4 with camper) and they both failed. Only one other 4x4 made it down the obstacle when we were there. The others just parked their vehicles above the obstacle and hand carried their stuff into one of the available campsites.


After we got everything at camp setup, I unleashed our daughter from the confines of the van to go out explore our surroundings. While picking up a rock, my daughter also managed to get stuck with some sort of quill that was laying on the ground (about a half inch long, perhaps discarded from a cactus??). It was pretty painful, initially. I was able to get the quill out of her finger and we got the site of entry cleaned up right away. The odd thing was that she started to get very lethargic and she basically passed out a few minutes later. Coincidence? She really had us worried but all of her vitals seemed fine, she was just sleeping. She woke up a few hours later as fresh as a daisy. Looking back on it, there are times now when I wished that I had collected a Zip Lock full of these magic little nighty-night quills. I have my reasons.


Takeaway(s): The Toroweap campground is about a half mile away from the overlook. You can drive down to the overlook where there are picnic tables only a hundred feet away from the edge. The actual edge of the overlook is really quite impressive (and it is 3,000 feet straight down). I cautiously scampered along the bare rock edge for a little distance by myself that first evening in order to take in as much of the experience as I could. It was amazing.


Sportsmobile Note(s): My wife noticed that the floor of the van was getting wet and that the standing water was not coming from our cloth cooler. A little investigation turned up the fact that the water filter housing connected to our 22 gallon fresh water supply was leaking. I still had most of the 22 gallons in the tank but we were losing water at a rate where there was not much space between drips. I opened the drain valve to eliminate any pressure and then opened the water filter housing. Everything looked to be in order (the O-ring that sealed the two parts together was not cracked and seemed to be in fine shape), so I put the clear plastic housing back on the filter and screwed it down extra tight. I then closed the drain valve and checked for leaks again. It seemed to be sealed, for now. In the end, I would have to re-tighten this housing a few more times during this trip when we noticed that the leak started back up again.


Part of the Sunshine Route.


Interesting vegitation near campsite #7


Rock obstacle on a grade that kept most vehicles out (access to campsites 4 -10)


Campsite #6




Popular overlook location (a couple of tour company rafts can be seen on the river)









twolost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 08:21 PM   #54
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 7,860
Re: TWOLOST: May, 2012: UT + AZ trip report (report in progr

Man, you trying to see how close you can get your wife to the edge?


Herb
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #55
Senior Member
 
Aldercrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 461
Re: TWOLOST: May, 2012: UT + AZ trip report (report in progr

This trip report is great! I am drooling and reminiscing all at the same time. I love the photos and may have to "borrow" a few to help remember our trip on the White Rim a few years ago. Thanks for taking the time to put this together!

Jack
__________________
2002 E350 EB - Voyager top - 7.3 - Quigley 4WD
Aldercrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 10:23 PM   #56
Senior Member
 
twolost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: WA (USA)
Posts: 402
Garage
Re: TWOLOST: May, 2012: UT + AZ trip report (report in progr

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Man, you trying to see how close you can get your wife to the edge?


Herb

Haha... it seemed like much of our trip was on the un-fenced, un-signed, and un-chaperoned edge (just the way it should be). On day one of this trip, my wife would not have gone anywhere near the edge of anything. By the end of this trip, she would be riding a one eyed mule named 'Tony' along cliff edges in Bryce Canyon. According to my wife, Tony felt his way along the canyon by using the point-of-no-return side as trail braille. She's got one on me because - cliffs or not - I wont go anywhere near a mule.

Just a quick recount of standing on the edge at the Toroweap Overlook. The pic of my wife standing on the edge was taken early morning. At this time, there were wind gusts somewhere in the neighborhood of 50mph. Sand and small rocks would get carried along for the ride and pelt us like we had stepped into a bead blaster. These gusts would subside for 20 or 30 seconds and then come howling back for a minute or so. We used one of the calm moments to take this picture. It is 3,000 feet strait down from where she was standing.

As much - or maybe more - concerning than the winds were the occasional birds. Take a small bird the size of your fist and have it come blowing by your head at Mach 2 and the sound + shock wave it generates is enough to scare the hell out of anyone. Think, Randy Johnson fastball, up and in (while you are standing on a cliff at sunrise, dodging wind gusts and getting pelted by pieces of the eroding cliff you are standing on).

If you did not feel alive before you got there... it is a pretty safe bet to say that you will feel alive afterward.

Cheers,
TWOLOST + 1

twolost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 10:37 PM   #57
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,471
Re: TWOLOST: May, 2012: UT + AZ trip report (report in progr

This has been a wonderful stream of pictures. What a great trip. I'm sure the envy of everyone on the Forum.
__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 05:58 AM   #58
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 7,860
Re: TWOLOST: May, 2012: UT + AZ trip report (report in progr

BTW, how was the road out to Point Sublime? That's on my near term list of places to go with my teardrop trailer.


Herb
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
twolost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: WA (USA)
Posts: 402
Garage
Re: TWOLOST: May, 2012: UT + AZ trip report (report in progr


Road out to Point Sublime was fine. Of the two possible access roads, we took the access road that was the closest to the Bright Angel Point. In fact, I would say that this access road was one of my favorite drives of the whole trip (under the cool shade of the trees). When we went to inquire about permits, etc... the park ranger said that the road was snow free but to be aware of the possibility of new tree fall.

Cheers,
TWOLOST + 1


twolost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 10:17 AM   #60
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 7,860
Re: TWOLOST: May, 2012: UT + AZ trip report (report in progr

Quote:
Originally Posted by twolost

Road out to Point Sublime was fine. Of the two possible access roads, we took the access road that was the closest to the Bright Angel Point. In fact, I would say that this access road was one of my favorite drives of the whole trip (under the cool shade of the trees). When we went to inquire about permits, etc... the park ranger said that the road was snow free but to be aware of the possibility of new tree fall.

Cheers,
TWOLOST + 1


It's been recommended to me by a few people, that you need to go with a chainsaw, axe, or saw in case trees are blocking the road. Might be easier to drag the tree out of the way though.


Herb
__________________

__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Jiminy

Gooseberry

Tatonka

gephoto
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.