I was up around 7:30 and started the heater to warm the van. We left camp at 10:30 am and continued down the trail.
We planned ~25 miles of driving to the next camp. Most of the trail was pretty easy, but very rough. This kept us from going more that 5-10 mph. Every so often, there was a more difficult obstacle that require a little more care on getting through it. I finally put van into 4WD for a few spots and also lowered the air pressure in the tires (45 front, 60 rear).
We passed by several canyons and stopped for pictures. Monument Basin was particularly beautiful, with many interesting formations. Each canyon was enough different that I wanted to stop at all of them, but there was not enough time.
We went down the side trail to the White Crack campground. This campground is approximately 1/2 the way through the trail from the top of the Shaffer switchbacks to the top of the Mineral Bottom switchback. The campground had a nice view and was near the historic road that was blasted through the White Rim capstone. There is only a hiking trail now, but this is what gives the campground its name. By that time the cold front had started to arrive and it was overcast, windy and cold.
We continued north west on the trail, but it was pretty windy and cold. We made a few more stops and finally arrived at the Murphy’s Hogback. This is one of the two major climbs on the trail. The first “S” turn was a little challenging, but we made it through okay. After a short flat section, the main climb began. It was steep with a couple of large rocks to climb. There were a few narrow spots, but nothing that had me worried. With the van in low 4WD, I just climbed the hill. Coming over the top was a bit of a worry as you could not see the road in front of you. My biggest worry was someone coming down while we were going up.
At the top of the butte was the Murphy campground. We had the A campground, which was on the edge of the cliff and had nice views. It was the best site we saw. However, it was still overcast, and the wind was really blowing. We walked around and took a few pictures, but we were in our vans by 6 pm. I had beef stew for dinner and read until I went to sleep. That night it got pretty cold and was windy most of the night.
At 7:30 am it was 12 degree outside and 30 degrees in. But the wind wasn’t blowing and the sun was out, so it was not too bad.