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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > GMC/Outfitter trip to Strip Country, very long!!

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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 05/18/08 05:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well this here trip report covers a small area of strip country which ain't no nudist colony but the Arizona Strip. (Sorry, but a week in this area will have you talkin like a cowboy too!) The largest, most remote and unpopulated section left in the lower 48. Being self-reliant here is a must, that's where man-truck comes in. That and my extreme preparations taken for the trip. Needless to say after eating a full box of donuts in a short time I feel like a 10lb. sausage in a 5lb. wrapper. Mrs. Whazoo does not eat donuts, so they're all mine.
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Before hitting the Toroweap Road we came upon this sign. Now when I was younger I was good with figures, math too, but this just didn't add up.
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After some research on the 61 mile Toroweap Road, most articles warned of flat tires. Having done thousands of miles of dirt roads in my life without a flat, I wondered how can this be. I have to say the road looked well graded, well traveled and well, flat. One of the best dirt roads I have seen. Yet at 2.3 miles Lynn and I heard this psst, psst, psst and immediately knew, flat damn tire. So after a quick tire change we headed for Kanab, Utah. It was one of those "My kingdom was lost for lack of a horse" kind of things. For lack of a full size spare, and no equal size used tires around, I ended up with a brand new set of "Neatos." However, they only had 3 on hand and a used Toyo the same size. They ordered a new Neato for me to arrive in a few days, when we headed out of the Strip. This would be Serendipitous!

We soon realized that as well traveled as it was, this road could shake the bend out of the river. I mean that if you're all "bound up" from traveling this road will shake it loose. If you think you're rig rides good, think again. And it still amazes me how a road can look so flat forever and then drop right into canyon country.
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The first destination is one of the access points to the Tuckup Trail in the Grand Canyon, and a 7 mile round trip hike to Shaman's Gallery. One of the oldest know panels of pictographs in the U.S., with the oldest of several layers thought to be older than the pyramids. That would be arouind 4 thousand years. I'm not sure but I think Dick Clark was a teenager about then.

Finding the road is tuff, with the only description something like "turn left at the first cattle pond and stay on most used road till dead juniper on right and turn left." Very surprisingly we hit it first time, but you don't know it till you hit the trailhead after 3 hours of dirt road. And a great camping spot it is with not another soul around.
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Heading out for the morning hike I am giddy, the effects of cowboy coffee surging through my veins. Lynn and I can't believe the flowers still in bloom at the higher desert altitudes. Like me, I figure them to be late bloomers. And the hike will drop almost 2 thousand feet in 3.5 miles, with flowers all the way.
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Lynn discovers a rock with things on it that we later research in Kanab and find to be sea life from 273 million years ago. That's a lot of candles on the birth day cake.
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The "Gallery" is quite hard to spot so we are all eyes once in the general area. The fear of not finding them after all the effort is nagging us, but again luck is on our side and we spot them under a rock overhang. Many pictures are taken! As I reach out to touch them with my dirty, sweaty and oily hands I hear Mrs. Whazoo say "Shaman on you Whazoo, Shaman!" But of course I know better than to touch, only goofin.
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And here we have the new model of quilted down sleeping bag for 2008...BC!
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The hike up helps burn off the donuts, and a great nap helps improve the outlook on life. We love having 12 windows in our Outfitter, with all but 2 able to open with screens, to access the many breezes that come through.
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Time to load up and head for Toroweap, know also as Tuweap. The only place in the length of the Grand Canyon to be able to look down 3 thousand feet at the Colorado River below. (Except for the new River Walk on the Indian Reservation.) But first, we just need to get passed this dust bowl!! And believe it or not, I am going less than 10mph.You be smokin Whazoo!
[image]

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Then you hit the Toroweap Ranger Station, built in 1934. (No, no more Dick Clark jokes.)
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And here I am, still trying to "make the grade."
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The view and solitude of Toroweap is incredible. And having never been one afraid of heights, while looking straight down at the river a certain muscle is distinctly in pucker mode. So I whistled. What ever you do, don't sneeze...
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Here are some random shots of camp and the Canyon.
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The lava flow on the right is from Vulcans Throne, an old volcano. Key word old.
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And here is the "Throne." Vulcan's that is. I could probably fit on it though, after all those donuts.
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So that night after dinner Mrs. Whazoo, ever the prankster, asks me what I'd like for desert after all that dirt road driving so far. I just said "surprise me." Can you believe the nerve of that girl?
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In the morning after running amok with the camera and a hike along the rim, it's time to pack up and head for the Nampaweap Petroglyphs. Along the way I catch 4 bull snakes and a horny toad as they cross the road. I feel like Marlin Perkins, and we pause now for this from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
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And of course more flowers. The Toroweap Valley looks like the Botanical Garden today, complete with a blooming idiot running through the fields taking way too many pictures.
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And as we drive along I am thinking about all these names like Toroweap. Tuweap, Nampaweap, and Parunuweap. I am thinking that the folks that lived here long before were in real touch with their sensitive selves. And maybe after a big fight all the warriors got together for a good cry. Later on I will have my own name for this area!

Finally we find Nampaweap and a short hike leads us to the pictos. I have to tell you that upon first spotting a single pictograph they then just jump out at you, being on virtually every smooth face of rock you see. It's incredible and Mrs. Whazoo says these folks were bored. Really bored. I figure they were teenagers doing what they do best, then and now, "tagging" the rocks.
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Boy this is a long trip report. Maybe it would have best been done in 2 parts? But I'll keep going at the moment.

We leave Nampaweap for a quick, haha, run back to Kanab for my other Nitto. (I hate that name but love the tires. Sounds like something your kid gets on their heads in elementry school) Using OnStar to call from 40 miles out on Toroweap Road, 54 miles from Kanab, I talk to Aron at Kanab Tire to tell him we're running late and won't make it by the time they close. He tells me they'll wait and to head on in. What service from small town America.

But wait! What's that sound? Psst, psst, psst. Can you believe it, another flat to be fixed. And as I'm flixing the fat a lady rancher and sons comes by and asks if I need help. Says she won't run "the road" without TWO full size spares. Now I know, next time I'll bring 2 cans of "spare tire." And as for the "serendipity", the flat was the used Toyo and not one of my new Nittos. God does have a sense of humor, I think.

After hitting Kanab Tire, (I love those guys, they had even given me 2 cell numbers if I had trouble on Sunday and could call out, they'd come get us!!!), I was depressed at the out lay of cash and so had to stop for more...donuts.

OK...part 2 later. I think I'm having carp-something-or-other-tunnels.

Thanks for reading this far.
Dave Rogers

* This post was last edited 05/19/08 11:17pm by whazoo *   View edit history





cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 05/18/08 05:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unbelievable, Dave. I'm looking forward to following your tracks.

Cal


Cal


palmwhit

Arizona

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Posted: 05/18/08 05:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EXCELLENT! Loved the narrative and photographs. Thanks.

bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 05/18/08 06:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, thanks....

Guess you will never remove all the dust!!!!

Jim


2000 2500 9.6 Bigfoot,94 F250, Vision 19.5, Mich 245/70XDS2's, Bilstein shocks, air bags/pump, EU2000, PD 9260,Lifeline 100ah, 200W. solar, Morningstar Sunsaver 15A/ display panel, Trimetric, Delorme/laptop, Holux gps rec,led lights, Wave-3 heat.

rhode trip

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Posted: 05/18/08 06:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, dave. Looking forward to part 2


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FarcticOx

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Posted: 05/18/08 06:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh that's a keeper. Great post, thanks


FarcticOx

Run Silent, Run Deep
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Nemo667

Louisiana

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Posted: 05/18/08 06:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave...looks good so far pardner. ...Dang it, I'm talkin like a cowboy too. Pics are great as usual...thank you for that. Good luck with that tunnel thingy problem. [emoticon]

Ben


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TroyD

Orange County

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Posted: 05/18/08 06:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thats the way a post should be done.

Great job.

Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 05/18/08 06:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The lack of acrophobia on the part of you and Mrs. Whazoo is as amazing as your gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing!

tom_kat

way upstate new york/lake george area

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Posted: 05/18/08 08:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

great photos and post.


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