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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Outfitter Trip Report: A Grand Adventure

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whazoo

Idahome

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Joined: 10/12/2007

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Posted: 03/27/09 08:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And Grand it definitely is, the Canyon I mean.

Destination: Confluence of the Little Colorado River with the Big Colorado River. To see the light blue travertine waters of the spring fed Little merge with the dark green of the Big. About a 20 mile walk one way. In the old days the Big River was always muddy. These days it's dark green as it comes out of the bottom of Lake Powell thru Glen Canyon Dam. It's not natural, but very beautiful just the same. We'll be tc camping the night before and after the walk-about to make the most of hiking time.

Having bought my tc almost 2 years ago now for many reasons incl. a base for backpacking, I fear I've become namby pamby as I've done only 2 backpack trips since. (I was tired of sleeping in the back of a Grand Cherokee at trailheads the night before and after a hike, and waking up with an out-of-shape body experience. Or is that out-of-body shape experience?)

So it's back to the Grand Canyon for me, accompanied this trip by my oldest daughter, Whazette, and my Whazson-in-law, Jay. Go figure, the Grand Whazoo in the Grand Canyon, I like it! Been there before, but it's been a couple of years now.

We stopped the evening before the hike at "The Desert Watchtower", built in the 1930's by a lady architect who wanted to emulate the tower cliff dwellings of the Anasazi, ancient people living in the Southwest many years ago. I don't know how many, I never studied philosophy, but I know it was many many years. There is also a gift shop at the front of the Tower for all things Grand. I will also tell you that you can climb spiral steps all the way to the top of the Tower for an exceptional Grand view. HOWEVER, during high tourist times as you climb ever higher, a certain soap commercial will ring in your head..."Aren't you glad you use Dial, and don't you wish everyone did?" There is no air circulation whatsoever! You've been warned...
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Later we drove around to Lipan Point, the start of the hike, to show the young couple how far we'd be hiking as you can see most of the 40 mile hike in the distance, 20 miles each way. They were undeterred so we took a few evening pictures using the classic Whazoo pose.
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Then it was time to head back out of the GC National Park to find a spot in the National Forest for the night. Nothing exceptional about the area except for being free and not in a campground. It's called "camping at large" and the term makes me feel as if we are indeed, campers "on the run".
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In the morning we are heading down the Tanner Trail, 9 miles to the Colorado River, a hike that turns your knees to pudding. I mean it's so steep that a slip here and we'll see you in the next life, with only a scant 2-3 miles of mild mannered trail and the rest nearly straight up and down. And in the shade there is still some frozen snow from the storm a month ago.
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After a mile on the side of this hill and you end up with one leg longer than the other, causing me to re-name my daughter Ilene.(?) Luckily they even up again on the way out.
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"Thar's gold in them thar hills", at least it looks like it to me as my favorite time of day comes on us when we get to the bottom of the trail.
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After a quick bite of something that resembles Top Ramen, it's time to get out the cameras...I'd swear that something in my Top Ramen moved. Couldn't be though, as I've removed all my worm infested backpacker food just last week.
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Leaving in the morning we have 5 miles on the Beamer Trail to our next camp for 2 nights. As there are some cliffs to climb, we are trepidacious.
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At this point here, we decide to call Jay's journal that he keeps...a ledger. I don't remember why.
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The red rocks seen across the river, as well as the ones we are walking on, are part of the "Grand Canyon Supergroup". With these rocks having an average age of 1190 million years old, I am feeling quite young again!
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Getting to our next camp in the area called "Palisades of the Desert" we discover some old mining activity as well as something that looks like salt. I tell Jay to lick it and see. Being a respectful son-in-law he did...
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causing him to pass out. To get him up and going again I bent over and whispered in his ear, "Double Whopper with fries and a coke." [image]

The next morning we have to get an early start to a 12 mile day hike to the confluence of the Little Colorado River and the Big Colorado. That means 6 miles across some fantastic cliffs 500 feet above the River. First picture here is looking back downriver towards camp in the shadows at River level.
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(picture from another trip to show color of River & cliffs)
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Getting close to the confluence I could see that we would be denied the water colors we had worked so hard to see. With the early heat wave we were experiencing in the southwest, the White Mountains that feed the Little Colorado River were shedding their layers of snow. That meant...mud! Here is a picture of that, followed by pictures from a trip 3 years ago to show what we were looking for. The Little Colorado comes in from the right...
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Stopping off at Mr. Beamers cabin, we try to imagine life as it was for a lonely ol guy. I could do it, but only with Mrs. Whazoo at my side. Come on, a guy needs a gal to make lunch!
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Very shortly we head back for camp, 6 cliff-studded miles away.
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Whazette Jen threads her way thru the rocks, what a chore!
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Cactus growing out of...a rock. What did Jeff Goldblum say in Jurassic Park? "Nature will find a way".
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And of course we make it back to camp just in time for, a family picture.
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Sitting by the River and feeling as if we are in a magnicifent outdoor church, I'd swear I could hear singing from the rafters. And there they were...
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We had front row(?) seating as they shot the rapids in front of us. And as the last raft went by with the occupants sitting backwards, it took me back to a certain old station wagon with the back facing rear seats, and a certain paper bag used for the curvy roads. No way could I run the Colorado River facing backwards!
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Loading up at 4 am to beat the heat as much as possible. We have a 10 mile hike out, with 3 major ascents.
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But first to get past these cliffs in the dark, how do you spell spooky?! The River is about a hundred feet below, after a few bounces.
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After it lightens up we're able to see the trail, but only when it crosses dirt.
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It took 2 hours to go the last mile to the top. Straight the hell up! How do you spell full body cramps?
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Of course reaching the top is no big deal. The heck it isn't!!!
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So after a grueling but weight losing hike, 8 lbs. in 5 days, we get to camp in our little home away from home again. "Oh how I love thee, my little Outfitter."
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When is a canyon not a canyon? When it's a gorge of course, as we stop at an overview of the Little Colorado River Gorge we did indeed gorge ourselves, on cokes, Ruffles and Entemines Doughnuts!
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Enjoying a gorgeous view of the gorge.
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So look, don't worry about those worms in my Top Ramen, I don't think there were any there.
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Thanks for reading,

Dave Rogers





Harleybullet

Holbrook, NY

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Posted: 03/27/09 08:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Greeeeeeeeeaaaaaaate

milo12

CA

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Posted: 03/27/09 09:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a great trip. Thanks for posting.

I love to see a fellow Oufitter owner out using their camper as it was intended to be used.

Was your truck left alone the time you were hiking? Any concerns?


My Outfitter Apex 9.5

hikerman

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 03/27/09 08:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sharing! Great trip.


2008 Monaco Cayman XL 35'
2014 Honda CR-V


cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 03/27/09 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic trip, pictures, and family, Dave.
(damn!! that looks like a long way back to the camper)


Cal


jmtandem

western nevada

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Posted: 03/27/09 09:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

as always, excellent!


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The Mad Norsky

Yankton, South Dakota

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Posted: 03/27/09 09:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You've done it again Whazoo!

Good grief lad, you could put a book together with all your adventures and sell tons of them. I'd sure get one!

Well done, as always.


The Mad Norsky, Doll, Logan and Rocky
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TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Posted: 03/27/09 09:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What an eye opening adventure. The family that hikes together, loses a lot of weight. Thanks for sharing sights I'll never see.


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Butch50

Bentonville, AR

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Posted: 03/27/09 10:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave,

I've been waiting a long time for your next adventure and it was worth the weight (pun intended). I would like to go with you sometime. I'm sure you need someone to guard the truck and camper with the Ruffles, Cokes and doughnuts in it while you are gone. Wouldn't want someone to come along and take them before you got back.[emoticon] I could have your easy chairs out and waiting when you got back.[emoticon]

Anyway as always another great trip and report.

Thanks


Butch

I try to always leave doubt to my ignorance rather than prove it

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weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 03/27/09 11:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures ! Awesome country ! Splendide (in french !)! Another different glance on this celebrate site, congratulations.
Thanks for sharing


FORD F250 LARIAT 4X4 DIESEL 2008
Lance 815 2007
France, Normandy

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