What a shock to read your news...... I am very saddened to hear of Dons passing, and I offer my sincerest condolences as you come to terms with the incredible loss you must feel. Although I never met Don personally, we exchanged multiple private messages, and it was obvious we share a deep and abiding love for the incredible beauty of the region we call home.
I have enjoyed each and every narrative that you and Don have blessed with us here on RV.net, and I hope the memories you keep of the good times will help you through this very challenging time. May you be at peace knowing that many of us here will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
I won't be camping at the Expo (kind of silly since the darned thing is literally in my backyard) but I'm up for a show-up or a meet-down, or whatever. Last years event was definitely a worthwhile experience, with lots of interesting sights and sounds.
All participants, please be aware that the venue is located at about 7000 feet above sea level, and that spring weather here in Northern Arizona is notoriously fickle. Could be gorgeous, and it could be winter, or maybe even a little of both.
And in the unlikely event the great Whazoo is indisposed due to relocation or other factors, I would be happy to offer my services as guide/trip leader to one of the MANY outstanding destinations found in the area.
Dave and family,
Thank you for your moving and heartfelt tribute to Bear and the life you had together.
I am truly fortunate to be a member of the human tribe that shares their lives with dogs. My family has always had one or more canine companions, and my earliest memories are of warm dog breath and oversized teeth. Throughout the years I have continued that hallowed practice, repeating the cycle of rearing puppies into adult dogs that accompany me wherever and whenever possible.
When the inevitable end comes, as it must in the unfair balance of human and dog life, it is all the more heartbreaking and sad because the dog has given everything it has over the years, while our commitment is made thinking our time together will last forever. Only in the end do we realize how much more we have received than given, and it hurts when we have to say goodbye to the most selfless and devoted friends we'll ever know.
My sincerest condolences to your family on the loss of a true and faithful companion. As you know, time will eventually erode the deepest pain and you will be able to reflect on the best memories without the sudden stab of grief. Wait a while as you pay homage to the memory of a great dog, then do the best thing a man can do - go save another dog on the Rez.
Eric and Wyatt the Wonderdog (a rescue from a year ago today)
Having posted a trip report or two myself and finding it harder and harder to keep "one upping" myself in production value, I can fully understand and sympathize with your withdrawal from the arena. You have left a distinctive stamp on the TR genre, one that is unlikely to ever be equaled and certainly not ever surpassed. You can retire with dignity and honor good sir.
May the sun always shine in your face and the wind be at your back. Happy Trails to you and Mrs. Whazoo!
Wanting to be able to hit the TX/NC beaches and some sandy off road trails out west in 2013 which will require airing down the tires. So for my Christmas present to myself, want to get a small but good air compressor this year.
For the exact same reason I just bought a VIAIR 450P compressor from Amazon. At $300.00 it's not cheap, but it has 100% duty cycle and I believe it is the best portable compressor out there.
VIAIR 450P portable compressor
Thanks for the great essay on storms, including some gorgeous pictures. Those visiting the desert Southwest would do well to heed the threat of rain and possible flash flooding, especially since it doesn't have to be raining on you to present a danger.
I love rain and a good electrical storm, but I have learned to dread it when I'm miles down a remote dirt road in this region - clay is NOT your friend!
Wonderful to see the Dark Canyon Plateau and Beef Basin area again.... it's been too long since I visited. The truth is there are simply too many amazing places to see and not nearly enough time.
Your TRs (and this one in particular) are truly a labor of love. I can see you hunched over your computer, cackling away like the madman you are as you compose a witty and thoroughly entertaining narrative - As someone here observed, you probably enjoy creating these prosaic works almost as much as you enjoy being out there.
Thanks for the hard work and obvious enthusiasm.
Now that I'm stuck at home for the next 5 months I am grateful for the chance to live vicariously through others trip reports - that is beautiful country I'd like to explore someday. Thanks for taking the time to post.
I've had similar experiences with thoughtless intruders who decide the best possible place to camp in the middle of nowhere is right next to you - that's where a big slobbery dog and a boombox comes in handy.....
The nearest slot canyon to Monument Valley (which is on the Navajo Indian Reservation) is Antelope Canyon, near Page Arizona. Entry requires a Navajo guide, which is easy enough to secure.
There are also MANY slot canyons in the Four Corners region - read Michael Kelsey's Non-Technical Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau for more info and locations.
I've finally gotten around to reading your epic and ambitious endeavor, and I can tell you there are not many here who would have the "spirit" (I want to use another term here, but will keep it clean) to do what you and Sally did.
One thing I am curious about - if you don't mind, what was the actual cost to cross the Straits? And why the trip from the Bay of Biscay instead of driving into France and catching a ferry across the Channel? Time?
Your preparations and hard work really paid off, and I'm sure you were a lot more relaxed traveling in an environment that is so different from what most of us are accustomed to. Bravo for you, and thanks for sharing the adventure!
What beautiful country with some fascinating history - it's mind-boggling to contemplate the energy and effort to build a rail line in the wilderness which only lasted 6 years, and after all that a locomotive would be considered obsolete and not worth salvaging. I wonder if they made a profit?
Everything about your TR was just great, especially getting to spend some time with your now wedded daughter - congrats to her and you - may the union be long and happy. Thanks for sharing.
Since the root of the problem seems to be too many people, how about we all pool our resources and buy an island (I hear Australia is nice), form a members only clubs and go back to having it all our way?
Seriously, I don't have an answer, and it seems like you don't either, although we can probably both agree that the bureaucratic solution is distasteful and serves no one well. This problem is the proverbial Gordian Knot, where all attempts to solve the puzzle leaves an ever tangled mess.
I do know this: I used to frequent the Mogollon Rim country, but the influx of people into Phoenix forced me north into southern Utah, although as you've noted before that offers diminishing returns as more folks discover that playground. In 20 years it may be so bad I have to go to Canada to find the kind of peace and solitude I crave.
The end result is that there is no game changer or paradigm shift that will solve the issue, unless of course there is a worldwide catastrophe that eliminates 2/3 of the population. Of course if that were to occur, then I think we'd all have bigger issues to worry about than access to public lands. JMHO
""The opportunity to get lost on todays planet is a privilege" Doug Peacock, author, in an interview with Outdoor Magazine
We used to go out specifically to get lost, and had more fun doing it and found more of our favorite places while not knowing where exactly we were. We to this day like to turn down any dirt road that isn't signed, just to see where it goes. How do you do that with less?
I agree with the quote, but..... If people abuse the privilege, what then? And to answer your question with a question, "How do you do that with more people using the same finite resource?"
When something like the TMR affects our personal experiences it's easy to lose perspective on the real reason for it. I'm sorry Whazoo, but I DO live right next door to the Coconino National Forest, and recreate in it every chance I get, several times a week. I have seen firsthand the damage done to this public resource by an admittedly small group of scofflaws who feel they can do as they please.
Yes, we are all being punished for the actions of a few individuals, but what are the alternatives? The forest is too big and the Law Enforcement staff too small to effectively manage what has become a large problem. I said this before, and maybe I need to repeat it - I was raised in Arizona, and 40 years ago the population was much smaller, and ATVs were practically non-existent. There was a different ethic, and people actually cared about and took pride in their National Forests. Today? Not a chance.
Let's face reality. As population grows and more people take to the woods, the more regulation is required to keep public lands from deteriorating any further. Plain and simple. We'd all love to return to the good old days when we could go anywhere and do practically anything, but the growth mentality of politicians in the west has done nothing but bring ever increasing numbers of people into what was once relatively unspoiled country. The TMR and other land use regulations are inevitable, so get used to it.
Unfortunate news indeed. Although I did not know him personally, the quality of his character was evident in his posting. There are far too few really good people left in the world - we can't afford to lose many more. Godspeed, Sir Frank.
Just to help a fellow poster out, here are some fall pics from the North Rim in 2008.....
The large parks (meadows) on the plateau are great open spaces for viewing the trees - and I know full well fall color in the west is not as varied or spectacular as that found in eastern hardwood forests, but the yellows and oranges contrast nicely with the dark evergreens.
BTW, the "road" in this picture is already closed - it is a section of the Arizona Trail, the 700 mile long Utah to Mexico route that traverses the entire length of the state.
It would be great if you make the trip - Plenty to see and do within a relatively small radius around Flagstaff including the Overland Expo. If you stick to the high country you needn't worry too much about AC as it is very pleasant here. I've only found one company within a reasonable distance that rents TCs - try this link:
Good luck - you might also PM Flaxi about his experience here last year with a Class C. I hope to meet you in person!