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 > The Whazoo's 31st Anniversary, We trip the Maze fantastic

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Idahome

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Joined: 10/12/2007

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Posted: 03/03/11 10:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's true, 31 years of having more fun than should be legal in 50 states. And when I asked Mrs. Whazoo were she'd like to go for our anniversary there was no hesitation, not a second, "The Maze!" In particular the "Dollhouse". She knew it was top priority on my list and a main reason for buying a pop-up camper almost 4 years ago.

And to think I offered her a little shack in Bora Bora. You know, the ones that sit on stilts out in the gorgeous blue water. She could have had the secluded beach in Thailand where we'd sip PiƱa Coladas while the waves splashed on our thongs. "What's that Dear? You're kidding me right?" Well I guess they're not called thongs anymore, how about zories, flip flops. Does that tell you anything about my age? Life used to be so simple, now words all mean something different. I still miss my thongs. But she chose the Dollhouse, that's my girl...

Before I get rolling here I just wanted to say something nice about all the fantastic people and great service we've had since buying into the tc scene. Of course it all started with Outfitter and their service to us personally. It continues to be great. Friends found through rv.net, there are no words to describe the instant forming of a bond that we've shared with many, and hope for more. And it keeps getting better.

A week before this trip I ordered a new set of Torklift Fastguns, (thanks Tizi!) and of course had a couple of issues with my application, that happens often to the Whazoo. The phone call to Torklift International treated me to a conversation with Joel. He set me up with a company across town in Phoenix to give me last minute physical help. Several calls from the Whazoo did not faze Joel and I'm always glad to not feel like a heel. Plus, I ended up loving the turnbuckles for 4 wheeling as the top hook is hinged allowing it to move back and forth while the spring loaded body moves up and down with the camper making it a superb design in my book. And while talking with Joel I discovered he is friends with Gordon and Angela of Truck Camper Magazine, friends of ours also and a great addition to the whole truck camper lifestyle. What a small world after all, right Mr. Disney?

The call to Torklift wasn't at all like my last phone call for service with my camera. I don't know where the call center was, the fake American accent was obvious but I couldn't place it. It almost sounded Mexican, Guatemalan maybe. However I could hear the whole room get excited when they heard I was in Arizona and they asked how fast I could run in sand with an 80 pound backpack. Holy frijoles I thought, being instantly alarmed by the question, my limit these days is only 50 pounds.

The starting point of the trip coming north from Phoenix was the Hite Marina on the upper end of Lake Powell. We had to stop there to fill up with fuel and fill out our trip itinerary as per the permit system they have. While there we met Ranger Todd who told us that we'd be the ONLY people in the Dollhouse area the entire week, as there was a storm system coming through. Not to mention the first people of the year with all the storms they've had this winter. How lucky can a Whazoo be, to have an entire area of the Maze to ourselves with a storm coming?!

Walking back to the truck Mrs. Whazoo asked me "Why the big smile Whazoo? There's only one thing I know of that makes you smile like that." I answered "Yeah, I know Dear. But besides opening a brand new box of Entemanns Donuts for a trip, I just got the news we're to be alone at The Dollhouse." Wouldn't you smile too?

This has happened to us regularly since buying our Outfitter. We did the entire White Rim, all 100 miles of it one January, and were alone. The fact that the last fifty miles were in deep mud while driving a few hundred feet over the Green River with only inches to spare had something to do with it I'm sure. And last year, thanks to another Ranger who gave us the gate lock combination a day before opening, we had the two Green River Lakes in Wyoming entirely to ourselves for canoeing. This truck camper thing has been a very magical occurrence to the Whazoos, and I hope it's been that way for you too.

Can I start showing pictures now? Yahoo...
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Driving in the first 30 miles was uneventful as the road contoured around the head of several canyons, never going the direction you think it should. The scenery started right away though, my kind of place.
[image]

The Whazoos' were going to spend the first night at Sunset Pass, oh boy. Now in my book sunrise and set are the same to me, and the Sunset Pass could also be Sunrise Pass as you catch the very first morning sun, but I didn't get to name it so Sunset it is.
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Having seen and admired Mr. Clattertruck's picture and description of "painting with light" I tried it myself, a la Whazoo style. Well, it's not nearly as good, out of focus and all, but I did learn to spell Whazoo backwards with a flashlight.
[image]

In my last trip report I made a joke about Shredded Tweet cereal. GoinThisAway replied back that she preferred Oriole Twirl found on the east coast. So I ordered some via internet. It was birdalicious!
[image]

Shortly after heading out we came to a sign that made me draw back. But being the rapscallion that I am it didn't slow me down. The trail did that...
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I will apologize up front, again, for all the pictures of a truck and a camper but that's what it's all about, Alphie.
[image]

It's a good thing I couldn't see the drop off, I might have had an accident right then, on the inside of the cab. Thank goodness for astronaut diapers saved from my trip to the moon. link
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There were several of these "shelves" to negotiate, and we hoped they didn't have snow on the way out as they tend to angle to the canyon side.
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There was a little more collateral damage than just the usual scratches, and the sound of metal on the occasional rock made us wince and wonder, "what did we just do to the truck?" Gladly, I sacrificed a tail pipe extension. And notice the rear differential skid plate...
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That skid plate was a good thing to have for this trip and was added more out of concern for the diff cover than the mega beefy differential itself.
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Pictures of Peterson's Off Road Magazine bounce through my head, with Teapot Rock in the background.
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Looking across the Maze District we were feeling so...alone, and digging it.
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In route a tree had fallen across the trail. Or am I going out on a limb to do this trip report?
Thanks to my spinach and donut diet I had the strength to move that lil ol tree.
[image]

Still on the trail we were going to "The Wall" to spend the night and take a hike the next day.
[image]

Hitting the Wall we were treated to a butte of a sunset. Just what a Whazoo wants for his anniversary.
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Down but not out, I tried the painting with light again with slightly better results. I used a flashlight to illuminate the camper while Mrs. Whazoo waited patiently inside.
[image]

The morning is cloudy with a chance of meatballs...or fruitcake.
[image]

Besides fruitcake, we have with us today a Ninja Hiker. He knows Kung Fu, Karate, Fung Shui and several other oriental boys.
[image]

As we walked Mrs. Whazoo gave a gaze into the Maze.
[image]

We are not actually going down into the Maze today but hiking about 10 miles round trip to the Chocolate Drops, large monoliths of sedimentary rock still standing while the ground around them has eroded away. And we hope that Willy Wonka will be at the Chocolate Drops today.
[image]

On the hike we passed the "Rock of Lost Souls" with the many faces trying to find the next world. I'm thinking they must all be Democrats lost between elections, searching for a way.
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We're finally getting close to the "Drops" and good thing, it's lunch.
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For scale, Whazoo is at the bottom of a Drop.
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Playing Sisyphus (that's a link, not an ad) I tried to roll that rock up hill. Of course I'm not Sisyphus, he was a Sissy. I am Whazoo, son of WhaZeus. And I don't roll rocks uphill.
[image]

Hiking back towards the camper Mrs. Whazoo bends over to pick something up. A cry of amazement is not something I'm used to hearing from her so I ran to see what she'd found, hoping for a gold nugget or something. Instead it was the oldest specimen of Entemanns
Donuts ever found before. Petrified but still in very good shape, we now know what the people that lived in this area ate thousands of years before. Suddenly the pit of my stomach feels like...rocks.
[image]

If I'm lyin I'm dyin. And no, I will not donate this to the Smithsonian.
[image]

With a cold rain starting to come down we're heading home. The rain seems to highlight the petrified remains of root systems left by ancient trees. We try not to step on them, least they crumble under our feet. Of course they are hard rock, but I'd rather not take a chance and be the one to destroy something that took eons to make.
[image]

Looking down I could also see the rain had over-saturated the colors that seemed to swarm beneath my feet. Not watching where I'm going, I'm tripping as I walk.
[image]

Almost back to the camper we had an over-saturated yet extremely happy Whazoo.
[image]

Leaving the Wall we wanted to make it to the Dollhouse for the night, about 5 miles away. It had started to snow and twilight was about to turn out the lights. I can't tell you how fun it was at that moment. Having hiked through 10 miles of intermittent rain to the Chocolate Drops, now 4 wheeling through snow clouds to the Dollhouse in near darkness, all alone. It was causing the neurons to party in the back of my head as synapses closed releasing a massive dose of dopamine. I was as naturally high as can possibly be, wishing I could bottle this feeling to open later and have another sip. Instead I took more pictures, and am re-living it as I write.
[image]

Lizard Rock shows through the mist, standing alone.
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Being one who usually goes with the flow, this time will be no different.
[image]

Getting close, the Dollhouse is starting to show in the low light.
[image]

My gal, I tell you. Trying to clean off muddy boots in a puddle, she knows they will be muddy again soon. I think she was just having the fun of a little girl and I, the little boy watching.
[image]

Taking the trail up to the Dollhouse camp number 2 we are stopped by an unusual sight. Can it be the attack of the Killer Tumbleweeds? What should I do? Did I just see one move?
[image]

I'm not sure how to proceed, I've never come up against this one before. So I got out and walked up the road through the Dollhouse to check, feeling very creepy. I mean why do they call this the Dollhouse anyway?
[image]

Wanting to get to our camp spot for a hot shower in the camper, the heck with the tumbleweeds, they're no match for the WHAZN8R. I heard them cry as I drove over them. They are an invasive species anyway, besides already being dead...twice over now.
[image]

That's the end of part 1. Part 2 may not show for a few weeks as we leave in a few days for another trip. I apologize but this way the shock of seeing so many pictures may wear off by then. I also apologize for the "novel" size trip report but it seemed to be an epic trip, to us. We still have 2 more hikes, close to 20 miles, 3 more nights and of course the drive out. I hope you're still around.

I will say that our often maligned IFS GMC and misunderstood basement model Outfitter pop-up camper performed, well, perfectly. An inch longer, lower or wider would have serious problems on this trail. To be in a place like this with all the comforts of home is better than I ever imagined. We are so doggone happy with what we have and where it takes us I can only hope you feel the same for yours.

I have to go now, anniversary night and all, someone is waiting. Goodnight...

And thanks for reading,
Dave Rogers

[image]

bka0721

Republic of Colorado

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Posted: 03/03/11 10:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Always a pleasure to take a look at your latest and greatest TR. The best to you and the Mrs. Whazoo, on your 31st and something to be very proud of. I too, hope to get back to the Dollhouse, once again, this time by road. Some really good memories there, from a long time ago, thanks for this tease and will look forward to your next set.

bryan

Virgil_Diesel

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Posted: 03/03/11 10:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sharing again on your beautiful journey with us and happy anniversary

Sheriffdoug

Western Australia

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Posted: 03/03/11 11:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Dave,
Magnificant photo's, driving skills & locations!
What is your camera?
What editing suite do you use to get those thick black comments on photo's?
I think you should send photo's to Outfitter.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, our 33rd coming in May, our new Chev & TC arrive in about
4 weeks, then maybe a trip down to the South-West of Western Australia.


2012 Ram 4x4 Crew Laramie LB 3500 HO Auto diesel
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dadwolf2

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Posted: 03/03/11 11:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Happy Anniversary!!

Another awesome trip report. It made me nervous in two spots. 1)I thought we were going to see you in a thong(Oh, not that kind). 2)When your rig was just inches from the edge (Holy Moly). Are you sure you aren't part mountain goat?

* This post was edited 03/04/11 09:19am by dadwolf2 *


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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 03/04/11 12:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another amazing trip report from the master Whazoo.

That's a lovely part of the world - You're making me jealous.

I noticed on the link you provided about Sisyphus - on the vase Sisyphus has a woman admiring his rear while posing with his rock. I imaging you were similarly admired during your uphill rock rolling.

Happy Anniversary.

Steve.


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
'98 Jeep TJ 4.0
'15 Ford Fiesta ST
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joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 03/04/11 01:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks! Amazing as ever.

Happy Anniversary,
Joerg


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Janina

Ueberherrn

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Posted: 03/04/11 01:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

also a happy anniversary from me.

Kind regards, Janina (Joerg68's wife) [emoticon]

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 03/04/11 03:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Happy Anniversary MR and MRS Whazoo,congratulations on 31 years.

I am amazed at some of the places you got into and out of in one piece Dave.

Whazoo doing a dung beattle impression?
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One more laugh for the road!
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Have a great next trip.
J&K

* This post was last edited 03/04/11 10:44am by Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli *   View edit history


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spacedoutbob

SF Bay Area

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Posted: 03/04/11 03:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks again Whazoo on another amazing road trip and photos. Also, Congratulations on You and Mrs. Whazoo celebrating your 31st Anniversary. You would have been hard pressed to find a better place to celebrate. Again thanks!

Bob in Oakland, Calif.


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