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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Tourist in my backyard.... again

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seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 03/24/10 09:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So it's no secret that until I free my camper from its winter bondage that I've been exploring the area immediately around my place. Here's another installment for y'all to see..... AND just to be fair about it I will post a pic of an actual TC in here somewheres to justify my continued rambling.

My spring/cabin fever stems from the long, wet winter here in Flagstaff. Now to be sure we've finally put together a string of days where skies are blue and temps are in the mid-50's, so the snow is finally starting to disappear. For instance, I now have a driveway again. But not too long ago this would be a common sight in the backyard:

[image]

On free days I have the luxury of heading south to find (mostly) snow free landscapes like those found in Sedona. Now I know at least a few of you folks will be passing through Arizona in the future and I'm pretty sure the area I'm showing you will be on your list to see.

I would also like to point out that although I favor getting off the beaten path, Sedona and Oak Creek can be experienced quite nicely from the road or one of the many pullouts, picnic areas, or overlooks in the area, and hiking trails range from super mellow to straight up. Something for everyone, you might say.

Today's outing takes place on the Sterling Pass Trail #46, one of the straight up variety. Access is off Highway 89A in Oak Creek Canyon near the Manzanita Campground.

[image]

The trail begins right on the highway right of way and begins climbing directly up the embankment.

[image]

The path initially follows the dry creek bed of Sterling Canyon, and has a moderate grade. The pass itself is located at the head of the canyon, which was named for an early settler. Along the way glimpses of high sandstone walls reveal the distance yet to climb.

[image]

[image]

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Like the North Wilson trail I attempted last week, damage from the 2006 Brin's Fire appears in the lower canyon, and parts of the trail are choked with down trees, requiring some scrambling.

[image]

The trail gets steeper as it approaches the head of the drainage, and you get the first look at the pass ahead, which is essentially a cleft in the canyon rim.

[image]

Finally the notch is near.

[image]

Once over the pass the trail begins to drop back down on the opposite side - and yup, here in the shade is my favorite stuff. Snow....blechhh

[image]

Intrepid hikers can continue down into the canyon to Vultee Arch, located on the north canyon wall about a mile downstream. The arch is named for aircraft designer Gerard Vultee and his wife Sylvia, who perished near here in a 1938 plane crash. This unique natural feature can also be accessed on an easier 3.5 mile trail from the west side.

Because of time, I am content to take in the outstanding views from above.

[image]

[image]

[image]

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And now for something completely different....

On the way back out the canyon towards my next destination, I spotted a unique looking TC. While not mounted on a truck, I really like the use of the trailer to incorporate a porch.

[image]

[image]

BTW, this outfit was parked in the "host" spot at Pine Flat campground, so if you're passing through you should be able to get a better look at it, maybe even meet the owner (see, I told you there'd be a TC in this post!)

And finally, I want to show you something that most folks don't get to see, mostly because it is a phenomena that only occurs for a few weeks in the spring after a wet winter in northern Arizona.

I'm referring to the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River. A tributary of the Colorado River, this waterway originates in east-central Arizona where melting snow from the White Mountains feeds the torrent.

Located on the Navajo Reservation about 30 miles east of Flagstaff, getting there is kind of a challenge since no signs point the way. The last 10 miles follows a mostly graded dirt road - Indian Highway 70.

[image]

The overlook has a few picnic tables with stone ramadas, but otherwise there is just the grandeur of the falls.

[image]

The river flows through the Painted Desert, where easily eroded soils give the flood a muddy chocolate appearance. The falls are wide and high - over 185 feet.

[image]

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The falls were created long ago when lava flows forced the Little Colorado from its original course, forcing it to cascade over ledges of Kaibab limestone to resume the long journey towards the Grand Canyon.

[image]

I really, really hope my next post shows me exploring some remote wilderness far from home - but in the meantime the stuff I take for granted will have to do.

Happy Trails!


The Road Goes Ever On



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routeforty

ohio

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Joined: 12/26/2006

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Posted: 03/24/10 09:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're HO-HUMMING that "backyard stuff" and I'm going "WOW" nice pics!! But I guess everybody has things in their backyard that they hardly pay any attention to that others would drive hundreds or even thousands of miles to see. Gary


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88lover

Florida

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Posted: 03/24/10 09:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been to Sedona and surrounding areas twice. One of my favorite places even though Sedona is getting too Californized.





whazoo

Idahome

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Joined: 10/12/2007

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Posted: 03/24/10 09:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great shots of the falls Seldom. Last time I was there it was windy and the muddy spray made it hard to shoot with a clean lens. NICE looking dog! Great pictures all around...

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 03/24/10 10:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's some nice pictures of the falls and other scenery. Sorry you're still snow locked.
The camper on the trailer is a good idea specially with the deck and canopy. With the camper set all the way forward, the tounge weight would be pretty heavy. Wonder if the owner lifts the camper and centers it over the trailer wheels for transport.

Thanks for the scenic post.
Jeff


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bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 03/24/10 11:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dang, how high is the bar now Ma????? 12 ft high and risin'.

Beautiful....

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.

joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 03/25/10 02:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the great pictures!

We sure did like Flagstaff and it's "backyard" when we came through there. In one of those ubiquitous "Cruise America" Class C rentals none the less...

Just beautiful,
Joerg


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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 03/25/10 04:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One day, one day, I keep telling myself one day I'll make it out west again to enjoy the great scenery you keep teasing us with. Great little trip reports like this help keep my dreams alive. Thanks for sharing.

Quote:

I really, really hope my next post shows me exploring some remote wilderness far from home


You mean you are coming east to enjoy our little mountains?


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
2004 Lance 815 (prev: 2004 FW 35'; 1994 TT 30'; Tents)


Clattertruck

Centennial Colorado

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Posted: 03/25/10 05:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great to see the falls. I have meant to go there in my Southwest wanderings. Now, I'll put it back on the list.


Clattertruck
2008 SD F450 Pickup PSD 6.4L CC 4X4 DRW, Lariat Auto trans 4.30 LS, 2013 Lance TT 1885, Toyota 2014 Tundra Crew Max 5.7.


silversand

Montreal

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Joined: 09/12/2004

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Posted: 03/25/10 05:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your reports on little-seen areas and seldom-seen natural wonders are immeasurably appreciated ! Many, many thanks!

Cheers,
Silver & Dunes

*We saw (actually not "we", but Dunes saw) a very large bald eagle glide down our driveway over the tops of the trees yesterday afternoon! After checking its territorial map, we are apparently located in a geographically thin permanent breeding and occupation zone for these animals!


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

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