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 > All Roads Lead To Roam Part II, Roam Sweet Roam

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whazoo

Idahome

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Joined: 10/12/2007

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Posted: 06/18/14 10:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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Honestly, I know. I have to get this off my mind though, before the heat of Phoenix burns away at the memory of a trip that transcended the alphabet, or any combination of letters
into words that could possibly describe the sights I had been seeing. I've been a hog at the trough of rv.net bandwidth and generous replies, I'm hoping you'll let me slide one more time here.

I had the chance to be homeless for close to three weeks, my first time without a schedule of any kind. What a liberating feeling that took several days to set it and when it did I passed it on to my truck, which gladly ate every bit of asphalt I put in front of it and asked for more. Starting out in the Kanab Utah area I had swung east to Escalante before catching the Burr Trail to Capitol Reef. From there driving south on the Notom-Bullfrog Road. I wanted to make the ferry to Halls Crossing, on my way to meet Durango friends on yes...Cedar Mesa. The scenery was slowing me down a bit and I had to laugh. I'd stop for a picture, get in the truck and drive a short distance and repeat. I just need a periscope camera on top of the camper. Evening was coming on strong, and I liked it.
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It is so very nice, how even with a pop-up we can pull in to a spot, that perfect spot, and set up camp in short order.
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Morning shadows are good for pictures like evening shadows, as I took a picture to shake the shadows from my brain after a great nights sleep in the camper.
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I'm not sure why I took this picture, I think there's a joke there somewhere. About a cow crossing the road to get to the udder side? Or was it because I was desperate to take a picture of wildlife, and this was all I got?
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Spring was in full bloom here, there must have been enough rain to make the flowers jump for joy and show their colors to a passing stranger.
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Well heck, getting to the entrance station to Glen Canyon and Bullfrog Marina I was told by the Ranger that the ferry was out of operation because it had been wrecked on the rocks by an inexperienced crew while on a test run. I guessed they had just gotten experience, from the school of hard rocks.

That meant driving north to hit Highway 95 along the east side of the beautiful Henry Mountains.
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I didn't mind a bit, but my camera shuttered a little when it heard the news.
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Skies were a little bleak when I set up camp on the Mesa.
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Breakfast was murder the following morning, and it eggstracted feelings of despair from those I was about to eat. I tried to eggsplain that I had run out of storage and would have to store them...in my stomach.
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What a breakfast it was, with a good book. And what a perfect place to read about the finding of Anasazi dwellings in southern Utah by early ranchers. That and the fact that the Anasazi built so many of their cliff dwellings on top of a much earlier people named the Basket Makers by Richard Wetherill, whose family had a ranch in the Four Corners area in the late 1800's.
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A storm was coming in, making for a wonderful day to hike.
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Once again I was, yes, looking for ruins. Oh good gosh, this has got to be my last trip report with ruins. Or they will have to be very special to post pictures again.

I had spotted these ruins a couple of years ago but with rain and still being alone I didn't want to hike to the bottom of the canyon to try to come up nor climb down those daunting cliffs. They were a very hardy people, those Anasazi, and fearless of heights. This picture was taken from the far side of the canyon.
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I wanted to get closer, somehow look down on them. To do that I had to channel my inner Anasazi, and hang on to that rock like there was no tomorrow.
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Of course a little slip, a sneeze maybe, and there would be no tomorrow. The view down.
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If only I could fly. The roof on one section was still intact which made me want to see them up close even more.
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I was however, going back to some ruins I've seen before. I have found over the years that taking someone to a place, or a thing that you have done before gives you the chance to see it again like new. I hope you feel the same. And yes, it was still raining off and on as Mother Nature goofed with my picture taking. The ruins are there, just across the way under the caprock.
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Friends Roger and Joanne from Durango.
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And a last look at a favorite site, as I set my sight on the canyon. Ok, the camera.
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These ruins are named for an icon on these interior walls.
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Leaving the ruins and driving east down Snowflat Road was a grind. I need new leaf springs, my originals and the adjustable add-a-leafs are both shot. Something about 4wheeling the last seven years with a camper has worn them out.
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It took a couple of hours to go the twelve miles to my next camp. Argh, it was maddening to rock and roll so much.
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This should also be the last view of Comb Ridge from this Whazoo. Before you know it I'll be running out of trip report material, and rv.net can breath a sigh of relief.
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I didn't realize it until it came up and my friend Roger mentioned it, the Blood Moon. In my mind I heard Credence Clearwater singing, "I see a bad moon arising."
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Driving Comb Wash Road the next morning I came across a picture out of the old west.
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Comb Wash is just to the west of...Comb Ridge. I thought that worked out pretty nicely.
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I have seen more and more huge piles of tumbleweeds in the last few years. They are a perfect invasive species, they throw their seeds while being blown across the desert after dying. How do you kill a species that propagates after death? Kill it before it dies I reckon.
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Did I just come to a fork in the road? Or was someone telling me to fork it over? I don't remember, I'm very forkgetful in my old age. I must have driven around it though, or I would have gotten a forking flat.
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A problem of a different sort, the spring flock of bugs. And of course that area of the camper is hardest to get to without a ladder, meaning that when you get home it looks like you're driving a bug and not a truck camper.
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Just off Comb Wash Road I found a wild steed trapped in a corral.
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I couldn't use a Lariat on a GMC, it wouldn't be strong enough to hold the animal, so I pulled out my ol riata.
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Finally, I got him to the pole...
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only to find it was I that was roped. And aren't we all?
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From Cedar Mesa I had planned to go back to Capitol Reef for more hiking. Mrs. Whazoo left me a message though, that we were to close escrow on our house early. Like my tires on a sandy road, I was a little deflated as I aired up and drove towards home. Getting to Phoenix we were then told by the mortgage broker that no, the underwriters needed more info on obscure and irrelevant circumstances. Like the sale of our home in Oregon twenty-five years ago. We had to actually write a letter about that sale, among other petty things like where my weekly allowance came from. It was obvious, it came from Mrs. Whazoo.

Once again I cleaned the tc, re-loaded and left to roam. This time going southeast to Mt. Graham in Arizona.

I had never been up Mt. Graham, though seeing it many times as it points straight up off the desert floor as a "sky island."
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Driving up was a slow wind. It took twenty miles of road to do ten miles as the crow flies. If curves make you sick, don't go, and it was ridiculously narrow and raining. How do you spell "slow?"

Finally leveling off a bit at the top of the mountain I turned to follow a mysterious sign.
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The road was a bit spooky in the drizzle and I had the feeling something was in the trees, waiting for me.
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Surely I was on the wrong roam. But something else in the trees caught my eye...it was the Gobbler King being attended to by his Council of Small Feathers.
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And what a magnificent creature he was, dressed up for Easter the next day with his ostentatious display. Was it Easter, or Thanksgiving? I had expected a rabbit, colored eggs and peeps.
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While looking for a place to camp I had to ask myself, can turkeys read?
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I stopped and got out of the truck to talk to the King. It was something special I have to say. I would make my best turkey gobble gobble noise, and he would stick out his head on his long blue neck to reply. I don't know what we talked about though, it was gobbledeegook to me.
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The whole evening was like being in a Lord of the Rings movie. Orcs in the woods and the Gobbler King with his council all around me. The mist settled in to complete the fantasy. I was the only hobbit around.
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And as I lay there trying to go to sleep in the dark, the King kept barking very loudly at regular intervals. Were they orders to his flock as they settled in the trees to roost, or just a constant checking to make sure all were safe? I didn't know, never having slept with a bunch of turkeys before. But it became quite the disturbance in the quiet of the night and it didn't seem to be letting up. I did, I swear, yell very loudly, TURKEY BURGERS. And everything went quiet. True story...

In the morning he was there, the King, to let me know I was no longer welcome after my outburst.
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So I gobbled my breakfast and said farewell to the Gobbler King.
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This picture shows the pitch of the mountain all the way to the top.
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And my first try at HDR. I can't say I like it, my first try.
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I was driving the WHAZN8R south to another mountain range, the Chiricahuas. I must have dozed at the wheel, what the? We're not in Arizona anymore Toto.
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I stopped alongside the road to thistle, it was a long thistle. And I thistled because that was last years grass as far as I could see. There had been no moisture this year, not even enough to prompt a few new grasses to come up. It will be another bad year for fires.
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Rounding a corner on a side dirt road I almost ran him over, he blended so well with the dirt.
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He was a beauty with all new colors. An early spring had brought him out and he'd already shed his old skin giving his scales a new polished look.
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I used a stick to get him to move off the warm dirt road he had been laying on. As I got in my truck to leave two guys on dirt bikes came roaring around that corner and would have run over Mr. Black-tailed Rattlesnake and possibly wrapped him up in their tires. I felt good about stopping. He never did strike at me and barely rattled before moving, he must have known I was a friend.
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Driving up into the Chiricahuas it was depressing. The whole range of mountains had trees standing like burnt matchsticks. Talking with a Ranger I was told a campfire two years earlier had done the deed. I tried to take most of my pictures without showing them.

The East has Hilton Head, the West has Cochise Head. This rock formation has a striking resemblance to the Apache warrior Cochise. Rocks with faces, I was in Heaven.
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I started my hike the next morning the way I'll be living, again, wearing short pants. I had bought all the long johns that Walmart in Durango had in stock, I'll have to donate them now. This hike is called The Big Loop and is about nine and a half miles through a circus of rocks. I was dizzy at the thought and hoped that I would fair well.
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I started with a tribute to Abraham Lincoln. And yes, the tear was already there, compliments of nature.
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Then went on to the balancing act.
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Followed by the Old Maid. Hey, I'm not making this up. Well maybe Mr. Lincoln. But these rocks have been named by someone else, can you believe it?
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Then the Camel show.
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Somewhere back in time, about fifteen years or so, we were here with the family having lunch at this same rock. Always wanting to make my girls laugh I was doing my best impersonation of a camel. The sound was horrific but the girls laughed. Mere seconds later a human face peered around a rock, afraid to come out. Another family of hikers heard my dying camel sound and thought there was a real animal and were scared. I've never made camel noises since.
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I called this guy Snaggletooth, exit stage left.
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Now I'm pretty good at reading lizard body language, but I had no idea she was going to blow a bubble that big.
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Next up, Punch and Judy. No, I'm not making this up. Isn't it fantastic?!
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This rock was called Thor's Hammer, yet my eyes saw a baby's arm holding an apple.
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There were rocks kissing...
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And a rock eating a duck, sort of. Oh it was a fun hike don't you know. By the way, the duck, is real. A real rock I mean, in case you were wondering.
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As I walked by, everyone was standing, expressionless. What? You thought I was going to say "stone-faced" didn't you.
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Cochise from a distance.
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My hike through the Wonderland Of Rocks was over. It was nice to see someone else putting a name to some rocks. I still had some time in the day left to run the truck over to New Mexico to eventually wrap around through the White Mountains of Arizona on my way back to Phoenix. Evening was creeping up softly as I drove into this beautiful magical valley in New Mexico. The few people I passed waved as if I belonged there.
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Somewhere in my head a song played, "Roam, roam on the range..."
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If I were a cowboy, how would I rope a headless cow? These were the first I had ever seen. No wonder the grass was so tall, they can't eat.
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No smoking please, or playing with matches.
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The rain was a tease. I could tell it evaporated before hitting the ground, like so many of my thoughts evaporate before I know it.
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Sunset over the Gila Mountains.
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Ok, so I was basically through with any pretense of cooking or heating. Dinner was cold and just fine by me. Good food is so over-rated, at least I had my mega-stuffed golden Oreos. Buzz, I'm throwing in the towell, you win man.
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Driving through the White Mountains I saw this sign and wished Mrs. Whazoo was there. It's been many years since we last went snipe hunting.
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Oh good gosh, I hope this doesn't back up traffic. Whazoo crossing the next five miles?
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What a beautiful sight to finish off what had been a special trip for me with so many incredible things seen, now in my memory and in my camera.
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Thanks so so much for reading. I'll take a break for a while and give you one too. Who knows, maybe we'll see you on the roam.


Moving back to Phoenix isn't all that bad, our grand baby girls are super.
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* This post was last edited 01/31/15 09:46am by whazoo *   View edit history

Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 06/18/14 10:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Absolutely fantastic.

Wayne

Buzzcut1

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Posted: 06/18/14 10:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice Dave, this is either helping or killing me while I'm laid up with a cracked elbow (falling in the shower really sucks) and bogged down with working 7 days a week for 2 months. I only have until mid July before my next day off. I hope to be healed up enough by then to get out and play in them thar hills. Until then keep the light on for me with your Tr's and awesome photos


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bka0721

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Posted: 06/18/14 11:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Always amazing and I have already gone back 3 times to look again and the beautiful photography. As always your narration is one of the added attractions of a Whazoo Trip Report. But, it truly is not a Whazoo Trip Report because I didn't see a single doughnut. For that, you Fail. O.K., you have only failed with the doughnut part. Excellent and I still want more.

Safe travels, my friend.

b

spacedoutbob

SF Bay Area

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Posted: 06/19/14 12:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great Whazoo, Another absolutely amazing trip report and photos! I'm so happy that you are back full time! Thanks for posting!

Bob in Calif.


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AKSuperDually

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Posted: 06/19/14 12:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome. Thanks for sharing! Always entertaining to read your threads.....


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pa traveler

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Posted: 06/19/14 05:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow very nice,hope we get to see it in person,thanks for posting your trips.

brirene

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Posted: 06/19/14 06:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Absolutely wonderful trip report! Your pictures and narrative are great! Your puns..well...your pictures and narrative are great! Thanks for posting, and for your creativity!


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Mello Mike

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Posted: 06/19/14 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another masterpiece from the man. We have that book, too. A great read. I've been up on Mt. Graham a couple times and camped in that same exact spot as you. Didn't see the Gobbler King, though.


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moses195

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Posted: 06/19/14 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for the wonderful photos!!

Dana

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