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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 6 Weeks of Bikin, Hikin, Grillin n Swillin: Part 2

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crosscheck

Coldstream, BC

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Posted: 10/25/15 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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After sitting in the TC until the rain quit at around 2:00pm, we set out cross country to find Deer Canyon. Followed a few small draws until we hit the main dry gulch and started to follow it down, As in most of this Grand Gulch country, the wash gently descends until you come to a pour over which can be 100' or more. The drop off is just ahead of Pat.

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Pat standing near the only place on the canyon rim that we can make it down through the rock bands to the valley bottom. Head back cross country to the truck via GPS.

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Isn't this why we boondock? No neighbours except the Ravens.

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One of my favourite tools of boondocking is the collapsible bow saw which I have used for years backpacking , wilderness canoeing and TCing. Never short of fire wood.

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Return next morning via GPS to the spot where we can descend into Deer Canyon. This canyon is not a common route for hikers and we see no recent sign that anyone has been through here recently.

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One last steep section and then downhill to the Grand Gulch.

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This section down to the main canyon is the roughest of anything we have done and it is slow going.

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Just one of many native ruins in the Grand Gulch that are in such good shape after more than 700 years.

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Just like a walk in an urban park. Nice soft sand under foot, birds chirping in the lush green canopy, one can almost hear songs from the "Sound of Music" reverberating off the canyon walls.

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Pretty tough life to survive back 700 years ago. By the look at these dwellings, modern folks would be pretty cramped trying to squeeze in.

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Going back up to the canyon rim, then 6km to the campsite. Easy Peasy.

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Another 7 hour hike and still smiles from the Champagne Girl with a Beer Budget.

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It's been fun at the Government trail head but time to move to the 4 SlickHorn canyons.
Grind up the road thinking that it does not take long after a rain before the country turns pretty dry again.

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Drive back out to #245 and turn right on #203, Slickhorn canyon straight ahead.

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Pull into the trailhead for the 1st fork Slickhorn canyon.

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We hike down the canyon dropping down minor pour overs. Our plan today is a round trip, down 1st fork, up 2nd and back to the campsite. Simple.

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This is the major pour over. Have to find a way around then down.

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Climb up to a flat bench, traverse to an area where you can drop down to the bottom of the canyon.

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Hiked along the upper bench to the right, now looking for a way through the cliff band.

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Found it!! Now a quick scramble to the bottom.

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There are so many ruins in the Grand Gulch system, it's hard to keep track looking back at the photos. Honey, is this the 1st or the 2 nd SlickHorn Canyon?

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We stop for a rest on the way up 2nd canyon, leaning on the rock and these "things" started to move towards us and letting out a horrible hiss. Got outa there in a hurry. Gotta stop chewing on those juniper berries.

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Looks like the maid didn't get around to cleaning the Weber. We won't make the cover of "Better Homes and Gardens" this month. Man, after Bikin n Hikin all day, ya sure can pack in the groceries during the evening meal.

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Drive to the trailhead for the 3rd canyon. Out plan today is hike down 3rd and come back up Trail Canyon and then it's about a 2 km hike back on the road to the campsite.

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This is according the the signage, an ancient sweat lodge. Looks tiny.

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Heading down 3rd Fork of Slickhorn Canyon. Rough going and no trail.

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There is usually not a lot of colour in the desert so these single flowers really catch your eye.

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The tour company promised us 5 star accommodations. In this hotel room, I am sure we could see the whole Milky Way.

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Making our way up Trail Canyon. Rancher in the old days would drive cattle down to where there was grass and water down in the main Grand Gulch Canyon. Water is flowing now from all of the rain storms.

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Plant life sometimes can survive on solid rock. This thistle looks pretty healthy to me.

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Heading towards the old corals from Trail Canyon. Hard to believe looking at this flat sandy ground, that we have just spent 6 or more hours in such rugged canyons so close by.

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We drive back to #261, turn right and head for the Moki Dugway. This is why the Colorado Plateau is so interesting. One minute, you drive along the flat prairie and then bingo, ya drop 1500' off the end of the earth.

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At the bottom of the switch backs on the way to the Valley Of The Gods. I wonder if anyone has lost their brakes on the Moki Dugway and lived to tell about it?

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We had a long hike, were hungry and thirsty, knew there was a front coming in so even though this was not the best boondock spot, it was the first place where we could pull off. A number of rental cars passed us that evening so we knew that we were back in civilization.

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Our little Weber Baby Q got a work out almost every night. This is Another piece of unfortunate cow that found it's way onto our plates.

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All of our back seat didn't look like this but space is always at a premium in a TC. A crew cab is pretty nice for those long 2-3 month trips away from home.

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Had to move the table and chairs behind the TC as a wind break. There was a cool wind even when in the evening sun.

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There was a fair bit of rain when we were driving through the valley and taking photos out of the cab as you drive is not our style but in better photo weather, we will be back to crawl around some of these great monoliths.

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Didn't take long to drive through VOG and then it was right on #163 and retrace our steps back through Page and on to Lone Rock SP where the sun was shining and it was not as windy as the last time we were here.

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We have lots of company spread along the parking area which is something that we have not had for a long time. Lots of rental RV units and it just happened that there were Germans on both sides of us in rental units. Invited one of the couples over for a fire and chat. Kinda fun. They lived in a town that we cycled through the year before so it was nice to reminisce.

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We have never been to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon even though having hiked every inch of the trails at the South Rim from the Little Colorado to Boucher Rapids. After stopping in Fredonia at the Forest Service office to pick up a map of the Rainbow Rim trail, an 18 mile single track along the canyon rim, we head out on# FDR 22. Just entering the Kaibab National Forest.

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I think this may be too big for my 24" bow saw. Must have been a big blow down as there a a number of big pines down.

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When we came in on the gravel road earlier, the rain had made the surface a muddy mess. Cooler wet weather seems to be following us this trip.

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A map of the Rainbow Rim trail at Locust Point.

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Nobody camping here at the point except us and we will only see 3 others in the next 4 days. Except for the hurricane force winds, it is quiet.

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This is the view of the canyon we get after starting on the ride to Parissawampitts.

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Pretty typical single track riding amount the big Ponderosa Pine @7600' but no leaves on the trees yet.

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We find only small patches of snow here and there. I think normally, there would be a lot more snow around especially in the shade.

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I hope the Rumblefish "9er" didn't throw Crosscheck over the handle bars.

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After riding for the longest time,we finally made it out to one of the points. After looking around, we could see that someone was camping on another point not far away. Do you know who that might be boys and girls? The canyon rim has a lot of indents that make you ride a long way to go a short distance the way the crow flys.

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Because we camped the first night right on the edge of the canyon, the wind was so strong we thought one of the big pines was going to crush the Outfitter and us with it. Had to move to another spot 200m away.

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North Timp Point. Much of the time is in the big trees but at times you ride right along the edge giving good views of the canyon.

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Crosscheck, that's not the short cut to the Phantom Ranch.

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We see lots of deer on the way in and out. Arrived on the 11 th,now the 14th, NP opens on the 15th so we drive towards the entrance.

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Arrive at the gate with rain, a strong wind, temperature 38F, forecast for the next 3 days, snow/rain mix in the park. Make an executive decision to go where it is the driest so we turn tail and head back towards StGeorge which is not that far away.

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Rained all the way to a boondocking spot out of Virgin and we literally slither into a spot by the creek and do not get out of the TC until morning. Rain finally quits by morning. When we left the next day, it took us 3 runs in 4X4 to make it to pavement. That clay is scary when wet.

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Because it looks like a drizzly day, we head into Zion and hike up Observation Point. Nice views of the Zion canyon but after hiking up Cable Mt. And Angels Landing and beyond, there is nothing new in the view. Fun to burn off some calories until the bike trails dry up

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Pretty spectacular but nicer if there was some sun.

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Never thought we would be back to the area around Virgin but it is still a lot better weather than so many other places.

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After some MTB. ridin, we head through the Zion tunnel and then on to Escalante staying overnight in the overflow in the Petrified Forest SP. Drive out of town and turn right on Old Scheffield Road and park at the Phipps Arch trailhead.


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Heading down the slick rock looking for Phipps Arch. New snow on the hills in the background.

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Somewhere down at the bottom Is the Escalante River and the Arch.

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This took a little route finding because the Phipps Arch is up high and tucked away from the main valley.

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This is a shot from just below the Arch. You can see a scramble route up the slick rock from this vantage point.

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The canyon walls stained with desert varnish on the way back up to the truck.

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Back on #12, we drove to Boulder, turned right on the Burr Trail and started looking for a camp spot. Made it down to the bottom of the switchbacks and decided to head left on the Norton-Bullfrog road.

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Checked out the Cedar Mesa campsite because we were in the Capital Reef NP where no boondocking is allowed. Place was full so went further north out of the park and found a great spot as the sun was setting.

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Crosscheck took a walk in the bush because someone called his name and while he was attending to some business, this cute little guy came bouncing along. He had seen some scary things in his short life like poisonous snakes, ravenous coyotes, shrieking Hawks but the sight of so much exposed white skin sent him screaming off to his mommy.

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Headed for Moab and got a spot in the Sand Flats camping area above the town. Got a good spot right away because although the long holiday weekend was about to start in a few days and things in the town would go nuts, it was pretty quiet when we arrived.

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We have been in Moab a number of times and every year they seem to add more mountain bike trails. Head over to Klondike Bluffs and Pat starts chugging up the slick rock to the high point on the ridge.

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Drop down and check out the old mining activity for which the set of trails is named after.

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On Mega Steps trail. Looking across the valley at Arches NP. We climb to Alaska, come down Homer and then back 5.6 miles on Dino-Flow to the parking area. Ya, it's a good days ride.

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Camping spots in the Sand Flats area are filling up fast and since we decided to stay, drop the TC so it is easier to shuttle the bikes and sight see. Takes 20 minutes. No biggy.

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When we are down at the Poison Spider bike shop, one of the riders said there was new trails out on #313 called Navajo Rocks. Thought we'ed check em out. Pat looking back at Monitor and Merrimac buttes rides we did a few years back that had us following 7 mile rim trail. We are riding the Ramblin section.

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Lots of fresh snow on the La Sal mountains.

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Cross 313 and do the lower section around some really cool red rock. We will come back in a few days and do the whole loop including Big Mesa.

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After ridin we drive to the Shafer Canyon Overlook which is in Canyonlands NP. This is part of the White Rim road. Looks pretty crazy to drive. One day it would be nice to MTN Bike the whole thing.

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Next day, the ride is around the Magnificent 7 with a few new trails since we last did it a few years back. They even have paint lines on the slick rock so the seniors don't ride over the cliffs as you ride along Bull Canyon.

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To the left in the distance are the buttes of Monitor and Merrimac. This is near the place where Crosscheck crashed a few years back, had his leg speared by a dead juniper branch and had to walk the mile to trailhead with the stupid thing sticking out his leg gushing blood. Moab has a first class hospital, thank you.

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You follow Bull Canyon, until Arth's, which runs into Little Canyon, Great Escape and then back up to the trail head on Getaway. Sounds easy. Not.

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Day 4 sees us at the Klonzo area which has hundreds of rigs and a lot of motorized toys. Never ridden here before and compared to the slick rock in so many of the areas, we gave it a C-.

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Coupla big rocks to avoid.

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Day 5 our last day of Bikin. We will do the complete loop of Navajo Rocks. Today we started at the first trailhead on 313, crossed the road on the lower side and after an hour or so, going clockwise , we cross 313 and head for Big Mesa, in the foreground,on the upper side.


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Nice red slick rock riding.

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Following the canyon walls of the Big Mesa. Few riders along this section although is one of the more spectacular.

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Right underneath the highest part of the red rock cliffs.

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Back on Ramblin with the buttes in the foreground. Less than an hour to trail head. This has to be one of the nicer MTN. bike trails around Moab if ya just want nice scenery, and exercise and don't want to get killed in the process.

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Head back home next day stopping in Boise overnight then meeting friends for some Bikin near Cashmere ,Washington.

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Boondock at the trailhead. Things are a lot greener here than where we have just been. It's sure cool and wet. Better weather tomorrow.

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Pretty muddy as we climb over 3000' to the highest point. Time to unhook the brake cables.

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This is the high point. Our brakes will be white hot by the time we get to beer and the trailhead.

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Some days you get muddy and bloody after a ride. No blood was spilt on the down run today.

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After a skinny dip and wash in the creek, we head down to the local park by the Wenachee River where birthday boy gets his cake. Dry camping but very civilized. Hope we don't leave too much mud on the blacktop.

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Pretty little spot north of Wenatchee on the Columbia River.

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Head up #153, then #20 to Winthrop. Take forestry road to boondock spot. We will ride a ridge today.

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Pat sweatin up a single track cow trail to the top of the ridge ahead.

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The road we will be returning to the campsite is below in the valley below that has had a fire.

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After an hour of climbing up and down the ridge, we drop into the valley and make our way back up to the trucks. The rock bluff above is where the previous photo was taken.

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There's nothing better after a good ride is some quality Chillin, Grillin n Swillin with friends around the campfire.

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Now how cool is this to have your own private, camo pit toilet?

Funs over and time to make our way home. Still 5 hour drive to get to Coldstream. No problems going through the border. As always, Canadian agent was friendly and courteous. Had more rain than usual which is why we did not get to all of the back country hiking areas planned as some of the roads were a little greasy. Had some good Bikin.
We were out for 45 nights. 2 electric hookups one in Dead Horse Ranch SP, no options and in Boise as Pat needed reliable internet for business. Carried the Honda along again but it did not get any use. Solar, batteries, fridge worked perfectly. Around $200.00 spent on campgrounds. We ate too much, grilled too much,drank too much. One time there will be a day of reconning. As per usual, had way too much fun.

Nice time to see canyon country after ski season. We'll be back.

Dave


2016 F350 Diesel 4X4 CC SRW SB,
2016 Creekside 23RKS, 490W solar, 2000W Xantrex Freedom 2012 inverter, 4 6V GC-2 (450AH)
2006 F350 CC 4X4 sold
2011 Outfitter 9.5' sold
Some Of Our Fun:http://daveincoldstream.blogspot.ca/

Two Hands

California's Central Coast

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Posted: 10/25/15 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What can we say but WOW! Great photos!

exhaustipated

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Posted: 10/25/15 06:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is an awesome trip report and those photos you took were magnificent. Thanks for sharing your amazing adventure with us.

spacedoutbob

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Posted: 10/25/15 08:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great Trip Report and Photos, Thank you very much for posting. I felt like I was along with you for the trip.


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hl remington

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Posted: 10/25/15 09:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for sharing your trip.

MORSNOW

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Posted: 10/25/15 10:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for sharing. Beautiful scenery and wonderful stories. Where do you store your folding table and chairs while on the road? In the back seat of the truck or camper? I have similar chairs and haven't found the perfect storage space yet.


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HarmsWay

Victoria

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Posted: 10/25/15 10:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Amazing. Thanks for taking us along.

lj2654

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Posted: 10/25/15 10:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thank you for the adventure.


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crosscheck

Coldstream, BC

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Posted: 10/25/15 11:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MORSNOW wrote:

Thank you for sharing. Beautiful scenery and wonderful stories. Where do you store your folding table and chairs while on the road? In the back seat of the truck or camper? I have similar chairs and haven't found the perfect storage space yet.


The chairs sit behind the drivers seat and the folding table behind the fire wood tub up against the rear window. We do have a crew. How about you?

Dave

sabconsulting

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Posted: 10/26/15 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic trip report from an amazing part of the world.

I certainly wouldn't have driven all the way down from Canada in one day either - I also split such distances into several easier days. I'd be in real trouble if I had to tell Sally I had planned to drive 16 hours in one go.

Steve.


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
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