Saturday, May 19
Today is going to be an exciting day. The crew and I are leaving Lee’s Ferry campground and the Colorado River this morning. Our goal is to travel west and find a boondock camp in Kaibab National Forest, not far from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
We need to take on some water.
Both the house tank and the drinking water jugs are near empty. Up on a bluff overlooking the boat activity on the river is the dump and water station. Never pass up an opportunity for a free dump! I use the potable water hose to fill up twelve gallon jugs and the BLT’s twenty-five gallon tank. I bid the Colorado a fond farewell, take a few parting photos, and hit the road.
I stop at the Chevron station, one of a very few stations for miles around.
There’s a commotion going on as I enter. Only a few moments before, a man saw a condor in flight. He and the cashier are still excited. Darn! I missed it!
I’m about to experience a day trip I’ll remember forever.
In the age we live in, you can’t see a natural wonder without having seen it before in a magazine, television, movie, whatever. Still, seeing the Vermillion Cliffs is an experience no one should miss. I stop and take several photos along Highway 89A. We cross a desert valley and then start the ascent to the Kaibab National Forest. The Perfect Tow Vehicle is in fine form this morning, and I’m feeling confident we won’t have any problems.
We round a curve and see several cars off the highway at an overlook.
Good. I want to see this and it’ll give the PTV a rest. The view is of the desert and the cliffs. I can see the highway we just travelled. I wish I had a monocular! Of course, I take more photos.
The PTV takes us on a magnificent ride to over 8,000 feet in altitude.
The Jacob Lake Lodge/Restaurant greets you at the intersection of Highways 87 and 67, the latter road being the way to the North Rim. Alongside it is the Visitor’s Center. I want to get one of their maps. Now if I can find somewhere to park. People have parked willy-nilly, making it difficult to find a place. I make the quick decision to park halfway into the exit lane. Too bad, people. Deal with it. I’m on a mission for a map.
The crew needs a walk-around.
Bridget and Spike are so cute when they arrive at a new locale. And this definitely is new to us! We’re back in the pines again. No more 100+ degree heat of the desert. The air is cool and fresh. Sniffs and poops over, I throw the crew back into the PTV.
Two female Park Service employees are behind the counter.
I’m happy to hear the Kaibab has not instituted the 30 feet/300 feet regulations yet. I ask about camping possibilities on the forest roads. She ignores the words “forest roads” and suggests Demotte Campground which is between here and the Canyon.
“How much is it a night?” I ask out of curiosity.
“It’s $17.50, unless you have the Senior Pass. Then it’s half that. No hook-ups. There’s water and restrooms. “
“I want to camp in the area of Crazy Jug Point.”
We locate it on a map displayed under plexiglass on the counter. The young woman shows me what series of forest roads to take. “Take 22 just past Demotte, then 495, then 292.” I look at the key and figure it’s about 40 miles winding through the forest.
The older lady points out those roads require a high-clearance vehicle. I tell her I have a high-clearance vehicle. She points out the roads are gravel and very bumpy. Hmm . . . You don’t know rvsue!
I buy a Kaibab National Forest map and apologize for my many questions.
The older lady responds cheerfully, “Oh, that’s nothing. You should have seen the two guys in here before. We talked with them for about an hour.” Both of them are smiling real smiles. It’s nice to meet people who enjoy their work.
The crew and I go south on Highway 67 toward the North Rim.
I hadn’t intended to go far today, but I’m in the mood for this challenge. At Crazy Jug Point I’ll see the Canyon for the first time! Turns out the road is better than expected and the drive is fairly easy. I thrill to see aspens along the way, mixed with the pines, and eventually blue spruce, too. It’s a long drive.
The last ten miles or so the road gets really bad.
It’s narrow dirt, and the ridge in the center is so high, I drive with the left wheels on it. Branches and brush squeak along the side of the PTV as I ease her along. At one point I imagine I come around a curve and see a huge tree lying across the roadway and I can’t turn around and I can’t back up. Stop it! Don’t think negative thoughts. We’re almost there.
At last we can go no further.
I jump out and hurry over to the opening in the trees. There it is! The grandest canyon of them all! I stand still for a moment, taking in the wonder.
The PTV is parked about fifteen feet from the precipice. My crew wants out. Time to set up camp!
Boondocked in the Kaibab National Forest, I have no cell phone signal or internet. I am writing and will eventually post an entry for each day. This entry was posted while sitting in the parking lot of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim. Photos will not load at this location. I’ll insert a slideshow here at a later date. I have so many photos!
From here I return to camp where again I have no phone or internet. I hope to move tomorrow to an area where I can be online!
UPDATE: I am trying to insert a slideshow as I sit in the PTV with the crew in a grocery store parking lot in Kanab, Utah. The photos may be out of order. They include Lee’s Ferry, Vermillion Cliffs, overlook from Kaibab Plateau, Jacob Lake, and the gravel road as we start our journey into the National Forest. The Canyon photos were taken from Crazy Jug Point. It was a hazy day.
‘Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim’….Yep, I know right where you are…..or were:))
I’m waiting on pins and needles to see where you are ! Is the PTV a 4 wheel drive ?
Hi, Barbara… No, the PTV is not four-wheel drive. I asked the people at the visitor’s center if four-wheel drive is necessary to go out to the point and they said it wasn’t.
Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, depending on one’s point of view, in the area where you are now you have to choose between a great camping site with spectacular views or internet. I’d choose great camping site every time , no contest.
I agree, Robert, even though it’s torture for me to be away from my blog!
Nice to hear from you again . . .
Common sentiment: “you can’t describe the Grand Canyon; you can only experience it.”
So excited for you!
Thank you, Kim. I feel the same way about photos. Mine can’t compare to the ones on the internet.
wow, can’t wait to see your pictures. Glad the weather is so good for you guys. Enjoy!
The weather has been perfect. Thanks for writing me!
Looking at your general location on Google Earth and it looks totally beautiful. I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures.
The Grand Canyon is impossible to capture in a photo. I think it takes days to really take it all in. it changes in color as the sun moves across. we saw quite a few condors riding the thermals coming off the canyon walls. They would hover very near the rim just feet from us, with their huge wings spread out, just beautiful.
I hate that I missed seeing a condor. Maybe next year! Sounds like you had a great trip to the Canyon.
I am so glad you made it to the north rim, I think it is so much better than the south rim. I am counting down the days until I join all the wonderful rvers on the road. It is 105 today in Tucson, a very good reason to head north………..LOL
Pat . . . Not much longer for you to count!
We leave a week from today(from Phoenix) and will be following in your footsteps, at least to the Vermillion Cliffs. Then we’re on to boondocking between Page and Kanab. Maybe we’ll cross paths. I love your blog and I’d love to meet you. We also have a Casita 17 but the SD, and travel with our favorite furry friend Luca.
I hope you have a marvelous trip. I have seen so many Casitas on the road. They’re swarming all over the place! Good luck with your boondocking . . .
I’m sure everyone who has looked at Crazy Jug Point on Google or been there will agree that you have earned your Boondocker Strips and a couple metals for Bravery. I’m proud to be your friend and can’t wait for the photos.
I’m proud your are my friend, Mick. I appreciate all the work you’ve done for me and your thoughtful generosity. I’ll be in touch by email as soon as I get this blog caught up!
So excited for you!
Sweet of you!
Howdy rvsue & crew,
…..and can go no further… What do you mean?? You can’t back up on a rough road very far!!
15 feet from the edge of the Grand Canyon?? That’s scary!! I’d have acrophobia!!! How’d you get out of that situation?? I’m sure y’all will have a wonderful time!!! Looking forward to the pics!!
The 15 feet was from the side of the PTV. There was more room ahead of the PTV so we could turn around. I like to keep you on your toes!
Unfortunately a lot of the Kaibab may not have phone or cell service. I thought you might be able to get it from the South Rim at Crazy Jug Pt. with a view more worthy than internet. And you were at the Lodge, today? So sorry I missed you. Offer’s still open, with DSL. And I have Thursday and Friday off.
I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch with you, Gaelyn. I got internet for this post but hotmail would not open . . . not at the Grand Canyon or in the grocery parking lot. I tried to find your campsite so I could leave a note (I didn’t have your phone number with me!). I’m sorry we missed each other. I could’ve planned better. . .
We’re a patient lot; we’ll wait for you. Follow the wind and the twisting trails; quality over quantity. Update us when internet service is available. Enjoy! We do.
Hi, Barrie . . . Nice comment, as usual.
I’m assuming your name has changed to bythervr due to WordPress not letting you log in the way you used to. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I’m wondering how many people I’m losing because of that snafu.
Anyway , , , Good to hear from you!
Enjoy every view and take in the fresh crisp air. Looking forward to the pictures but take your time and have a great time.
Thanks, Sylvia. I’m taking your advice!
We camped on the North Rim in the Kaibob National Forest a dozen years ago. We were in a mini-van with an attached tent and spent three remarkable nights. I am not sure where you are, but we were right on the rim, and totally alone. A park ranger at the national forest visitor center told us how to get there. I remember the road getting narrower and rougher as we drove further away from the paved road. Believe it or not, our cell phone worked. I wonder if you are at the same place.
It’s hard for me to know if I saw your campsite or not. I didn’t have any cell phone coverage, but maybe your carrier is different. Yes,, the road gets narrower and rougher, all right. I’m glad you had a wonderful time at the North Rim.
Chuck and I saw a condor at that same Chevron Station in April! We just met some really nice Casita people who spent several days here in Zion. They are leaving here today to boondock at the North Rim for a few days! Maybe you will see them there! Chuck told them you were camped there too, but they hadn’t heard of RVSue (talk about newbies! I thought everybody knew you!) Take your time finding internet Sue, spend your days there absorbing all the canyon can offer you! We will wait for your photos… cause we all know they will be worth the wait! Geri
Hi, Geri . . . You are my greatest promoter! Spreading the word about rvsue . . . . Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Hi Sue, Today I truly felt like like I was your co-pilot, I could just feel your “Excitement” and will be thinking about your wo’s and ah’s as you fill up that card with pic’s, can” wait to see this slide show,,
Hey John! One of my favorite compliments is when someone says they felt like they were with me. Thanks. Take care . . .
Looking forward to your next post and photos whenever you can get them posted!!
Hi, Elizabeth . . Sorry I haven’t been able to stay connected!
The pictures are spectacular. Oh my, what an adventure you are living. I am so proud of you
Love you, My Sister
Hey, I logged in with my Facebook account and it gives My Complete Name!!!! I guess Word Press doesn’t like just plain Pauline LOL.
WordPress on crack . . .
SO glad the PTV can get you to super sites like this. Excellent initial choice. Clearly all your early planning has paid off in Spades.
You’re thinking what I’ve thought many times since taking to the road in my Casita pulled by a Chevy Express. The PTV is perfect (even if she doesn’t have four-wheel drive!).
Wow!! great pictures. I just love the north rim but have never seen it from Crazy JUG point. Thank you for getting the pictures posted.
You’re welcome, Kathy!
I’ve been awaiting your reaction to the canyon. In 1992 I was in that area, hadn’t see the canyon but I did see a little sign “Grand Canyon Airlines”. The lady said there was one seat left, leaving in 5 minutes, $50. So this was my chance. I sat in a small 2 propellor plane with a family of 3 and the pilot. That plane only held 5 people! That little plane took off and we flew out across the tops hundreds of pine trees. And then….. the earth cracked open and we were soaring through the canyon. I was practically sobbing it was so beautiful. Honest to God, if I had died in that plane it still would have been worth it. I don’t know if they still fly the planes but if they do I hope you consider it even if it costs $1000. Later I toured around the rim but it’s the plane ride that takes your breath away. Anyways, have fun and soak in the beauty.
You had one of those moments that I’ve tried to describe . . . When it’s all too beautiful and incredible, that you choke up! I don’t think I’d do as well in a small plane (the height thing). I’m happy that you were able to enjoy such a memorable experience. I enjoyed reading about it!