The crew and I have just arrived at Crazy Jug Point.
What? Scratches on the Perfect Tow Vehicle?
Thin, brown, horizontal lines on both sides of the PTV make my heart skip a beat. I run my finger from a side window downward and the stripes wipe off. What a relief! It’s only dirt. These marks will wash right off. Well, I guess the PTV has earned her stripes!
Bridget, Spike and I are going to find a lookout point to enjoy the Canyon.
I carefully walk down the short path. I’ve got the crew on short leash by my side. What a thrill to actually be here! To be honest, I am a little uncomfortable with heights, especially when there’s nothing between us and the canyon bottom but a few spindly bushes and a lot of air. The crew and I walk down the dirt path and the ledge comes into view. Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot believe what I see. Incredible! Absolutely incredible!
I’m not talking about the Canyon.
Let me set this up for you. The path is less than six feet wide. At the end of it is a slab of rock jutting out over the canyon. There are no human “improvements” out here. In other words, that ledge was put here through natural forces, so it follows that natural forces could remove it at any time. Okay. I admit that’s unlikely to happen at this very moment. Anyway. How big is the ledge? Oh, imagine a small SUV. Then allow about two, three feet all around it. That’s the ledge.
Like I said, I stand in shock.
Perched on that ledge actually IS a small SUV! A camp chair and a bucket sit next to the bumper. What kind of an idiot would drive a car down here! And sleep here overnight! With the front bumper at the edge!
My concern for the driver of the SUV soon fades.
What a selfish idiot to hog the overlook like this. I walk toward the ledge and peek through the bushes and the SUV.
“Well, gang, let’s go over to the other ledge.” We go back up and descend the other path. It’s too steep and too near the edge. Bridget’s liable to panic and pull us all over the side. I’ll come back here in the morning by myself. I manage to take a photo, but it’s a hazy day. Tomorrow will be better.
Now, where to set up camp?
I look around and realize the only possibility is in the road. The road makes a figure eight. This spot will not block anyone from turning around to leave the point. It’s not a nice campsite, but there’s no other choice even close to level. The ground is black powder that sticks. The truth is . . . Crazy Jug point is tired and trampled. Apparently a lot of people have come out here over the years. Well, it’s somewhere to sleep.
I’m chocking the wheels when I hear the voice of a young man and the giggles of a young girl.
Hmm . . . Young lovers. Better not take the crew walking in that direction of the forest.
Once camp is set up, the crew and I walk back up the road. We pass a person coming from the other direction. Further on we walk down a narrow road and discover another beautiful overlook. A mini-van is parked in front of it along with two camp chairs. Geesh, people everywhere! No one is around so I walk us over to the chairs and look at the Canyon for a few minutes.
We return to camp and notice another car is parked by the path to the other ledge.
Later, while we’re back inside the BLT, a Class C comes roaring in, stops for about three minutes (during which a man and a woman exchange harsh words), and then bumpity-scumps back into the forest again.
Gee, I’m exhausted.
I broke camp, dumped tanks, got water and gas, drove from Lee’s Ferry to Jacob Lake, stopped at the visitor center, carried us deep into the Kaibab Forest some forty miles to Crazy Jug Point, and set up a new camp, all in one day . . .
Wow, I did it! We’re here! And without a scratch!
Only there’s one problem . . . Although this campsite is less than eighty feet from the Canyon — a piece of real estate worth a fortune — it, quite frankly, sucks.
The next morning . . .
I drink my coffee while walking around the area, peeking at the Canyon through the bushes and trees. I try going down to the ledge but only make it half the way. Too scary. Bridget and Spike are too excited to eat their breakfast. I down a glass of fat-free milk with oat bran stirred in. Off we go on a walk to find a new campsite.
We head down a road that parallels the Rim.
Several feet of trees block any view of it. After walking quite far, I hear voices. About eight or nine people are camped up ahead on the Rim side of the road. I’m in no mood for conversation.
It sounds like they’re packing up, so we’ll wait here under these pine trees.
A fire ring and tamped ground reveals I’m in a popular campsite.
As I’m standing here with the crew, I see a man’s bare behind.
He’s pulling up his pants over by some bushes. Oh great, didn’t need to collect that memory. Not more than two minutes later, a young woman is pushing her way through the bushes, toilet paper in hand. Good golly, I’ve had enough. I don’t care if these people are camped there, we’re going over there and check out the view. As we leave the piney area, I notice some toilet paper on the ground. Yuck!
We approach the noisy group.
Their campsite is close to the Rim. I decide to play the role of weird, old lady in the crazy hat who doesn’t look at or speak to people. The walking stick is the perfect prop.
The door of their van reads Washington State. Must be geology students. A woman, not much older than the rest, is reading off safety instructions for a hike. The crew and I walk past the group right into their campsite, and stand in front of a marvelous, unobstructed view of the Canyon.
After a few moments, we leave and continue walking up the road.
A few minutes later they leave and we return to their site. I guess this site is open. They left no belongings. I take a close look at the site. It’s all beaten down and very close to the precipice. I imagine Spike charging over the side. And when I walk the crew in the forest, we’ll be walking around human feces.
I realize I really don’t want to be here.
Too many people, too much pooping. I think I’m forcing myself to find a Canyon view camp. I’m doing what I think I should be doing, not what I really want to do. What I really want to do is go back to where the aspens grow among the pine trees and find a secluded site.
That’s it! We’re moving camp!
rvsue5/11/12 . . . $65.52 for 17.71 gal. of gas at $3.69 a gal., $45.31 for oil change and chassis lube, $6.56 clothing 5/12/12 . . . 0$ 5/13/12 . . . 0$ 5/14/12 . . . $30.36 for groceries, $8.00 laundry 5/15/12 . . . $38.30 for hat, $18.00 for haircut including tip 5/16/12 . . . $27.51 for groceries, $22.17 for 6.109 gal. gas at $3.62 a gal., $2.23 for boards 5/17/12 . . . $0 5/18/12 . . . $0 5/19/12 . . . $19.35 for 4.62 gal. gas at 4.18 a gal., $13.99 for Kaibab National Forest map 5/20/12 . . .$0