|It is always great isn't it? When an unexpected and unplanned trip pops up out of nowhere.|
We have gone camping on Thanksgiving every year for 36 years of marriage, and I since eighteen years old. It is the one and only most important trip of the year to me personally. This year we bought a house in Boise and will move there from Phoenix in January. Yes I know, I'm gonna die from the cold. Mrs. Whazoo had taken most of Thanksgiving week off to be available to sign closing papers on that house. Low and behold we signed the Saturday before Thanksgiving and closed on it Tuesday morning! How fast can you shop and load a camper? Lickety split and we were gone baby gone.
I'll start by introducing our new dogs, rescued dogs, Duke and Bailey. Duke, the big dude, has Valley Fever in a back leg, very strange, and the other leg has been broken once or twice, he clicks when he walks like me after knee replacement. He's about five years old and at first had some behavior quirks that I'd expect from a mistreated dog. On death row when we got him, after seven or eight months he's become our perfect boy. Bailey was a three month old with a misshaped face on one side and a kneecap issue. Her face is growing into perfection with age, either that or we don't notice it anymore, but the kneecap will always be a problem. It doesn't slow her down but after a long swim or hike she has the pain of a guy my age. Although I suppose in dog years I'm already dead.
Duke is the only dog I've had that can't swim, maybe because of his back leg issues. I gave him swim lessons all summer in our pool but he still doesn't do it well. Bailey took to water right off and swims like an otter. I've never seen a dog have so much fun in water. Yet while Duke doesn't swim I did teach him to go under for rocks, and now he's obsessive about it.
Here's two videos...
Duke and Bailey poolin
Duke and Bailey Poolin2
Trip report? Oh yeah, I forgot. I'll say that I had paired this one down for size. Now I don't know what paired down means because when I met my wife I pared up. But on the Whazblog I have more pitchers. I'm not playing hardball with anyone, it's just my website and I can ad all the images I like. Get the picture?
We started off in two states at the same time. However it seems my front end was an hour ahead of the back end. Funny how that works, more so as I get older. At least my belt buckle will be right on time.
First I took Mrs. Whazoo back to a spot I camped last year with my friend Mark. It was a view I wanted her to see.
By the way, if you ever decide to show up late, this is Whaz Bodette from Motel Whaz sayin...we'll leave the light on for you.
Looking down the Paria River to Lee's Ferry I can say that I've walked that river in days past, and what a hike that is. The trail is in the river which can range from two inches to two feet deep but you can't tell until you step down. The Paria is so muddy you can't see the bottom. I lost a low top hiking shoe there once in the quicksand, and had to throw off the pack and wallow around until I could get out. It was a solo hike and one of my best.
Driving down that dirt road we could see the back side of Bryce Canyon in the far distance.
Going for a hike we noticed that Bailey was a tattletail. Yes I did. "Dad, Duke's digging another hole in the yard!"
I give you Duke of the Desert.
The shapes and layers of sandstone always make me wonder how they came to be.
Coyote Buttes North, known as The Wave, is against the far cliffs.
The truck is over there he said pointedly.
By the time we started back it was 35 degrees and snowing behind us. Yeowza! We were trying to acclimate for Boise.
Driving to another camp we passed by some fellas, we could see them reliving their haydays.
I started the drive back to Alstroms Point at Lake Powell. And a gorgeous drive it was,
Lynn mentioned that it was like driving on Mars, where she's from. Did I say that out loud?
Navajo Mountain sits alone, making weather of its own.
I'm sorry, there will be pictures galore of this spot, again. It's the kind of place you just don't want to leave.
The Duke surveyed his new kingdom.
He's a rockhound don't ya know? After sitting on the rocks I figure his rear end will be ruff, ruff. I apologize for that.
Mrs. Whazoo says the hoodoo on the left looks like a puffin. I don't know what she was puffin about but it reminded me of a kind of bird. Navajo Mountain is in the background.
Evening red cliffs caused by Rayleigh scattering effect. Huh? I just read that somewhere I think, or did I make it up?
Now I have to axe you if you like my truck camper pantaloons. Place you're order at Whazoo.net and send money. I don't know how much, just send money. Instead of saying "you're fly is open" now we can say "You're camper door is open."
Mrs. Whazoo liked this picture,
Night time is the right time.
That night with that glorious view it was Thanksgiving, and I'm still thankful to have been there with my wife and dogs.
Now I've flipped the bird a few times in my life, but cut the bird only once a year and need practice.
While Mrs. Whaz does all the vittles up right.
Even so, Bailey says "Yo quiero Taco Bell!"
Morning always comes too early, Surely there's a camera that takes pictures while I'm still in the sack.
It must have been a celestial party night, the moon was still up the next morning, begging for a tequila sunrise.
No, that was not me sitting in the back seat, I don't care what you say. Dog slobber...
Ah, pancakes and...Bud Lite? I smell gas. Really? Look it was orange juice ok?!
Duke says "Hey, this is cruel and usual punishment Dad. I can smell that you know?"
Daydreamers inside and out
You set the camera timer and run. If you're clumsy like me it could be your second to the last picture. The last picture being of you with arms crossed, laying on your back.
While it didn't happen and I joke about it, don't be surprised to read about it here someday. A fitting end to the Whazoo.
Driving to another locale we happened to see, ground beef, on the hoof. Cow doodie, what will they think of next, short cowboys on Shetland ponies?
This was my second try to get to a road that I knew was there, I just had to make the cut first. With all the dirt roads in the area it was a maze and several hours were spent trying to get to this spot, a cut in the slickrock.
By the way, this is a decal on my camper door. Words to live by...
The trail was a mixture of sand then sections of rock, leaving my old tires to wonder what the devil I was doing to them. To cross a sandy wash I had to drop air pressure, then air up a bit for rocks. Mrs. Whazoo got tired too, of wondering if we'd make it up this unknown gnarly road.
We finally hit a soft section that took us to the top. We were ecstatic with the view, you'll see. Below us was Lee's Ferry. The narrow section of the Colorado River that you can see was where John D Lee made his home and ferried fellow Mormons across to the far side of the River.
From the narrow section notice the light colored band that was the old road as it started across the cliffs close to River level.
Then as the "road" crossed the Echo Cliffs giving those early settlers a taste of excitement as they looked down while riding in a wagon. I don't know, maybe they walked the wagons and mules across, that's what the heck I'd do. If I was riding in one of those wagons there'd have to be a large hole in the wagon seat to...well use your imagination. The trail crosses the middle of the cliffs and twenty years ago we could walk that trail, now closed by the Navajo Nation. From across the River at Lee's Ferry Campground you can still see the stacked rocks used to shore up the road in sections. They were a hardy and fearless group of people they were. My hat's off to them and their endeavors.
Not a good picture, it shows Marble Canyon as it becomes the official beginning of the Grand Canyon.
Bailey seemed to enjoy the view, but what do I know?
Looking north to Lake Powell.
And south as a squall blew in dropping snowflakes that melted to make...mud. Well just enough to stick to your boots and track inside. Argh...
And west looking up the Paria Canyon.
What you see is the old Navajo Bridge that we used to drive across. It is now open only to foot traffic with a new bridge behind it.
Peek-a-view of the camper.
Folks, guys especially, take note of this picture. Now tell me how an undeserving Whazoo ended up with a gal that brings me coffee a quarter mile from the camper in 35º before sun-up while I take pictures? Huh? How'd that happen? It was my lucky day for shore.
These iPhones do a great job with panoramas i'Ve discovered.
This is your Captain speaking, please fasten your seat belts we're about to lift off.
I can imagine a future fast-view pull-thru joint. "Yes, I'll have the Lee's Ferry Overlook to go please. Hold the onions." But I guess it would have to be on the drivers side yes? I'll back in next time.
That afternoon was, an afternoon hike, what else?
As we hiked the eyes of the desert were upon us.
We were trying to find our way to the opposite side of Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River just out of Page Arizona. Boy that was a long sentence to do in one breath.
That afternoon was in the forty degree range, and Bailey once again told on Duke. "Mom, Duke is laying in the drinking fountain!"
We called it Duke's "Cuzzi."
There were more magical rock formations.
And a mosaic tile swimming pool with a separating wall between the shallow and deep end. The small rocks were all smooth and on their sides just like tile. I figure it was the swimming pool of the gods of the desert.
Strange looking rings embedded in the sandstone, like targets in a maniacal game of lawn darts.
Then we came to the official swimming hole...
for dogs. I didn't know Duke could talk to water snakes!
There was a splash, Bailey leapt off a ledge into that cold cold water and started swimming, trying to save Duke who can't swim.
And then over to Mom to dry off on her pants. Is that what you call a dog leg?
These rocks and grass looked furrowed, like my brow as I wondered how that happened in nature.
Alien egg pods where everywhere. No don't touch them! Oh man, too late, she's an alien!
Ok get close butt, butt don't fall.
We were dog tired after lunch and needed a nap.
We were almost lost in this forest of rock, not being able to see very far.
Finally, the destination. It was very anti-climatic being on the opposite side of "The Bend", but I could see and hear dozens of tourists on the far rim. This was a case of the journey being far more important than the destination itself.
I could imagine Bailey thinking, "I wish I were a bird dog, dog bird."
This wasn't Horseshoe Bend but across to the north, a Bend Wannabe.
Double doggone that rock gave me paws, I figured it had more layers than a Dogwood, I mean Dagwood Sandwich.
If I'm lying I'm dyin, a Jurassic Entenmanns donut! No wonder the dinosaurs got so big, living on donuts.
Hmm, I don't know. Every now and then a strange picture makes its way into my trip reports.
What a great place to have a truck camper, just like home.
Last night at twilight I walked around the camper to just stand and take in the view. I saw a rectangular object in the far distance moving slowly, on the dirt road to our camp. I yelled out right away to the Mrs. that a black Jeep was coming our way. We are so attuned to people showing up and ruining a camping spot that she told me to start the generator, which I did. Hah, what little noise the Honda 2000 puts out wouldn't make a jack rabbit stay away. Then Mrs. Whazoo came around and started laughing. I swear this to be true. It's a known fact that I need new glasses, I'll just say it. She looked at the Jeep on the road coming towards us and laughed. Did I say that already? "It's a Moojeep" she said. Whaaat? It was a black cow moving oh so slowly towards us. Cows are now moojeeps.
And this was the offending Moojeep, traveling with one head white on.
There was one section of road like no other I've ever been on. I named it The Macerator. No joke, I've never seen my steering wheel move a full 180º at a time over and over again. I couldn't stop it and slowing down did not do much. That washboard was spaced just so that the tires and hence the steering wheel moved so hard it was impossible to do anything but watch it and be amazed. I just knew that all holdings of the black tank where completely macerated! That's my story and I'm stinking to it.
Coming down that gnarly road I finally understood the gravity of going up.
There's a video here somewhere, not that great.
I tried a different photographic technique for this picture, I called it "panning" yet I zoomed past it. "panning," "zoomed," I hope I don't have to spell it out here. And where the hell was I? Chain link fence and pavement? Maybe the Zombies had attacked while we were camping and all hell broke loose.
Ahah, It was true, roads were locked up and Zombie signs posted. Ok that was silly, but seriously how many locks does it take to keep out the Whazoo? Obviously they didn't have enough. Either that or I had keys to them all. In any event you can't get there without me, or by sending money. I don't know how much, just send money.
I'm not sure how to grade this trip report, except to give it an "F", for "fun."
Dave, Lynn, Duke and Bailey
Bonus footage of a boy and a snake