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  #1  
Old 09-11-2011, 04:33 PM
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Default My second night campsite...

Well, I finally got started on my trip to see the Grand Canyon. My first night camping was in Arkansas. I cannot get the pictures of the campsite out of the memory stick yet.
However, this is my campsite on the second night. It's the Red Rock Canyon State Park in Hinton OK. I must say that it was a very pleasant experience. Here is a picture, more info will follow...



For the last 2 nights, I've been camping in a friends studio in Albuquerque . Tomorrow I head out to Flagstaff to re-provision. I hope to camp out at the Bonito Campgrounds in the Coconino NF just North of Flagstaff. Hope to get an early start to the Grand Canyon on Tuesday morning. It's a shame that I must go North to the campground and then return all the way South to take the road to the Grand Canyon Village... I just could not find a campground near Falstaff off US 180 to get to the GC Village.. However, I guess I could just take US 89 North and then West on 64 and go directly to Desert View....

Last edited by silverz51; 09-11-2011 at 11:38 PM..
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2011, 11:34 PM
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That's twice you've done this, but it's FLAGSTAFF, not Falstaff. Falstaff is the beer company and Flagstaff is the town south of GC. That big hole in the ground has made it tough to build bridges, mostly because they don't want to ruin the view. The trip you mention is the best route. The roads are in good shape last time I was through there last year. Just enough traffic so you aren't alone, but empty enough for fast going and passing slow vehicles. You'll see lots of RVs and lots of places to stop along the way. The daylight is still long enough to cover some ground.

I drove through Oklahoma a couple of years ago along I-40 and I-44. I loved all the red clay all over the place. I also lived in Albuquerque for about 18 months for a job, and have passed through there many times since - driving through and via Amtrak. My daughter was born there. If you are familiar with the town, I was in the NE quadrant near I-40 and Eubank Blvd.

I hope your trip continues to do well. I take it you forgot to pack the means to download the pictures in your computer. I hope you have a lot of disk or lots of media. When you get to that big hole in the ground you will want to take a million pictures of it. It will be a sight for sure.

Have fun! Wish I was there!!!



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  #3  
Old 09-11-2011, 11:47 PM
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It's worse than you think Art, I keep typing "Falstaff" in my emails to home, everyone corrects me and I keep with the same old dyslexic thing.. Oh well...

I'm actually in the NW quadrant in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. I'm leaving tomorrow morning early as I want to have enought time to spend in (drumroll....) Flagstaff and not the late to the Bonito Campgrounds.

I actually brought 2 cameras and forgot the card reader for one of them. Anyway, from here on out I'll use only the Nikon anyway. I do have the USB cable to hook it up to the laptop

I actually forgot more than just that, but that's another story. lets just say that I now own yet another tripod identical to the one at home.. Also I now own 2 wide angle adapters... Oh well, I guess i can sell them on ebay or carigslist after I'm back. It just seemed a waste to drive nearly 2000 miles and not get good photos, you know?

About fast going and passing slow traffic.... I guess I'm equipped for that:


Last edited by silverz51; 09-11-2011 at 11:58 PM..
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:38 PM
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Well, I only remind people twice unless there's a safety concern, so I won't bother any more about your Falstaff reference.

Good job on the camera equipment. You won't regret that decision. In fact, you'll probably wish you had MORE gear - haze filters, telephoto lenses, etc.

LOL, I always laugh when people underestimate their trips. Unless the Grand Canyon makes you want to stay in the West, don't forget the ride back. You are driving over 4,000 miles, not 2,000 miles for this excursion.

I think I forgot to mention a couple of things about your camping gear. You are gonna need some very warm clothing. The Grand Canyon is predominantly desert climate and at 8,000 ft the nights are gonna be wicked cold especially if any wind kicks up. And the layering method is highly recommended. Don't use a parka, when a sweater, down jacket and outer shell will do, this way you remove what keeps you comfortable. The weather can be that different throughout the day. I hope you packed warm head cover, too.



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  #5  
Old 09-14-2011, 09:01 PM
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You were right about the cold! It got too cold for my sleeping bag last night. I decided to abort the trip to the North rim because of the cold. If I was uncomfortable in the South rim, I'd be miserable and probably in danger in the North rim...
I've since left the Grand Canyon and I am now in Sedona. Absolutely fantastic landscape. The road down from Flagstaff goes through some downright fantastical terrain! It feels like I was in a different world. The fly in the ointment is the monsoon season. Today I absolutely had to abort any idea of pitching a tent. The rain was so hard and rained for so long that the roads got flooded, many of the roofs in the stores on the main drag were leaking like sieves!
I took the easy way out and found a little motel a couple of miles North of Sedona and surrenderedWell, I don't feel so bad, I'm warm, dry and they even let me fire up my cook stove on a little BBQ area so I could at least keep a portion of my camper self respect. I did already set up once in pouring rain in Desert View and it rained last night as well (albeit just lightly). I just did not want to deal with flooding tent and ruined provisions, etc. Also, I dread the loading up of wet gear back in to the Corvette...
More pictures to follow...

OH, BTW, I did bring my polarizing lenses as well as the long lens.
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2011, 11:51 PM
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Default first night at Desert view

When I got there it was raining pretty steadily. I went ahead and setup the tarp over a semi non-muddy spot and got the tent up. When I finished, it actually stopped raining and cleared up a bit.



Of course, it rained again hard later that night and the wind whipped that tarp sheet so it made noise all night long
After a poor sleep night I went out to hike and take photos and all, but upon my return I took down the tarp and moved the tent to a much less muddy spot I found in the campsite just a few feet away...
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2011, 11:53 PM
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This is what the revised tent setup looked like. Of course, it rained again but very lightly. I stayed dry but it was colder and I wished I had a better cold weather sleeping bag...

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  #8  
Old 09-15-2011, 06:18 AM
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Just a thought regarding your sleeping bag. You don't want to wear any more clothing than some long johns (at the most). If you wear pants, sweatshirt, etc., the sleeping bag will not warm up. It needs your body heat to work.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2011, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_guy_camping View Post
Just a thought regarding your sleeping bag. You don't want to wear any more clothing than some long johns (at the most). If you wear pants, sweatshirt, etc., the sleeping bag will not warm up. It needs your body heat to work.
That's right. Also I find that zipping the whole thing up "including the mummy head" helps a whole lot! Duh...
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2011, 04:32 PM
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Default My third "camping" experience

A little after I arrived to Sedona, it began to rain. It was a world class downpour. I got wet and cold even though I was wearing a rain poncho and holding an umbrella! The sleeves of my rain jacket got soaked through and my shoes & socks (and feet) were a cold soggy mess.
There was no way I was going to go hunt for the campground and try to set up camp that night.
I found a hotel were I got a reasonable (for Sedona) rate and spent the night in a very small room. On the bright side, they allowed me to set up my stove and cook my supper as well as breakfast the next day



I did go hiking and touring the next day after the sky cleared and the sun shone again. I hiked around the Red Rock State Park and got some decent photos...



This (above) is a view of Sedona from the parking lot at the trail head of the Red Rock State Park....



This is a view of the parking and trail head. You can see my camp mobile on the lower left...
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2011, 04:53 PM
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Default My fourth camp site

After Sedona, I headed back to New Mexico. I found a place that was logistically ideal. It is El Morro National Monument, were I could camp on a first come first serve basis for the munificent sum of $2.50 (regular $5 but half price for having the pass).
It was a very nice place and I enjoyed my stay after I put away the garbage the previous user left in the garbage can into the bear-proof trash cans... Some folks are just not too smart or too lazy or stupid I guess... I kept a scrupulously clean camp and my bear spray near by just in case.
I heard the bull elk call at night as well as the coyotes and something rattling around in another campsite...

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  #12  
Old 09-19-2011, 07:43 PM
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Good stuff.... We love Sedona. I've been to those areas you photographed. The color is awesome. Those are nice pictures but it's very hard to capture the panorama and color of Sedona. It's amazingly beautiful there. And in winter you can add the white of snow. I'm shocked at how much rain you've experienced so far, and I hope the rain is done, but we just had some new showers and since the weather goes East, it might catch you or hopefully disapate before it gets to you.

El Morro is on my list. A friend goes there often for wildlife viewing and pictures. I may join him one year.

I'm one of those types that leaves a campground much cleaner that when I got there no matter what type of place. I'm always amazed at what slobs most visitors can be so unfortunately, this is not hard to do.



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Last edited by artmart; 09-19-2011 at 07:47 PM..
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2011, 01:37 PM
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Wow Sounds like an awesome trip. I cant wait till my wife give birth to our new son so I can go hiking/camping again. I still have at least another year. I wonder about the effectiveness of that bear spray. Have you tested it (hopefully not) but I would hate to rely on a spray that effectiveness would be less than 10 feet. I would probably just stick to a air horn.
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2011, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeS View Post
Wow Sounds like an awesome trip. I cant wait till my wife give birth to our new son so I can go hiking/camping again. I still have at least another year. I wonder about the effectiveness of that bear spray. Have you tested it (hopefully not) but I would hate to rely on a spray that effectiveness would be less than 10 feet. I would probably just stick to a air horn.

Wow, you are expecting a child! That's really cool, but it's gonna eat up your time in a big way I hope you do find a way to continue camping out and enjoying the outdoors.
As for the bear spray, I have to trust REI on that. There is no way to test it short of spraying with it, and it's a one time use item.... I know it's a expensive and not verified, but I think it's better than other alternatives. The air horn might be a very good option though.. Maybe it would be a good addition to the spray.
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2011, 04:06 PM
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Thanks,
That sounds like a new camping tool to create airhorn/pepperbear spray. I will take 5.lol
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