GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

gixxerjasen wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:48 pm
wheatonFJR wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:25 pm I’m also gonna wager on a long shot that the former FJR rider you met in Montrose was a character named pinhead who used to be on the forums. Back in 2008 at the first NAFO a group of us met him in Gunnison. At the time he worked in Crested Butte. I believe later, he helped Beemerdons organize the first SW-FOG or two. That’s just my guess, though I think it’s a good one from your description.
You wouldn't happen to remember his real (non-forum) name would you? Looks like Dave something.
It’s been 13 years since I saw him in Gunnison… but I did a ride report on the FJR board at the time with a photo of him. For some reason I’m banned from that board, so I cannot point you to that photo…but it should be in that report.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Cav47 wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:15 pm
gixxerjasen wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:38 pm
natehawk750 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:28 pm Thread Jack! I'm betting he never finishes this Ride Report!
I'm not Spawn.
Did she even start the report? Can finish what you didn’t start!
Ya'll were tag teaming on one of your reports, it was started. Technically, since it was a team event, you both failed. :lol:
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Day 4
Off the bike day in Glenwood Springs.

On previous motorcycle trips I never really had a lot of time, so they are always whirlwind trips. This left me disappointed becaues there were always things I wanted to see that didn't involve riding the motorcycle, but with the limited time, I had to rush rush rush to keep to the schedule. I also exhausted myself quite a bit with being on the bike non stop. This trip I decided to build in a few days off the bike to see some things, to give my candy butt a break, and get a little exercise in. I also wanted to ensure that I was back in time for the banquet tonight.

Today would be a day that would test my ability to deal with the frustration of changes and challenge me to be more flexible.

First up, I really wanted to do a little hiking on this trip. I'd done some research and Hanging Lake is supposed to be a really good hike. Due to the popularity of the trail, they limit the number of people per day on the trail by issuing reservations. I had reservations for today made months ago. I chose an early time so I could get up there to see the lake in the early morning light. I did have to ride over to the trailhead, and was possilby one of the first ones out of the gate this morning.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/whiteri ... ecid=41225

Alas, I arrived at the rest area that serves as the trailhead parking lot to find this.

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I should have checked my email. I'd been staying on top of this one since it had been closed when Glenwood Canyon was closed for the mud slides, but it was reopened before my trip. Apparently though, the rain two days previous had caused a minor slide that damaged the trail and I was issued a cancellation of my reservation and the trail was closed.

I tracked around to another rest area where I confirmed this and looked up some other trails in the area. The first two nearest to the rest area I found to also be closed with gates closed across the trailhead. I rode over to Boy Scout Trail in Glenwood Springs but there wasn't really a place to park except on the very steep sloped street. Thus, I headed back to the Inn to regroup.

I'd planned on seeing Doc Holliday's gravesite today so decided to go ahead and do that. It's walking distance from the Inn so I grabbed my camera and camelbak and started walking. The Inn sits right on CO-82 which is a major thoroughfare and the route to Aspen. It was so busy and noisy I was determined not to walk here and immediately turned right to take some back streets up to the trailhead.

The trail is a very nice, well maintained, walking path. It is a bit steep of a climb, and with Glenwood Springs being at 5,700 altitude, it's a little strenuous but thankfully it's still early and cool enough that I make my way up without too much huffing and puffing and sweating.

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First up, Doc might be the most famous person buried here, but not the only one. Harvey Logan, aka Kid Curry, who ran with BButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as a member of "The Wild Bunch" is also buried here. Apparently, after performing a train robbery nearby he was on the run from a posse when his group came upon a rancher. After making demands of the rancher they departed where they were defeated by the latest in technology at the time. The Telephone. Turns out the rancher had a phone and placed a call into the town where the posse was and tipped them off to where Havey and his group were headed. There was a gunfight and Harvey lost his life and ended up being buried here.

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Next was over to Doc Holliday's grave marker.

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Folks like to come and leave little mementos on his grave.

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Reading the various placards around the cemetery fill in a lot of information. This isn't Doc's actual grave site. There was a nice explanation of what a Potters Field was. Basically they believed at that time that everybody deserved a proper burial, even if you were a criminal or very poor. Thus a section was set aside for these folks. As Doc died alone and destitute, he wouldn't have been able to afford a decent burial and was likely afforded a wooden box, a space in the Potters Field, and a wooden grave marker. That grave marker wouldn't be maintained and would have deteriorated long ago. In the 1930's all the grave records were lost, so we know he's buried in this cemetery, but don't know exactly where.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potter%27s_field

I took a few photos from some of the overlooks that show how high up you have to hike, the first photo looking off toward the inn.

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The second one looking in the direction I intended to walk to find lunch. What an amazing little neighborhood of eclectic houses many with well maintained yards and beautiful flower gardens.

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Looking back down the sidewalk through the neighborhood.

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I knew down on 82 toward the main part of Glenwood Springs that there were a lot of restaurants. I was checking my phone looking at what was available and one stood out to my mouth and stomach. I decided to hit up Masala & Curry.

https://www.masalaandcurry.com/

I ordered up the chicken Masala with some garlic naan bread. That was some of the lightest softest naan bread I've ever had. The first picture shows the order as it came, which doesn't look like a whole lot of food.

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But I managed to fill my plate twice and was definitely full when I left. Delicious food and excellent service here as well.

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After finishing lunch I headed back to the Inn to do some laundry and confirm my plans and routes for the upcoming days. I would have my flexibity tested once again.

I'd be making my way to and through California over the next week. I was very excited to see the Sequoia National Forest and had planned a couple of camping spots there. Thankfully all the fires are up north so I'm hoping smoke won't be an issue. My first camping in California will be just north of the beautiful Lake Isabella area. As I'm looking at my routes, Google informs me that my route is affected by the French Fire. Google is only too happy to show me a map.

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That marker just north of Kernville is my camp site. I go back to my email again and there's an ominous email very recently from recreation.gov. Opening it confirms my dread that my camping reservation is canceled. I start trying to figure out alternate plans that will still be able to include the camping I have planned after this. I'm nervous about taking that 178 because who knows what will happen with the French Fire in the coming days and I could find the road closed and have to backtrack. I need a plan that gets me around the fire on roads likely to be open. The options are slim and I decide I'll have to hotel it in Bakersfield.

I purposely left my laptop behind at home this trip as it's big and bulky and heavy and I didn't want to bring it. However, I don't know how folks deal with only a phone screen because trying to plan and look things up is 10x harder on a tiny touch screen compared to a laptop with a mouse and keyboard. One advantage I have on my side is that my wife absolutely LOVES looking up hotels and comparing and stuff. I decided to "Phone a friend" and call my wife and put her on the case. Within an hour I have a text message from La Quinta in Bakersfield with my reservation information on it.

Laundry completed, I had a lazy afternoon hanging out with folks who had also opted to hang around. Finally we made our way over to the park next door to eat our fantastic banquet put on by the local Kiwanis club. I spent time consuming cheap beer, good food, and conversing that I forgot to take any photos. We moved back to the Inn and spent more time in the parking lot telling even greater lies than previous nights all spending that last evening togther before everyone split up for their various upcoming destinations.

Getting back to my room late, knowing I had to be up early and had a longish day ahead of me, I decided to forgo a shower. I'm going to spend most of tomorrow hot and sweaty alone, so I can get by with one night considering the easy day I had today. By the way, this is what is known as "Foreshadowing."
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Day 5
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Distance: 582.4 miles
Duration: 11 hours, 13 minutes, and 43 seconds
Average Speed: 51.9 mph
Minimum Elevation: 3521 feet
Maximum Elevation: 8825 feet

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One pin that's been on my map no matter what my plan has been, has been the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I've never seen the canyon and knew that if I'm passing this direction then I really need to make sure I have a stop here. I've planned ahead and have reservations to camp at the very nice campgrounds there.

So, just like that, NAFO is over, it's early Sunday morning and I'm loaded and ready to go. First thing is tracking along I-70 to Grand Junction again. After that, it's all new stuff for me. First, it' new state day for me. Never been to Utah before but I hear it's beautiful. Where the welcome sign is, well, that's kind of meh.

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I already had it on my route but I'd talked to someone on my trip who found out where I was going and said "When you see the exit for Cisco, take it. That'll take you to where all the car advertisements of the 1980' were filmed, definitely worth it." I was able to easily find the exit and took it.

Side note here. Ugh, steering bearing issue again it seems. As the trip has gone on, when braking I started feeling a light click, that has moved to a bigger clunk. It's getting bad enough that I am getting a slight shimmy today under heavy braking. Not good. Thankfully I brought a decent tool kit and will address this at my camp site.

That said, UT-128 through Cisco is some of the worst maintained pavement I've seen on this trip. My steering is NOT liking this at all. I notice that I have a choice after Cisco to turn south or to stay on the road which will put me back onto the smoother I-70 which I'm currently running parallel to at this point.

Thankfully, the left turn put me onto some seriously beautiful smooth new pavement. They need to continue this back to the Interstate.

Forgot to change my gopro batteries and got absolutely zero footage for the first part of 128, but it's an eerie hazy transition from flat desert to the start of the canyons. Before you know it, you are here.

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I'm so happy the road smoothed out because this ended up being one of my absolutely favorite roads of the trip. Not so much tight twisties, but the scenery as you turn your head every direction makes it great to be on a motorcycle. Still no gopro in here, missed a lot of great stuff.

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Once I hit Moab I turned south, and even though not as good as 128, the sights along UT-191 were still enjoyable.

At 11:30 I entered Mexican Hat and looking ahead at the map I opted to stop for lunch. I saw a sign that said "Pizza, Beer, Sandwiches" and that seemed like a good idea, well, at least the sandwiches did. I topped off the gas tank and rode across the street. After parking and getting all my gear off I walked toward the front door when a man sitting at the picnic table out front asked if he could help me. I told him I was looking for lunch and he laughed and said there's no lunch. I asked him when he opens and he said he's open for beer and the RV site, but the kitchen doesn't open till 1pm. Seemed strange to me to wait till just after lunch to open your kitchen but whatever, I thanked him and went on my way.

This past spring my parents unknowingly planned out today's route for me. My dad sent me a photo saying they went to where Forrest Gump was filmed for his home and sent me a photo of the street where he started running. I'd seen other folks previously post pictures where he stopped running, so this meant I had to go there. Just south of Mexican Hat as you approach Monument Valley is "Forrest Gump Point." Here he is just before deciding to stop.

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There were quite a few folks getting photos here. I had my camera set up on my little tripod and had to wait on some girl posing for 62K photos her boyfriend was taking for her instagram account so that I could grab my photo.

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https://www.visitutah.com/articles/self ... gump-point

Of course I had to take a bike photo too.

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Right after that, it's another new state day. Arizona.

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Which started off with lots and lots and lots of this.

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Every once in a while a little bit of this.

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I stopped just outside of Page Arizona to get a photograph of the real horseshoe bend. It was super hot and I saw the lines to get to the pay booth just to get in and park so you can walk a short distance for a photograph. Not doing all that today, so I skipped it and continued riding the boring stuff.

https://horseshoebend.com/

And then all of a sudden I entered this little cut through a mountain.

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At the end of the cut is a left turn and you are now hugging the wall of a cliff and are very high up dropping down in altitude quickly to the floor below.

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Then the scenery started getting interesting. Additionally, the more interesting the scenery got, the higher the air temperature went. I was seeing 104F again running across the valley floor. Thank goodness I bought that new camelbak bladder back in Leadville.

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The Vermillion Cliffs were one of many things I'd see on this trip that you might have seen photos or video of, but you don't really grasp the scale of things until it's right there in front of you. The small cliffs in the foreground are seriously big cliffs, but the ones in the background absolutely tower over them. This was definitely a hot and jawdropping ride.

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Climbing up out of the valley toward the Grand Canyon you get a last look back toward the cliffs.

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On arrival at the Grand Canyon gate I noticed it was $30 for a car and $25 for a motorcycle. I've already paid $60 for my camping, so I presented my VA card. I was rewarded with a military park pass that would do me well later on in the trip.

As I approached the canyon, I recalled the advice given to me by Marty (OFace on the FJRider). He said since it's my first time, that you'll get glimpses of the canyon, but don't peek. Don't look. Just keep going. When you get to the parking lot, walk out to one of the overlooks and then just look up and take it in. It was hard, the canyon was flashing through the trees in the corner of my left eye and I wanted to look over so bad, especially at the boring slow speeds of a National Park. I kept focused on the road ahead of me and made it to the parking lot. I put my hat on and pulled it down low so I could only see the walkway right in front of me. Then I made the long walk to the hotel veranda, where I set my gear down on a picnic table, approached the wall and looked up.

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I hate admitting when Marty is right, but that was definitely the way to do it. Once again, photos do not convey the scale of things and when I pulled my head up it definitely took my breath away.

Having done that, I took some notes on signs they had for suggestions and headed back up the road to the campgrounds to get checked in. I got my site all set up pretty quickly.

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Then I grabbed some clean clothes and my shower stuff and made the trek across the campgrounds to the laundry/shower building. On arrival there's a big sign out front and on each door saying "Closed for the season." Seriously? They still have labor day weekend coming up and the campgrounds are pretty full but no showers. Not good. I sweated my butt off in that 104F heat today and remember that it's Sunday and I haven't showered since Friday.

I wasn't sure what I'd be able to buy in the camp store so I'd brought some Mountain House Adventure dehydrated meals as well as one of the Omeals "MRE" in the Southwest Style Chicken flavor. It was delicious but certainly not enough food. I grabbed a mini chef boyardee and some dessert at the camp store to supplement it. Then I settled down to a nice fire in the firepit, enjoying this as I wouldn't be able to light a match once entering California. The camp store sold some good dry wood, so easy to light and burned really well.

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As I waited for the coals to burn down, I pulled out my camera to take advantage of the lack of light pollution way out here. I'd heard that my wide angle lens worked really well for some astrophotography so I was determined to give it a try and see what I could figure out. I struggled for a while, upping the ISO and shutter speed and still getting nothing. After four or five of these shots I remembered to take the lens cap off. Hey, it was super dark out there and I couldn't see it was on there. I got a few shots and ended up liking this one.

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After that, it was time to climb into by bedroll. I planned to be up early to watch the sun rise over the canyon.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Cav47 »

Those are some wonderful photos, I can only imagine the calendar contest is going to be something special. Great report as well.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Burnspot »

Excellent report so far! 141 is a great piece of road, to be sure. The museum in Gateway is also very cool. :D
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Burnspot wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:47 pm The museum in Gateway is also very cool. :D
I was told to check it out, but couldn't find it. I didn't realize I needed to go into that resort looking property to find it.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Festus »

Beautiful photos! Can we do a GixxerJasen FJR calendar? :) You have enough to make a full calendar already, can't wait to see more.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Festus wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:51 pm Beautiful photos! Can we do a GixxerJasen FJR calendar? :) You have enough to make a full calendar already, can't wait to see more.
That would certainly make DesignFlaw's job so much easier. But it wouldn't be fair to the others, and yes, I've seen a few that are definitely contenders, if not photos that kick mine to the curb. Gonna be a good calendar this year for sure.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Festus »

gixxerjasen wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:16 pm
Festus wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:51 pm Beautiful photos! Can we do a GixxerJasen FJR calendar? :) You have enough to make a full calendar already, can't wait to see more.
That would certainly make DesignFlaw's job so much easier. But it wouldn't be fair to the others, and yes, I've seen a few that are definitely contenders, if not photos that kick mine to the curb. Gonna be a good calendar this year for sure.
Don’t flatter yourself, I didn’t say THE calendar would be full of you, just your own!

A lot of them would be incredible if you could just remember to turn your SPOT on and Tracking on! :mrgreen:
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Festus wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:58 pm if you could just remember to turn your SPOT on and Tracking on! :mrgreen:
I'm telling you, I didn't forget once. Next time I need to add "Put a fresh battery in the GoPro!"
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Festus »

gixxerjasen wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:40 pm
Festus wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:58 pm if you could just remember to turn your SPOT on and Tracking on! :mrgreen:
I'm telling you, I didn't forget once. Next time I need to add "Put a fresh battery in the GoPro!"
The people around you would appreciate if you put "Take a Shower daily" on the list :)
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Festus wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:53 am
gixxerjasen wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:40 pm
Festus wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:58 pm if you could just remember to turn your SPOT on and Tracking on! :mrgreen:
I'm telling you, I didn't forget once. Next time I need to add "Put a fresh battery in the GoPro!"
The people around you would appreciate if you put "Take a Shower daily" on the list :)
No kidding. Even I would appreciate it. It gets worse.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

Day 6
Off the bike day.

I'd planned an entire day just hanging out at the Grand Canyon, doing things, relaxing, a little hiking and I got it all done. I started up by waking up early so I could ride over to the lodge parking lot and hike out to Bright Angel Point to watch the sun rise.

https://www.nps.gov/places/000/bright-a ... -trail.htm

What a nice little half mile hike, but wow, there were already lots of folks out there to watch the sun rise too, many with some serious camera gear. I found me a nice vantage point on some rocks and got set up to watch the show. Didn't take too long and the sun was peeking over the edge of the canyon.

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And then a few minutes later, the show was over. Boo!

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So I set about to wait and see what I could make of my morning. I wanted a good shot with the early morning sun at the right angle to light up the canyon but it looked like I'd have to wait. So I pulled my stuff out of my camelbak and made some coffee. No finer place to sit and sip a cup o' joe.

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Occasionally the sun would peek through a hole in the clouds and light up certain areas. Here it is lighting up some folks sitting on the rocks there. The ledge to the left of them was my coffee spot. I moved around a bit trying to find better places to take photos from.

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This is what it looks like viewing out to Bright Angel Point.

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I spent the morning looking at the skies a lot and getting this in return.

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Eventually the guy in this photo moved and that became my spot for the rest of the morning.

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This is the rock I sat on from the other side, right by the end of Bright Angel Point Trail.

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And this is looking down from my rock on Bright Angel Point.

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I sat for about three hours there. Everybody left right after sunrise so I had the place to myself. It was super quiet and the temperature was perfect, so I got to sit and be introspective staring at one of the most beautiful locations on our planet. In the process I snapped around a hundred photos hoping each time that the clouds might open up a little more, but it takes a big hole in the clouds to illuminate an area as vast as the Grand Canyon. In the end I had to settle for the best I could get, which isn't bad. And even better than the photo was the experience I had sitting there that morning.

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Eventually I returned to my camp site and started thinking about lunch. I'd brought a bunch of the Mountain House dehydrated meals to eat while I'm camping as they pack small, but cook easily. I had let my wife and son pick them out and my son was very excited to hear my thoughts on the "Creamy Macaroni & Cheese." I sent him this photo which pretty much sums up my thoughts.

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I think they called for too much water because it was very runny. Then the cheese powder didn't dissolve very well, so it made for kind of a nasty sauce. But, beggers can't be choosers and I was starving so I ate the whole thing.

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Then I walked about a hundred yards over to the edge of the campground and marveled at what I can see so close.

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After that I grabbed my camelbak and set out for an afternoon hike. I picked up the Transept Trail where it comes around the campground and followed that to Bridle Trail, which leads to the North Kaibab Trail. You can take this one all the way down into the canyon. The important thing to remember is that every bit you go down, you have to come back up. I was not about to hike down to the bottom of the canyon. First of all, it's too late in the day, second, I'm having to keep an eye on my Achilles tendon that keeps flaring back up from tendinitis, and the altitude is 8.300'. I've decided to hike down to the Coconino Overlook, and no further. Well, it was further than I thought it'd be. Also, the North Kaibab Trail is the one they'll take you down on mules. This meant I had to dodge fly covered piles of pee and poo all the way down the trail. Not ideal. But the view is still worth it.

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After that I hiked back up and back to my camping spot. One thing about being at this altitude, if you are in the shade, the weather is absolutely amazing. But if you are out in the high altitude sun it feels like your skin is sizzling.

My picnic table and the rest of the site were in full sun, but the empty site next to me was in full shade. Thus, I spent my afternoon sitting at the neighbors picnic table finishing off the last 2/3 of a book that I've been nursing for quite some time. Such a nice very relaxing afternoon.

Then it was time for dinner. My wife and son voted and chose the Lasagna with Meat Sauce. This is supposed to be my "Not bad" face but my wife says I look terrified.

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Still too much water but the sauce powder dissolved and it turned into a slightly better than chef boyardee quality lasagna. Not bad actually.

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As the night drew to a close, I finished off all of my fire stuff in one fell swoop and had a nice last campfire of the trip.

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Also, showers are still closed. At this point I can barely stand being in the tent with myself. Seriously, who thought this was a good idea?
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

Wow. Awesome photos and text. Even if the light wasn’t what you wanted…having time and being there, right there, is a gift not everybody gets.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by raYzerman »

I remember climbing on those rocks.... and I don't think an old fart like me could hike down very far and get back up, so I stayed up top. Very kool place indeedy.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Cav47 »

Your pics and text bring back some awesome memories of my trip out there in the truck with my oldest a few years ago. Thanks for putting this together. I know it’s a lot of work, that’s why I don’t do very many of them. Lol.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by Cav47 »

Our pics are similar.

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I often have found myself when I was not looking, nor did that discovery take place where I thought it would!

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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by wheatonFJR »

Cav47 wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:20 pm Our pics are similar.
:) :) :) A joke of course.

I grant you that your views may have been similar, JSNS.
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Re: GixxerJasen goes to California, and other places...

Post by gixxerjasen »

wheatonFJR wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:37 am
Cav47 wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:20 pm Our pics are similar.
:) :) :) A joke of course.

I grant you that your views may have been similar, JSNS.
Yep, Cav had better lighting and someone to share it with. I'm already trying to figure out how to get the family out there to share it with them.
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