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Wandrin 2003

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by Lloyd Treichel



Dateline: June 3, 2003 -- Salt Lake City, Utah

Since the last posting at Sedona, AZ, my wandering has taken me through Northern Arizona and on to northern Utah.  This is a most scenic area where there is never an end to the color ranges represented in the exposed rocks and towering cliffs.  The horizon is the only edge to this landscape of beauty.  

Before leaving Sedona, there I found a ...

Great camping place ... About ten miles south of Sedona, AZ on Highway 89 is Forest Service Road 525.  This is a great place to boon dock with sunsets, sunrises and views of Red Rocks in the distance.  Each morning's treat was the appearance of the balloons.  At times they flew so close you could wish the riders a "Good Morning" without straining your voice.  

No charge with your Golden Age Passport.  The locally available Red Rocks Pass will also work.  Coordinates:  N 34º 49.168'  W 111º 54.429'

Things go bump...  in the night.  In the state of almost asleep, I awoke to a thud to Wandrin Wagon.  At that point, all the senses are immediately more sensitive and I believed that I could hear something walking outside.  Once the adrenalin was reabsorbed, I dozed again when the thud was at the window in the bedroom.  Another fifteen minutes passed before I was able to shake that jolt.  

The next morning I checked for evidence in the dusty windows.  (I don't do windows -- very often.)  There appeared to be marks in the dust -- or was I trying to see something.  There were no prints on the ground -- other than my own.  Could this have been a bat with faulty radar.  

The story was related to other WINs who were camped there.  I continued my journey while they stayed.  About two weeks later, Sarah sent an email relating the evening as they sat around a fire.  Some kind of flying critter made a couple of passes through the area and as it passed it had a "fairly high pitched constant chirp/twirp/croak."  Could that have been my thud in the night?

As long as we are on the subject of flying things...  

Bird building nests on Wandrin Wagon... It was not the first time that some birds of some sort started to build their nest in the pin box.  Once I notice the activity, I installed the cardboard to stop the effort.  

This did not stop this pair of House Finches from deciding that Wandrin Wagon was to be their home.  Being barred from the pin box, they set their sights on the step ladder that is lashed to the rear Wandrin Wagon.  As I watched their futile nest building through the back window, it appeared that during nest building, the marital harmony was stressed as their  tweet tweets gave way to raucous screeches.

Geocaching...   Through the use of GPS (Global Position System), the location of a hidden item -- the cache -- is identified.  The cache's coordinates are entered into your handheld GPS (eTrex in my case) which then points you in which direction the item is hidden -- and how far it is.  The journey to find the cache may require a lengthy hike, crossing streams and scrambling up a steep slope to get there.  Even then it may not be visible -- since it is hidden from plain view.  

Sarah Blackwood introduced me to Geocaching when I was parked in Sedona.  Once at their web site (www.geocaching.com), we searched a world wide data base for caches based on the local postal zip code.  We chose two caches and then proceeded to search for them.  John Floyd joined us for the search.  We found both of them including the one which was a six mile hike.

This has all the fun of the old treasure hunt updated with the latest in technology.  

Grand Canyon ...  According to "ranting and raving" (his self description) Ranger Jim, it is the only Grand Canyon.  During a geology tour that I joined, Ranger Jim listed all the pretenders to being "grand" and proceeded to describe why there is only one.  He also noted that there were no seven wonders of the world; there was only one -- The Grand Canyon.  

He is right!  Words, nor pictures, can describe the  Grand Canyon.  Standing at the Canyon's edge, there is some feeling of the expanse and magnificence.  To get a more intimate feel of the Grand Canyon, John Floyd and I hiked sections the Bright Angel and the Kaibab Trails. 

Stuck in the sand  ...  Pulling an anchor across the country has its disadvantages.  The anchor I refer to is Wandrin Wagon which weighs in at 12,000 pounds.   

Just north of Page, AZ, on Lone Rock Road, I decided to park my rig on the hard surfaced shores of Lake Powell.  Since the Lake is down and there was a lot of space to choose from,  I headed for a primo spot and became stuck in a mini sand dune.  Several shoveling episodes and I was able to get Silver Slug onto a hard surface once again.  A scouting expedition before I left the area ensured that I would not get stuck again.  Good idea... Plan ahead.

Hiking ... This past month I made up for several months of below average hiking mileage.  From Sedona, the trekking journeys continued through Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Grand Staircase Escalante, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and others.  Recently the hikes have been near Salt Lake City.  


Of all those hikes, the one that stands out most would be the bizarre and unusual eroded rock formations of "The Wave".  This hike is located about half way between Kanab, UT and Page, AZ in the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness.  Permits are drawn lottery style the day before at a nearby BLM station.  Of the over 20 people that were hoping for a permit, I was one of the lucky ten.  I actually won a lottery!!

The True RVing Fulltimers ... can be identified by how long it takes them to set up and receive a TV signal from their portable satellite dish.

XM Radio... This is satellite radio.  I hate to plug anything, but this was the best acquisition since I have been traveling.  There is no buyer's remorse.  

There are numerous music channels to choose from, but classical music is the genre I enjoy most and that alone was worth the price of $9.95 a month.    In addition there are news and talk channels including the audio feeds from CNN, Fox and CNBC.  After listening to them I realized you really do not need a picture.  One of the positives of listening to these broadcasts is that I don't have to deal with the ticker tape of news across the bottom of the screen.  

DirecTV was canceled one week after XM radio was with me.  The TV has not been turned on since -- even when there is local access.  

Cinnamon Roll Search ...  Traveling the remote parts of the west, the closest to a bakery this past month was the grocery store, deli and bakery combination.  The cinnamon rolls did not pass the visual test.

Perhaps I will have better luck this next month.

Latest Read ...  "Everett Ruess -- A Vagabond for Beauty"  This collection of letters to his family chronicles his travel of 1930-1934.  Most frequently traveling with pack animals, he tramps the California coast, Sierra Nevada and the Desert Southwest.  In spite of the rest of the world, this artist-writer-poet is on his own mission searching for beauty living the simple life.  At the age of 20 in 1934 he disappears without a trace in Utah's desert canyons.  

Ego Plates ....

RDHAUS -- Arizona plates on a newer VW bus. To follow its travels, a sign in the window said to visit website www.rdhaus.com.

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