Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

June 17 Grand Canyon and Monument Valley

June 17 - North Rim of Grand Canyon and Monument Valley

Up early to head for the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Our instinct was to skip the south rim and the crowds and glad we did. The road into the north rim is over 40 miles long and vast stretches of it still show thousands of acres of forest fire damage. This was a fire in 2000 and parts of the forest look like it happened yesterday. We saw one memorial to a firefighter who died. I also kept wondering how
many animals died in that blaze. The undergrowth is slowly coming back unlike the Yellowstone fire damage of 1988 where the new trees are thick and probably 10 feet tall.

Very few people at north rim when we got there. Parked the TC next to an Earthroamer but never caught up with the owners. Those things are massive and I can only imagine the fuel cost. Our Host truck camper looked dwarfed.

Knew we were not going to walk down a long trail into the canyon as it was already hot and we are just not agile enough anymore to come back up. Down I could probably do. Up I doubted so didn't try. Make these trips when you are YOUNG folks. Since we thought we were going to take a short hike, didn't take the pack with water, etc. Really dumb, BAD move as we ended up walking a couple of miles and were quite
dehydrated and hot when we got back to the TC. We walked out to Bright Angel Point and spent about two hours in all on that short, steep trail just in awe of the canyon. I kept thinking of the pioneers who had crossed the great plains, pulled wagons over mountains and probably thought they were home free for getting west. Wrong! Here suddenly is this massive canyon in the way that they had to go around.

No way to describe the light, the depth or the sheer size of the Grand Canyon. It is truly awesome. After drinking about a gallon of water each and cooling down some, we walked back to the Lodge, had another drink and sat out on a stone veranda and just looked at the canyon.

Finally on towards Monument Valley to see if John Wayne was still riding around making movies.

But??? what is that noise? We didn't like a transmission noise so called our Ford dealer in Maine. After describing the noise, he basically said it was okay but to stop at a local dealer if we wanted and have them do a courtesy inspection. Of course we wanted since we get back into some pretty remote areas. Basically it sounds
like it is going into overdrive beyond tow haul and has to be kicked out to get the whining noise to stop. We think it is totally associated with tow haul since no noise ever when not using tow haul. It has now happened three times, mostly after a very steep, long grade in hot temps at 6,500 to 8,000 feet altitude. No warning lights or error messages come on. Detoured to Page, AZ to a dealer but they couldn't take a look for days. We'll call ahead to an Albuquerque Ford place and make an appointment for a look see plus an oil change. 2005 F-350,3.0 Powerstroke engine if anyone has a clue. Did stop at Glen Canyon Dam in Page while there so not a wasted stop.

From Page, took 98 to 160 to 163 in Monument Valley. The sight distances are vast.

Tonight we are in a Navajo campground which blessedly has electricity for air conditioning. It was 97 in the TC when we opened her up. Got to get a MaxAir vent cover but it was so hot today, doubt the vent while driving would really help any. It's now down to 80 in the TC so we will be able to sleep. Tomorrow we are thinking of taking a jeep tour with a guide out into the valley - this time with hats, water,
sun screen, etc. etc.


Terri said...

Beautiful pictures Anne.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, take the guided jeep tour, it's worth every penny! And do take in Sky City if you have time. We've stayed with friends who are honorary Acoma, one of only two Anglo families allowed to live on Acoma land, and Sky City is quite interesting. Are you visiting many NM pueblos next?