Friday, April 22, 2016

The Road North

Our camp at Jonson Canyon, pre toy haulers.
Driving days mean that we get up early and then spend at least four hours on the road heading to a new spot. Linda lays out her maps and memorizes all the highway numbers for the upcoming day. She approximates driving times and finds us a place to stop for each night. The distance we drive usually depends upon where we have reservations for camping.

Our next reservations are at a campground up in Idaho. That gives us two nights to make our way up to that campground. To do this Linda talked to Daren and Marcy and found that they camped in a BLM area up Johnson Canyon just outside Kanab. It is boondocking at its best with nothing but a dirt parking lot as you site.

We drove through some really spectacular country today. Crossing over Glen Canyon Dam, past Page, Arizona, into Utah, entering the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument; we were never without an interesting view or beautiful panorama.

In comparison, our parking lot camp was very stark, but who can complain at no cost to stay. I hiked up a 4X4 road after we were set up and it gave me the urge to get the Jeep unhooked and take a drive. Wouldn’t you know it, the battery was dead again! Yes, we used our Break Buddy or F#&/%n Buddy as we now call it. So Linda and I started to push the Jeep up to the front of the truck so that we could jump start it.

As we worked to push the rig, a real nice lady came by and offered us a jump start and we happily accepted the offer. Stinky Jeep started right up and we thanked our friend and she drove off. With the Jeep running, I checked the cables and found that the positive side was loose so I spent some time cussing at my tools and finally got it tightened up.

I took a drive up the main Johnson Canyon road to charge the battery and once I figured it was good, I returned to the lot. Since I was right near a 4X4 road I decided to take a drive up over the near hill to see what was out there.

A group of 20 trail cars being remodeled into a B&B.
 Cool idea for road side rentals.
The road was comprised of about a foot of very fine sand. With the Jeep in four-wheel drive, I was able to charge up and over the hill only to find more road with a lot of deep sand. I thought I would find some red rock and roads winding through them, but all I could see for miles and miles was desert with sand-filled 4X4 tracks. I had to really push the Jeep and that was a lot of fun but then I started thinking, “what if I slow down and get stuck?” I shot across a track and found some purchase where I could get turned around and then stepped on the gas and skidded my way back to the hard pack road and on to our camp spot. I guess when you are alone it is best to put the macho crap away, even if it was way a way cool way to drive.

Back at camp, Linda got me a cool drink and we planned our next day’s drive. I fixed dinner and then with the cool night air floating in we cleaned up and went to bed.

Day Two –

Last night at 2:20 AM, three huge toy haulers from Montana, pulled into the BLM lot. Our camper was positioned just past the BLM signage tucked away from the two other camping rigs. There was a huge parking lot empty for all who wanted to camp. The three toy haulers pulled in and made a semi-circle around our camper and then proceeded to unload six ATVs and place then directly in our path. The noise and lights were annoying enough, but imagine our surprise to find that we were blocked and had to back up our truck and Jeep to get out a 6:00 AM this morning. I was a bit pissed and have to admit that I slammed my door whenever possible as I idled our diesel the entire time we loaded and left.

All Linda could say is that those type of inconsiderate actions give ATV operators bad karma. All they needed to do was pull in and go to bed, then set up their personal little ATV village after they woke up at 9:00 AM in the morning. We would have quietly been long gone and the world would be a happier place.

The view from Utah Lake State Park.
After we calmed down, we drove into Kanab and stopped at a grocery store where we continued our quest to find the world’s best grocery store breakfast burrito. The fellow behind the counter handed Linda the two burritos and she asked, “What’s in them?” To which he replied, “Everything you see in the display case, except the biscuits and we put gravy in them.” Sold!  How can you pass up a burrito with an entire display case of breakfast foods in it!

We drove on down the highway eating our breakfast and comparing those burritos to the others we have eaten as we traveled. Yes, they might be the best we have had so far!

Our drive took us on highway 89 up to the Provo area where we got a camp site at Utah Lake State Park. The weather has been very good all day but by evening, it clouded up and looked a bit like rain. Tomorrow we will drive up into Idaho, our potato state!                                                  

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