Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

Grand Canyon Adventure

In 1995 when I was living in Yuma, AZ, I wanted to take a trip to the Grand Canyon. I saw on a map that the Kaibab National Forest bordered the park to the west of the main tourist areas. I started to wonder if it was possible to get to the Canyon through a "back door." A check of some topo maps showed that there was a place where a road got to within a half mile of the rim. I set off with Anubis and navigated my way to the spot using only the maps and the truck's odometer. I had a 1st generation GPS unit into which I had programmed a nearby benchmark's location. I was able to navigate directly to the point. When that GPS wanted to work correctly, it did so wonderfully. Unfortunately it let me down a lot of times when I REALLY needed to know exactly where the heck I was. I had a wonderful time with Anubis hiking through the woods with only a compass and map to guide the way. By the 2nd day Anubis was able to guide me right back to the campsite by himself.

Fast forward 15 years.

I got a bug up my behind to once again find that spot. There was something calling me to that remote location. I'm pretty sure it was over the Columbus Day holiday when I went last time. It seemed fitting to try it again over the same weekend. So I loaded up the Furmobile and brought along scritchwuff to keep me company. This time I had better GPS equipment. I was able to navigate exactly to the point where I had camped 15 years earlier. I showed off my mad compass skills by once again navigating to exact points I had wanted to hit on the rim. We made a couple of forays to various points on the rim. So as not to be a complete Luddite, I did play with the GPS to get us back to camp on one occasion.

For those of you that want to know, the coordinates of campsites are
36d 6.219m N 112d 20.573m W

Some of the more memorable moments included finding a point with a wonderful echo. A shout carried down into the canyon and reverberated for 8 seconds. We found a natural arch where a small side canyon is forming and has eaten under a slab of Kaibab Limestone. Much to my surprise I found a pic I had taken in 1995 of that exact spot. I have no memory of it! We hiked to the very edge of Jicarilla Point which was a little bit scary. The point is being isolated by erosion. You have to jump across a narrow chasm to get to the furthest point. It's only 2-3' wide, but a good 20-30' fall if you miss. There were places at the point that were extremely vertical. At many places on the rim, if you fell, you wouldn't plunge hundreds if not thousands of feet to your death. You would most likely fall 20-50' which would still probably kill you. Here we encountered a few places where you WOULD plunge for hundreds of feet before becoming an hero. The weather was absolutely perfect although it did probably dip below freezing during the night. Once again, Bunnywarez sleepers kept us warm!

So I bet you would like a few pics. OK.

Turquoise Canyon. Only about 1/2 mile from the Nat'l Forest boundary.

Near Jicarilla Point

a VERY vertical point near Jicarilla Point

Say "Hello" to my little friend
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