Yes indeed, it has been a very HOT day here in the Valley of the SUN.

112° according to the TV weather man, which hasn't been seen on this date since 1905. And more of the same through the week.

I did a little bit of running around this morning, getting a few last minute items for my trip and paid a visit to Phiona. The rest of today has been spent indoors. 

Phiona still is sitting in the same spot as last week, but I spoke with Steve, Mike the owner and one of the body guys about removing several rivets before they begin painting. Better to have them removed now than to try to cut them out after those parts are painted. The body man, Zeke, says the fenders are ready to go, as soon as Steve is ready. I suspect that will happen after I leave on my trip, but I do plan to stop by the shop again tomorrow just to check.

So, even with all this heat, I'm getting ready to venture off into the wilds of Northern Arizona. My plan is to depart on Thursday morning with an unplanned destination, but will be on the way to the Grand Canyon North Rim. If I make good time, I will be heading south on AZ 67 at Jacobs Lake, AZ into the forest. If possible I hope to reach Indian Hollow and set up camp before nightfall. Indian Hollow is far into the forest and remote. It is primitive camping, but offers some glimpses into the Grand Canyon. At this place there is a trail that goes over the edge and into the upper layers of the Canyon. While there I hope to hike down on those  trails for at least one day hike. I will NOT attempt to go deeper into the canyon down to the Colorado River. That is a much longer hike that could take several days, and not something that should be done alone, especially in the summer.


From Indian Hollow, I may end up at Locust, North Timp or Timp Points (or one of the other points) and camp a few more days. All of these points are along the Rainbow Rim Trail, which offers great views into the canyon. I've camped at N. Timp a few times previously and have enjoyed the solitude and hiking both Eastward and Westward, from one view points to another. There are 5 points along this rim trail, and while the distance from N. Timp to Locust is maybe a mile directly across, it is 6.5 miles on the trail. The hikes lead into the pine forest, traverse over many hills and valleys, open grass lands, through stands of Aspens and several times along the canyon edge with broad vistas into and across the chasm. 

I've camped up on several of these points in past years and often have been alone for much of the time. Some mountain bike groups have camped for a day or two also and I'd share the trail with them in the day as they biked on and back to several points. I've met some interesting people in the past and most likely will this time also. After several days of solitude, I guess I'm always up for some conversation and human contact. As much as I seek the solitude and time for my own thoughts, reconnection to the Earth and Nature, and enjoyment of the beauty, I don't shy away from others while on my solitary quests.

As I see things now, I will be in this area from August 9 (0r 10) until August 14 or 15. 

Upon leaving the forested area, I will go to Fredonia, AZ, probably staying one night at a motel. I'm sure I'll be in need of a good scrubbing and shave by then.

Next planned location will be Toroweap, also called Tuweap, which is further West, but still on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This location is also one of my favorite places, in the area known as the Arizona Strip, but requires visitors to drive 61 miles one way on unpaved roads. I believe all the roads in the whole vast area are unpaved. Flat tires are not uncommon on this road and the last 5 miles are very slow going over very uneven, but flat rock surfaces. Parts of the road are very well packed and allow for 40+ mph speeds, but it is all dusty and requires a drivers full attention and diligence. The scenery, in all it's vast remoteness and loneliness, is beautiful. Very few people live in the area. In contrast to the forested area that I will have left, Toroweap is mostly treeless and much more barren. Water is scarce in the area and past attempts to ranch in the area forced many to abandon the area. 

It is in the Toroweap area that I hope to explore and try to locate the ancient Indian pictographs (Shaman's Gallery) in another very remote valley. Another targeted hike will be to the top of Vulcan's Throne, a dormant volcanic cinder cone, just above the Colorado River. 

I will be in the Toroweap area from August 15 until Monday, August 20. I will then drive a bit more westward to Bar 10 Ranch where I will stay for two nights. On the way to Bar 10 Ranch I may try to hike up Mt. Trumbull, the highest mountain on the AZ Strip. At Bar 10, I hope to horseback ride and probably will go with a group on ATV's to the edge of the Canyon. If possible I'd like to hike  down to the river. I will be at Bar 10 Ranch from August 20, leaving on August 22. In both the areas, except for Fredonia (as far as I know), there will be no cell or internet service. When possible, I will send stories to let readers know my whereabouts. Another place I'd like to find and explore is Piute Cave, which is in the AZ Strip areas I will be visiting. Depending on how bad, or good, those back roads actually are, I may seek out some other remote places to explore on the way to my next scheduled stop.

August 22 will find me on the way to Utah and Zion Pondersosa Ranch. I'll be taking a horseback ride and hiking, but the most exciting part of this part of the trip will be a guided trip to do some canyoneering into a narrow slot canyon in Zion National Park. I've wanted to try some rappelling into slot canyons but would never attempt it alone. I have no experience rappelling, so this is the alternative that will allow me to safely venture down into the fantastic formations awaiting me. I will be leaving Zion on August 25. 

I have not planned for the last week of August, but may then visit Bryce Canyon National Park which is also nearby. I have no reservations there but will play it by ear, and probably be spontaneous. Hopefully, I will have cell service, at least, and be able to leave messages from the road. I plan to return to Phoenix by August 29.

This photo is a view from Toroweap overlook from my last visit there in 2008. It is a 3000 foot drop down to the Colorado River. No barricades.

 © Donald E. Kline 2012                                         Disqus Comments