MARBLE CANYON: BEFORE THE INCIDENT
After visiting Zion, our two weeks were up and it was time to move (we were ready!) again. We decide on the Badger Creek camping area at Marble Canyon in Arizona. It was nice and rural and because we had work to do, it was the perfect place. No distractions. The RV’ing life can be busy socializing with friends, so we picked this place to be as undistracted as possible.
While here, we were very lucky to see many California Condors up close…they are one of the rarest birds in the world! They did fly-by’s more than once over the course of about a week.
That’s amazing, considering that there are only 240 currently in the wild. There are only around 73 in Arizona. At one time, I believe we observed about 7 soaring above us at once. They nest at the Vermillion Cliffs, which are what you see in the background of these photos.
Upon pulling into the area, seeing the giant cracks in the earth was a big ‘Woah’ moment. Check it out on Google Maps… this is where we were parked:
…and below is what it looks like on land. Pretty incredible. (Pants: at least 16 years old. Top: around 10 years old? Shoes: 2 years. Hair- not colored or cut in about 6 months and It SO doesn’t matter!)
We didn’t do much exploring here…work was our priority. We did hike Lowry Spring. Hmm, I think I should say that ‘we TRIED to hike Lowry Spring’. We got off course as it’s not well marked.
Still, neat rocks with lots of pretty colors! There’s a cute rock face below… The little rock was looking at me. : )
Also, we walked across the old bridge down the road at Lee’s Ferry.
While we were down at the hiking area we checked out the boat launch. Those rafts- holy COW! They are beasts. Like little islands! Just watch the video to see what devices they have to use to launch them…
At Marble Canyon, I hit quite a fork in the road, so to speak. It was a learning experience, to say the least. The road leading into the booning spot was narrow and SUPER bumpy. So much so that it took us about 30 minutes to drive only about a mile, mile and a half?
The road was a one-lane dirt road. WITHOUT scouting, (Marshall, what were we thinking???!!) (I know, we were going off the review on Campendium…) we hit two areas of mild concern. However, we got through them and TO the site without incident.
Where the two bad spots were, there were ‘walls’ that kept us from turning around. In other words, the road was much lower than the rest of the landscape. The photos seem to lie. Seriously, there was NO turning around here.
However, silly me, (no, actually it’s very ‘me’-) I let my guard down coming back out after I made it past the first obstacle.
I thought the next area was going to be a cake walk.
I managed to really dick up my maneuvering.
Disclaimer: I would NEVER have driven down this road if I was alone. I knew I had backup help if something went wrong.
Boy did it go wrong.
THE FUCK UP
The above-pictured spot wouldn’t be an issue just driving a truck, but when you are pulling a 24’ travel trailer, it can get a lot more dicey. Still, following Marshall, I made it through with flying colors! (So I was feeling pretty cocky about the next, less intimidating obstacle. Not to mention the fact that we got INTO the place without incident.)
The next obstacle was a pretty deep fissure/drop off in the road. Long story short, I was focused on trying to keep my dang trailer weight distribution bars from bottoming out, because they ride really low. It bottoms out on the smallest dip in any dang road. Drives me nuts!
Instead of paying attention to where my Rv’s tires were, I was focusing on straddling the tongue over the fissure so that the bars wouldn’t get caught and get me stuck. In doing so, because I was not paying attention to my trailer, guess what happened? Both of my right trailer wheels went right INTO THE FISSURE.
Suddenly I jerked to a stop, no brakes involved. (Shit.) I knew exactly what had happened.
Immediately, I knew I was in trouble. I said a little prayer and then tried the next logical thing one would try- backing up. (Please God, please God, please God…)
…Nope. This was it.
I was STUCK.
I mean, STUUUUUUCK. No forward or backward movement from my 2WD Tundra was possible. (I tried) I got out to look and found that the right axle of the trailer was literally sitting on the hard clay, acting like a brake. The wheels were barely touching the ground. Look:
I haven’t had a mishap like this one since I got my too-loose snow chain wrapped around my brake line back in January. (no photo of that one, but here’s the video of the chain all wonkified, truck disabled.)
At least there, I was pretty much within reach of civilization. Here? Not so.
Poor Marshall had to pull ahead, (Thank god he was in front!) go unhitch his rig, back his Jeep all the way back to where I was to pull me out. I was skeptical about his 2WD vehicle being able to, but on the first pull, it worked. WHEW!
That could have really been a helluva day waiting for the tow truck. It was hot. We were on an unmarked road. Not easy to tell a driver how to get there.
This place was in the middle of nowhere. Also, the truck driver would have had to BACK his rig a quarter of a mile down the dirt road to get to me, because there was no place to turn around! (Ugh) So it was relief beyond relief that his Jeep came to the rescue! I WILL be replacing my truck with a 4wd when
the time is right I start making money!
Bad event aside, the Badger Creek camping area was gorgeous. Marble Canyon is considered to be the beginning of the Grand Canyon. It’s VERY deep.
Aaaaaanyway, This place was gorgeous and we were perched at the top and the edge of the canyon walls. The Vermillion Cliffs were adjacent to the canyon. It was full-on eye candy. I loved this camp and would go back for sure. Just, more carefully next time!
We were close enough to Horseshoe Bend that we had to check it out. We ended up taking a little time off to meet up with full-time RV’ing friends Lauri and Jace of @Wanderwasi, despite our ‘anti-social’ time.
THE STRANGEST SIGHTING EVER WHILE CAMPING
The strangest sighting (Like, EVER on this whole trip so far) was THIS car pulling up to the campsite, looking like it came straight out of a Mad Max movie.
I almost peed myself when I saw it pulling up.
Thank god I had the ability to take photos or no-one would believe me about my description of this car-thing pulling up to our campsite in the middle of nowhere.
Had I been all alone, I WOULD have gone for my gun until I saw who/what came out of it/assessed if they were a threat or not! However, with Marshall being right next door I felt pretty safe…
It was pretty much the most unexpected sighting possible… especially at this location.
I think this is one of the last places ANYONE would expect to see such a vehicle. I would not have freaked at all had I seen it in Los Angeles.
In the end, it made for a great photo-op. Check out my two badass girls!! They posed like champs.
The owner was a nice guy. He was a rafting guide, came to take photos of where they would be the next night (below). He said something to the effect of ‘most cars are so boring, I wanted to do something “different”‘.
Go overboard in your life ever, dude? : )
All in all, I loved this place. The seclusion. The beauty. The learning moment. All of it- good. It’s not within easy reach of anywhere in particular. And that makes it even more desirable of a place to check out if you want to get away from society for a bit.
I almost didn’t rate it on Campendium.com, because I want it to be deserted when I go back. Then I thought… Yeah, I don’t think my story is going to encourage many to tread there in their Rv’s!!! (I gave full disclosure about the road and that I did manage to get stuck.) So I reviewed it. I’ll never forget it for more than one reason, obviously.
Well, onto the Grand Canyon! (Next blog)
Cheers, and thanks for reading/keeping up!