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Tag: arizona

Playing it Safe | Other Side #3

Having spent a bit of time dealing with the rear e-locker, we were running about two hours "behind schedule" as we barreled west along UT-163 towards Monument Valley. In reality, I'd somehow significantly underestimated the number of miles between Comb Ridge and the Muddy Mountains where we planned to setup camp for the night, so we were running more like five hours later than planned. That meant we'd need to alter our itinerary a bit - eating dinner rather than lunch in St. George, as well as finding a nearby spot to camp so we could complete our final hike…

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Underwhelming | AZBDR Epilogue

The Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) is the eighth that we've completed in as many years. Through the experience of each one, @mrs.turbodb and I are - as you can imagine - regularly comparing the current BDR to those we've explored in the past and a few years ago I finally started writing some of these comparisons down. Now, naturally, I feel obligated to carry on that tradition into the future. TL;DR - the Arizona BDR is the least technical that we've run, and the vast majority of the route would rank near the bottom of our list of "best…

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Cameron to Utah - The Best for Last | AZBDR Stage 6

A quick recap... We knew even before starting the AZBDR that we'd need a permit to cross the Navajo Nation, and we knew we could conveniently pick up the permit just outside of Cameron, AZ just prior to entering Navajo land. What we didn't know for sure were the hours of the permit office. Knowing that we didn't know, we'd tried calling the permit office earlier in the day - just before visiting Waputki National Monument - thinking that we could pick up our permit well before the office closed for the day. However, when no one answered the phone,…

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Winona to Cameron - Volcanoes, Pueblos, and a Grand Canyon | AZBDR Stage 5

Having "wrapped up" (and by that I mean, essentially, skipped) Stage 4 of the AZBDR in a little under six hours, it was just after 3:30pm when we set out from Winona in search of open roads. The elevations here were nearly as high as those on the Mogollon Rim, so I was a little worried that we'd soon find ourselves blocked by snow, but @mrs.turbodb was reasonably confident that we'd be just fine. As usual, she was right. The snowy San Fransisco Mountains would provide a familiar - and beautiful - backdrop for much of this stage. For the…

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Young to Winona - The Mogollon Rim is Closed | AZBDR Stage 4

As our tires hit pavement in the outskirts of Young, it was time to start thinking about Stage 4. Climbing - and then traversing the Mogollon Rim - this was where satellite imagery, which I'd been watching on a daily basis for several weeks prior to our departure, suggested that 5-19" of snow still blanketed the ground. This didn't look promising. Still, my copilot - having spent the last half hour looking through the road conditions page for the Coconino National Forest - thought we stood a chance, at least in part. Though she confirmed closure of the Forest Service…

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Globe to Young - Take a Hike | AZBDR Stage 3

Globe definitely won the "best marketing" award of all the towns we passed through on this trip. It was fantastic to photograph. Rolling out of Globe early on our second day of running the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR), we were once again on - you guessed it - pavement! This was quickly getting old - as we sped north at speeds we rarely encounter on our adventures - and by now we were pretty sure that the AZBDR wouldn't be climbing to the top of our "favorite BDR" list unless something changed dramatically, and quickly. AZ-288 (the Globe-Young Highway)…

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Benson to Globe - Kinda Boring | AZBDR Stage 2

Having wrapped up Stage 1 of the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) more quickly than we'd anticipated, it was early afternoon as we headed north out of Benson, toward Globe. Having just gorged ourselves on Wendy's, we weren't in any position to stop at the shop directly below this tantalizing sign as we left town. While unexpected, we were both glad that things were working out this way. We've found it much more pleasant to end a day halfway through a stage - rather than at the end/beginning of one - in order to find somewhere to setup camp and…

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Mexico to Benson - Unusual Encounters | AZBDR Stage 1

Prologue Running a BDR (Backcountry Discovery Route) this year is going to be a little different for us than it has been in years past, for several reasons. First, we'll be exploring a state that - due to its distance from home, or even Las Vegas where the Tacoma is now stored - we've done very little adventuring through. This should be a great thing, as one of the "problems" with the last couple of BDRs we've explored was that we were already reasonably familiar with what we'd encounter, making the trip less exciting. Second, we'll be running the route…

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Little Black Mountain, Caanan Gap, and Paiute Cave | Not the Rock Art #4

I'd pulled into my camp site just south of the Utah - Arizona border a little after 10:00pm. At an elevation of 2,700 feet, even with a little breeze, it was balmy compared to what I'd experienced the last couple nights in Nevada. Orienting the truck so the morning sun would act as a natural alarm - spilling into the tent as I slept - I soon drifted off to sleep, excited for the easter-egg-like hunt that I envisioned when I awoke. Little Black Mountain My wake-up plans were foiled when I awoke naturally before sunrise. Knowing that I'd have…

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Reserve to Fence Lake - Out of Fuel | NMBDR 4

Stage 4 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Reserve to Fence Lake. I don't know if it was entirely due to our disappointment at lunch, but at least partially due to our disappointment in how our visit to Reserve turned out, we decided to forego purchasing fuel in town since we still had half a tank plus 11 gallons in the Military Scepter Jerry Cans. That was plenty to get us the 132 miles too Fence Lake - the end of the next stage - and really, it didn't matter since there was fuel some 75 miles away…

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Into the Snow at Snow Canyon | Mid-Winter #6

We didn't know it when we woke up, but today would be our last day of the trip. But, I'm obviously getting significantly ahead of myself, so let's take a step - or three - back. Our amazing spot on the edge of the Grand Canyon, overlooking the Colorado River was just as spectacular when we woke up in the morning as it'd been the evening before. After a few gusts just before we climbed into the tent, I'd taken the hint and secured two full 5-gallon jerry cans of fuel to the ladder, eliminating any worry that a CVT-sandwich…

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Camping on a Cliff | Mid-Winter #5

Sleeping in our own little private wash was magical. If there was a lick of wind, it went right over our heads and at one of our lower elevations for the trip, it was reasonably warm as well. I think we'd gone to bed exhausted around 9:00pm, and when I woke up at 6:45am for sunrise, I was ready and raring for a new day! The view - a couple dozen short steps up the wash walls behind camp - was a nice motivator as well. We'd camped at the base of Bitter Ridge LWC. I'll need to go back…

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Pahrump to Oatman - Petroglyphs and Our First Ever 4-Stamp Mill | NVBDR #6

Stage 1 - Pahrump to Oatman Like many of the medium-sized towns along the NVBDR, Pahrump has - I assume - grown since the route was created. As such, some of the roads that were once dirt have been paved, and we found ourselves on pavement for longer than we expected as we made our way south out of town, passing cross streets and developments that weren't even on our map. Eventually though we reached dirt, and thus began one of the least enjoyable segments of the entire BDR. (How's that for a glowing endorsement for the area south of…

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Torrential Rain Sends us to Gold Butte | Mojave East #2

The rain that had started just as we crawled into bed persisted throughout the night - a consistent patter on the tent, its rhythm never letting up. This was no surprise, really - near enough to town that we had cell service, we'd seen that several flash flood warnings were issued for the area, and we hoped that we'd be able to continue our adventure in the morning. In no rush to get up in the deluge, we lingered in bed an extra hour or so, hoping that the forecast - which was for rain the rest of the day…

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We Arrive at Alstrom Point | F.U.Rain Day #7

I'm pretty sure it didn't rain all night. It was amazing. You can imagine my surprise when I awoke just before sunrise and could see blue sky along the entire horizon, my open tent window (door really) facing east. But it was chilly, and rather than get up to take photos, I opted instead to stay warm and toasty under my comforter - definitely the right decision! And so I stayed for another hour or so until the sun started peaking over the horizon, warming the air, my tent, and ultimately me - to the point where I figured I…

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Less Than Two Seconds | F.U.Rain Day #6

By midnight the wind had picked up significantly. 40-mph gusts buffeting our tents. Rain, blowing sideways. And then, at 2:12am - lightning, and a lot of it. I'd slept well through the rain, earplugs doing their job to mute the noise of the drops on the tent. But they did little to soften that first clap of thunder. It wasn't until the next flash of lightning that I could count the delay - about 8 seconds - not too bad. But then more lightning. And more. It was constant, as the wind continued to whip at the tent. And it…

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Amazing Aspen and Electrical Storms | F.U.Rain Day #5

It was a breezy (but dry!) night on the edge of the canyon, the updrafts from the walls constantly buffeting the fabric of the tent. Little did we know that we were in for much, much worse! But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. The breeze did help to clear out the clouds a bit by early morning, and knowing that we could have a spectacular view, I'd set my alarm for "before sunrise" - to try and catch that orange glow that I love on the horizon. I'd also put the camera in the tent with me, so it was…

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And So It Begins... | F.U.Rain Day #4

It rained on and off throughout the night - not too bad, actually when it comes right down to it. The rain stopped by early morning, though a cloud cover remained, allowing me a second reprieve from an early-morning to capture sunrise. It was 8:00am by the time I pulled myself out of the tent, Mike @Digiratus also up, getting his coffee started. A bowl of Cheerios in my hand, I ventured to the edge of the canyon - it's reds and oranges now deeper from the overnight rain. The dramatic clouds causing a flat-if-not-a-bit-ominous light. We poked around for…

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Stop It You Guys, I Can't Watch! | F.U.Rain Day #3

The night was a bit windy, parked on the edge of the canyon wall. But warmish temps and a late night, combined with the fact that we were a few hundred feet from the top of the canyon - so there was no reason to get up early for the orange glow of sunrise on the horizon - meant that we slept well and I didn't even think about getting out of bed before 8:30am. Like the evening before, the sky was mostly cloudy - the resulting light being both muted and mysterious at the same time as I re-explored…

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Exploring the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bears Ears and more! (Oct 2018)

I'd returned from The Re-Tour a mere three weeks before our departure date, but that didn't mean there were only a few short days to plan for our next epic adventure. In fact, quite the contrary - we'd been planning our trip south to Arizona and Utah for nearly a year - knowing that there was way more ground than we could cover in the two weeks we had allocated for the excursion. Our plan was simple, if long. Start in St. George, Utah, and work our way east - first along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, then…

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