September 23, 2009 by torqdog
Our campsite was beautiful. Located approx. 1/2 mile from the rim at about 4500 feet in elevation, we affectionately named the campground “Bedrock” the town where the Flintstones lived and I think you would agree, it did strike a resemblance. Most all of these photos were taken in and around camp.
The second day, there were some Thunderstorms in the area that made for some interesting cloud shots late in the afternoon.
Being an amatuer astronomer who always packs a small 80mm refractor telescope when going to places like this, I was treated to some absolutely magnificent, “as dark as it gets” night skies. Seeing the Milky Way looming so large and bright overhead is impressive and unfortunately for most folks, is getting more and more difficult to see from their urban skies. Many people who never “get out of town” have probably never seen the Milky Way.
This beautiful 3 1/2 foot long Great Basin Rattlesnake was the first camp creature we spotted. On the hunt fifty feet from camp, it seemed to have no interest in the flash of the camera or the bright LED flashlight beam we shined on it. THIS was one creature we monitored until it finally slithered away into one of the numerous holes in the slickrock the following afternoon. Seeing this snake early on definitely heightened our awareness to be on the look-out but we never saw another the rest of the time we were there. What we did see were Roadrunners, a Tarantula Wasp attacking a Tarantula, lots of Hummingbirds that were attracted to the red reflectors on the camp trailer (gotta pack that feeder next time) and Viv caught a glimpse of some sort of large Cat, 3 feet in height with a bushy tail. A juvenile Mountain Lion maybe? We also had the usual array of Birds such as Eagles, Hawks Vultures and a whole host of Blue Birds that milled in and around our camp.
After a hike to the Rim and while Viv was relaxing, I decided to hike up on the cliff next to camp. This is the view to the southeast.
Viv loves reading her real-estate mags.
Looking north, this is Toroweap point. It is what could be described as the southern tip of Toroweap mesa, approx. 1600 feet above us.
The infamous “Lone Tree”. Every town’s gotta have one.
That “Bedrock” look
A late afternoon Thunderstorm off in the distance. That night we could see lots of distant lightning. The next day, they moved into our area though we were fortunate not to receive a direct hit.
There was an interesting rock “spire” named Mt. Sinyella way off in the distance that was fascinating in that it seemed to change moods as the day and clouds progressed.
Our last night as I was preparing to “hit the sack”, this Tarantula strolled into camp to say good-bye. Fuzzy and harmless, I think he (or she) was really on the hunt.
Viv & I acquired a new (used) camp trailer for this trip. As you can see it’s not your typical tent trailer. This one has a beefy suspension, plenty of ground clearance and even comes with an indoor AND outdoor shower with hot water making a trip like this much more comfy. Yes, I’m getting old! On the way out of camp, we turned a few heads pulling this trailer over obstacles that others wouldn’t cross with their SUV’s and we had no problems. When I stopped to shoot a few picts, I think some were hoping I was stuck. Too bad!
The day the Thunderstorms appeared, a good one developed over the road we came in on…….. you know, the road that had wash-outs from flash flooding a few days earlier. The information board at the unoccupied Ranger Station even mentioned the fact that this road is subject to closure due to weather. However, there was another way out. It mentioned the road to Fredonia, Arizona was a much more reliable road. It also must be the main route in, as we experienced THE worse case of washboard I’ve ever had the misfortune of driving on. 40 miles later and one punctured tire, we finally found pavement. Bottom line, if you ever decide to go to Tuweep, take the Colorado City road.
Well, that’s it until our next adventure. Hope you enjoyed the ride.