Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Friday, December 12, 2014

Viewpoint Hopping 2; Good Tires and Hot Chocolate

Fog spills over a ridge, Grand Canyon
I'm getting rather hooked on this viewpoint thing.  You may have read my post about a week traveling unpaved roads to some more remote areas of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in July. 

There's little better (nor more rare) than solitude at the Canyon, but there is some work involved.  The unpaved roads seduce you into a false calm with their initial smoothness, and then progressively deteriorate into 2 MPH gems paved with carnivorous limestone.

Headed off across the easy part, House Rock Valley area
I’m not complaining mind you; that’s where the good tires come in.  While outfitting the Four Wheel Camper, my husband educated me on E- rated tires.  Now I’m eternally grateful.  Even these tough guys are getting a little torn up, but without them I’d have been unhappily changing tires in some unpleasant locations.  

I have a bad history with tires, too.  Remember the magical delaminating Firestones? A set flipped my Explorer in 1999.  Since then I’m pleased to fork out the cash for good tires.

In October we made the trip out to Toroweap.  This place is more heavily travelled than most of the others and has “amenities;” a campground with composting toilets.  The 61-mile drive is legendary, but true to form, the first 50 are a cakewalk.  The appeal of the place, I think, is that there’s a 3000 foot drop to the bottom of the canyon, and a rather straight stretch of river to the east.  It’s been much-photographed but I enjoyed my first trip there very much.

Buck Farm/Point Hansbrough just before the fog closed in
Just a few days ago I made it to Buck Farm Overlook, only 28 miles off pavement but much more isolated.  I didn’t see a soul.  A photographer friend told me “good luck with the sky.  I don’t think you’ll have any clouds at all.”  Well.  I had about 3 minutes to shoot before a legendary inversion moved in and cut off views beyond my toes.  I’ll have to go back, of course, because I didn’t see the canyon again from that spot.

Fog lifting near Desert View, Grand Canyon
The dog and I spent a night at the South Rim on the way home and I was much better able to take advantage of the foggy conditions there.  That morning it was 26F.  Is there such a thing as freezing fog?

You can guess what the hot chocolate is for.

Images from this trip are in the Grand Canyon Gallery on the website.

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