Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Shake Down Cruise to the North Rim

I was literally hooking up the final wires and testing the ops while packing for the this trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We drove there and got to Jacob Lake around nine o'clock at night, then camped at the trail head to the Arizona Trail, just outside of town. There are some bathrooms there, and it made a nice place to sleep. The next morning we headed out to the Rainbow Rim via the Forest Service roads behind the Kaibab Lodge. We started tooling around and driving some of the four wheel drive roads between points.
We found a good spot a couple of dozen feet from the rim. We had access to a nice large rock just shy of the point where we could set up our folding chairs and watch sunrise and drink coffee, and sunset and watch the monsoon clouds play their magic with the light.
After our morning coffee, we rode our bikes out to the other various points. The trail is terrific, and gorgeous. It weaves in and out from point to point through pine and aspen forests.
Time well spent lazing in hammocks, sitting around campfires, playing with the dog, and drinking copious amounts of adult beverage. On the way out it happened. Sputter, spurt. Going up a steep washboard hill. Choke. Gag. Dead. I coasted down to the bottom of the hill, and tried restarting. For an hour. I surmised it was the fuel pump, since that was practically the only thing I hadn't changed through out the process. We were about 15 miles away from the North Rim Country store, still in the sticks. There was no cell coverage, anywhere close. We hadn't hardly seen anybody in the three days out there, but suddenly a small two door Hyundai came by and I flagged them down. They were lost, and I was stranded. I offered to get them back to the main road if they could get me to the North Rim Country store, the closest land line to call a wrecker.
It was Sunday afternoon before we were towed into Kanab, UT. So we decided to make the most of it. We found a nice restaurant (with beer :l1: ) and went to a movie in their small movie theater. The only movie that was playing was a kid's movie, The Box Trolls. We loved it. The next morning the repair shop opened up, found us a fuel pump at the local NAPA, and were back on the road by early afternoon. Everything kinda worked out, we didn't let the mishap ruin our trip, and we have a story to tell.

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