Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Night at Point Sublime

Point Sublime is down a 16 mile dirt road inside the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I went there in the middle of May not knowing if the road had been opened and cleared of fallen trees. I pulled in the park and got to the Ranger Station at nine o'clock to inquire. I asked the ranger if the road had been opened, and he said it had. That morning, and he hadn't time to publicize it yet. I waited for him to help the couple in front of me, and got one of only two permits to camp there overnight. He gave me the run down. And a choice of how I wanted to get there. One way was to leave the park, and take some forest service roads, past Fire Point and onward. That was in excess of 30 miles but an easier stretch. The other road left from close to the ranger station, but was much more adventurous. That was his way of saying f'd up, as I was about to find out. The road was pretty nice for first couple of miles, and I thought it would be a piece of cake. It soon narrowed down to a double track, and the trees began to close in. The trail wove it's way down through drainages and back out to the top of the mesas. Squeezing between rocks, branches, downed trees over rock steps and piles, exposed roots and gulley wash-outs. With lunch and a stop at the overlook the trip took four hours. For only sixteen miles. The math indicates about four miles an hour.
The last stretch was the most adventurous, ahem, rough. I started to hear some interesting noises of rocks hitting the tail pipe. As I approached the end of the road it definitely turned into a dragging pinging not good sound.
The tail pipe had separated from the muffler, fallen off it's hangars and was dragging the last half mile. Well crap. My M.O. for situations like these seem to always begin with a beer. Besides I had to wait for it to cool down before I could do anything about it. And beer has the way of putting things in perspective. Like, at least, I have it... perspective. And I was there. Phew. Next up...Bailing wire. Lots of it. Always bring bailing wire. A lesson I learned from my days campervanning in a 76 Westy. I put the tailpipe on what was left of some of the hangars and bailing wired the rest.

I spent the rest of the evening making images, and into the night and next morning. There was a very bright moon that night, which extended my viewing pleasure.

Dawn of a new day.

The next morning I drove out the long way. It was still rough up until Fire Point, then smoothed out a little. I was going to go to the Rainbow Rim but was kind of longing for pavement. I camped that night off of FR22 in the aspens. I inspected the vehicle for more damage. One of the strings in the shades broke, the pop top latch fell apart, I had a crack in one of the shock mounts, and by the time I got home a new oil leak. And as I found out later at the muffler shop a crack in the manifold. Boy adventure sure has it's price. Or is that priceless.....

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