August 7-9, 2017
Left home about 10:45 am, no hurry on my first of three days off work Rangering at the North Rim Grand Canyon. Had chores to do, packing and loading, plus dumping tanks on the camper. Saw at least 40 head of hybrid Bison congregated on the meadow right before the entrance station, some not more than two feet from the road, cars, and people. These hybrids may be a little smaller than pure American Bison but are big, powerful, and potentially dangerous when their possible ton of weight with curved, sharp horns can run up to 40 miles per hour.
After slowing for the tourons I continued a mile past the gravel Forest Road (FR) 22 where a western turn would take me towards my destination. First topped off with diesel and filled a propane tank at North Rim Country Store. Friendly and wonderful folks. I hit gravel at 11:30. Then I immediately stopped for yellowbluewhiteredpurpleorange wildflowers on the hillside above Deer Lake. There were even a couple of ducks on the lake.
After the first couple miles of washboard on FR22 the gravel smooths out enough for 25/30mph in most places. Nice there was no other traffic so I could ride center and even opposite direction sometimes for the smoothest ride. With a few additional photo stops I took one hour to reach FR425 at 18 miles of the drive and 12 miles to go. Lovely forest and even a coral and cabin before hitting FR292 for the last two miles of more narrow, steep, and rocky road. One giant mud puddle and pull up to a change at the camp/overlook. The Forest Service put in a very nice fence reducing the parking area. Took me two hours to drive 42 miles.
Rebecca and Marco were already parked and set up with the popup cabover, an old ambulance converted to camper parked behind them (Tom) from North Carolina, and a Las Vegas couple with a red pickup truck who were just leaving. I leveled up under some trees and chairs were gathered in the appreciated afternoon shade for some lively conversation.
Some took naps while I walked to the rim for a nice little monsoon shower falling to the west with late light shining up the view. Crazy Jug Point is my favorite view for watching monsoon storms over Grand Canyon.
Then early to bed and (with the help of an alarm clock) early to rise. Yes, I made another sunrise. But slept through a Crazy Jug Point spider tap dancing across my forehead while I slept. Need to spray mint oil in the camper.
Rebecca and Marco had to move on after almost a week camping at various places on the forest. I still had two days off work so stayed to chill. Tom also decided to stay. Mostly hung out along the rim watching the day go by with interspersed sits in the shade. Only one vehicle showed up all day for a brief look and then were on their way.
According to Gregory McNamee in Grand Canyon Place Names, “Crazy Jug Point was named after a curiously shaped sandstone rock, which doubtless thirsty early prospectors called ‘the crazy jug,’ that stands at the head of this North Rim point, with the Canyon below it.”
After another beautiful sunset Tom made dinner with his own canned venison mixed with rice. Delicious. He also gave me a bottle which will make a special treat with his memory in mind somewhere down the road.
I mosied down the forest roads with many stops along the way. How curious to see clusters of varied and brilliant butterflies almost covering some rather fresh and moist scat.