Breathtaking trip to Lee’s Ferry, Arizona

Wednesday evening, May 16

I don’t like the Best Little Trailer to arrive messy at a new camp.  So this evening I’m tidying up and making sure all the dishes are done and put away. It’s nearly dark as I walk out to the slope that drops off several feet from our campsite.  I bend down to knock the percolator’s strainer on a rock to dislodge the coffee grounds.  As I stand up, I see a pronghorn antelope at the bottom of the slope.

My noise brings her gaze up to me.

A few precious moments later, she lowers her head and continues grazing.  This has been a good camp.  I’ll never forget the cool mornings with the fresh breeze, and the birds floating on the thermals, as I sat here looking out over the pine tops to the desert.

Bridget and Spike start bickering in the BLT.

Spike barks and I know what he’s saying, “Get out of my bed, Bridget.”  Then Bridget replies with a whiny snarl, “No, it’s MY bed and you can’t have it.”  Back and forth they go.  The antelope hears, turns and bounds away.  Well, isn’t that a perfect goodbye from this special place.

Thursday morning, May 17

I’m bustling around at seven.  The crew is still asleep.  I fold up the patio mat, bungee it, and put it in the PTV.  A quick coffee and blog time, followed by oat bran in milk, and I’m ready to hitch up and get going!  Bridget and Spike sense something’s up and ease out of the covers.  Soon I’m pushing the “tow” button on the dash of the PTV!  We’re off to an entirely new world!

Over the first rise, I spot Gail on my side of the lane. 

How sweet.  She’s been standing there, waiting to say goodbye.  Ken comes out a minute later.  After a brief chat, I move on.  Ken hollers, “Be sure and call me and let me know how the diet works out!”  I can see the two of them in my mirror, watching us drive away to another adventure. . . . . Two gentle souls encountered on the journey of my life.

How do I describe the trip from Flagstaff to Lee’s Ferry?

I don’t think I can come close to conveying the beauty and magnitude of the cliffs, dunes, and overall landscape.  I stop several times to take photos and to let Bridget and Spike walk around.  I’ll be lucky to capture a portion of this magnificence.

We park at a turn-out in front of a massive, red, striated cliff. 

Flat desert dotted with green lies before us.  I notice three sheep running.  Why are they running?  I couldn’t have frightened them way up here.  Then I see the complete story.  Down below next to a tiny house, a young boy has arrived home and is running toward the fence.  The sheep are running toward him. This happens in front of that incredible, natural backdrop.   At that moment the beauty of what I’m seeing overwhelms me.

Truth be known, looking back on my life, great stretches of it were pretty crappy.

Nothing seemed to go right.  I don’t know how or why I’ve been transported to this place of beauty and contentment.  The contrast between the present and the past is more than my heart can take.  I get back in the PTV and start her up.  Very shortly we turn onto 89A and I see a sign, “Vermillion Scenic Highway.”  At every turn in the road, at every crest, I try to absorb the colors, dramatic shapes, and the panorama. It’s simply impossible.

We arrive at Navajo Bridge. 

I wipe the tears from my cheeks before stepping out of the PTV to join the tourists at the bridge.  Navajo (I presume) ladies are selling jewelry and dream catchers.  I take a few photos of the Colorado River and the bridge, but by now the sun is getting high, it’s near noon, and it’s extremely hot.  Bridget and Spike have been excellent travellers.  I can’t expect them to stay good much longer.

I want to find the campground and set up.

A few miles down into Glen Canyon, we arrive!  I’ll tell you more about our camp tomorrow.  For now, here are some photos.  Of course, they’re a shabby imitation of the real thing.  Some were taken through a dirty windshield.  The most stunning scenes of all mesmerized me, so I didn’t stop, wanting to enjoy the experience.[slideshow]

What a place!  Later the crew and I will see the Colorado up close!

rvsue

P.S.  I apologize if the slideshow is too much for you to load.  I can’t help but include this record of our trip to Lee’s Ferry.

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71 Responses to Breathtaking trip to Lee’s Ferry, Arizona

  1. Sra. Julia says:

    I know what your talking about; long stretches of my life have been crappy and a few times even more crappy. I still fight depression, but find it hard to stay depressed among beautiful surroundings outdoors or with fellow campers. The song of the open road cheers my heart and the sound of the motor humming and the tires rolling on pavement is great therapy. Love your blog 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      To go from the darkness of depression to this incredible light is powerful therapy. When I left the last camp and pulled out onto Hwy 89 north, a great vista opened up before me with the road slicing through it for miles and miles. What a day this has been! Thanks for writing, Sra. Julia.

  2. Page says:

    Beautiful area. I can see why it brought tears to your eyes. A release of the past – Yippee!! I’ll get out there someday.

  3. Renee says:

    WOW! WOW! and a thousand more WOW’s! So glad you and the crew are experiencing the “splendiferousness” of it all as well as sharing it with us readers. Enjoy! Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Right now it’s mid-afternoon and hot, hot, hot. the wind is blowing like crazy. So the crew and I are staying inside where it’s cool. I’m dying to take the crew down the path to the river! As soon as the sun dips behind the cliffs, or maybe sooner . . .

  4. Nice campsight !!! I think you went right past my lot in Vermillion cliffs. I have an acre and half lot outside of Kanab. Has fantastic views of vermillion cliffs. Plan to set it up soon so I can go park my rv on it (when I get one). I got familiar with the area when I used to go and volunteer frequentely at Best FRiends animal sanctuary which is near Kanab. You might have gone past Kanab?
    Anyways, it is all very beautiful country indeed !!! Enjoy !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No. I didn’t go past Kanab. I came from the south. Gail told me about Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, said I shouldn’t miss it. You are so fortunate to have land with views of the vermillion cliffs.

      • earthdancerimages says:

        You will pass the Vermillion Cliffs when you turn right on 89a as you leave Lee’s Ferry on your way to North Rim!

    • Kim says:

      Good for you, Susan! We’ve been supporters of that organization for years but I’ve never visited. Can’t wait!

      Kim

  5. Sue, I love your post! I so enjoy “seeing” Arizona through your eyes! I can’t wait to experience it again! I was so blessed to get to see parts of Arizona including Sedona and The Grand Canyon 4 years ago, before I went blind. I can honestly say that I did not want to leave! Have a wonderful time on the river!!

    –Robin Harp of FROGturtle
    http://frogturtlefriends.blogspot.com/

  6. Pat says:

    I agree, it is a great area.

  7. Reine says:

    You should see some other Casitas at Lee’s Ferry in the next several days. There’s a group from the forum meeting for an informal get together. Arizona Eileen and Sage and several others. Have fun seeing some other Casita folks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine!

      Some have already arrived. I’ll be sure to include them in my next blog entry. Conrad and (forgot her name… Lynn? Haven’t met her yet.) are in the next campsite.

      • LoveMyCasita says:

        Yes, that would be Konrad and Lynn next to you. Five of us will arrive tomorrow around noon. Also expecting several others. Hope there’s enough room in the campground. Heard from someone in Sedona that it gets crowded on the weekends.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It’s not crowded now at 9 a.m. Several tenters left and I think the “Grand Canyon Youth” vans (2 of them) are taking the young people away. As you may know, it’s terribly windy. I think that is driving some people out.

          I met Jim and Alice when I walked the crew very early this a.m. They were packing up . . . had enough of the heat and wind.

          If you do come here, you’ll have plenty of room.

  8. Dominick Bundy says:

    All your pictures you’ve shared have been superb. But for some reason these are my favorite of all.. Made me feel I was actually there… Really like your campsite as well. …keep up the good work…You probably unaware of the joy and pleasure you send out to many who click on your blogs every day just by doing what you do .. My God bless you and keep you safe…. Cheers Dominick…

  9. Kim says:

    How exciting! Are Bridget and Spike sleeping later now that they don’t have to see you off to work?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      They slept late when I went off to work, probably to make me feel bad. No… I left at 6, can’t blame them for sleeping. Then as I shut the door behind me they’d howl as if in pain. Now they get up according to light. If I keep the blinds drawn, we sleep late!

  10. minicooper10 says:

    Okay, I’ll “bite.” Re: Photo of your rig on the hill: Did you take the photo while Spike drove up the hill or did you drive up the hill while Bridget took the photo? LOL!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Just another mystery of life . . .

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Spike can’t drive the PTV ! He doesn’t have a license!

      • minicooper10 says:

        Mystery of life, eh? Reminds me of my father’s fave (78rmp) song — to contemplate along with your recent life introspection: Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee! Ah! I know at last the secret of it all. All the longing, seeking, striving, waiting, yearning. The burning hopes, the joy and idle tears that fall. For ’tis love & love alone the world is seeking, And ’tis love and love alone that can repay. You walked (drove) right into THAT one! I believe your life and blog deliver these very words.

  11. Teri says:

    I think a lot of people probably feel the same way…maybe lots of tears being wiped away. It’s so wonderful that you get such joy from these places. I can’t wait to see photos of the other Casitas. I sent my sister to their website because she would like to buy a more compact trailer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If your sister is interested in why someone like myself would choose a Casita, tell her to look at the “about rvsue” page. Scroll way down. Sherry asked me that question. My reasons are listed. It might help your sister make her decision, one way or another.

  12. rvsueandcrew says:

    Sure beats watching the grass grow back in Georgia . . . .

  13. John and Kona says:

    Hello Sue and Crew ~~~~
    Love the pictures of you and the crew heading to the Colorado River and Lee’s Ferry.

    Questions: Did you have to make reservations at Lee’s Ferry?
    How much per night?
    Looks very nice and the spurs are not too close:)!
    How HOT is it?

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and Kona,

      No reservations are taken for Lee’s Ferry. It’s $12 a night unless you have the Senior Pass which makes it only $6 a night.

      How HOT is it? It’s so hot Spike is licking his own ears! Seriously . . . the weather widget in the column is near correct, for a change. Right now (5:45 p.m.) that thing reads 102 degrees. It feels a lot hotter, being surrounded by red rock. The crew and I went up to the pay station and we couldn’t walk on the macadam. It was too hot for their paws. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be a little cooler.

  14. swamperdog says:

    You are making me sooooooooooooooooooooooooo homesick for my beloved Southwest.

  15. The pictures were indescribable! They were clear and I love them! I think if you ever stopped your blog I would go into a deep depression! This helps me to much,. wanting to travel in my rv and not being able to at the moment. This keeps me sane. Thank you Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Sharon. Your words remind me of myself. Tioga George used to keep me sane while I was waiting . . . It’s nice to be “paying it forward” to you.

  16. phxkayaker says:

    Another one of my favorite places but could be getting pretty warm. Love to sit in the shade at thd landing watching all the river rats rig their rafts.

  17. earthdancerimages says:

    HAHAHAHA! I told ya! You saw my photos, now you get to share yours on your blog! I really don’t think anyone could possibly capture all the beauty there is in Lee’s Ferry… in Northeast AZ and most of Utah! A camera that could do that hasn’t been invented yet! Enjoy your stay! It’s hot here too! 99 degrees today! Geri

  18. I’m having some kind of problem leaving a comment on your site tonight….that Swamperdog comment above was me:))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, rats! That same thing has happened to my sister Pauline who is now Strawberry Polly, and to Geri who is now earthdancerimages. So irritating! It’s a WordPress snafu. I’m sorry Al. Funny thing though … When I read the swamperdog comment I thought to myself, “This sounds like Al!”

      Thanks for persevering so I know you are with us!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Even the desert is more inviting when seen through your eyes, Sue!! Having lived 15 very long years in the desert of Washington state, (YES, there is desert there)…and the misery of living among the nasty people there (maybe heat and ugly scenery makes people hateful…not sure, but that is sort of the conclusion I came to)…and yet 2 of our best friends were from there…so even in the midst of horrible, one can find joy and friendship…but it kind of colored my thinking about desert living. And you are also part of my seeing another side to it. At least all the varied colors makes the Arizona desert much more interesting.

    WOW, the heat…do be careful to stay as cool as you can!! At least is is dry…you well know how hot can be with humidity thrown in. We had to make a “flying quickie trip” to Savannah this week…as we got nearer, I told hubby…oh yea, here comes the humidity of summer again!! It is coming here to NC, but thankfully a bit slower… But if you have green, it means rain and humidity!
    Thanks again for sharing so much of your life…even if we never live that life, we kind of get to between folks like you and George…my 2 favorite bloggers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I always enjoy hearing from you, Elizabeth. You put me in very good company with Tioga George. I never thought I’d be in the same category with him!

      The sun has dipped below the line of the cliffs and it’s cooled off some. The crew and I walked down to the river. (It’s quite a walk back uphill.) Gorgeous! I’ll show some photos of it tomorrow.

      Thank you for telling me how you feel about my blog.

  20. bearwise2010 says:

    What an amazing venture you and the crew are having. I would cry to, my goodness what an amazing area.. I love the rocks and water.. Thank you so very much for sharing this with us Sue.. The past is the past and now look at what you have and you are experiencing.. You are living the dream of most. Take care and some day god willing I will follow in your foot steps…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I didn’t even show the most breathtaking scenery. I was too much “into the moment,” cruising through these incredible formations, to even think of photos. You’re right…. We all need to live in the present. I pray God will be willing for you to live a journey like this.

  21. klbexplores says:

    You have surely been transported into a coffee table photo book. The pictures are stunning. It does make one want to screw the plan and get going NOW! I know patience! I am working towards the goal… But have decided I need to do many local journeys and enjoy the scenery every day. I must say I am certainly envious of Your scenery!

    You need fur babies slippers for the kids to protect from the heat. They have them for winter, I wonder if they have heat models?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The crew did okay… We ran from grass island to grass island.

      It does take patience to stick to the plan. Enjoy your local scenery and I’ll show you mine, too!

  22. Sharpei Mom says:

    Just had to smile as you were describing what you were seeing!!! Anyone who drives thru there can’t be anything but completely awe struck! Enjoy your time there Sue…wish it were cooler for you and crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I couldn’t believe there was a person who kept tail gaiting me! How could anyone be in a hurry on such a road as that! I let him pass and he raced on by. If I drove that road a thousand times, I’d still drive with my mouth open.

      It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow . . .in the high nineties!

  23. geogypsy2u says:

    I hope you got across the painted desert before the wind picked up. I love that drive, even as bumpy as the road is.
    I’ll be dropping off a fellow Ranger about 8:30am at the boat launch. If you happen to be up and around. Then taking that same drive to Flagstaff.
    Life is full of speed bumps, some larger than others, better if we just slow down and enjoy the Now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m up at 6 o’clock. I’d love to see you again! The wind didn’t catch up with us until a few hours after we arrived here. Boy, did it roar last night. The crew and I didn’t sleep much. It’s calmer this morning. Bridget and Spike are conked out, exhausted.

      When you come in the campground, turn left toward the river.

      I bet it’s another beautiful drive in the opposite direction.

  24. Kathy says:

    Sue – I am glad to know someone besides me cries when they experience certain areas of our beautiful country. Some vistas are so overwhelmingly beautiful that the tears just flow. Also want to let you know I am very interested in the diet you are on. Please keep on blogging about it. Thanks for taking the time to write your wonderful blog. I sure do look forward to reading it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your feedback is very helpful. I try to strike a balance among subjects. Some want to hear about the diet, others probably skip right over it.

      I used to cry at movies when they were worth crying over. Real life and nature gets to me now. Nice to hear you do, too!

      • Latte says:

        rvsue,
        This is one I just read and I think it covers so well for those of us who are “teary” at times, beautiful scenery, etc.
        “Tears are words spoken from the heart, the words themselves are just too powerful to speak aloud”. Enjoying your blog……..

  25. Emjay says:

    Your pictures bring back lots of memories. I believe the old road to Lee’s Ferry used to take you to the bottom of the canyon on windy switchbacks. The “new” roads are certainly an improvement. Quite interesting views, Sue.

    Good thing you moved beyond danger of the Coconino fires. The areas around Prescott and Prescott Valley seem to burn every year. Ugh.

    Emjay

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The second to the last morning at our last camp I stepped out of the BLT and immediately smelled smoke…. all the way from Prescott NF? I don’t know where it was coming from. Everything is extremely dry. The forest could be fine when you go to bed and a raging inferno when you get up.

      It was an easy drive down into the canyon, except it was hard to keep my eyes on the road ahead.

  26. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue, After so much arm twisting to get you to Lees Ferry, your photos and commentery were wonderful! I think, IMHO of course, that this is one of, if not your best blogs! i still think you should write a book!!! It was worth ALL that verbal armtwisting to see that you like this area as much as we do.Told ya’ so, neener neener neener. Chuckles

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I planned on coming here all along. I was taking my sweet time. Neener neener neener. It was fun hearing you and Geri rave about it! I didn’t want to take 89 to Page if I could help it. That long, steep hill … no fun.

      I appreciate your compliments, Chuck. Thank you! You and Geri are super encouragers!

  27. Chinle says:

    Sue, thanks for your encouraging words on my blog – much needed. You are now entering a very special part of Planet Earth – AKA paradise,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Chinle. I’d like to read everyone’s blog every day. Blog writing takes so much time . . . I try to see your blog every day. I enjoy the very individual way you present your topic. . .That’s the pen of experience.

  28. Sherry says:

    I remember being overwhelmed just as you described it and the tears flowing down my face at the breath taking beauty of it all. There is something so spiritual about the red rock country. It just has a different feel. Calm maybe. Or perhaps it’s just calming to me. Thanks for taking me there again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wonder if it’s the timelessness. The rocks display the grandeur of the ages. I felt a part of that. It’s hard to describe. You obviously know what I mean.

  29. Joy A. says:

    Say Sue…you said you had read that the campsites were not very level….yours looks fine. How are the other campsites??

    I love your posting and have been noting all your campsites on my maps. I like that fact that you include pictures of your sites and the general area. Surely gives me more information for the day that I decide to spend time in AZ. I’ve never dilly dallied much in Arizona so I look forward to going there one day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Miy site is almost level. It required only one of the boards I bought back in Flagstaff. I’ll write more about the campground in today’s entry. It’s always good to hear that someone loved the latest blog entry. Thank you.

      • Reine says:

        You’re going to be glad you have the boards. So far the worst we’ve found is the site we chose in Chiracahua National Monument. It required FOUR 2×6 boards under the street side tire to get level and was definitely a two person job of moving boards to create a ramp. At that site we were really glad we had the scissor jack type stabilizers on the back. But we liked the site enough to put up with the leveling.

  30. Renette says:

    Dear Sue,
    I find myself agreeing with most of what was said today, this may be your finest blog to date. I was in the same general area last spring and just reading your coments and seeing your pictures brought it so vividly to my mind again that the tears began to flow. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to get back on the road.
    Renette

  31. cathieok says:

    Sue, love your new place. I have been offline for a few days as I stepped in a hole on the golf course and broke my ankle in two places. Surgery, pins, plates, hospital for two days and feeling too yucky to even get on my iPad. As I was lying there, my thoughts turned to you and your walks alone in the dessert and hills. It happened so fast and there was no way I could have gotten myself up. Firemen and paramedics had to come and stabilize the ankle. and get me up. (enough to say my ankle bone was on top of my foot! ouch!) Please be sure to take your cellphone and walking stick with you. Maybe I will have to start wearing my hiking boots on the golf course.

  32. Chris says:

    Sue, a 62 yr old female friend of mine has been on Dukan diet for nearly a year and has gone from 180 lbs to 120 lbs and looks great. She said her experience with the diet mirrors what’s in the book. She has enjoyed the food choices which has made it easier than she expected. She is now in the maintenance phase.

    Be well…be healthy!

    Chris (Lazy Dazer)

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