Do what you really want to do

The crew and I have just arrived at Crazy Jug Point.

What? Scratches on the Perfect Tow Vehicle?

Thin, brown, horizontal lines on both sides of the PTV make my heart skip a beat.  I run my finger from a side window downward and the stripes wipe off.   What a relief!  It’s only dirt. These marks will wash right off.   Well, I guess the PTV has earned her stripes!

Bridget, Spike and I are going to find a lookout point to enjoy the Canyon. 

I carefully walk down the short path.  I’ve got the crew on short leash by my side.  What a thrill to actually be here!  To be honest, I am a little uncomfortable with heights, especially when there’s nothing between us and the canyon bottom but a few spindly bushes and a lot of air.  The crew and I walk down the dirt path and the ledge comes into view.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I cannot believe what I see.  Incredible! Absolutely incredible!

I’m not talking about the Canyon.

Let me set this up for you.  The path is less than six feet wide.  At the end of it is a slab of rock jutting out over the canyon.  There are no human “improvements” out here.  In other words, that ledge was put here through natural forces, so it follows that natural forces could remove it at any time.  Okay.  I admit that’s unlikely to happen at this very moment.  Anyway.  How big is the ledge?   Oh, imagine a small SUV.  Then allow about two, three feet all around it.  That’s the ledge.

Like I said, I stand in shock.

Perched on that ledge actually IS a small SUV!  A camp chair and a bucket sit next to the bumper.  What kind of an idiot would drive a car down here!  And sleep here overnight!   With the front bumper at the edge!

My concern for the driver of the SUV soon fades.

What a selfish idiot to hog the overlook like this.  I walk toward the ledge and peek through the bushes and the SUV.

“Well, gang, let’s go over to the other ledge.”  We go back up and descend the other path.  It’s too steep and too near the edge. Bridget’s liable to panic and pull us all over the side.  I’ll come back here in the morning by myself.  I manage to take a photo, but it’s a hazy day.  Tomorrow will be better.

A photo taken on a precarious path

Now, where to set up camp?

I look around and realize the only possibility is in the road.   The road makes a figure eight.  This spot will not block anyone from turning around to leave the point.  It’s not a nice campsite, but there’s no other choice even close to level.  The ground is black powder that sticks.  The truth is . . . Crazy Jug point is tired and trampled.  Apparently a lot of people have come out here over the years.  Well, it’s somewhere to sleep.

I’m chocking the wheels when I hear the voice of a young man and the giggles of a young girl.

Hmm . . . Young lovers.  Better not take the crew walking in that direction of the forest. 

Once camp is set up, the crew and I walk back up the road.  We pass a person coming from the other direction.  Further on we walk down a narrow road and discover another beautiful overlook.  A mini-van is parked in front of it along with two camp chairs.  Geesh, people everywhere!  No one is around so I walk us over to the chairs and look at the Canyon for a few minutes.

We return to camp and notice another car is parked by the path to the other ledge. 

Later, while we’re back inside the BLT, a Class C comes roaring in, stops for about three minutes (during which a man and a woman exchange harsh words), and then bumpity-scumps back into the forest again.

The crew and I love our morning walks, wherever we may be.

Gee, I’m exhausted. 

I broke camp, dumped tanks, got water and gas, drove from Lee’s Ferry to Jacob Lake, stopped at the visitor center, carried us deep into the Kaibab Forest some forty miles to Crazy Jug Point, and set up a new camp, all in one day . . . 

Wow, I did it!  We’re here!  And without a scratch!

Only there’s one problem . . .  Although this campsite is less than eighty feet from the Canyon — a piece of real estate worth a fortune — it, quite frankly, sucks.

The next morning . . .

I drink my coffee while walking around the area, peeking at the Canyon through the bushes and trees.  I try going down to the ledge but only make it half the way.  Too scary.  Bridget and Spike are too excited to eat their breakfast.  I down a glass of fat-free milk with oat bran stirred in.  Off we go on a walk to find a new campsite.

We head down a road that parallels the Rim.

The Rim is to our left behind the trees.

Several feet of trees block any view of it.  After walking quite far, I hear voices.  About eight or nine people are camped up ahead on the Rim side of the road.  I’m in no mood for conversation.  

It sounds like they’re packing up, so we’ll wait here under these pine trees.

A fire ring and tamped ground reveals I’m in a popular campsite.

As I’m standing here with the crew, I see a man’s bare behind.

He’s pulling up his pants over by some bushes.  Oh great, didn’t need to collect that memory.  Not more than two minutes later, a young woman is pushing her way through the bushes, toilet paper in hand.  Good golly, I’ve had enough.  I don’t care if these people are camped there, we’re going over there and check out the view.  As we leave the piney area, I notice some toilet paper on the ground.  Yuck!

We approach the noisy group.

Their campsite is close to the Rim.  I decide to play the role of weird, old lady in the crazy hat who doesn’t look at or speak to people.  The walking stick is the perfect prop.

The door of their van reads Washington State.  Must be geology students.  A woman, not much older than the rest, is reading off safety instructions for a hike.  The crew and I walk past the group right into their campsite, and stand in front of a marvelous, unobstructed view of the Canyon.

Grand Canyon as captured by my cheap little digital camera.

After a few moments, we leave and continue walking up the road. 

A few minutes later they leave and we return to their site.   I guess this site is open.  They left no belongings.  I take a close look at the site.  It’s all beaten down and very close to the precipice.   I imagine Spike charging over the side.  And when I walk the crew in the forest, we’ll be walking around human feces.

I realize I really don’t want to be here.

Too many people, too much pooping.  I think I’m forcing myself to find a Canyon view camp.  I’m doing what I think I should be doing, not what I really want to do.  What I really want to do is go back to where the aspens grow among the pine trees and find a secluded site.

That’s it!  We’re moving camp!

rvsue

5/11/12 . . . $65.52 for 17.71 gal. of gas at $3.69 a gal., $45.31 for oil change and chassis lube, $6.56 clothing
5/12/12 . . . 0$
5/13/12 . . . 0$
5/14/12 . . . $30.36 for groceries, $8.00 laundry
5/15/12 . . . $38.30 for hat, $18.00 for haircut including tip
5/16/12 . . . $27.51 for groceries, $22.17 for 6.109 gal. gas at $3.62 a gal., $2.23 for boards
5/17/12 . . . $0
5/18/12 . . . $0
5/19/12 . . . $19.35 for 4.62 gal. gas at 4.18 a gal., $13.99 for Kaibab National Forest map
5/20/12 . . .$0
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0 Responses to Do what you really want to do

  1. I don’t blame you for moving. Maybe being on the rim of the canyon would be a better day trip. Safer anyway.

  2. Renee says:

    Good for you Sue!…doing what you “REALLY” wanted to do. In our years of camping/rving we found that the ” popular scenic wonders” were too often too busy and well trodden for our taste. So we would go in and wander the scenic wonder for several hours, but our camp was always many miles away ……usually in a “foresty glen of quietude”!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So you understand . . . That’s nice, Renee. . . A future post will be about our new camp. I’m glad I moved us . . It’s a “foresty glen of quietude.”

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Well, I would have felt as you do…not a very nice place to be…ick….people are so weird sometimes!!

  4. Page says:

    What happened to leave no trace???? Pack it in, pack it out – including poop!! I don’t blame you in the least for getting out of there.

  5. Enjoyed your blog. Good luck finding your new site. Even though I havent responded alot lately I read every blog. Tomorrow I am off at 5am heading From Florida to Virginia.. I am also going to blog my trip… just learning. Wish it was in my rv but I never found one yet, so I am in my car make believing its my rv..lol
    Take care and hello to the crew….Sharon

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Have a great trip, Sharon! I love your spirit. No rv? I’ll go in my car and pretend! Good for you. Stay safe and best wishes with your blog. I’ll be reading it!

  6. Emjay says:

    Yep. I’m with YOU. People can be insensitive to others and to their surroundings when they head outdoors. I kinda like the idea of heading off into the aspens.

    Emjay

  7. Marcia says:

    Glad you got your view and your canyon shot and hope you find that just-right piney glade – much better for all of you.

  8. Mark says:

    The views are breathtaking, and sometimes just make you gasp. Like the guy hiking with only a backpack and speedo. We have camped all across the country but have never been anywhere that draws the crowds like the Grand Canyon. People from all over the world come there. People from other country’s have different views as to what is acceptable behavior. You just have to accept the fact that everyone else wants to see the Canyon too.
    Enjoy what you can then head on down the road to quieter camping with more traditional campers.

    Mark,
    Salina, KS

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You make a good point, Mark. These “poopers” were the students from the University. Oh well, you do whatcha gotta do! I haven’t blogged about going to the Grand Canyon (where the lodge is). There were people from all over the globe.

  9. It’s like I often say to Kelly while traveling………. wherever you have people you are likely going to have a mess. I have been angered sooooooo many times upon arriving in beautiful scenic locations to find the proverbial mounds & shards of broken glass, beer bottles & cans, shotgun shells, bits of toilet paper etc!! We generally have a rule of thumb when boondocking. We will cruise an area to find out where all the people are camped & then we will get as far away from those humanoids as we possibly can…….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I know the feeling all too well, Al. It’s disgusting. I’ve been in a place that looked clean and pristine and while sitting in my camp chair noticed the poptops and pieces of plastic embedded in the ground. It seems like you can’t get away from it. I’m a noise nut, too. I can’t stand to hear voices in the forest. Isn’t that selfish? I can’t help it. For heaven’s sake, do people have to talk all the time!!!

  10. Pat says:

    Sorry some rude people had to ruin your camping spot. Not everyone had the same consisderation for others or the beautiful land we live in. I hope your new spot is much better and you have a great time on the north rim. One more week and I am going to be a rv gyspy!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your blog help me realize I can do this. Thank you so much.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Pat,

      I can’t explain how happy I am for you. To think my blog may have had a small part in your new, gypsy life thrills me to pieces. Countdown to blast-off!

  11. Emily says:

    Well, as I said before the Grand Canyon will be there tomorrow, next year, next decade, next . . .
    And, maybe you can learn of a time that is quieter along some part of either Rim; besides, when it starts getting warm the Canyon does not offer as spectacular vistas, the smogs/hazes are more visible, etc, etc. I think I enjoy the Canyon more now from peoples’ pictures while I didn’t have to contend with crowds!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I know what you mean, Emily. I stopped taking photos of the Canyon for that reason. There are so many better ones out there. This isn’t a travel blog anyway.

      I hope the diet is working for you. I’m still on it. I’m feeling great and I think my pants feel loser!

  12. Sherry says:

    You’ve put my feelings and thoughts into words. I love hearing that I’m not alone in finding too many people to be thoughtless, inconsiderate and just plain old trashy. Right on RV SUE why do they have to talk all the time. And SO loud. Does anyone even know what quiet sounds like? Noise pollutioin is a problem that bothers me a lot. So like you and Al and many of your other commenters, I look for where are the people and go somewhere else. I wonder if I’m a misanthropist.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Sherry,

      I was told by a longtime boondocker that my aversion to noise, especially human noise, will get worse the more I camp away from populated areas. I’m seeing that he was correct. Background music in grocery stores makes me want to cover my ears. I guess I’m turning into one of those people raised by wolves. LOL The crew and I walked pretty far from the actual point at Crazy Jug and, sure enough, chatter, chatter, chatter, and it wasn’t the squirrels.

  13. hobopals says:

    I am so glad to know that others feel the way I felt about the GC. As far as I am concerned, it was a ghetto in the middle of the desert. In 2010, I decided that maybe I had been too harsh in my opinion, but got within 6 miles, and decided I had better places to go. I found peace off the beaten path in unknown places–far more beautiful than what people have turned GC into, and even Yellowstone to a degree unless you can hike in the back country.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think the internet is affecting everything. I went to Crazy Jug Point because I saw a photo on the internet of someone camping there. So I go and my presence and that of everyone else wears the place down. I’m part of the cause (by blogging about my camps) and part of the effect (by going to places and helping to wear them down.).Fortunately this is a big country.

  14. cathieok says:

    The important part of this story is that you got to see the canyon. When you are sleeping in your peaceful camping spot, you can dream of the views you saw.

  15. Billy Bob says:

    Since this group was given instructions of sorts, I’m think’n the instructor would be aware of forest poop regulations in any National Forrest and would have instructed the students how to poop.Yes you can poop in the woods. But there are rules to follow. Ya dig a cathole.
    * Catholes are generally easy to dig and easy to disguise afterward.
    * They are private, and it’s easy to select a remote site other hikers won’t encounter.
    * They disperse waste, enhancing decomposition.

    Your cathole site must be a minimum of 200 feet away (that’s about 70 adult steps) from water, trails, and campsites, ideally near thick underbrush, decaying logs or any places other hikers aren’t likely to encounter it. Catholes are 6 to 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide.

    To be critical of a camper with his pants down, you first need to inspect his poop site to verify if he dug a cathole or pooped on the surface. If he dug the cathole, he is right and you have no reason to criticize his actions. Now the old Billy Bob ain’t gonna be traisp’n round the forest look’n for poop, but I also ain’t gonna be object’n to someone who poops. Oh poop….just forget it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! Thanks, Billy Bob, for taking the time to write all the regs on pooping in the forest. Very informative. I hope you don’t mind if I clarify one thing .. . If you look back at my blog entry, I didn’t criticize anyone for pooping in the forest. I wrote my reaction to pooping in the forest. There is a difference. Who am I to say what people can or can’t do? Like you pointed out, that’s for the NF people to take care of. I hadn’t thought about human waste until I saw what was going on. That, plus the many people and worn campsite, made me want to leave. Poop on, people! If you gotta go, you gotta go. LOL

  16. Chris says:

    Sue, I made the comment below on an older post and you may not get to the older comment areas again so I have pasted it in below on this current post.

    Chris

    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)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How wonderful for her! I’m so glad you posted her results on the diet. I’m still on it and I feel better and have more energy. I’m losing weight. Unfortunately I first lose weight on my wrists and ankles which are skinny anyway, then I lose it in other places that really are okay….. Last of all is my midsection, where I really want to lose it! I’ll be posting a photo of myself in a few days. Check the ankles. I have anorexic ankles.

      Thanks for writing, Chris, you Lazy Dazer you.

  17. Debra says:

    OMG! I am so glad you got out of there – in tact and “clean”. You know, no scratches. 😉 Just posted a blog that I am taking a 6-month social sabbatical so that I have a chance at doing what I want to do. Wish me luck! You are such an inspiration Sue. Love and hugZ to you and Bridget and Spike.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Taking a social sabbatical . . . good for you, Debra! I wish you tons of luck “doing what you want to do.” Everybody needs to do that as often as they can, in my opinion. If you don’t, you can lose who you are. Enjoy…. and hugs back to you!

  18. Llanos says:

    Sue, that is just so sad about the GC. I would have left also. I enjoy my piece and quiet. I have not been to the GC for this very reason. I have been to the Copper Canyons and had just the opposite experience. Not a place for a van or trailer tho.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Llanos,

      I hope my post didn’t spoil anyone’s memories or dreams about the Grand Canyon. I’m particular about certain things. Others might not be bothered, like the young people doing the wild thing in the woods. LOL

      I’m glad I got to see the Canyon. Anyone reading my blog for long sees that I tend to enjoy the little things in life. I’m glad you found your quiet place in the Copper Canyons.

      • Llanos says:

        I might add that I went to Yellowstone in the 70’s and had the experience you just had at the Grand Canyon. I tend to stay away from the big name places. If you want solitude, Yukon Territory/Alaska. It’s still pristine also. British Columbia has some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. The only problem with that way is the expense. Everything costs so much more.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          So this kind of thing goes way back to the 70s. . . I’d love to go to those places you mention. I have to see the U.S. West first! Maybe our energy problem will be resolved before I run out of energy (LOL) and I’ll go there!

  19. To bad Sue !!
    Well maybe not a great place to camp but the canyon is great to look at.

    It kind of reminds me of a story I saw on the news tonight about the trek to Mount Everest. Apparently it is so crowded that their are lines of people going up and because one has to get there and back down in a timely manner(due to lack of oxygen and weather changes) , well 4 people died the other day because they where stuck in the crowd going up or down and they died of lack of oxygen. I actually have a friend going to base camp next month and when I saw that I said NO WAY. I dont care how cool it is , to many people have ruined it !~!! Same as the canyon.
    I went down the canyon last June in a raft for 9 days. Luckily they have a limit on how many can go at once so it was not so crowded as in earlier days. Great trip. I LOVE the canyon but can see being put off by what you experrienced. If you are near the North rim, maybe you could just take a drive one day in the PTV to see some of the lookouts. They are amazing and all quite different. So, maybe give it another chance while camping somewhere else.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That story about Mt. Everest . . . How terrible. It’s that crowded? Hard for me to imagine. I suppose there’s litter on Everest now.

      I’ll post more about viewing the Grand Canyon from a different location. Thanks for writing, Susan. I enjoyed your comment.

  20. Ed Smith says:

    WOW, I hate being in a beautiful place littered by litterers. There are several other places like that in Arizona. It’s a problem of dispursed camping. It never happens in campgrounds (in my experience), no matter how primitve. You’ve had some great sites, Burro Creek looks wonderful. Hopefully your next stop will be better.

  21. geogypsy2u says:

    Sue I am so sorry that Crazy Jug didn’t work out. I’ve camped there many times all by myself. Maybe I’ve recommended it too many times. Yet I know you’ll find a peaceful place under the aspen and pines.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s not you. It’s probably the internet. And it wasn’t terrible. I just happened to go on a Saturday and there were young people around doing what young people do (camp on a lookout, for instance.) Overall it was still a good experience for me. It gave me a destination for my first rugged journey into a forest. It was exciting to drive those last rough miles to come through the bushes and suddenly there it is . .. The Grand Canyon!

  22. Marsha says:

    We went to the South Rim this past February because we happened to be in Arizona and it was nothing put a positive experience, mainly because there weren’t the crowds there probably are in the summer. We rented a cabin at Bright Angel Lodge and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We prefer to avoid crowds, so for us that was the perfect time to be there, plus the weather cooperated and it was sunny the whole time we were there (plus no snow).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh that sounds wonderful. I’m glad you had such a good time and made a positive memory for yourselves!

      You’ve probably read enough of my blog by now to know I consider four or five people to be a crowd. Ha!

  23. Tia says:

    Glad to see the crazy lady with the hat showed up at that campsite. Aren’t you the same crazy lady with the barking dogs and the hat that showed up at the visitors center? Ha Ha. Nothing like putting a little crazy on to get people to give you your space. Keep the blogs coming. I look forward by the notifications that you have posted.
    Stay safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tia!

      When I was young, I thought getting old was horrible. Now I find there are many benefits! I find playing the ditsy old lady or the wise old woman of the forest comes in handy in many situations. I like your phrase: “putting a little crazy on.” I might use that.

      I’m happy you enjoy seeing a new post appear!

  24. bythervr says:

    Hi Sue,
    I guess my old self is persona non grata at WordPress…LOL.

    When you chase your dream, and you share your experiences, others will follow you; your blog members are proof of that. Your dream of camping by the Grand Canyon has not only been shared by others but obviously by many who don’t share your ethics. I appreciate your love of the great outdoors and solitude. Your chosen interaction with a select few kindred spirits provide you, and us, with an occasional change of pace.

    I just spent 10 days camped beside a remote lake in northern Maine, waking up the the sounds of loons and geese, watching eagles chase dinner and robins build their nests, kayaking and hiking during sunny days and enjoying life in a full featured trailer; no toilet paper or bare butts in the nearby bushes…

    Thanks for sharing everything Sue.

    Barrie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your comment is like a mini-blog entry. You transported me to northern Maine. What a treasure those woods are! A forest that endures the cold, ice and snow of winter has a special aura to it in the warmer months. Ten days . .. I’d be envious if I weren’t enjoying myself so much!

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, Barrie, even if you have to assume a new name to do so!

  25. Has anyone heard of Toroweap?? It is another canyon overlook spot to camp. BUT, it is a 50 mile dirt road to get to it. I hear it is fabulous !!! You can look it up online . Maybe it is to rough a road for the casita?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m beginning to think, if you can look it up on the internet, it’s going to be overrun. I’ve heard of the name but I’ve never been there, of course.

  26. Ed says:

    This is what John Steinbeck had to say about out National Parks in his book Travel With Charley:
    …it is my opinion that we enclose and celebrate the freaks of our nation and of our civilization. Yellowstone National Park is no more representative of America than is Disneyland.
    I think you may discovered some of what he was talking about back in the 1960s. It is not something new.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I realize I don’t have the full context of Steinbeck’s remark, but I’m a bit confused by it. He seems to imply that someone says the National Parks are supposed to be representative of America. It’s an interesting comparison…. enclosing freaks and enclosing natural wonders. It’s not one I would make . . . Anyway, thought-provoking comment, Ed.

      • Ed says:

        What he was talking about was how travelers wanting to see the USA converged on the National Parks (which he calls freaks of nature). There was not any ‘bucket lists’ in the 1960s but there was the idea then as now that somehow seeing all the National Parks was to see this country. Almost no one put the NM State Parks, Darby Road in Ajo, Az, Congress, AZ, Burro Creek or National Forests near Ash Fork and Flagstaff on there ‘bucket lists’. You have found those places to be what you like and it was places like those that John liked as well and thought to be more representative of America’s natural wonders rather than our National Parks.
        As an aside, I suggest that you read Travel with Charley. I found it much more enjoyable than Blue Highways or On the Road as a travel book.