Our Vermillion Cliffs Camp

The Chiweenie Brothers are up early this morning, and are ready to take a walk and hike a couple legs.  That out of the way I make us our breakfast. Soaked kibble mixed with some raw hamburger for them, oatmeal with coconut, banana, and cinnamon for me.  I want to make it to State Line Campground today and take a few days to rest up, so one more quick walk and I fire up Freedom and we’re off.

I don’t drive more than a quarter of a mile and a huge sign on the left announces BLM land and lots of it.  Looks like pretty good dirt road, and I decide this would be better than a packed campground any day! I turn right and it’s not far until I find a spur road on the left that looks like it goes behind a small hill.  Seclusion sounds wonderful, and we slowly make our way behind this hill to a wonderful quiet camp that we have all to ourselves.

We spend a  couple of wonderful windless days all to ourselves on a knoll above the valley with the Vermillion Cliffs in the background. The peace and quiet is soothing. I can see the highway and the tiny cars and trucks climbing the Kaibab Plateau, but I can’t hear a thing.

It’s early morning on the third day. By the time I get out from under my cozy warm bed, and get my shoes on the let The Chiweenie Brothers do their morning thing the wind picks up, and storm clouds gather.

DSC_0023 (1)

And it begins to rain, then this happens …

DSC_0035 (1)

The boys want outside and I try to tell them they won’t like what’s going on, but being ever suspicious that they might miss something they have to see for themselves. I leash them up and open the side doors and they look outside. I can’t push them out.  “WHAT????” is the general consensus. “We’re not going out there!!!”

“Fine with me,” I tell them, and we climb back under the covers and wait for a small break in the storm.  They dash out and get their potty run, then it’s back inside to listen to the thunder roll.

It seesaws back and forth between showers, partial clearing, and then the clouds are blown back in, and it rains or sleets for a time. The clouds move on, then the angry wind hustles them back in. And so it goes most of the day until the wind seemingly tires of pushing the dark clouds around and gives up, leaving some nice clear skies and some cold air behind.

DSC_0036 (1)

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna



Balancing Rocks and a Big Bird

Once past the Navajo Bridge and the official part of the Vermillion Cliffs, we find the Balancing Rocks.

The one on the far left looks like a hippopotamus to me.  🙂

This was a fun and interesting little break in our day’s drive, but there’s more to come and we head onward.

We drive on with the intention of making it to Stateline Campground for a couple night’s stay, but it’s been a very long day. About 150 miles, but lots of in and out of the van grabbing photos and fighting the wind to get back into the van. I need to stop and The Chiweenie Brothers need another walk.
Up ahead I see what looks like a promising stopping point only to find out it is House Rock Wilderness Area and it’s 25 miles of rough dirt road to get back to this remote area where buffalo roam and CONDORS were introduced in 1998. Tempting, but 25 miles of rough dirt road is just not appealing this late in the day. I just don’t have it in me. Wait …

I look at the photo of a condor on the wall of the information kiosk. It can’t be. I pull out my bird identification book. White stripe on the wings. Bald yellowish head with a sturdy beak. Oh my gosh! I think it was a condor I saw gliding above the Colorado River back at Navajo Bridge!!!! This is beyond exciting and wish I had gotten a photo of that bird dang it! I am so tempted to take this 25 mile drive, but with high winds and possible rain I don’t feel that my chances of spotting a condor are very good, and 25 miles of dirt road … I pull back out onto Highway 89A.

And where do we end up? A gravel area alongside Highway 89A. We are the only ones here, and we park for the night. It ends up being really nice and quiet as once night settled in traffic became nil.
Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs.