I realize this isn’t overland, its barely “camping” but some standards, but I have pictures and I want to share them with you dammit!
Okay, got that over with. So 5 years ago we bought a camp trailer, a 2001 Coleman Niagra. Way fancier than we needed but has been pretty awesome for family camping trips. On our second trip with the trailer we set an ambitious plan for Escalante and highway 12 area for a week with an 11 month old and a 3 year old. That trip turned out to be a bust because our youngest refused to sleep and our oldest got an infection. we made it 2 night and I’ve never been so tired in my life.
So 5 years later we decided it was time to try again.
The Cruiser has been taken off trailer towing duties, which is good and bad. Good in that the gx handles the weight of the trailer SOOO much better, bad because the GX isn’t my Land Cruiser. Though I can’t complain. Having the height adjusting air springs and adjustable dampers along with the 2uz make this an unbeatable tow vehicle for this size of trailer. thirsty, but unbeatable. speaking fo thirsty, we filled up a LOT. It’s about 300 miles to kodachrome basin which, at 10 mpg (killer headwind the whole way) and gas being far and few between meant filling up any chance we got.
Kodachrome was where we lucked out and scored a last minute campsite for the trailer and my in-laws. Normally I prefer dry camping, for cheapness of sites and wide open spaces. This was a little different because my in laws were coming, its a long drive and I didn’t want to be hunting for a site late into the night, and it was fall break. I don’t regret my choice at all. Kodachrome is a beautiful campsite, and even though I wasn’t thrilled about paying $30 a night for a site, having hookups was actually really nice. My trailer, being designed for hookup sites, doesn’t really have the legs for extended dry camping and I was a little worried about battery power for the furnace and water supply. Both problems which were solved with hookups.
I can swing $30 a night for this view and some conveniences. Speaking of nice, wait until you see the showers...I’ve never been treated so nicely camping. We pulled in, happy to see that the site we booked would not only fit us and the trailer but the inlaws van as well...I was a little concerned. Right after we settled in we took off for a new favorite of mine we found on our kaiparowits plateau trip a few years back. Just a short drive down Skutumpah road is Willis creek
Since we did it I have been aching to take the family here. EASY hiking and spectacular views!
After that it was home to a nice meal. It was windy the whole time we were there in varying degrees and when the sun went down it got cold. Thankfully by the time it got really cold the girls were snuggled up in bed with the thermostat set to 60 to make sure it didn’t get too cold.
Mornings were the only REALLY cold part, as is common in the desert the lows happen around 7 AM. In this case about 30 F. Kiddos don’t seem to care, they are loving playing in and around the site, chasing blue birds and playing with other kids.
My mother in law decided camping isn’t camping without a big greasy breakfast (who am I to argue?) we had sausage eggs and pancakes before setting out for the day. This would prove to be a little bit of a problem later.
We got out of camp around 11 am and went 40 miles east towards Escalante (pronounced Es-ka-lant locally) and then south of the notoriously bad hole in the rock road for 17 miles. Okay, so I love my 80 series but a stock GX with tires to 22 put my cruiser to SHAME on this road. SO much smoother, quieter and faster. set the suspension to medium, lock the center to turn off VSC, set the cruise to 40 and FLOAT over the washboards. Its was magic. It wasn’t perfect but if you’ve driven this road you know how bad it can be.
Okay so kinja being kinja...Im going to have to stop here and pick up in another post.