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Bradywgn71

8/20 - 8/21/2021: Northern Arizona Overland Traverse Photos & Trip Report

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Posted (edited)

We had an awesome time.  Pups and us are so exhausted but what an amazing trip!!  Link to our photos.  Trip photos

 

On the way home Marty was kind enough to follow us for a bit as we were spewing out smoke.  Turns out the output shaft seal on the transfer case popped out and sent fluid back over the exhaust. It smoked like crazy and coated the underside and rear tire with oil.  Thankfully we didn't catch on fire.  So we are fixing that issue too.  She sure was a cranky XJ this trip!!

Edited by theksmith
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Here are our shared PHOTOS of the weekend. Enjoyed it everyone... looking forward to future trail days. ✌🏻

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Posted (edited)

Hello! We just completed a 130-ish mile "overland-style" run through Prescott and Kaibab National Forests. We ran a modified/truncated version of the Northern Arizona Overland Traverse with a few fun side-stops.

 

While not everything went quite as expected (see below), it was a great time out with some of the ORP Fam!

 

 

TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS

We again our trip in Cottonwood, meeting up for an excellent breakfast at Crema, an award-winning bunch joint. It was pretty quiet for a Friday morning and we found parking right in front of the restaurant.

 

If you've never been to Crema, give it a shot. I thought the food and ambiance was excellent.

 

 

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After we were all fueled up for the day's adventures, we hit the road, passing through the town of Jerome to stop to air down before hitting dirt. We climbed the mountains behind Jerome and were able to see some pretty expansive views to the north that stretched all the way to Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks and the red rocks around Sedona.

 

We also stopped off at this pretty cool bridge along Jerome-Perkinsville Road.

 

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Our next leg of the trip was a side run through the heart of the Rafael Fire burn scar on our way to see some ruins. Along the way we were treated to an amazing little ranch house with an interesting water collection system that was about 2/3 full of recent rainwaters.

 

The sights along the way were..... otherworldly. All of the dry grass that has burned up during the fire had been replaced with fresh grass what was the most vivid green I think I've ever seen in Arizona.  Gnarled, burn husks of trees and brush rose out of the new grass, making the scene even more alien.

 

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As we passed through this strange scenery, the grasses began to fade and we were left with some of the more brutal fire damage. In the background, you can see the outer walls of Sycamore Canyon and the Sycamore Wilderness Area.

 

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We ended up stopping for a break at the homestead, which was called Lonesome Pocket. The house was in remarkably good condition!

 

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We ended our side trip at the base of a small hill that housed some amazing ruins - however it was getting pretty hot and we decided not to make the trek up to the ruins. We scrounged up some shade and enjoyed some lunch and jokes instead!

 

Here are a few more images from the trip back out to Jerome-Perkinsville Road.

 

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Once we got back to J-P Road, we made a quick run up to Old 354, which is part of the Great Western Trail. Trail conditions sucked, frankly. It was the bumpiest road in the nation while we were on it, with the recent monsoons really doing a number on the trail by washing away the top soil and laying bare the rocks below. The trail was very scenic, with excellent views of a canyon on our left, and a basin on our right. There was an old sandstone quarry on the way that was very interesting to see as it reminded a few of us of some ancient earthen-works fortresses.

 

As we were nearing the cool pines of the Kaibab NF, just south of Williams, we ran into a slight problem. The road was completely gone - washed away by recent rains.

 

GPS Coords: 35.04010, -112.16871

 

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We checked the map to find there was no way around, or any sort of alternative route. We were still sandwiched by the canyon and basin to the east and west of the tails. Our only option was to make our way back down the mountain.

 

As we were just a few hours from sunset, we had to make camp nearby. Fortunately we had just passed an excellent spot less than 1/2 mile from the washout. The ground was nice and flat, there were a few fire rings, and some great trees all around.

 

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@theksmith even provided us the scent of 11 Herbs & Spices to get the party started that evening!

 

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The next morning, we were packed up and back on the trail by 8:30am, making out way down the mountain to connect back up with Jerome-Perkinsville Road. Once we hit J-P, it was smooth sailing into the town of Williams to gas up, grab a snack, and plan out the rest of Day 2.

 

We made our way back into the Kaibab NF to check out Sycamore Canyon's "Sycamore Point", a scenic overlook. This gave us an excellent view of the damage the Rafael Fire had caused within the canyon itself.

 

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On our way out, we came by this COLOSSAL field of wildflowers in full bloom and decided to take a closer look. I think I'd classify this as a "superbloom" :) 

 

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Our last stop of the day was by Sycamore Falls, which was rushing with water. I don't have any photos of the falls, but I have plenty of video footage (coming soon!)

 

All in all, it was a great trip! I think it also highlights the importance of being as flexible as possible, as you never know what might be around that next bend in the road.

 

Thanks again to everyone that joined me on this adventure! I hope you had an excellent time, and thank you for hanging in there when the unexpected happened!

@mynr1 @theksmith @johnpa @We Just Go @shellback91 @Bradywgn71 @Curly

 

For our original trip planning discussion, click here.

 

An edit of the video footage I took along the way will be coming soon!

 

Edited by 4x4tographer
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If you guys would like to download the FULL SIZE, high quality images I took from this trip, you can download them here.

 

Note that this link expires on 8/30/2021.

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Awesome pics and write up as usual Ryan! This trip was definitely a a fun one.

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Awesome story and amazing photos @4x4tographer! Some of the best adventures involve a 'plan B'! 

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Epic video Ryan, thanks for sharing!

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this was an awesome quick trip - thanks so much for putting it together and leading @4x4tographer. thanks also to @johnpa for tailgunning and keeping the radio chatter lively! it was really great to hang out with everyone, see some new-to-me sights, and have a real camp fire!

 

Ryan, as always, your photos and videography are on-point!

 

 

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On 8/22/2021 at 3:26 PM, Bradywgn71 said:

We had an awesome time.  Pups and us are so exhausted but what an amazing trip!!  Link to our photos.  Trip photos

 

On the way home Marty was kind enough to follow us for a bit as we were spewing out smoke.  Turns out the output shaft seal on the transfer case popped out and sent fluid back over the exhaust. It smoked like crazy and coated the underside and rear tire with oil.  Thankfully we didn't catch on fire.  So we are fixing that issue too.  She sure was a cranky XJ this trip!!

 

be sure to check that your t-case vent line isn't plugged-up or kinked, can't think of why a seal would just pop-out otherwise?

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