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Old 06-06-2012, 08:44 AM   #33
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Orange County, CA
Oddometer: 6,265
Browneye's RR...Next Segment, still day one

So, Bar Ten Ranch is on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and is the only facility of any type within probably 60-70 miles from anything. It's 80 miles from Mesquite/St. George to the NW, and about 100 miles from Fredonia AZ. Access is way off the beaten path on dirt roads.

I don't know a lot about the facility, but from the looks of it they cater to the more well to do tourists that want a 'dude ranch' experience by flying out from Las Vegas to tour the Grand Canyon. The Lodge is beautiful, well equipped, with huge bathrooms and showers, a large kitchen, pool table upstairs on the balcony, a nice sitting area with fireplace, and seating for at least 30 people on benches with tables for dining.

They have their own airstrip which you can see down below the main grounds, closer to the canyon overlook. There are at least a couple of modern transport buses like you see at regular airports that shuttle travelers to area hotels. Theirs don't even have license plates on them because they never leave the property.

There is a fleet of 4x4 ATV's, and a small herd of horses all saddled up for visitors to explore the view access points on the canyon.

It's a well run family operation, they greet you when you arrive, show you where the amenities are, and invite you in for lunch. There's even a group of covered wagons they rent out for sleep-over visitors.

Joel arranged for lunch for us. The group rate for a sandwich and chips, and use of the grounds, was $22 instead of $27. Ouch. Everyone was glad to pony up as there is nothing else around. And they were willing to top up our fuel tanks with regular fuel only, $7 a gallon. Again, with no other options it was a no-brainer. The lunch spread was generous, a plethora of sandwich makin's, side dishes, even ice cold lemonade and cookies. Very nice experience.

Here's the lodge on the inside:

The covered wagons 'rooms' for rent:

Here are the front grounds where you pull up. You can see one of their airfield transporters here. While we were there at least three bus-loads of visitors showed up. Initially I thought they had driven the same way we came. Then it dawned on us that they were flying in and bussing up from the airfield. At one point we caught a glimpse of one of the aircraft taking off from the strip. The strip is about a thousand feet below the grounds and about a half mile away, so everything wasn't readily apparent at first glance. The place was really quiet and nice 'till all those people showed up.
But soon they went on a horse back ride and dispersed otherwise, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Of course we had quite an extended stay and they kept asking us if there was anything else they could do for us while we waited. At one point we layed out on the lawn, soak up some sun, and relaxed a bit.

We were so thankful when the rest of our group showed up as we had waited almost four hours for them. Without a way to communicate you tend to 'horriblize' the situation and begin to worry that something really bad has happened. Riddler's brilliant idea was to use their satelite phone to call Spafxer since he was tracking the SPOT locators the group was carrying. Once we learned they had been stopped in Elbow Canyon for 3 hours but were now moving we were relieved.

We were talking about getting going, go back to the Trumbull Schoolhouse and wait for them, and finally we could see their dust trails down on the entrance road. They were on their way in.

Now just Joel and Paul were missing. Hmmm...what to do. No one knew what happened to them. Someone thought they had gone into St. George to try to get a part for Joels fork bleeder. If that was the case I would have expected them to show up directly at Toroweap campground. So I convinced the lead group to make our way out there. At least we needed to secure our campsites as only the group site had been reserved, and they would only allow half the group to camp in it. The rest had to get individual sites. The ranger was REALLY picky about how many people and how you parked and all that last year. Seems he was a real putz. Give a little guy a little authority and they go all power-monger on you.

So once we got to the Trumbull Schoolhouse there was Joel and Paul. Thank God!! Joel was now out of fuel so they HAD to get to Bar-Ten for fuel. We said we would keep going and get to Toroweap and secure the camping situation. It was now starting to get later in the afternoon. We had planned to have lunch at noon and be heading for camp an hour or two ago.

The ride to camp was beautiful. The road goes back over Mt. Trumbull, nice forested area. Again, Riddler was running point and I was on his tail. At one point he stopped to regroup and said he had seen a deer and to keep your eyes peeled. The entire area is known for deer crossing the roads, and they'll knock you right off your bike if you hit one.

The four in our lead group made it to Toroweap and there was ranger-dick, waiting in the middle of the road, hands up, wanted to see what these evil bikers were up to. We stopped and shut down, had a friendly conversation. Initially it was just Jon and I and he said, "just you two?" I said yeah, and then two more rolled up. So he then says, "Just you guys?" We said yep. So he said a campfire is not recommended due to the strong winds that were now dying down. And we should take one campsite (WTF?) to conserve space. So on we rolled, it's quite a distance from the ranger station to the campground, with a few sand pits, all in all a fun trek.

I'll save the Toroweap campground report for the rest, then follow up. Here's a couple'a teaser pix. We got settled into the last two empty sites and they were right next to the group site Joel had reserved. Smart move, considering the ranger and his generous attitude. The rest of the group showed up just before dusk.

Chris Brown - "The Browneye"
"Without Motorcycles, People Live Very Boring Lives." - Malcolm Smith
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browneye screwed with this post 06-08-2012 at 11:32 AM
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