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Camp Grasshopper - Mogollon Rim-C/Site#3
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mini location map2013-09-27
11 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Camp Grasshopper - Mogollon Rim-C/Site#3Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Car Camping avatar Sep 27 2013
Oregon_Hiker
Car Camping
Car Camping
 
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Grasshopper
Drove up to the Mogollon Rim for a couple of days to visit Grasshopper at his camp on FR 139C. I stopped on the Rim Road on the drive in to take a look at the truck wreck found by Tortoise Hiker and CoanBru. http://hikearizona.com/photo=360002 It didn't take long to find a view point to see the wreck below some cliffs. I spotted another piece of the wreck 20 to 30 yds up the slope from the truck cab which appears to be the trailer section of a logging truck. The KB series of International Trucks were commonly used for logging trucks back in the 1940s. I also saw what appeared to be the missing engine of the truck laying on its side about 30 feet away. Looking at the wreck from the other side of the ravine revealed that the cab had been crushed like an accordion from the rear and the absence of any paint and other combustible materials like tires indicates it had been burned. Was this just an old scrapped truck that was pushed over the side of the rim to dispose of it? Or, was this a tragic accident?

After talking myself out of trying to climb down for a closer look at the wreck I drove on to Camp Grasshopper arriving in the late afternoon. I enjoyed a relaxing two days going on day hikes in the area with GH and enjoying the famous GH hospitality. The days were gorgeous with hiking temps in the high 60s and cold nights down to 28 deg which made for sound sleeping in my warm down bag.

On Saturday after returning from a hike in Yeager Canyon with Grasshopper I took a short loop hike from camp passing through the bottom of Merritt Draw. I was surprised to see a fairly new Toyota Camry sedan parked in the middle of the meadow in Merritt Draw with a man about my age (old) slumped back in the driver's seat with his eyes closed. I assumed he was taking a nap and quietly continued on my hike. That evening while talking to Grasshopper about this odd occurrence our imaginations got carried away - was the man dead? Had he driven to this serene location to commit suicide? Did he get stuck trying to drive up the steep road out of the draw? We decided to check on him the next morning on the way to a hike in West Bear Canyon. Fortunately he was not there and tire tracks indicated he had driven back up the hill without any problem not realizing he had provided an exciting topic for dinner time conversation for a couple of old coots camped on the other side of the hill.

Sunday morning we did a loop hike through upper West Bear Canyon to check for fall colors in the big tooth maples that proliferate in this canyon. There was very little color yet but it was still a beautiful hike. From there I started the drive back to Phoenix taking the Rim Road to HW 87. I'm convinced the name of this road should be changed to Insanity Byway. Some folks in there multi-passenger HOVs were racing along this road like it was the Indy 500. Worse yet, I came around a blind corner to encounter one of these vehicles in the middle of the road driven by a 9 year old girl who froze at the sight of my on-coming FJ. Fortunately I was going slow and had plenty of time to stop while her father grabbed the wheel and directed the vehicle to the side of the road. Little brother and mom in the back seat seemed as oblivious to the danger as the dad. I felt very lucky to survive the drive to HW 87. Fortunately the drivers on HW 87 were sane and the remainder of my drive home was uneventful.
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Mogollon Rim
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452 Photosets

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