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  #1  
Old 01-25-2017, 10:52 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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Location: Ottawa, Ks
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Default Family History / Desert Southwest Trip

My Grandpa (now deceased) was born in the 19-teens in the mountains Northeast of Phoenix, last year a group of us flew commercial and trekked around my Great Grandpa's old ranch lands. It was unbelievably rugged, I still have no idea how they managed to survive and we experienced the realitively mild temps in January.
For whatever reason a Department Of Reclimation photographer Walter J Lubken followed my Great-Great Grandpa, Great Grandpa and Great Uncle up to "Hells Hip Pocket" to take a picture in the early 1900's. Walter was in the area taking pictures of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam Project, the pic: (I've poured over this pic, animal skins-guns-empty tin cans-grade the cabin set on-hunting dogs-clothes)



Long story short the stone chimney still stands today, After personally making this hike I can't believe that they hauled a 1900's era camera up here. Much easier for us to take a picture.



My Great-Grandpa moved his family SouthEast of Kingman, Az around 1920 so his kids could go to school. My dad and I planned to visit this area around the Big Sandy River this Jan-March when the weather allowed, and now comes the RV related portion.

A weather window 4 days wide over that distance in Janurary is pretty rare, the wx forecast from Sun-Wed wasn't perfect but looked doable especially since I had time off from work approved till Saturday just in case. I like to have at least two "outs" in unfamiliar territory.

I waited till mid-morning last Sunday to leave some wx behind me....





I picked up my Dad in Wichita and we headed out west to Dumas, Tx (KDUX) for gas and restrooms.



Lunch was served on board enroute to Belen, NM (E80).





The Airmets for wind shear and moderate-severe turbulence were spot-on as we approached the Sandia Mountains, I went slightly south of course to follow HWY 60 over the lower part of the ridge without issue.



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Last edited by crabandy : 01-25-2017 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 01-25-2017, 11:33 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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With plenty of gas and no immediate need for a restroom we skipped New Mexico altogether and pushed westward towards a band of marginal weather.



As we approached Arizona, we had lowering ceilings to about 3000 OVC and snow showers depicted on ADSB and out the window just north of our route. We still had a 180 back to the east as well as patches of blue to our south for backup plans. We stopped at ST John's (KSJN) for fuel/restrooms/wx check.



I waited on the ground for a few more wx radar updates, there was a thin band of precip between KSJN and KSOW I wanted to watch. I had confirmation on the ground in Phoenix that the Superstions and 4 Peaks were clear, but a few isolated snowflakes were falling around KSJN. With a radar depiction and eyes on clouds verifying the thin light band was dissipating we launched for Phoenix well prepared to divert back to KSJN or KSOW.
I'm not gonna lie, I felt a little bit like Vlad under the OVC dodging snowshowers.



KSOW was in the clear and I could see a path to the desert ahead.







The Salt River...



Apache Lake and snow covered 4 Peaks...



I was able to find the chimney and rock corrals from the previous post, you can just see them above the wingtip. Bitchn' Betty's got nothing on my dad, she only had 1 "terrain pull-up pull-up" to 4 of his....."quit screwing around before you crash into that mountain"......."I don't see it"......"you want me to puke in your plane"....."Pay attention to your flying"......"What do you mean I have the controls, I don't know how to fly".....



Weavers Needle.

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  #3  
Old 01-26-2017, 10:33 AM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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We hiked 8-9 miles in the Arrastra Wilderness Area near where my Grandpa grew up.







We also stopped at some other attractions.......the Historian at the museum was able to verify a lot of verbal family history.





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Old 01-26-2017, 10:48 AM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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We stayed in Kingman, Az overnight and had breakfast at the Airport Cafe.



We headed out to the deserted mining town of......



We believe this is where my Grandpa walked 3 miles from home to school, it was once home to over 800 people. Not a lot left but rusty trash and a few foundations.





The foundation of a water tank above the mine, The Big Sandy River is currently flowing a lot of water in the background.





The Big Sandy kept us from reaching the actual homestead area, someone braver than us took a much closer look and chose wisely to backup.



We finished the evening off with some authentic Mexican at Espos in Chandler, $16.95 for 10 tacos, nachos and a margarita in a Solo Cup!

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Old 01-26-2017, 10:59 AM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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Many Thanks to RV7Guy for the hospitality, we really appreciate it! It is so cool to meet the members of VAF in person. On the ground at Stellar Airpark.



Heading north out of the Phoenix area.





We stopped at Payson, Az (KPAN) for good food and cheap gas. Apparently RV builders/fliers are attracted to good food and cheap gas....





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Old 01-26-2017, 01:17 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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Unfortunately the wx at Sedona, Az (KSEZ) was a little too low, this was about all we saw.



The news said Flagstaff had 28" of fresh powder.



Luckily there were some breaks in the clouds as we flew over the Zuni Point Cooridor of the Grand Canyon at 11,500. This was my first visit to the Canyon.











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Last edited by crabandy : 01-26-2017 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:59 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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After the Canyon we turned eastbound and headed for home. Navajo Mountain and Navajo National Monument...





Descending into Monument Valley.







I had sent the waiver/permission slip to Gouldings Lodge several days in case we needed a restroom/lunch break. I tossed my phone to my dad to take several pics of the approach into UT25..........here's the best of the finger pictures.....





We were still full from our lunch at Payson so he hit the restroom and took a couple pics.



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Old 01-26-2017, 06:20 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
 
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The flight around Monument Valley was the highlight of the trip for me, even better than the Grand Canyon.







More snow showers east of Monument Valley...



Four Corners was hidden by a snow shower that looked much heavier than the light snow broadcast on the ATIS at FMN. Luckily the light snow was just south of our planned fuel stop of Aztec, Nm and they just plowed the runway yesterday.

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Old 01-26-2017, 07:32 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
 
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Default Great photos!

What a great photo essay. Thank you for posting it.
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Old 01-26-2017, 10:00 PM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
 
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super cool!
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