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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Oh, I didn't notice the questions at the end of the OP.

    Animals:

    Rattlesnakes are the big one, but hard to miss. They're pretty defensive snakes, so if one starts rattling at you, just back off slowly and you should be fine. If someone does get bit, it's generally not fatal, just really painful, but take them to a hospital nonetheless.

    Black Widow spiders are around, but you're less likely to get bit by one of those than you are to get struck by lightning, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    There are black bears in the Sierra Nevada mountains if you go there. If you're in the area and sleeping overnight, bag sure to put anything that smells of anything into a bear bag (a bag hanging from a tree limb or something. DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING WITH A SCENT OR ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE AN ICE CHEST IN YOUR VEHICLE Bears WILL rip open a car like a sardine can in order to get at something that even looks like it MIGHT have food in it. I have seen this happen because somebody had been eating corn nuts in the drive up to the base camp, and left a half-full package in the back of the SUV. The door was nearly ripped off its hinges when we got back to the car.

    Watch for poison oak in forested places. You can look up what the plant looks like online before you go.

    Don't wander onto fenced properties. People don't generally take kindly to people on their property. If it's not fenced, you're probably OK.
    Yeah we have dealt with Snakes before (not rattlesnakes) but I’ll be sure to tell the guys to listen to the rattle noise, glad to know it’s not fatal at least.

    Bears are new to us, we have a habit of leaving used ration packets in a bag outside the 4x4 so looks like will have to change that quite sharpish, really don’t want to be attacked by a bear while I’m sleeping in my one man tent hah.

    We seem to be learning things along the way… on the first trip I left my boots outside the tent overnight in the morning I found a 2ft long African centipede inside agh!

    Thanks for letting me know about poison oak wouldn’t have thought of that, done a Google search and it looks pretty nasty.

    Thanks for the help everyone.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Porcell View Post
    I can't say with experience, but if you are looking for a proper "Off Road" experience I'm not sure about the American West. Sure there are deserts and stuff you can drive around in, but for the most part to get from one place to another I'd imagine you'd mostly just stick to roads.
    AMG. Had long ass post and lost it all. ANYway - this was my primary concern for OP. There's a lot of privately owned land out here, and there's a lot of public land and or National Park land. The thing about National Park land is that the purpose (in certain places) is to preserve the land, and anywhere that's trafficked by motored vehicles is going to get torn up. There are areas that are ATV friendly and don't mind people driving all over the place, but there are places where that sort of driving is prohibited. Anyone posting who knows what areas are cool with it, please be a bit more specific if you can - and I suggest OP might want to either do some specific research ahead or perhaps simply ask when his group arrives upon entering the different National Forests.

    When out in the wilderness, as Reeve mentioned, NO food stored in the car in bear country. There are special chests you can buy for the purpose of storing food, and there's the old fashioned hoisting it up into the air with a rope thrown over a very high tree branch method (not a lot of tall trees in much of central and southern AZ though). Don't sleep under your food or leftovers <_<

    Bring a walking stick, and if you're tromping through Cholla territory, bring a wide toothed comb in case a chunk attaches itself to one of you - Cholla needles laugh at leather and rubber much the same way they nom on flesh, though a couple of sturdy branches might work as well (if you can find any; I prefer knowing I've got a comb handy) and don't fling it away, it might just attach to something/someone else. Might bring a small bottle of Bluing (for old lady hair, and making whites whiter - Mrs. Stewart's Bluing was recommended to me), a few cotton buds, and some med tape if you're concerned about scorpion stings; if not, just be sure to knock your shoes about before putting them on.

    Sunset Crater, and Monument Valley (COLD mid summer!) are the two more memorable places I've visited. I found the Grand Canyon to be boring as hell, though your group might enjoy a horse ride (probably slower and less interesting) or white water rafting (more interesting) if the water's high enough. To the south, there's the Imperial Sand Dunes on the AZ/CA border. If you consider taking a peek at a Mexican tourist town, there's Los Algodones which is RIGHT on the border (we park on the US side, ID ourselves at the border crossing, wander around town a bit, then cross back). It's a cheerful, friendly sort of place, not at all seedy, and not known for some of the less savory activities that have taken over some more well known border towns. Seems a waste to be so close to the border and not take a peek

    Many many places to camp, a good number of Indian ruins. If you go on reservation, just be polite and consider checking at a touristy area about which areas you should avoid, and which are ok for wandering.

    I do most of my traveling by road, and remember seeing lots of No Trespassing signage on wire cattle fencing. I honestly don't know how one would cross vast distances off of marked roads, but I assume it's possible. AZ has a tiny population compared to its size, so light pollution shouldn't really be a concern - even if you did spend more time on roads for distance than not. Since your group seems to prefer desert areas, I don't know about Yellowstone; it's a gorgeous place and definitely worth a visit or five, but seems more of a hiking destination than a vehicle adventure.

    It seems hard to imagine being able to avoid civilization while still managing to stick to motored travel out here. It's both vast, and small to me.

  3. #23
    There's alot of challening off-roading in Southern Utah and northern Arizona.
    Drive the Hole-in-the-Rock road just by Escalante Utah. Scenic and not many peopl ecan make it to the end. My friends and I took a mini-van to the end, with lots of improvised engineering.

    I'd forget SLC and go east towards Canyonlands. Check out the Needles, Maze and Roober's Roost districts.


    Indian ruins are fine to look at, but dont touch or go inside the Kivas. Flashfloods can strand a vehicle for a few days until it dries out.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Oh, I didn't notice the questions at the end of the OP.

    Animals:

    Rattlesnakes are the big one, but hard to miss. They're pretty defensive snakes, so if one starts rattling at you, just back off slowly and you should be fine. If someone does get bit, it's generally not fatal, just really painful, but take them to a hospital nonetheless.

    Black Widow spiders are around, but you're less likely to get bit by one of those than you are to get struck by lightning, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    There are black bears in the Sierra Nevada mountains if you go there. If you're in the area and sleeping overnight, bag sure to put anything that smells of anything into a bear bag (a bag hanging from a tree limb or something. DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING WITH A SCENT OR ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE AN ICE CHEST IN YOUR VEHICLE Bears WILL rip open a car like a sardine can in order to get at something that even looks like it MIGHT have food in it. I have seen this happen because somebody had been eating corn nuts in the drive up to the base camp, and left a half-full package in the back of the SUV. The door was nearly ripped off its hinges when we got back to the car.

    Watch for poison oak in forested places. You can look up what the plant looks like online before you go.

    Don't wander onto fenced properties. People don't generally take kindly to people on their property. If it's not fenced, you're probably OK.
    Yeah, just remember one of the 10000 stories of kids being executed point blank for walking on someone's property in one of the stand your ground states.

  5. #25
    As a Brit living in Arizona i say you aint got much to worry about except the rabid coyotes poisonous snakes and killer scorpions and fucking intolerable heat

    But i will say you will enjoy yourselfs your English accents will make the local girls go crazy

    trust me i know

  6. #26
    In Utah:
    Moab, just don't eat the pizza at Pasta Jay's, tastes like cheddar-jack and tomato sauce from a can on a tortilla. From there, you can go to visit a lot of the hiking and camping places, like Arches. If you go to Arches and need to make a phone call, hike to the top of Delicate Arch and you will have service (at least, my family did).

    Bryce Canyon is another interesting place to visit, but you'll want to go to a closer town than Moab for that unless you go to Arches first and stock up for a few days camping.

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  7. #27
    Legendary! muto's Avatar
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    You're visiting the continental United States, and your choices aren't Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone, or the Rocky Mountains in Colorado? You're choosing to spend more than half your time in a desert???

  8. #28
    Heres a little update, see below for a link to a map of the places we are going. We will be doing over 2500 Miles over a two week period.

    Map Link

    let me know what you think.

    (Updated the main post with the map)

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toccs View Post
    Heres a little update, see below for a link to a map of the places we are going. We will be doing over 2500 Miles over a two week period.

    Map Link

    let me know what you think.

    (Updated the main post with the map)
    I think that trip looks badass, especially if you like some of the more desert-ish areas. But I also think you have a nice mix between desert and lush overawing forest and national park. It's gonna be really awesome.

    Please let us know how the trip ends up when you come back home!
    Well 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
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  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    I think that trip looks badass, especially if you like some of the more desert-ish areas. But I also think you have a nice mix between desert and lush overawing forest and national park. It's gonna be really awesome.

    Please let us know how the trip ends up when you come back home!
    Thanks Reeve, i think so too.

    I'll update the thread with highlights when i get back.

    Oh i forgot to ask, based on that route are we likely to come across any bears? If so what type?

  11. #31
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toccs View Post
    Thanks Reeve, i think so too.

    I'll update the thread with highlights when i get back.

    Oh i forgot to ask, based on that route are we likely to come across any bears? If so what type?
    The only place on that map I can think of that would be likely to have bears is Yosemite. I've encountered black bears there several times. There are no Brown Bears/Grizzlies there though. Black Bears, which are often brown in color, typically aren't aggressive or dangerous to humans unless provoked, but they will absolutely go after your food. Even if you have something as innocuous as an empty energy bar wrapper or a completely empty ice chest in the back of your car, they'll use that as an excuse to tear your car open, so use bear bags/bear boxes if you're camping in Yosemite. You're more likely to see them if you're camping outside the main valley than if you're camping inside it, just because there are so damn many people in the main valley, but they're there too. If you camp up in the Little Yosemite Valley (which is actually pretty big) above Nevada Falls, it's extremely likely that you'll encounter them.

    Bear Bag:



    Bear Box:



    Personal bear canister (if you're going to be backpacking into the back country away from established camp grounds where there might not be trees):



    If you're staying in an established camp ground in Yosemite, chances are it will have bear boxes.
    Last edited by Reeve; 2013-04-02 at 01:44 PM.
    Well 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
    Because you look so fine
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  12. #32
    All right so I'm back!

    The trip was pretty amazing and have loads to talk about so ill try to break it down.

    1: Las Vegas

    We started off here got the 4x4 hired and i have to say the glamour of the city is certainly something but it definitely has something seedy about it, especially the selling of sex at every corner even during the day. Anyway we sorted out a motel after our flight (Motel 6) and spent the day drinking in Hooters 2, of our party decided to go back to their rooms early at 11pm, the rest of us left later on and this is when things get quite funny... On our walk back we ran into two huge black ladies with their boobs flopped out and they asked us. "Were da party at boys" we decided this would be a great time to play a prank on our mates that left early so we walked them to their motel room and knocked on the door, one of our mates opened the door and the two women simply barged there way in, one of them grabbing my mates dick as she entered and the other jumping on the bed where our other mate is sleeping (The WTF expressions on our friends faces was worth it I can tell you)

    2: Route 66, Boulder City, Hoover Dam, Kingsman, and Flagstaff

    With our hired vehicles we stared off heading towards Boulder City and the Hoover Dam, then to Kingman Route 66 and on to Flagstaff. Nothing much to note here except the scenery was pretty amazing and different to what we are used to. Flagstaff was exceptional with its forests and wood cabins.

    3: Sedona

    From Flagstaff we went south to Sedona which was a pretty cool drive, the views where outstanding i only wish we spent some more time here. Not much happend out of the ordinary so we made our way back up north to the Grand Canyon.

    Notes:
    Camping spots so far...

    1. Hoover Dam Car Park
    2. An off road, road off of Flagstaff.

    Ill follow up more tomorrow when I've checked through my notes.

  13. #33
    4. Grand Canyon
    I had seen pictures of this place before and didn't think much of it but upon arrival the view literally took our breath away, the place was amazing. We climbed over the metal railings and went for a bit of scrambling, found this small over hanging rock and decided to have a fry up with some tea.



    5. Four Corners and Mr White Eagle

    On our way to four corners we stopped to have a look at some dinosaur footprints it was alright, we then moved onto Four Corners... I don't know what anyone was expecting but I can't help but feel it was a little bit of a let down, its literally just a paved area surrounded by local stalls.



    We drove 150 miles to find a camping site and came across what I can only describe as a native American shanti town, it was getting dark so we found (what we thought) was a nice place to camp so we started setting up our tents... Out of nowhere a couple of jeeps show up and some guy comes stumbling out of one. He warned us that you can't have crates of beer in the open as its illegal and he also informed us that we where setting up tents on a holy site (burial grounds). He offered his land to camp on so we packed up and went with him, his name was White Eagle. We spent the night around a fire on his land talking to him about the area, he did a little native American fire dance chant thing which was interesting, and shared beers.



    Ill add some more later.

  14. #34
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Sounds like an awesome story so far, keep it coming! The experience of hanging out with the Native American guy was probably pretty cool. Did he tell you some of the lore/mythology of his tribe? There are some amazing local stories you can get from Native American tribes that are often very specific to the area.
    Well 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
    Because you look so fine
    And I really wanna make you mine

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