I hear from a couple of social media outdoor advocates about a random road they found in Northern Arizona that led to great off the grid camping around the Grand Canyon. I left the following weekend to see if I could find a similar spot.
Ive been following The Morning Fresh and Brody Leven for years as they explore The West and the world at large. This weekend though would be the first time I actually, physically try to follow their travel footsteps closely and explore a region they were just at a few days before.
I cross the Navajo bridge and start down the open road between Lees Ferry and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Somewhere along here is the random road that will take one off the grid and into sacred tribal and public lands. I choose to drive down the dirt road called House Rock Valley.
Almost two hours later of slowly rumbling along, I find the sweet spot. A perfect place to camp for the night right on the edge of a canyon, with sweeping vistas all around.
The solitude is as comfortable as a blanket pulled from the dryer and wrapped around ones naked body. I get out the bike and ride down random trails, not another soul in sight.
I strip off my clothes and howl at the moon. The clouds move quickly across the sky, creating dramatic shadows on the landscape. I spot another camper miles away on the other side of the rim, but that doesnt stop me from being free, and I hope that me being here will not impact their freedom.
The month is February, which means freezing desert temperatures once the sun goes down. I did not bring a tent this time, only a mattress and sleeping bag in the back of the truck, which is where I sleep. The coyotes song is the lullaby that puts me to bed.
The moon is brilliantly illuminated in the night sky, causing me to wake early. I see it is just after 4 a.m.
I rise to start a fire, then begin to make coffee. It is a morning ritual that I love regardless of where I am, but out in the wild makes this morning routine a bit more challenging, with the end result always being a bit more satisfying.
As the sun rises and warms the earth for another day, I pack up to head back home. Sure it is a six hour drive, but what is time anyway? Nothing compared to the feeling of being awakened by your true Nature, the stirring one gets in their soul from just living off the grid.
Even for one night.