Background info: Mom & Dad own a 1965 Porsche 356C; in fact, Mom bought the car back in 1968! Several years ago they joined the 356 Registry, which holds annual shows on both the east and west coasts. Last year was the first West Coast Holiday Mom & Dad participated in; how could they not when the show was right down the road in Sedona? This year the West Coast Holiday was being held in Park City, Utah. Wanting to participate more in club activities, they immediately registered for this year's show and planned to drive the 356 up to Park City. After getting Old Blue, I thought it'd make another fun adventure to tag along, providing sleeping and cooking quarters, and act as support vehicle just in case. In the meantime, since we would be driving by, it was determined that it would be the perfect time to finally see the Colorado River above Lee's Ferry and Old Blue would be perfect for hauling the kayak/camping gear.
In prepping for the trip, I replaced the auto trans' differential pan gasket and, of course, oil due to a new leak. The van sat for a couple of weeks before I decided the night before leaving that I'd ought to fill the gas tank. So, I got into Old Blue, turned the key and... nothing. I always hear the fuel pump priming when turning the key so I knew something wasn't right. I went to the toolbox, retrieved the DVOM and tested the battery: voltage was too low for starting, but it wasn't dead. In looking at the date sticker on the battery, I saw that it was 7 years old! Thinking I'd simply remove the battery, take it to my local FLAPS, and bring a new one back, I set about removing the cables and whatnot. After an hour messing with it, I gave up... all because of the stupid, idiotic battery hold-
I should note that all of the mileages are based on Google Maps. Why? Because the van's odometer conveniently broke the night before this adventure began and the Porsche's odometer hasn't worked in decades.
Day 1: Phoenix, AZ to Prescott, AZ; 121 miles
Loaded up the RV and hit the road in the early afternoon to rendezvous with Mom & Dad at their place in Prescott. Storms were predicted, but what was about to hit caught everyone by complete surprise! It rained in Prescott off and on throughout the night, but we awoke the next morning to hear the following report on the news: Golf ball-
Day 2: Prescott, AZ; 0 miles
With the storm headed north, we spent the day organizing the gear (inflatable kayaks, tents, etc.) and loading it all into the vehicles so we'd be ready to roll in the morning. The new Rola bag for the luggage rack works great; stuffed all of the kayak paddles, lifejackets, dry bags, a chair, and umbrella in it with lots of room to spare, and it all remained dry. Much easier to load and a little more secure than stuffing a bunch of separate bags up there.
Day 3: Prescott, AZ to Bryce Canyon, UT; 370 miles
Leg I: Prescott to Marble Canyon, AZ. After a pancake breakfast, we loaded up the last-
Stopped at McD's in Flagstaff for a quick lunch (sure would be nice if In-
Leg II: Marble Canyon, AZ to Bryce Canyon, UT. From Marble Canyon to Jacob Lake it was almost all uphill on 89A and there was a cross/head-
Day 4: Bryce Canyon, UT to Park City, UT; 268.2 miles
Leg I: Bryce Canyon to Beaver, UT. In the morning, the skies were clear and the air was crisp; good day for a drive! In typical fashion, we didn't get rolling until about 10am. Considering the late start, we determined it would be best to take the quick route over the scenic route. We ventured to highway 89 and had a blue EuroVan following us all the way to the highway 20 interchange. Highway 20 is a beautiful drive out to I-
Leg II: Beaver, UT to Park City, UT. In the first 80mph section (80?!), a silver late-
In order to get to Park City we had to go through Provo. Now, the last time we drove through Salt Lake/Provo, it was a nerve-
Since we didn't want to leave the hotel for fear of losing a parking spot, and since the restaurant at the resort was incredibly expensive, we opted to eat... you thought I was going to say "in the RV", didn't you? We would have, actually, but since the garage was filled with 356 exhaust fumes and since we had camp stoves with us for the pending kayak trip, we made dinner in the room.
Day 5: Porsche 356 Show, Park City, UT; 6 miles
Up and at 'em bright and early to head over to Main Street in downtown Park City. Over 150 Porsche 356's lined Main Street. The forecast was incredibly wrong: instead of being sunny, it was cloudy and cold! Despite that and some parking issues, everyone had a great time. Met up with the Syncro guy again and this time I got more details on what he has: One is a Doka, the other is an ultra-
What was funny was that a split-
Day 6: Park City, UT to Bryce Canyon, UT; 275 miles
Before hitting the highways & byways, we stopped for fuel. The van was practically on "E" and we had a big hill to climb going to Heber City. MPG: 17.1
Leg I: Park City, UT to Fairview, UT. We basically retraced our steps from Day 4 for the first part. It was a beautiful day for a drive: sunny, clear and warm. Now, why couldn't it have been like that yesterday?! It being Sunday, quite a few folks were out enjoying the lakes and Provo was a ghost town. Once in Provo, we headed to highway 89 so that we could enjoy the scenic route back down to AZ. And the scenic route didn't disappoint! In Fairview, we stopped at the museum to see their mammoth; it being Sunday in Utah, everything was closed including this museum. They did, however, have an outside display of old equipment, including the original "Westfalia", LOL!
Leg II: Fairview, UT to Panguitch, UT. After stopping in Ephraim for a McD's lunch, we pressed onward. In Richmond, we ended up taking a little detour from 89 and, instead, took highway 24 towards Capital Reef. Along the way, we passed two EuroVan Campers; gave a wave to each but didn't get a wave back from either. At the highway 62 junction the brakes were slammed on and we pulled off the road: Looking at the map, continuing on 24 would be a much longer route. As much as I wanted to stop in and see Capital Reef, we determined the shorter way would be better, considering we had to be at Lee's Ferry the day after tomorrow, and wanted to do some kayaking at Lake Powell. Highway 62 follows Otter Creek all the way to Otter Creek Reservoir. At the end of the road, we pulled over again to take in the scenery, stretch our legs and to decide to drive the 5 miles to Antimony for gas, or to keep going back out to 89. "Surely there's a station in Kingston", so we continued on our planned route. Beautiful drive on 62 out to 89; fall colors in the trees, Bryce-
Leg III: Panguitch, UT to Bryce Canyon. It was getting towards dusk when we pulled into the Red Canyon campground just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park. We parked in a spot on top of a hill, amongst the pine trees with a nice view of the red rocks. After pulling in, we noticed a familiar white van down below us: a EuroVan Camper (which never popped its top ). Considering the overnight temps were darn cold and we were without hookups, I immediately set about installing the rain fly while it was still light out.
Day 7: Bryce Canyon, UT to Lake Powell, AZ; 139 miles
Bryce Canyon, UT to Lake Powell, AZ. Slept much better than the last night at Bryce -
The camp host mentioned last night that they may be closing the campground for the season; sure enough, as we drove out to the entrance, the "closed" sign was out on the gate. Coincidentally, the camp hosts' daughter is a Colorado River runner with one of the commercial outfitters.
We made a stop at a market in Kanab to replenish the food and ice supply and were then off to Lake Powell via highway 89 through Grand Staircase-
A few miles before reaching Lake Powell, the brakes were slammed on again (good thing the motorhome behind me wasn't tailgating!). Mom switched passenger seats so that both vehicles could get through the entrance gate for free with the Golden Age Pass. After selecting a camp site, we headed to the lake to get some kayaking in. While unloading at the ramp, a German tourist approached and asked if we spoke German. He saw the Porsche 356 Holiday magnet on the hatch, which was made up, in part, of the German flag colors. He then complimented us on how nice Old Blue looked: "Is this new? Wow, it's in great shape!" That's probably the best compliment yet, considering a guy from "the Motherland" didn't recognize an old T3.
As you can see in the photos, the lake level is really low. It's now quite a hike to get to the top of the ramps. However, many of the old historic things that the lake drowned are now seeing the light of day again. Now, if only the dam would disappear, we could see Glen Canyon the way Major Powell saw it! Since it was practically dark when we got back to the ramp at Wahweap, we simply slid the kayaks into the van as-
Day 8: Lake Powell, AZ to Lee's Ferry, AZ; 72 miles
Leg I: Wahweap Marina to Antelope Marina. No need for the rain fly last night: we were back in warm-
Aside from all of the tour planes overhead and the ski boat zipping back and forth (they have the entire Wahweap end of the lake to play in, but chose to go back and forth in a small channel?), it was a gorgeous day to be on the lake. Towards noon, when we were about half way up the canyon, several motor boats passed us by, including a sight-
Leg II: Antelope Marina to Lee's Ferry. After leaving Antelope Marina, we stopped in Page for lunch/dinner. In retrospect, we should've gone to Denny's instead of going to KFC: The guy taking orders at the counter must've had a really bad day, because when the credit card reader failed to work repeatedly, he let the F-
We arrived at the Lee's Ferry campground after dark; popped the top, made the beds and hit the hay. Since we could only barely hear the river, the battery-
Day 9: Lee's Ferry to Glen Canyon Dam
In the morning, after breakfast, we drove down to the launch ramp area and began inflating the kayaks and organizing the gear. While waiting for the back-
The camp we had planned to stay at was occupied, so we opted to keep paddling to the next camp. The second designated camp area was huge. But rather than set up in the actual camp area, we chose to set up closer to the water, just on the other side of the bushes from the camp area. Just as we were finishing dinner (backpacker food is actually pretty good!), we heard the familiar sound of an outboard, followed by a <clunk>. It was only then that they got a light out and saw that they had hit a rock garden (no running lights on either). We didn't think much of it when they boated by us, after shining their spot light on the river bank. Then, they came back... and beached the boat. "Yeah, this is it!!" yelled one guy. As they began unloading the boat, another boat landed and began unloading. They took their gear to the camp area and began setting up camp ("kitchen over there!"), while one guy knocked our collected kindling off the fire pit and immediately built a raging fire. All of this was done without speaking a single word to us, despite knowing full-
Day 10: On the River
Woke up pretty early and went for a little walk... to the neighbors up the river since they were out fishing. I must say, they didn't drink beer all night like we thought they would have; instead they drank soda and Hawaiian Punch as evidenced by all the cans chucked into the bushes on the beach. They also couldn't be bothered to put the new trashcan's packaging into the trashcan! I sincerely hope they cleaned up after themselves before they left because its folks like these disrespectful slobs that get natural areas closed off to even those who practice the "leave no trace" mantra. Sadly, it appears that all of the "river rules" required downstream of Lee's Ferry don't apply to the 15-
The remainder of the day was spent leisurely floating down the river, taking in the incredible scenery, watching wildlife and waving to rafters.
We arrived at the launch ramp shortly after dusk. After decades of going to Lee's Ferry to say "bon voyage" to Dad's river trips going downriver, it was nice to finally see what was around the bend upriver! By the time the vehicles were retrieved, it was dark; therefore, we simply tossed everything into the van, planning to sort everything out at the campground in the morning.
When we rolled into the campground, it was pretty clear that the lower loop was full, but luckily we found just the spot in the near-
Day 11: Lee's Ferry, AZ to Prescott, AZ; 238 miles
Another beautiful day for a drive! While eating breakfast, we had a bit of entertainment from our neighbors: A little family reunion of sorts was being held at Lee's Ferry, with the grandparents from Utah and their offspring with her 6 grandkids from Arizona. They took two camp sites and between was a village of tents. One kid was running around the campground incessantly blowing a whistle; the baby kept walking out into the road, touching everything she saw; the twins looked like practicing Boy Scouts with their matching hats and hiking sticks; laundry was hanging on the divider to dry; Grandma was fixing breakfast; Grandpa was arranging and rearranging gear in the cars. As the show was nearing an end, we packed our own gear away and the hit road towards home, first stopping at Marble Canyon to fill the fuel tanks. MPG: 16.2
Leaving Marble Canyon, just before getting to Navajo Bridge, I spotted a burgundy Westy headed out of the overlook parking lot (funny: Dad pointed to it as he drove by, but I had spotted it a split-
Day 12: Prescott to Phoenix; 121 miles
Not much to tell other than it was a leisurely drive home. On Iron Springs Rd. a green Bay-
It was a fantastic trip! Old Blue did great, and so did the 356. To my pleasant surprise, not one single issue with either vehicle... didn't even have to add oil or coolant over the entire 1500 (or so) miles!
Now, to give the 'ole guy a good bath and fix that odometer before the next adventure!
Total miles: 1,590
Avg. MPG: 17.2
|Solar & Fridge|
|Hitch & Accessories|
|Bringing Old Blue Home|
|South Arizona 2010|
|Park City 2010|
|Syncrofest I 2011|
|Palm Springs 2011|
|BBB XVI 2012|
|Woods Canyon 2012|
|BBB XVII 2013|
|Blue Ridge 2013|
|Santa Fe 2013|
|BBB XVIII 2014|
|Lee's Ferry 2014|
|BBB XIX 2015|
|Lake Mohave 2015|
|BBB XX 2016|
|Lee's Ferry 2016|
|BBB XXI 2017|
|Electrical & Mechanical Projects|
|Sliding Door Screen|