The Biggest, Horrible-est, Most Regrettable, ‘Oh-Shit’ RV’ing Mistake I’ve Made. (So far…)


After visiting Zion, our two weeks were up and it was time to move (we were ready!) again. We decide on the Badger Creek camping area at  Marble Canyon in Arizona. It was nice and rural and because we had work to do, it was the perfect place. No distractions. The RV’ing life can be busy socializing with friends, so we picked this place to be as undistracted as possible.

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Who WOULDN’T want to boondock here?
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Pulling in. Vermillion cliffs in the background.

While here, we were very lucky to see many California Condors up close…they are one of the rarest birds in the world! They did fly-by’s more than once over the course of about a week.

That’s amazing, considering that there are only 240 currently in the wild. There are only around 73 in Arizona. At one time, I believe we observed about 7 soaring above us at once. They nest at the Vermillion Cliffs, which are what you see in the background of these photos.

Check it OUT!!! Number 2!!


Upon pulling into the area, seeing the giant cracks in the earth was a big ‘Woah’ moment. Check it out on Google Maps… this is where we were parked:


…and below is what it looks like on land. Pretty incredible. (Pants: at least 16 years old. Top: around 10 years old? Shoes: 2 years. Hair- not colored or cut in about 6 months and It SO doesn’t matter!)

See the flat, ‘sandy’ looking area near the rapids on the left side? That’s where river rafters would commonly dock their boats and camp. Close-up below. 


The rafters’ camp. A 6-7 day rafting trip STARTS at $2,600 with Western River Expeditions! You think you want to take your own boat down the Colorado River? You will have to wait TEN YEARS to get a permit!!! That’s TEN years. 

We didn’t do much exploring here…work was our priority. We did hike Lowry Spring. Hmm, I think I should say that ‘we TRIED to hike Lowry Spring’. We got off course as it’s not well marked.

Still, neat rocks with lots of pretty colors! There’s a cute rock face below… The little rock was looking at me.   : )


Cool ‘cave’ on the Lowry Hike.
Silly antics…

Also, we walked across the old bridge down the road at Lee’s Ferry.

Old, left. New, right. What a massive feat of engineering!!
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New bridge.. over the Colorado River and a huge fissure in the Earth.

While we were down at the hiking area we checked out the boat launch. Those rafts- holy COW! They are beasts. Like little islands! Just watch the video to see what devices they have to use to launch them…


At Marble Canyon, I hit quite a fork in the road, so to speak. It was a learning experience, to say the least. The road leading into the booning spot was narrow and SUPER bumpy. So much so that it took us about 30 minutes to drive only about a mile, mile and a half?

The road was a one-lane dirt road. WITHOUT scouting, (Marshall, what were we thinking???!!) (I know, we were going off the review on Campendium…) we hit two areas of mild concern. However, we got through them and TO the site without incident.

Where the two bad spots were, there were ‘walls’ that kept us from turning around. In other words, the road was much lower than the rest of the landscape. The photos seem to lie. Seriously, there was NO turning around here.

However, silly me, (no, actually it’s very ‘me’-) I let my guard down coming back out after I made it past the first obstacle.

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“Gizmo don’t care”!!!

I thought the next area was going to be a cake walk.

It wasn’t.

I managed to really dick up my maneuvering.

Disclaimer: I would NEVER have driven down this road if I was alone. I knew I had backup help if something went wrong.

Boy did it go wrong.


The above-pictured spot wouldn’t be an issue just driving a truck, but when you are pulling a 24’ travel trailer, it can get a lot more dicey. Still, following Marshall, I made it through with flying colors! (So I was feeling pretty cocky about the next, less intimidating obstacle. Not to mention the fact that we got INTO the place without incident.)

The next obstacle was a pretty deep fissure/drop off in the road. Long story short, I was focused on trying to keep my dang trailer weight distribution bars from bottoming out, because they ride really low. It bottoms out on the smallest dip in any dang road. Drives me nuts!

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It’s hard to focus on the road when you have this staring at your face during your 2mph drive. Photo so good I had to put it in again…

Instead of paying attention to where my Rv’s tires were, I was focusing on straddling the tongue over the fissure so that the bars wouldn’t get caught and get me stuck. In doing so, because I was not paying attention to my trailer, guess what happened? Both of my right trailer wheels went right INTO THE FISSURE.

Suddenly I jerked to a stop, no brakes involved. (Shit.) I knew exactly what had happened.

Immediately, I knew I was in trouble. I said a little prayer and then tried the next logical thing one would try- backing up. (Please God, please God, please God…)

…Nope. This was it.

I was STUCK.

I mean, STUUUUUUCK. No forward or backward movement from my 2WD Tundra was possible. (I tried) I got out to look and found that the right axle of the trailer was literally sitting on the hard clay, acting like a brake. The wheels were barely touching the ground. Look:

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You can’t see it but the axle is on the ground. Yeeesh. We are now going NOWHERE!
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I look at this photo and cannot re-create in my mind what the hell I was THINKING??? Is there another fissure under the middle of the truck??? I don’t remember now. 


I haven’t had a mishap like this one since I got my too-loose snow chain wrapped around my brake line back in January. (no photo of that one, but here’s the video of the chain all wonkified, truck disabled.)

At least there, I was pretty much within reach of civilization. Here? Not so.

Poor Marshall had to pull ahead, (Thank god he was in front!) go unhitch his rig, back his Jeep all the way back to where I was to pull me out. I was skeptical about his 2WD vehicle being able to,  but on the first pull, it worked. WHEW!


That could have really been a helluva day waiting for the tow truck. It was hot. We were on an unmarked road. Not easy to tell a driver how to get there.

This place was in the middle of nowhere. Also, the truck driver would have had to BACK his rig a quarter of a mile down the dirt road to get to me, because there was no place to turn around! (Ugh) So it was relief beyond relief that his Jeep came to the rescue! I WILL be replacing my truck with a 4wd when the time is right I start making money!

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The aftermath of the creepy ass fissure!!! Looks like nothing, right? Don’t be fooled. It can put a trailer on it’s knees!!! LOL!

Bad event aside, the Badger Creek camping area was gorgeous. Marble Canyon is considered to be the beginning of the Grand Canyon. It’s VERY deep.

Aaaaaanyway, This place was gorgeous and we were perched at the top and the edge of the canyon walls. The Vermillion Cliffs were adjacent to the canyon. It was full-on eye candy.  I loved this camp and would go back for sure. Just, more carefully next time!

It got, ahem, a little windy here and there! No awnings were injured at this location.
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Sitting outside working. Gizzie thinks we are working TOO MUCH! Little miss press is obviously bored.
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Home for two weeks. Vermillion Cliffs are gorgeous. Happy Mother’s Day! (We were there during Mother’s Day)

We were close enough to Horseshoe Bend that we had to check it out. We ended up taking a little time off to meet up with full-time RV’ing friends Lauri and Jace of @Wanderwasi, despite our ‘anti-social’ time.

New (to me) full time Rv’ing friends Lauri and Jase! 
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It’s Horseshoe Bend! The iPhone and selfie stick don’t do it justice. Needed a wide-angle lens. Oh well!!! At least I didn’t fall. Look really closely and you can see the rafters at the north edge of the river. 



The strangest sighting (Like, EVER on this whole trip so far) was THIS car pulling up to the campsite, looking like it came straight out of a Mad Max movie.

I almost peed myself when I saw it pulling up.

Thank god I had the ability to take photos or no-one would believe me about my description of this car-thing pulling up to our campsite in the middle of nowhere.

Had I been all alone, I WOULD have gone for my gun until I saw who/what came out of it/assessed if they were a threat or not! However, with Marshall being right next door I felt pretty safe…

Dude, you need new tires. (Not just the tread, they are not ‘badass’ enough. Am I right?)

It was pretty much the most unexpected sighting possible… especially at this location.

I think this is one of the last places ANYONE would expect to see such a vehicle. I would not have freaked at all had I seen it in Los Angeles.

In the end, it made for a great photo-op. Check out my two badass girls!! They posed like champs.


The owner was a nice guy. He was a rafting guide, came to take photos of where they would be the next night (below). He said something to the effect of ‘most cars are so boring, I wanted to do something “different”‘.

Go overboard in your life ever, dude?      : )

“Stu’s view” has never been THIS cray-cray. He was all “oh, shit!!! Pull my ass outta here!!!


Is this place for real??

All in all, I loved this place. The seclusion. The beauty. The learning moment. All of it- good. It’s not within easy reach of anywhere in particular.  And that makes it even more desirable of a place to check out if you want to get away from society for a bit.

I almost didn’t rate it on, because I want it to be deserted when I go back. Then I thought… Yeah, I don’t think my story is going to encourage many to tread there in their Rv’s!!! (I gave full disclosure about the road and that I did manage to get stuck.) So I reviewed it. I’ll never forget it for more than one reason, obviously.

Well, onto the Grand Canyon! (Next blog)

Cheers, and thanks for reading/keeping up!


19 thoughts on “The Biggest, Horrible-est, Most Regrettable, ‘Oh-Shit’ RV’ing Mistake I’ve Made. (So far…)

  1. From the book “Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon” that is the number 1 cause of death for women: death by selfie stick! [At the Grand Canyon they charge $25, I got it on Amazon for $8.]

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  2. Don’t know when I stayed on the edge of my seat for so long, especially when I knew everything ended up OK because you were writing again!  But you expressed the event so explosively I could feel the tension mounting with each new discovery you made about the fissure, the tire placement, the axle complete with pix.Thank God you’ve learned not to go to these places alone, no matter how competent an RV’er you get to be, and also for M and his tow … what if it hadn’t worked Lawdy Lawdy!  So great job on this entry in particular – the magenta cliffs and your intrepid guard dog humor worked great to ease the tension at last.  Be careful, but happy ending welcome. LVYA, Rosemary | RvChickadee posted: “MARBLE CANYON: BEFORE THE INCIDENTAfter visiting Zion, our two weeks were up and it was time to move (we were ready!) again. We decide on the Badger Creek camping area at  Marble Canyon in Arizona. It was nice and rural and because we had work to do, it ” | |


    1. Lol!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Let me tell you, adventures are always right around the corner out here! I was so relieved when my truck started moving the first time we tried. WHEW! Lol! Love ya!!!


  3. Your blog is soo cool. Exciting and I love your writing style. I feel now that in comparison my blog is boring. We just don’t get ourselves into the fun sounding jams that you do!


  4. Sounds like you are the more prepared/smarter ones then!!! LOL! Thank you, Karen. Feedback is truly priceless, and for you to take time out of your day to reply is a BIG deal to me. And trust me, the jams aren’t so fun when I’m in the middle of them! 😂


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