Story and photos by Brian Wildman and Levi Farish From June 2019
“An overlanding trip to the Grand Canyon with five families, coming from two states to begin the adventure took almost six months of planning. Levi Farish and Brian Wildman, owners of “the overland essentials” began plotting the course in early December. There was some difficulty grinding out the routes, but when all was said and done. Five families would partake of this journey.” – 4Low Magazine
One of the highlights was BETA testing the newly introduced GARMIN Overlander. Other companies that supported the trip included CVT, RhinoRack, Overland Gear Guy, Dometic, and 4×4 Land.
Day 1 – 28 May 19 –
Noon became the departure time, after spending the morning reorganizing the Jeeps. We headed North on I-17 towards Sedona. Making our way to the entrance to Schnebly Hill. Right along the cliff edge, with a one of a kind overlook of Sedona.
Day 2 – 29 May 19 –
Dropping down a steep decline from our camping spot brought us back on to Schnebly Hill trail. Once in Sedona, we kept the fun going and made our way to Broken Arrow Trail, a new trail for all of us. This was a narrow trail that offered surprises at random turns, climbs, ledges, drops and off camber.
After we gathered everyone up, we started making our way on 89A North. Making our way past Slide Rock about twenty miles we ventured into our next camping site. Sites were big enough for two rigs to share so we paired up to save camp space. That night we stood outside in amazement of the night sky.
Day 3 – 30 May 2019 –
Slide Rock was our morning destination, a fee area operated by Arizona State Parks, Slide Rock is an old homestead in Oak Creek Canyon. The water was crystal clear and cold. We spent a few hours and headed north again.
Using I-17 and the famous Route 66, we enjoyed the road view and got more and more excited to be at the Grand Canyon. Five sets of friends, four children and seven adults all sat in silence at the sunset wonder unraveling before our eyes. The sky has never revealed so many colors to us and we were given the chance to witness it firsthand.
Day 4 – 31 May 2019 –
After an early wake up to see the sun rise over the Grand Canyon we couldn’t help but sit and appreciate the company we were in. Friends that pride ourselves on calling one another family. What better place to reflect on what there is to be thankful for in this crazy time in our world. The sunrise was just as memorable as the sunset the night before. Once back in town we headed to the visitor center. We all took in the information about the Grand Canyon and how it was formed. The animal species that call it home, and the fact that we were there for the centennial celebration.
Day 5 – 1 June 2019 –
We started at the beginning of Arches NP trail head, a trail that should be on everyone’s to-do list. Not a difficult trail, it is 27.2 miles of sand, ledges and good ol’ Moab slick rock. However, all 27 miles offer amazing views and scenery. Takes the better part of three hours to complete the trail. Mountains in the background, the Arches NP formations at every turn and over every hill climb. We stopped at Whale Arch for lunch, about 3/4 of the way through the trail. Wasn’t long before we were back on pavement and headed to take pictures of Delicate Arch. Every year it is announced that the next year it might not be around. So getting a chance to see it for the first time for some, might be the last time they get to see it forever.
Day 6 – 2 June 2019 –
Jon headed home at the end of Day 5, William headed back this morning, leaving Matt, the Wildman and the Farish family to enjoy Mesa Verde NP, just a two hour drive from Moab. It was a bit of a drive through the park, but the views were worth it. Scenic overlooks and blue skies can’t be beat in the mountains.
The entire trip each family recorded 3000+ miles and covered up to seven states. We are fortunate to be working with some excellent companies that helped make this trip come to fruition. We can’t wait for the next one.
To Read the whole article, check it out on 4Low Magazine!