So I just did the rim in April for the first time. We did 4 days, relaxed pace, drank beer, had a blast. Want to consider doing it with my parents in late Sept but they don't bike or even camp anymore (both around 70).
Backstory: we were supposed to do the rim in 2006. We were doing it in Jeeps in 3 days (I didn't mountain bike back then). But when my parents were driving to my house to meet us their Jeep caught on fire and burned to the ground almost killing my father, obviously trip cancelled. He spent a few months in the Greeley burn unit with 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 40% of his body.
Long story short, they've still talked about wanting to do this but are not interested in tent camping anymore. Wife and I were already planning on camping out there in late Sept (we do every year). Here's what I was thinking.
1. Rent them a pop up trailer they can comfortably camp in and pull with their Jeep Wrangler
2. Camp up at Horsethief campground right at Mineral Bottom rd.
3. Drive around the rim in a day with me biking as much as possible and jumping in when they catch me or when I need a break (I will). If they are stopping for pics I should be able to stay ahead of them for quite a ways I figure.
I've done some research and i know everyone says don't drive it in 1 day, enjoy it, etc.... But I think this is my only chance to do this with them. I figured traveling light (no camping gear), starting right at the park entrance and limiting the stops makes it pretty doable. We may consider skipping White Crack, Fort Bottom ruin hike, and almost certainly Taylor Canyon for example. They've "Jeeped" as long as I can remember and I think they can handle 100 miles although I'm sure everyone will be a little beat up at the end, they are close to 70!
In doing some reading I've seen people mention driving it in anywhere from 6 to 10+ hours. 6 sounds awfully fast. I'd even be fine with 10 hours. Start at 7, done by 5pm and back at camp for dinner.
I'd love to finally get to do this trip with them. I could just feel the desire to do it when they were looking through my pics from April. Also seems to have special significance since the last attempt almost took dad from us.
Thoughts or advice?
What are the chances of Horsethief campground being full on a Sunday in late Sept (29th)? Figure more people would be leaving on a Sunday. Otherwise maybe Big Mesa or maybe try to reserve ahead of time at Dead Horse SP?
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