Wanderlust

Montrose, CO

Colorado River

I’m sure that one of the little known scenic treasures in Utah is the route from Moab alongside the Colorado River going on Utah 128 to the northeast. In places, it rivals the scenic views of the towering canyon walls of Grand Canyon, the rock formations of Monument Valley and some of the most scenic rivers of America. We once again have limited upload bandwidth, so this is just a single image of the river at one of he bends in the canyon (courtesy Damsel). More images may be posted later.

Tonight, we’re here in Montrose, CO almost two years to the date since we were camped here before. We visited a nearby cemetery where my Great Grandmother is buried then and discovered that after nearly 50 years, she still had no headstone. We corrected that last year by working with a local Colorado monument company to place a marker. We will be heading over there tomorrow to observe the new stone and to decorate the grave and another one where my Great-Great Grandmother lies.

Here is a photo of our campsite I took this afternoon . . .

Montrose Campsite

Camping in Moab, UT

Wilson Arch

We spent the day enjoying Utah! We drove from Monument Valley to Moab, which is just south of Arches Nat’l Park. Wilson Arch in the photo above (courtesy Damsel) is several miles south of Moab and not a part of the park. It is right along US 191 which we took to get here.

Since we have been to Arches NP several times in the past, we won’t be visiting there this time. We plan to join the Colorado River in North Moab and head upstream through the scenic river canyon as we head to Grand Junction, CO and thence to Montrose where we will be staying for a couple days.

Our campsite here in South Moab is nice – spacious with good views of mountains to the south and the red palisade immediately to the west. We’re comfy here and have good satellite TV reception and good 4G internet access. Our rig in its spot is pictured below. Click on either image to enlarge.

Moab Campsite

Monument Valley Day Two

Monument Formation

We spent the morning doing our usual camping routine – walk the dogs, eat breakfast, feed the dogs, etc.

Later, Damsel and I went shopping for curios, postcards and such at the gift shop here. We picked up a few things, but there is a better selection a mile down the hill from where we are, so we will be stopping there in the morning after we break camp.

We also took several walks around the area, some with the dogs and some with our cameras. This is a very beautiful campground in itself, but the views into the valley are very spectacular. We both took photos, but our net connection is quite slow, so most will have to wait to be uploaded until we get a better connection.

I took the view above with my Canon EOS SL1 at a focal length of 139mm. I cropped the image and applied color corrections to compensate for the haze. This is one of the more prominent monuments we can see from the campground. Click on the image to enlarge.

Camping at Monument Valley

View From Campground

For the next couple of nights we’re camped at Goulding’s Campground at the foot of Monument Valley. The view from the campground is shown above (we actually have to walk a couple of hundred feet from our campsite to see this). But the campground is beautiful itself surrounded by cliffs and red rock formations.

Our campsite is a little more reasonable than that of last night. We’re in a spacious pull thru with trees, a picnic table and all the shore power, water and sewer hookups.

Monument Valley Campsite

Even though it is early in our proposed journey, we are suffering from a couple of minor drawbacks. Foremost is that the automatic leveling jack system which was working perfectly at home has now decided to stop functioning. We can live with that since most campsites are fairly level and we can live with a little tilt. Other problems include the DVD player, which failed to function last night when we wanted to put on a video. We wound up watching the DVD on one of the computers.

Problems aside, we are here to relax and enjoy the scenery. Damsel wants to go to the main hotel complex down below to do some gift shopping and such. She will be enjoying that for sure. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet (not that at home is otherwise) but away from the retirement routine.

Montezuma’s Well

Montezuma’s Well

Damsel and I took off today on our August excursion. Our goal is to get to a couple of resting places of our ancestry, mainly in Colorado. On the way, we will stop at some scenic places like Montezuma’s Well near McGuireville, AZ, just a couple of miles off of I-17.

In addition to the well itself, there were some ancient Sinagua Native People’s ruins carved into the cliff above the well.

Sinagua Cliff Ruins

Our camping spot for the night is in Flagstaff, AZ at an RV Park whose accommodations are quite cramped for a motorhome like ours. There is barely enough room to deploy the pop outs and because of the tall pines, we have no satellite TV reception here.

Cramped Camp Spot

It’s only for tonight and we will know better “Next Time” we come camping up this way. There is a great campground where we have previously stayed on a couple of occasions in Williams, AZ, not too far from where we are tonight.

Image credits: top two courtesy Damsel and the campsite photo is mine.

Grand Canyon National Park Centennial Crowding

View from Yavapai Point

We can all agree that the scenery at Grand Canyon’s South Rim is nearly unsurpassed in its spectacular views of the canyon. And, looking at the second photo below of the South Entrance traffic this morning, we can all agree that the canyon’s popularity tests its infrastructure to the limit. Also, given that 2019 is the canyon’s Centennial celebration, it has become an even more internationally popular attraction.

South Entrance Traffic Jam

Although Damsel and I haven’t been there in a couple of years, the last several times (starting in 2008) we have gone to the South Rim we have found difficult parking, overcrowded view areas and tons of inconsiderate people who seriously detract from the enjoyment of the visit. We probably will not visiting there soon, but I asked the internet to show me slow times at the south rim and I got the following hit from the National Parks Service about a South Rim Survival Guide. They address several points, not all of which are useful to us, but I’ll share them anyhow.

Visiting During Busy Periods

Like other national parks, Grand Canyon has seen a dramatic increase in visitation over the last few years. The South Rim experiences crowded conditions during busy periods throughout the year, including spring break, summer, and holiday times during fall and winter. You can expect:

  • Long entrance station lines,
  • Long shuttle bus lines,
  • Limited parking near Grand Canyon Visitor Center,
  • Large crowds at popular viewpoints.

However, there are ways to navigate and avoid some of this congestion to make the most of your time on the South Rim. Here are some tips:

  1. Park in Tusayan and Ride the Free Shuttle into the Park
  2. Planning to Drive Your Vehicle into the Park?
  3. After 10 am Parking Becomes Limited Around the Visitor Center
  4. Enter the Park at Desert View, If You Are Approaching Grand Canyon from the East
  5. Tips for Touring Scenic Hermit Road
  6. Visiting the South Rim with 3 Hours or Less?
  7. Arriving in the Afternoon with 4 or 5 Hours?
  8. Less Crowded Sunset Locations
  9. Take the Train

The enumerated tips above are all expanded on their Survival Guide. As I said, not all are options for our needs, but we may try to avoid some of the hassle by taking a suggestion or two.

As usual, click on either image to enlarge.

Happy New Year!

happy-2019.png

We had a pretty good day today. It started out with a little light snow, some of which stuck. Snow is unusual for us here and, coincidentally, it snowed here on New Year’s Eve in 2014, but today’s snowfall was nothing compared to that event. After it warmed up a bit, some gentle rainfall slushed all the snow away this afternoon.

2018 was good to us. Even though we had some surgery on the thyroid last march, there have been no health issues other than the usual arthritis and other aging things. We started a diet a couple of months ago and it has been working. I lost over 10 pounds so far and a couple of notches on the belt. Damsel is doing as well.

In the coming year, we have springtime plans to head to Colorado. This year, we had a marker placed on an ancestor’s grave in Montrose, CO and we are planning to go view the work and to place a wreath or three. We also will be visiting in Pueblo, CO to place more wreaths and perhaps meet up with some long lost cousins.

For 2019, we wish everyone a wonderful, prosperous and happy new year!