Camping - Monument Valley, UT

Monument Valley

Today was another very enjoyable travel day on our extended excursion, covering the territory from Moab to Oljato/Monument Valley, Utah. The weather, although forecast for possible showers, stayed reasonably sunny and nice for the duration of the drive. The winds were light and variable, thus making for a less tedious drive in the big RV as opposed to those days when gusty winds made it a bit tiring.

Our camping spot is in a little enclosed area surrounded by higher terrain with a gap looking toward the massive rock formations made famous by the likes of John Ford and “The Duke,” in the golden days of western movies. We had that view from our campsite before some late arrival RVs arrived. We still can have that view by taking a short walk to the end of the row where we’re parked.

Tomorrow, we will head south with one more overnighter in Williams, AZ, before heading home on Wednesday. Damsel and I discussed taking a side route through Grand Canyon tomorrow, but dismissed the idea since we were just there last September. Besides, the side trip would add an additional hour of travel time, so we will be happy to take the faster route.

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Camping - Moab, UT

Campground Panorama

Rather than my usual portrait of the RV parked somewhere, I thought I would compose a panoramic image which shows our RV on the left and pans right to the next big rig parked along our row in the campground where we are tonight. The sites are terraced up a hillside along US 191 near Moab, Utah and this panorama shows the view from our site looking east.

This is a very popular campground and is nearly filled to capacity with visitors from far and wide. The view above shows most sites occupied and as I write this, more rigs can be heard arriving.

We saw some wonderful scenery today as we crossed Utah mostly along Interstate 70. We had some gusty winds in the mountainous areas, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Tomorrow, we’re going to pop into Arches NP just up the road and then head south, eventually arriving at another campground near Monument Valley. We anticipate more breathtaking scenery as we head south into the Diné (Navajo) Tribal Reservation.

Click on the image to activate the image viewer and scroll to the right for the full panorama.

Damsel took this image of the RV parked in the Sand Bench Rest Area on I-70 with a spectacular vista of the red rock formations in the background. Click on the image to enlarge.

Parked at I-70 Rest Area

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Camping - Delta, UT

Delta

It doesn’t look like much on a map, but today’s drive had some very spectacular scenery going across US 6/50 from Ely, UT to Delta, NV. There are beautiful mountains, rock formations, National Forests and fertile valleys.

The weather was a bit disagreeable since there were gusty winds most of the way over the 150 mile long route. It was a considerable challenge to keep the big slab-sided bus going straight, but we managed. The winds varied from a quartering tail wind to a full-on tail wind with velocity of 25 to 35 and some gusts up in the 50’s I’m sure. We are still getting gusts here in camp, but not on the same order as those on the road.

Tomorrow will find us on the road headed toward the eastern part of Utah with a planned stop near Arches National Park near Moab, UT. We have traveled most of tomorrow’s route on prior vacations and expect to see the same spectacular scenery as before. On this route, if you don’t like the scenery, just wait five minutes and it will change.

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Camping - Ely, NV

Ely

Tonight, we’re in high country in the Great Basin area of Eastern Nevada camped at a nice campground and RV park, elevation 6200 feet or so. Luckily, the forecast is for unseasonably warm weather overnight with the lows forecast to be in the high 50’s rather than the customary mid 30’s for this time of year.

Our route today took us across most of middle Nevada from Hawthorne down to Tonopah and across to Ely. Despite having mostly overcast weather, the scenery was quite striking with pastel colors, jagged peaks and mountain passes followed by verdant valleys dotted with farms and ranches in a very wide-open and spacious “Great Basin.”

The RV performed great going across the desert today, refueling at Tonopah with one other rest stop on the way out to Ely. The ride was smooth and comfortable most of the way with only a few areas of gusty winds that make keeping a big rig like ours between the lines a slight challenge.

Today’s leg and yesterdays were longer than we consider nominal (nominal being a four hour trip), mostly because of the vast distances between places. Tomorrow and the rest of the trip working our way home are planned to be shorter than nominal. We will be in Utah tomorrow, stopping at Delta which is less than three hours from here. That will give us some time for showering and other personal things when we get in camp over there.

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Camping - Hawthorne, NV

Hawthorne

We made the trip from Stockton to this campground today. We don’t usually drive for more than four hours per leg, but we wanted to exit California before stopping for the night. This trip, using the scenic route we took, was a little under six hours of driving time.

We used CA 88 out of Stockton across the Sierras (still lots of snow, BTW) and thence via US 395 back into California for s spell and then across the desert just north of Mono lake into Nevada again terminating here in Hawthorne. We were as high as 8,500 feet MSL and are at 4300 feet at “Whiskey Flats.”

Tomorrow won’t be as scenic as we make our way across the great basin of Nevada. Tomorrow’s destination is in the little town of Ely at the confluence of US 50 and US 6 in Eastern Nevada. We will report in at that time.

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Camping - Stockton, CA

Stockton

Pulled into Damsel’s Sister’s driveway to set up for a few days visit. This is less than full-on camping, since we are house guests except when we sleep in the RV.

There were other things on the agenda for the ladies, like shopping and getting manicures and haircuts in town. Us guys watched baseball and hung out while they were doing their thing.

We did take a side trip to the north SF Bay area to visit with a couple of the grandkids and their children, the “Greats.” The little girl was just nineteen days old, but Great Grandson Alex is two and a half and developing quite a personality. We enjoyed that part of the visit very much.

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Camping - Visalia, CA

Visalia Camping Spot

Well, we’re camped here in the Central California Valley, about 25 miles west of the Sequoia National Forest. It’s a nice little KOA park away from the highway in an industrial/residential/agricultural and recreational area. Yep - some of each.

We are relaxed and comfortable after a fairly challenging commute from the LA Basin through the Grapevine and up the California central valley. It goes without saying that there was traffic and partial blockage as we departed the basin. In the mountain passes, we struggled with gusty crosswinds which adds a new dimension to driving a nearly 36 foot “slab side” RV. Needless to say we were relieved to arrive safely at our destination and campsite for the evening.

Tomorrow will find us, God willing, at Damsel’s sister’s place up the road from here. We’re planning on spending several days there before heading back home via the long way through Nevada, Utah and Northern Arizona. There will be another “camping at” photo tomorrow or the next day.

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