Friday, March 24, 2017

Natural Bridge, Muley Point, Goosenecks State Park

On Monday we headed south on 95 to the Natural Bridges National Monument. Drove through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The water in Lake Powell is at, or near, historic lows. Some years ago we camped for a night at the Hite Marina area. Then it was just black mud. Today it's high and dry. The very long boat ramp is probably a hundred feet from the water.

Not much water in Lake Powell

The Sipapu Bridge

Natural Bridge NM was the first park designated as a "dark  sky" location. The location is so remote, there are no city lights visible in any direction. The stars at night were just amazing. We agreed we had never seen so many.

On Tuesday, we drove to the Muley Point. It's a part of the Glenn Canyon NRA. The view of the canyon is really something. We're camped right on the canyon edge.

A storm is predicted for tomorrow. The access road to where we are is about 3 miles of red dirt. When that stuff gets wet, it turns to a sticky mud and is undriveable. We decided to move a few miles to the Goosenecks SP just in case.

Goosenecks SP was interesting. The San Juan River has over some 300-million years, carved a canyon about 1,000' deep. The river winds for 6 miles through the canyon but just progresses 1.5 miles west to Lake Powell.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Goblin Valley and Capital Reef areas

After Green River we drove to the Goblin Valley area. Spent the day driving a few trails but were not all that impressed with the selection of camping areas so we headed south to Hanksville. We looked at several disbursed camping areas around Hanksville but they are orientated towards ATV's and dirt bikes; both of which we try to avoid.

We continued West on 24 towards Capital Reef NP. It was late Saturday afternoon when we arrived, and predictably, the NP campground was full plus the sites are really jammed onto each other so we decided to look at some of the disbursed areas west of the NP. We came across a great one in the Fishlake NF. 

38.32679 -111.36414

We'll be staying here for a few days.

On Sunday we drove the Scenic Drive through the NP plus two Jeep trails in the park. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Amazing weather. We had to go.

This winter in CO has been just amazing. There have been several high temperature records broken. It's just so nice we just had to go somewhere.
We left home on Wednesday the 15th for a trip starting at Green River, UT, then south towards Hanksville, over to Torrey, then back south towards Bluff, north to Blanding, then Monticello then, weather permitting, towards Buena Vista, CO then home.

The first night we stayed at the Rabbit Valley area. Drove some of the jeep roads looking for more sites for our camper, but the roads were too deeply rutted. There is a nice RV area off of a well maintained road so we stayed there.
From our campsite in Rabbit Valley

On Thursday we continued to Green River. Had a great lunch at a Mexican food truck then went to the Lower Gray Canyon Recreation BLM area for the night. Our campsite was right along the Green River. Drove the jeep along the river for a while.

From our campsite on the Green River

On Friday we stayed at the Green River State Park so we could dump the tanks and fill with water before heading for a week, or do, of disbursed camping towards Goblin Valley.  I needed windshield wiper blades so I stopped at the NAPA store in Green River. The guy asked what quality I wanted. I said good ones. He took two off the rack, went out and put them on for me, then rang up the $48!!! sale. Wow. For $48 they better be good.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Moab, UT

The weather was so unseasonably warm, we decided to spend a week in Moab, UT late January and early February.
We split our time between the BLM campground,  Goose Island,  and a disbursed area; Dubinky Well Road which runs off of SR 313. Right here:  38.64362 -109.81953
This site is actually the top of a small "mesa" accessed by a narrow dirt road. Excellent VZ internet service and TV.
 Our campsite. It was just us.
 Our view of the LaSal Mountains
Red rocks at sunset looking the other way.

We took some rides on Jeep trails, had breakfast in town, now and then, and had a fine time.
On Monday Feb 6, a big winter storm was projected to begin moving into the mountains along I-70 so few decided to head home. Good thing, too. There were hurricane force winds around the Vail area that caused the highway to shut down.

 Fishers Towers
 Some snow at higher elevations.


Back home planning this Spring and Summers trips.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Around Cottonwood Pass(Buena Vista) then Moab,UT

Went to see the fall colors then on to Moab to try out our new Jeep. We towed years ago, a '98 Ford Ranger hauling our kayaks and bikes,  but when Carol had her stroke and then broke her hip,  we stopped. Ten+ years later we're towing once again. This time its a bright red Jeep Willys Edition.

 Goose Island BLM campground. Moab.
 Moab. Onion Creek trail. We crossed Onion Creek 31 times. A truly beautiful drive.
 Cottonwood Pass near Buena Vista,CO.

Happy camper 😊

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Camping along the Blue River

Near Silverthorne,  CO.
Nearby is a parking area used by rafters and kayakers.
39.75936  -109.13373

A beautiful Spring day

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Heading home and one more disbursed site.

On our way out of Moab on Hwy 191, we looked at one more disbursed area. The ones we've stayed in already, can get busy with ATV'ers.  If someone wants more privacy and quiet, Darby Wells Road is a good choice.
38 42 57.72  -109 41 32.06

Ran into some snow around Vail  Pass and again, near Dillon/Silverthorn.
Dillon Reservoir. Frozen and snow covered.
The Heaton Bay campground on Dillon Reservoir is one of our favorite not-far-away places.

We're planning on heading out again towards the end of May. Most likely staying in the CO mountains.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rocked out for now

It rained most of last night and today. Nature must love it. Pools of water formed in the rocks for the animals to drink and the plants got a good soaking. For us the plus was keeping the dust under control.

We headed into Moab this morning with the intent of staying around for another week. After talking about it, we decided we had about seen enough rocks for a while so decided to head home in the morning. We're at the BLM Goose Island campground tonight. It's the closest BLM campground to town making it a very convenient place to stay. Good VZ coverage is a bonus.

A number of years ago, some friends took a trip to Italy, Greece and Egypt to see old stuff. Bob commented that after a while, one pile of rubble pretty much looked like the other. Rocks are like that too.

The most spectacular view was from Dead Horse Point. Our favorite camping area was the disbursed area off Willlow Springs Road.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dead Horse Point State Park

On Saturday, at our disbursed camping site on the mini 'mesa' off Dubiky Road, we sat through a dust storm. The weather stations said a steady 35-40 mph wind with gusts to 50+. In the morning there was fine red dust in all the window tracks, on the counters, cabinet trim, etc. The stovetop was covered with a thick layer of red dust. I'm guessing it blew in through the range hood vent. Next time, I stuff a rag in the outside part of the vent.

Sunday morning we left our nice disbursed site and drove to Canyonlands, NP.

We took a driving tour of the Island in the Sky part of Canyonlands. There are two other parts of Canyonlands; The Needles and The Maze. The Willow Flat campground is $15/night. First-come, first-served. There were vacant sites when we drove through.
Dead Horse Point SP is very, very popular in the "season". We lucked into a two night cancellation a few weeks ago. There are  electricity and toilet facilities, and a dump station but no showers. Water is hauled in from Moab. $30/night for camping. The main overlook trail is paved. From her wheelchair, Carol got a good look at the canyon and distant river.
The park brochure says that the view from the overlook is one of the worlds most photographed sites.
Here are a few of mine. There were photographers with $1,000+ equipment. An iPhone suits our  needs.

Reminded us very much of the Grand Canyon. The road below is accessible by 4 WD vehicles via the Potash Road in Moab. Another time perhaps?

That's the Colorado River some 2,000' down

Got a little rain today, accompanied by some hail. The water is surely needed plus it helps keep the dust under control.

Tomorrow we head back to Moab.  The Parrot Guy I met, told me about some areas he thought we would find interesting. We'll check them out.

Disbursed camping off SR 313. North of Moab.

UT 313 runs west off of US 191 north of Moab. It leads to both Canyonlands NP and Dead Horse Point SP.
The general rule along 313 is that camping is only permitted in the 'regular' campgrounds.

There are popular disbursed camping areas along 313.

One  is along Spring Canyon Road and Dubinky Road. These are 'official' BLM disbursed camping areas. Spring Canyon Rd is easily found  by turning north at the sign for the Big Mesa BLM campground on the north side of 313. Probably 8-9 miles from 191. As you drive along either of these dirt roads, you will see numerous smaller red dirt roads leading to disbursed areas. There are dozens of camping areas. Good VZ signal in most areas. Ted is adding some to his campground database.
Teds public campground site

Friday, April 22, 2016

Parrots in the desert?

I was sitting outside with my early morning coffee when a large bird came flying by. At first I thought it must have been a hawk of some type and the early morning sun had distorted the colors. Then it landed in a shrub near me and it became clear that the bird was, in fact, a blue parrot of some type.
It seems that early this morning, a guy from Texas pulled into the area.  He puts on parrot shows and is a professional parrot trainer. Interesting profession. He also does cliff diving and dirt bike racing. He uses the mesa we're camped on for parrot flight training.

He lived in Moab for five years and was a great source of local driving and hiking information.

The large blue parrot

A much smaller orange one.

He drags a 4 door Jeep Rubicon with his dirt bike mounted on the Jeep behind a very large Class C. Must be a real challenge to stop that combination of a steep downgrade.

The more we look at the jeep trails in CO and UT, the more we talk about getting a Jeep to tow.  We'll see.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Moving on

Today we left our nice campsite on Willow Springs Road. I got to do a lot of short hikes. By myself, of course. The lazy dog stayed with Carol.
Photos from our campsite on  top of a huge slab of slickrock. With binoculars we could see the arches in Arches.

The La Sal mountains


Still trying to figure out what this green rock is.

Today we went into Moab for water, propane, groceries, etc.
There is a new Maverick Gas station in town located at 985 S. US Hwy 191. Free dump and free water. Both located on the north side of the building. Easy access plus a nearby RV lane.
Last week we had breakfast at the Eclectic Cafe. Today we went back for lunch. A very popular restaurant with a very diverse menu.
Eclectic Cafe Facebook page.

After taking care of in-town stuff, we headed for the Dead Horse Point area. Tonight we're at the Dubinsky Road BLM disbursed camping area.
38.643415   -109.81990

Pretty but I don't know the name.

From tonights campsite.

Sunset to the West

And a full moon rising in the East over the La Sal mountains.

On Sunday, we have reservations at the Dead Horse Point State Park for two nights. We're here until then.
When we left home we had planned on including SW Colorado in this trip. Since its still cold and snowy at the higher elevations, we decided to head home next week then take off for the mountains in mid to late May.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Disbursed camping area north of Moab

If anyone is looking for a nice disbursed camping area about 20 minutes north of Moab, the Willow Springs Road is very nice. Good access road, great scenery, good VZ.

A 4wd vehicle will take you into the Arches NP.


Arches NP and the La Sal Mountains are in the background.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A cold, windy and rainy and snowy weekend

It doesn't rain much in Moab. On the average about 9.5" per year. Friday was one of those rainy ones.
We took a ride along a canyon road , SR 279/Potash Road, and then went into town for lunch at the Sweet Cravings Bakery and Bistro. Carol has a strawberry salad wrap that was very, very good.
I walked around the campground and came up with enough firewood for one chilly night.
Keeping warm.

You feel like taking a walk? Fine. I'm happy right here.

On Saturday we drove the Kane Creek Road. It's on the south side of the Colorado River just across from the Potash Road we drove yesterday. There are some nice BLM campgrounds along the river on both sides. Kane Creek Road is a narrow, winding dirt road. No guard rails. At one point there is a sign indicating a 10% grade following that is a corkscrew type curve leading into the canyon bottom. The turns are so tight you're hoping no one is coming the other way, or if they are, the driver is sober and not texting.

Along Kane Creek Road

The winds have been a steady 20-30 mph with gusts to 50mph. Fortunately, Saturdays rain has kept the blowing dirt under reasonable control.

Sunday morning we went in town and had a very good breakfast at the Eklecticafe and then took a ride to the BLM Ken's Lake campground located south of town. It's on a pretty, clear water lake. Then we decided to try the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. I asked the campground host about the road conditions and he said the road was opened all the way through to Hwy 128. Off we go. First there are scattered snow flurries, then harder snow then this

We hoped a car would come towards us so we could inquire about road conditions up ahead. None did so we turned around. 
The blurry area at the top of the picture is the clouds we were driving through.

They have four "wheel" drive. We don't.

The views were impressive

So we headed back into town. Deciding where to head tomorrow. North or South.