Monday, April 29, 2013

Now In Moab

Sunday, April 21 - We finally exited Texas and crossed into New Mexico. Now don't get us wrong, we love Texas. It just takes so long to cross the state. We over nighted at Sumner Lake State Park. It's a decent park and better than Santa Rosa SP up the road. Like most lakes out here, it’s going away. We have a Ramada at our site and sat outside for a while. I had a bad day with my arm. I took a pain pill at lunch and then another one at dinner and then had to take a pill to combat the nausea.

Monday, April 22 - We stopped in Santa Fe to have lunch at Mucho Gusto. Yes, Martha, we still had your recommendation from 2010. You are correct that it is very good place. We were the only touristas. If I had known where the place was, I would have passed on it. A block from the Spanish Plaza is not a great area for an RV towing. But for an $8 parking charge we enjoyed a marvelous lunch.

We had chips and salsa first and the tomatillo sauce was fantastic. We could have drunk it. I had grilled shrimp and mushroom tacos with guacamole and Don had shredded lamb in sweet red barbecue sauce. They were served with very good Spanish rice, refried black beans and pico de gallo. Muy flavors!

We have been to Santa Fe a few times day tripping. This time it hit me, if you lived there you would need to somewhat proficient in Spanish as most of the road names are Spanish.

A beat up LD was turning into parking lot right in front of us. We saw it was a single woman with a German Shepard. Something told us she would not want to speak with us. By the time, we parked and got over to pay she was gone, walking fast towards the church. But, before we could stuff all our bills into the machine, she was back. No eye contact. She had put $20 in the machine for a $4 parking ticket despite the fact that a sign says No Change. Now, she feels that she made a mistake in her haste to escape us. The attendant advised her that she would need to see someone “upstairs”. And she was off again. No eye contact.

While eating, we decided to go Jemez Springs rather than Abiquiu. There is a small FS CG up a canyon that we like and our favorite site was open. We sat outside for Happy Hour and watched the sun paint the bluff, the trees and listened to the babbling Jemez River. A very good day.

Tuesday-Wednesday, April 23/24 – Back on US550, we headed north to Colorado and got our first view of the snow covered San Juan’s. We will drive the Jeep all over them in August, but for now it is like seeing old friends. I asked Dorothy if she knew where US550 went. She did not know. I said Ouray and I think I saw her grab her arm rest.

All along 550 we saw work trucks flying colored flags that indicate what energy company they belong to. It seemed every fourth south bound was flying colors. If Obama finds out, he will want to shut em down. Drilling bad, giving tax dollars to friends good.

We had not talked about it prior to the trip, but opted to go to Mesa Verde National Park. We have passed it a few times in last few years, but had not been there since 1984. We went to the new Visitor's Center first and I asked a ranger about ruins that I might get to. Most have ladders to climb and my feet will not allow me to climb ladders, but then my arm won't allow me to pull myself up either. It's disappointing. But there is a positive side - the CG is open, but doesn't officially open until mid-May. Therefore, it's free to camp. One must see thing here is the museum. We spent 1 1/2 hours, but could have spent more.

We toured Spruce House, which is accessible by a paved path. We learned that the natives desire the ruins to decay, while the Park Service maintains them in a state of arrested decay.

While the ruins are interesting what I most like about Mesa Verde are the long views you get in all directions. It’s an island in the sky, but unlike that like named place in Canyonland’s or Dead Horse Point, you see several other mountain islands from her.

02 - Mesa Verde 02 02 - Mesa Verde 22 02 - Mesa Verde 30

The San Juan’s 25 miles away         Spruce Tree House                   I like the four level square house


Thursday, April 25 – We should have left at 6, but we messed around until 8, which put us into Moab after musical campsites happens each morning at the BLM CG’s along the Colorado. Dorothy’s handicapped placard allowed us to get a good site at Big Bend CG which is seven miles north of our favored CG. That said, BB is quieter than Goose Island as the canyon is wider so road noise has a place to go and a bit more scenic. OTOH, it is crowded and camp host is a bit of a Nazi.

Friday, April 26 – We are happy campers in Moab, UT. After a quick breakfast, we went to see if we could find a campsite in a CG closer to Moab. It had to be one that was better than we one we have. Every site was occupied. After getting gas, I told Don that we needed to go somewhere, but it had to be after I did my shoulder and foot exercises. The exercises take about 30 minutes and then I had to make lunch just in case we were gone at lunchtime.

We drove north on UT126 and turned onto Onion Creek Road and drove and drove and drove. We forded Onion Creek 23 times and crossed it once on a bridge. The landscape had unexpected intrusions of beauty.  We don't know how they do it, but campers find all kinds of places to camp along with road. We got to Taylor Ranch in Fisher Valley (a dead end) or we could continue east. Glenda, our GPS, told us that continuing would be the shortest way to return. We believed her and continued on Hideout Road. She lied! We aren't sorry that we believed her because we got to see more gorgeous scenery and also got in some 4-wheeling adventure climbing up 2,700 feet. We finally turned around and headed home. The trip was four hours and 23 miles of gorgeous Utah scenery.

Moab is a unique town. In the 1930's and 1940's, it was popular as a movie location, then uranium mining was big. After that closed, the town was dying. Someone had the foresight to promote the town as a tourist spot. Arches National Park is here. But that's not all. They hold all kinds of rallies here - bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, Miata, and Corvettes. This weekend is no exception - it's a Hot Rod Rally. Last night people lined the sidewalks with their chairs and watched the hot rods cruise up and down the street and we joined in until it was too dark to see the cars. They love to race their engines so that they roar.  The hotels are full and the campgrounds are full. The town is doing well.

03a Fisher Valley 02 03a Fisher Valley 05

Yes, we are happy campers in Moab with smiles on our faces and we get to stay here for two weeks.

The road goes on forever and the party never ends - Robert Earl Keen

Saturday, April 27 – Up and out early was our plan but it didn't happen.  We had a plan - we would drive to Klondike Bluff.  We had the map and off we went. It was an easy dirt road at first, then a four wheel drive and then there were steps.  We stopped, scoped out the situation and Don even built up the road bed.  It looked fine and I stayed on the road to watch.  "STOP" - the left front wheel was in the air and frame was on the rock. With three tires on rock we backed up and turned around.

Of course, the main reason for being in the Moab area is the scenery.  We avoided town because of the Hot Rod Rally.  Just too many people.  We returned to camp and spent a quiet day.

Sunday, April 28 – We played musical campsites. Moab cleared out today. Finding a good site proved to be no problem. We are now at Goose Island. The temp today and the next two days will be in the high 80’s, so we are staying in the shade. It will cool off on Wednesday.

There are dingbats everywhere. I read where a single woman that has owned a old RV for 12 years was asking for help getting her RV to start. She did not know the rig had a second starting battery located under the drivers seat. A 12+ year old battery!

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