Sunday, September 25, 2022

Next stop, Bluff, Utah


We left Moab on a windy, but clear day.   Experience taught Dave to pin  our window awnings so that they didn't get caught in the wind and try to unroll as we drove along.     That's a bad thing....

We arrived at our next stop, tiny Bluff, Utah, after an uneventful and pretty drive.    This time we stayed at Coral Sands RV Park at the edge of town instead of our usual spot,  Cadillac Ranch.     I wanted to add some days to the reservation I had previously made in order to avoid driving in the heavy rains that were predicted.    The owner cheerfully worked with me to find a spot for us for the additional time and we were happy with our new site.

We arrived on Sunday and had a few dry days before the rain set in.  Once it did, however, we were very happy to have the site we did.     It was high and dry, no deep puddles or runoff anywhere.   Other's weren't so lucky!

our windshield view

Bluff hasn't faired well since Covid.    The scenery is still fantastic, the people are still friendly, but the spare few restaurants that were here have either closed or reorganized.    Twin Rocks Cafe is still open for lunch and dinner (with an abbreviated menu) but the folks that used to run the good Cottonwood Steakhouse have closed their sticks and bricks restaurant and taken on the dinner service at Twin Rocks.     The good breakfast place (think blue corn pancakes) has closed.    Dukes has very good food, but they have such a difficult time with staffing that you may or may not find them notice.    Ah well.    I hope they'll come through this time.

Twin Rocks Navajo Taco

The good ladies at the Bluff Fort are still making their good cookies for sale.   Needless to say we frequented their delightful smelling little kitchen.

yummy lemon zucchini cookie

One afternoon we took a drive behind Mexican Hat rock to what used to be fairly decent San Juan River access.     Again, the scenery was still spectacular, but the "road" has not been maintained and was washed out and sad (this was before the heavy rains).

Another day we took Lewis and some lunch to drive the Valley of the Gods loop scenic road.    It as as beautiful as we remembered with only a few rough spots in the road.



Lewis takes a post prandial stroll

We chatted briefly with a couple who were traveling with another couple and their two class C type Italian motorhomes.    They were deciding whether to go ahead or turn around and asked us to go on ahead.        We did,   but continued to keep them in our rear view mirror, in case they got into trouble.

here they come!

At one point the road dipped sharply down into a  wet wash and climbed straight up the other side in very deep sand.      We waited at the top to be ready to help if necessary.    The driver was either pretty good - or - lucky because he gunned it, roared down into the wash, and right up the opposite bank.....

Alrighty then!     We didn't see them again and hope they enjoyed their time on this beautiful road.

Here are a few more pictures of our explorations, in between the rain drops.....

beautiful but poisonous Datura

silty San Juan River

 We found an interesting road at the base of the top of Comb Ridge.    We came upon it from a dirt track across from the little, relatively unused Bluff airport.     We decided we'd just take the dirt road as far as Dave felt comfortable, having just had some serious rain the previous day.    If the terrain turned to mud or became washed out, we'd turn around.        The red dirt and slick rock were wet but not a propblem.

slick slick rock

Surprisingly we came upon the end of a previously paved road.....Did we follow to see where it went?   Yes we did.

weeds and grasses grew up in the pavement

We came to the other end of the pavement and a humped up berm of dirt.....Evidently the road had gone all the way through to route 163 (we could see it in the distance) but had become washed out and abandoned.


see the Jeep?

We got out and walked down the wash out marveling at the beautiful smooth colors in the rocks ahead.

see Dave walking down the washout toward rt. 163 ahead?

Rain began to fall harder so we decided to leave the wash before it became difficult.     What a cool find!  

One last day we drove out to an overlook near the campground.    The road up and at the overlook itself seemed to be relatively dry, my zeal to see the views I stepped directly into what just looked like darker dirt.    It was MUD, deep mud and I sunk in over my shoe.     I had to hop back to the car, one footed!    Ah well.

Back home Lewis was waiting for us.....

Tonight we're at Moore's RV Park in Bloomfield, New Mexico.     We're trying to watch the season premier of "The Rookie" but if a car moves past Beluga our TV looses signal and, right now, a lovely couple has pulled their truck in front of our site to do their laundry.     UGH!


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Red Rock Fun in Moab

 We moved south from Torrey Utah to one of our favorite spots, Moab.     We've spent a fair amount of time there, but it never seems to be enough.     This time we're staying at Spanish Trails RV Park a little south of "town".     In the past, we always found a spot at The Portal, just a little north, near Arches National Park.

happy hour at site 509

Spanish Trails is more of a campground and The Portal is really an RV resort but we've been happy in both.     Management at Spanish Trails was very friendly and happily moved people around in order to extend our stay a day or two to allow Dave a bit more tweeking on the big repair that began in Spokane.

 The weather was up and down during our stay.    Dramatic skies and rain one minute, sunny and hot the next.

Moab was very busy.  Very busy.   We were happy we were staying outside of town, and we were glad there was plenty of real estate to explore where we wouldn't have to deal with tour buses, caravans of Jeeps and side by sides and mountain bikes (battery or otherwise). 


 We managed to have a meal at our favorite Quesadilla Mobilla Food Truck one late afternoon and found delicous Thai  just off the main drag for another meal.    Of course, we made several stops at Sweet Cravings for - you know - our sweet cravings.      After our  quesadilla linner we walked around and checked out some of the stores, looking for bargan tee shirts or hats.      Interesting murals, too many people, ugh.

misters on high at Quesadilla Mobilla

 This cool cat was on the side of a car wash next to the City Market.   Hmmmmm, speaking of grocery stores....(City Market is one of the two grocery stores in town).....have you ever seen this type of grape before?

They are  called "Moon Drops" and are extremely crisp and sweet.    We've only seen these black beauties in Moab and we're now hooked on them.   Withdrawal imminent, hooked.

This Big Horn Sheep mural was on the side of the Moab Brewing Company.   The closer we got to it the more the sheep disappeared.  As we backed away, we could see it.   Neat!  

So, here are some pictures of our red rock explorations.    Such beautiful and dramatic scenery.   No reservations required for al fresco lunch either!     Sometimes Lewis joins us and sometimes he stays home and holds down the bed - the importance of which is underrated says he....

into the canyon we went

one of the many small creek crossings

lunch in the shade

Although we were able to commune with nature in the solitary manner we love, we did pass 3 or 4 large encampments of what we later discovered were film crew sites.   That may explain why town was so very busy.    Evidently Kevin Costner is using the Moab area as one of several Utah sites for his new movie (s) about the westward expansion,

We passed an "indian" in full make up and loin cloth and two "western folks" also in full costume standing beside a horse trailer and a large tee pee village in the distance...sheesh.

We were very close to Arches National Park, a star in the system to be sure.    But, it has become so popular that an appointment/reservation system has been implemented to visit,  complete with two vehicle wide traffic jams along the entrance road.       One day we took Willow Springs Rd. (dirt, unimproved, grooved slick rock road) to access the park from it's interior.    We stopped for lunch near a line of dinosaur prints in the rock and joined the tourists near Balanced Rock.     Once again, I'm so thankful for our Jeep and a husband who loves driving the roads less traveled.

dinosaur foot print in the rock

entering Arches National Park

We're now in Bluff, Utah, we'll be here until Friday morning.     Stay tuned for our adventures in this tiny town in San Juan County.