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!



  1. We had not been to Bluff in many years, a few weeks ago the first time in the RV. We stayed at Cadillac Ranch, as they advertised high-speed WiFi. Not impressed with the WiFi, but very nice restrooms and showers. Note to self ... Coral Sands next time :)
    We too noticed the lack of traveler services, but did not think to link it to Covid. Bet that is why such a great location is now just hanging on.
    BTW - Great shirt Dave!

    1. Coral Sands is a little quirky, but the sites are wide and level, the owners extremely nice and the wifi good. Cottonwood RV looks decent also but was filled with a Fantasy Tour while we were in town.

  2. Lots of memories brought back by your post Sue! Hope you were able to resurrect your shoe! Love the sleeping Lewis photo.

    1. I rode home barefoot, but as usual, Dave came to the rescue and the shoe is now back to usable condition!

  3. It’s Gay…another great stop and fun adventures. It’s sad to read how the little town has suffered the past few years. What a really cute picture of sweet Lewis.

  4. Bluff was just making it before Covid. I'm not surprised places closed down. Their clientele was already sparse in town. Poor Bluff. The area is just a wealth of history. I hope it makes a comeback. You found some wonderful spots to explore surrounded by beauty. Good to know your shoe survived!

  5. Jodee Gravel9/28/22, 8:19 AM

    As I was reading about the closures I was hoping you were going to say the blue corn pancakes were still there - bummed we never got to have them and now never will :-( Can't get enough of the beautiful red rock and am loving all your great pics. The faded moon over the monument is awesome. One has to see it in the rain to appreciate why it's called slick rock! Those surprise adventures down washes and old roads are the best. Glad Dave saved the shoe :-) Lew's nap pic is priceless.

    1. Keep the faith....I think Twin Rocks still has blue corn pancakes! Yes, bumbling about on old roads and washes is what I love best, especially in the red rock areas!

  6. We've always stayed at Cadillac Ranch, and I always think of John calling it "Chevy Ranch." LOL. Is Coral Sands as quirky as Cadillac Ranch? We love Bluff, but have always used it as a base for exploring and hiking Cedar Mesa and never frequented the restaurants (other than once having a beer at Twin Rocks). I'm sorry to hear that the town has suffered so much from the effects of COVID. It seems like every place we've been this last few months in the Great Lakes we're finding either places that have shut down or have significantly limited hours. And every business seems to be desperately searching for people to work! Crazy times. Glad we all can still find respite in nature! Love your variety of photos from vast scenic landscapes to the smallest details.

    1. Quirky in that I wonder what it was "before".....a number of small, corrugated metal bldgs. scattered around the sites. Really friendly couple who have owned it for 4 years....wide, private and level sites. I love being out in nature, seeing the grandeous landscapes, listening to the silence and noticing the tiny little things at my feet. I hate to miss anything!

    2. Me too!! I don't want to miss anything! 💕💕

  7. Blue corn pancakes! I'll be searching for a recipe post haste, those sound delicious. It's always nice to be so enthusiastically greeted when you get home after a long day of fabulous exploring :D

    1. They are delicious, both in taste and looks! Give Lew a break, he's an old man......