Oh what fun

I am going to have so much fun when I return home and get the HeartLand RoadTour Rewind images up on a good computer screen where I can see and edit them. 

Homework

The thought just hit me that when I return home from the Heartland RoadTour Rewind it’ll take days and days to sort through photographs. 

Ever changing scenery of Utah

Early morning on a highway from nowhere to someplace else. 


I love the mornings. Always have! In addition to giving me time to enjoy a new day, the light is awesome for photography. 

I can’t wait to get this image into the computer and make some subtle tweaks. 

This was on the edge of Capitol Reef National Park On Utah highway 24. 

Utah is a big state. 

It’s large and geographically diverse enough to have some crazy differences in weather. 

Day before yesterday I was in the extremely warm and arid high desert. Today I’m in the middle latitudes and elevations and it’s cool and humid (relatively);). 


Yikes. Back down to the low 30 the next couple nights. 

Oops. 

Drove to Canyonlands National Park today. To be precise, I drove to Squaw Flats campground at the Needles District of Canyonlands. I went past Arches and Moab thinking I’d hit them on my way back north. It was about a 175 mile trip. 

When I arrived, the campground was already full. Quite a few of the campers were scheduled to leave in the morning so I drove to Hamburger Rock Campground on BLM land outside Canyonlands to look for a place for tonight. I’d hoped the road was good and I’d find a campsite when I arrived. 

The road was ok. Washboard the whole way but passable. No sites we’re available there either. Or at least none that weren’t mud. 

I turned back and went to Canyonlands visitor center to grab maps and a bite to eat for the dog and myself. After a nice lunch in the RV, I decided to drive closer to Moab and look for a place to crash for the night. 

Huh??? When I turned the key, the motor turned over but didn’t start. I turned the key off and then tried again. This time it started. 

But the check engine light was on.   I keep a scanner attached to the computer port so I can monitor temperatures, engine load, etc.. I looked for a code and found P0335. Oh oh. Problems with the crankshaft position sensor. 

While it’s running ok, I know it failed once and I know the computer made note of it. I’ve already been traveling on some long lonely roads but I’m heading into Wyoming soon. I sure don’t need to break down there. 

I found a shop in Salt Lake and spoke with the service writer. They have the sensor and can squeeze me in tomorrow. So, I turned around and drove another 200 miles north to Price Utah. I’ve found a quiet (I hope) parking lot to get some sleep and will drive another couple hours to Salt Lake early in the A. M.  

Hopefully we’ll get in an out without too much damage. It’s going to wreck my budget but I’d like as little damage as possible. 

Is this when I should point out that donate button there on the page you have on your screen? You bet it is. Every penny helps. And thank you. 

Oh one more observation. You know all those funny jokes you see about Walmart customers?  Utah hasn’t many walmarts but I’m certain that the few they do, set the bar for the rest. Yikes!

A freshness exists. 

It surrounds me. It’s in the air and each breath I take makes me want to hurry toward the next. The air has a cleanliness to it that reminds me of diving face first into a bed with fresh laundered sheets. Ones that were hung on a clothesline for the sun to dry. 

Perhaps that’s it. The sun! It seems the desert sun has cleansed both the surface and the air. Maybe it’s the absence of humans. . . or any mammals for that matter. 

Sitting outside watching the moon set and dawn begin while sipping my coffee and breathing this sweet desert air was especially pleasant this morning. 

Contrast

Wow. I doubt there’s 25 miles distance between these two places. But, there’s almost 3,000 feet difference in altitude and a good 25 degrees in temperature. Oh, and zero bars of AT&T to 4 bars. 

We’re right outside Escalante Utah. 

Yesterday I drove up a rough dirt road ( 12 miles beyond where the pavement ended), climbing the whole way into the mountains above Escalante. We found a poorly maintained campground in the Dixie National Forest at Posey Lake. The water was out of commission. The vault toilets were clean however. 

It was worth the drive! This small lake is beautiful. It is hidden at 8,600 feet in a small valley (holler) about 1500 feet below the peak of the mountain. Yep, there was snow on the ground. 


Actually it wasn’t all that cold. I didn’t need the heater or two extra blankets I used the previous 3 nights. 

I shot all the pictures I thought I needed so I broke camp this morning and coasted downhill for 12 miles. 

6 miles to the southwest of Escslante is Hole In The Rock Road. I have it on good faith that if I venture more than a couple miles down this dirt road, the contents of the cabinets will be on the floor. 

Not far down the road is a favorite free camping spot for travelers. Since it is on that 3,000 square mile chunk of land known as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, all you need to camp for free is that pink copy of the free permit you can pick up at any number of visitor centers. 

We’re here, solar panel is out and were enjoying 25 degree warmer weather. 


Oh oh. The dog discovered cactus. Ouch she said. 

For most of the next couple weeks we’ll be in the desert.  I wonder if that horse ever had a name. 

Cheers. 

2 weeks on the road…

Dog and I are 2 weeks on the road. We’ve traveled through 10 states, crossed and crossed again the largest rivers and climbed over the tops of some of the highest mountain peaks in the country.

Wow!

Each state has its own unique terrain, people and culture. We’re in Utah at the moment and most likely will be for the next couple weeks. Utah is huge and hugely diverse.

Today, dog and I are at Bryce Canyon. Holy cow! Tourists are everywhere. I see the attraction and am blowing the budget by staying 2 days at the Bryce Canyon National Park’s Sunset campground rather than a BLM free, off the road site.

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Bryce Canyon is just too big to see in one day. By staying in the campground I can hop a park shuttle to where ever I want. The dog can chill in the RV while I do all the hiking. She’s getting a bit long in the tooth to tackle long walks or hikes even though she wants to.

Cheers.

Parked on your land in Utah. 

Dog and I are camping (well off the grid) in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. 2,938 square miles of wide open space in Utah.

Did you know that as opposed to a National Park, a National Monument can’t have improvements. You know, stuff like paved roads, buildings or facilities.

So, we are out here on our own in the red dirt, junipers and sagebrush of Utah.

I like it!

To date (12 days), we’ve driven 2519 miles and used 139 gallons of diesel fuel. At an average of $2.10/gallon I don’t want to do the arithmetic. I’ll wait for my American Express bill to surprise me.  Commercial Break – let me point out that DONATE button over there. Every penny you wish to chip in is appreciated.

Of those 12 days, we’ve only been somewhere with water and electricity twice. Still, I’ve enjoyed hot showers daily, ice in my cocktails and good meals. Heck, we’ve even watched a little broadcast television. I can only take a little of that however.

So here we are. The solar panel is out taking advantage of this bright Utah sunshine, AT&T has made some serious improvements since my last trip out this way, I have 4 bars of 4g and the dog and I are enjoying the peace and quiet.

Here are a couple shots of our camping site.


Cheers.

From the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains. 

Yesterday was a long drive. We left Brush Colorado up in the North East and drove to Cortez Colorado down in the South West corner. The 4 Corners area to be exact.

It was a 505 mile drive which at 50 to 60 mph with a couple pit stops took 13 hours. Whew!

Seeing the land gradually transition from plains to mountains is awesome. Not awesome as in “totally awesome dude” but AWESOME!

Each time I travel long distances in our country I am awestruck at the vast diversity of both the land and its people. Our people.


I drove across miles of flat land that appeared to go on forever.

Then I saw the mountains.

Then I crossed some mountains. I crossed at two passes. La Veta was one (9,415 feet) and Wolf Creek (10,835 feet).

WOW!