Monday, April 07, 2014

GOOSENECKS STATE PARK NEAR MEXICAN HAT UTAH TO CORTEZ COLORADO WITH ANOTHER GREAT JEEP SCRAMBLE THROWN IN:))

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(THIS IS MONDAY’S APRIL 7TH POST)

How nice to have temperatures warm enough not to have to run our furnace in the night.  Only a bit to take the morning chill off.  How quiet & still the air at GOOSENECKS STATE PARK as sunrise broke in the East harkening another great day.  A Pheeber walk, a few more pics of the deeply shadowed Goosenecks & we had the wheels rolling about 8:10.  And we didn’t have far to go.

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A 300mm TELEPHOTO SHOT FROM GOOSENECKS OF THE SPIRES IN MONUMENT VALLEY MILES AWAY TO THE SOUTH

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WASHROOMS AT GOOSENECK STATE PARK & MILE 0 ON THE PAVED ROAD LEADING OUT

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HEADING OUT GOOSENECKS ROAD ABOUT 8:10 MOUNTAIN TIME THIS MORNING

Had heard good things about VALLEY OF THE GODS in the area so that is right where we headed.  Took us about 20 minutes to get there & we entered the East entrance off highway 163.  Wouldn’t recommend this entrance for parking your RV while you took your other vehicle through the Valley.  Managed to get the Jeep unhooked & the rig turned around but just barely.   Much easier to leave your RV at the Western entrance off highway 261.  Big turn around parking lot there to drop your rig & head off on the 17 mile scenic drive through Valley of the Gods.  Although the roads are good there are a few gully whumps & tight turns on the western half of the Valley so wouldn’t recommend taking an RV through from the West side unless it is a truck camper, Class B, or maybe a smaller 23’ Class C.  However, from the East entrance where we went in one can take in an RV for about the first 7 or 8 miles.  But scout it out first to see if your rig will do it.  No problem for our 26’ Class C had we wanted to head in.  Only reason we unhooked is because we did not know what was ahead of us. 

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A NICE EASY DRIVABLE ROAD ALL THE WAY THROUGH

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THIS IS CALLED THE 7 SAILORS & THEY ARE COMPLETE WITH SAILOR CAPS

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We locked & left Winnie just off the dirt road near the East entrance & headed off with the Jeep.  Right off the bat we saw this was a Boondockers paradise & how much nicer the drive than that bad road in Monument Valley.  Road was graveled, smooth, & obviously maintained.  Made me mad when I thought back to that bone jarring drive we had just been on the day before.  No excuse why that road could not be maintained in better condition as well.  Especially with a world class place like that.  They obviously sank all their money into a high class fancy Hotel complex at the entrance with no thought of the bad road people have to endure to see the  monuments.

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THIS IS WHERE WE LEFT THE WINNIE WAGON WHILE WE JEEPED THROUGH THE VALLEY

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I WILL POST MORE VALLEY OF THE GODS PHOTOS WHEN WE GET BACK TO ONTARIO

Back to Valley Of The Gods.  What a marvelous place this is with it’s own towering rock Monoliths rivaling Monument Valley.  And it’s just a few miles further north.  If someone could only do one of these 2 drives I would for sure recommend they do Valley Of The Gods over Monument Valley.  It’s free, great roads, & more to see.  Plus can get much closer to the gigantic rock formations.  Lots of places to pull over for photos & you don’t have to beat the hell out of your vehicle or your aging body.  Again, I will not try to describe to you what we saw in our drive through Valley Of The Gods today.  I will let my photos attempt to do that.

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We have definitely put Valley Of The Gods on our ‘A’ list to return someday & boondock there.  No crowding & with each unofficial large site the views are spectacular & go on for miles & miles.  Only saw one Boondocker on the whole drive & what a great spot they had for their medium sized Travel Trailer.  There are Jeep roads running off the main road as well so for sure we will be back there one day to spend a week or so in this marvelous place.

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THE ONLY BOONDOCKER IN THE WHOLE VALLEY & WHAT A GREAT THEY GOT

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WHEN WE COME BACK SOME DAY THIS IS THE SPOT WE WANT

This whole South-Eastern portion of Utah has always been one of my favorite areas & how nice these past couple days to have seen a wee bit more of it.  The scenery here just goes on forever if one can just make & take the time to relax, enjoy, & take it all in.   If you are an outdoors person & love some of the best scenery Mother Nature has to offer then come on out here to the West & have yourself a look around at places like Bryce & Zion Canyons, The Arches, Canyonlands, Cedar Breaks, Capital Reef National Park, Hovenweep, Grand Staircase, & the list just goes on & on. 

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CAN YOU SEE THE EGYPTIAN MAN’S PROFILE IN THE RIGHT HAND PHOTO?

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LADY SITTING IN A TUB FACING RIGHT WITH HER FEET STICKING UP

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ABOUT THE ONLY OTHER PERSON WE SAW IN 2 HOURS WAS THIS LADY WITH A CAMERA

We spent a couple hours in Valley Of The Gods & exited at the west entrance.  Didn’t take us long to drive our way back around on highways 261 & 163 to where we had left the Jeep.  Hooked up & headed off in the direction of Cortez Colorado.  Picked up some gas in Bluff Utah then headed south through Aneth & Montezuma Creek to meet up with highway 160 again.  Remember that is the highway we took through Tuba City & on up to Kayenta where we deaked up to Monument Valley.  Reason for coming down through Montezuma Creek was to have us a look at that touristy photo opp place, Four Corners.  Like thousands of others I figured we might as well get a photo there while we’re in the area.  But………it was not to be!!

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Soon as we pulled off highway 160 at the Four Corners site I spotted a booth ahead of us & sure enough the sign said $5 per person to drive into the commercially run complex.  No way Jose were we paying just to take a picture of ourselves at the Four Corners.  (this is where the States of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, & New Mexico all meet)  We didn’t even stop at the pay booth but made a wide U-turn around it & hustled our buns right on out of there toote sweet.

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WE WEREN’T GOING IN THERE & PAYING $10 JUST TO TAKE A PICTURE

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WE SWUNG WAY AROUND THE TOLL BOTH & BOOGIED OURSELVES RIGHT OUT OF THERE

Headed north to Cortez & figured we would go on up to MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK & have ourselves a look around.  Pulled into a rest area first to give Pheebs a break.  It was here that I turned on my computer, saw we had internet, & published my Sunday post.

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HEADING FOR CORTEZ COLORADO

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MOTORING THROUGH DOWNTOWN CORTEZ

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DOGGY WALK IN A REST AREA NEAR MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

Mesa Verde was only another 3 miles or so East.  Pulled in & headed for the Visitor Center.  Well the Park isn’t into full swing for the season yet so what we could see & do there was very limited.  The ruins are 25 miles from the Visitor Center so we had a decision to make.  Drive 25 miles in, take a few photos of the ruins, & then drive 25 miles back out?  We decided we will someday pass this way again when the Park is fully open & we can spend some time here.  Maybe a guided tour.  So with that thought in mind we backtracked into Cortez.

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KELLY HEADS INTO THE MESA VERDE VISITOR CENTER >>>

Had spotted a Walmart on our way through Cortez so figured that would be our stop for the night.  Besides I was needing a rare people fix & stroll though Walmart looking at all the Walmartians always puts me right back into place with the human race.  I’m sure I qualify quite well with the Walmartians so I guess that is where my comfort fix comes in.

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We plan to be in Bayfield tomorrow morning.  BAYFIELD COLORADO that is.  We will continue following highway 160 East.  No idea where we will finish up our day Tuesday but we are hoping to get ourselves up & over the mountains.  It will be cold at the higher altitudes we will be traveling so do not plan to Boondock anywhere.  I’m thinking I might just end up with a lot of snowy mountain photos.  We may have internet Tuesday night or we may not.  I’m guessing we will begin our journey across the Plains Wednesday morning.

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GROANER’S CORNER:((  While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my four-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds.  She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs.  One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

19 comments:

  1. Nearly crossed paths,you are now heading east, and we are heading south into my dream destination....UTAH to see and experience all the wonders I have read about for so long. Safe journeys...

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  2. Before I saw your caption of the seven sailors I was thinking the seven dwarfs had gotten squished! :)

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  3. Beautiful pictures Al! I fell in love with Utah last year and can hardly wait to return!

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  4. Wonderful pictures, Al. We too loved Valley of the Gods and recommend by-passing Monument Valley. I think the Indians keep that road nearly impassable because tourists pay big bucks to ride in the jeeps of tour guides.

    We paid the $$$ to get the 4-corners pictures...ha ha! Hey, we got to see some Indian jewelry too!

    Have a great trip and be safe!

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  5. You are getting to enjoy some nice scenery along the way, thanks for sharing those great photos again.

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  6. Beautiful scenery! We've driven the Monument Valley road now 3x, with all its bumps and ruts. Hubby loves to see where all the John Ford directed movies were filmed. It's one of his favorite places.
    Cheryl Ann

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  7. If you're staying on 160 east, there is a Walmart in Alamosa, Co with a big RV friendly parking lot.
    I'm looking forward to your photos of Wolf Creek Pass, still lots of snow up there. My summer homebase is in South Fork, Co.

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  8. Love to see your photos.
    We agree with you on Monument Valley. Our first visit was the best. That was before the Natives build that ugly hotel.
    We camped on a rugged campground for a small fee, on the spot where the hotel is now located. At that time we had a marvellous view of the towers and fingers, great sunset, quietness.
    Now it is like a circus. We were in shock when we came back several years ago. NEVER AGAIN will I go there. They destroyed the place! All commerce. Very sad.

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  9. We spent eight days in Bluff, Utah and made the Valley of the Gods tour twice. A very cool drive. Bluff has a great breakfast stop where they make heavenly blue pancakes and a restaurant that makes wonderful Navajo Pizza. RV Sue turned us on to these places. You could very busy boondocking in the area. We need to return to finish hiking the Indian ruins in all the canyons in the area. Amazing ruins!

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  10. We loved that area except the cowboy was not too fond of Gooseneck State Park!

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  11. How great to be able to take your time getting home...We pretty much zoomed through Arkansas and Missouri...and I KNOW Arkansas has lots of great scenery!..Love the pictures!!!

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  12. Your photos and description of your trip make it all the more exciting! Beautiful country! Travel safely!

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  13. Couldn't agree with you more about Valley of the Gods. I first camped there in 1996 in my pickup truck with a sleeping bag in the back. Later went in with my friend and her coachman class b, and then for several years we camped there in her 17 foot fifth wheel pulled by the dodge ram. My friend passed away a few years ago, but the many years that we shared Valley of the Gods for long boondocks and amazing campfires will be treasured memories. Mo has yet to see it because I didn't think we could get tour current 26 foot rig back there. Now I know we can! I had forgotten about the east side entrance road. When I went to 4 Corners, there wasn't a charge. What a rip off! not worth a dime, much less ten bucks! it is just a political boundary for pete's sake, nothing really on the landscape at all.

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  14. Al, next time you are in the Goosenecks/Valley of the Gods area, you need to drive up the Moki Dugway and out the Muley Point Overlook Rd. Its free and you are not likely to see many other people just like Valley of the Gods. It is very close so it doesn’t take long either. However, allow some time to enjoy and shoot. The photographic opportunities are endless. My post on October 26, 2011 shows some shots of the area. I noticed we paid $3 each to take our picture at Four Corners. You probably would have been frustrated with the process though as when we were there, it was difficult to get a photo without others in it and some people just butted in. Rude people don’t make my day!

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  15. Adding this on here... Maybe you will see it, maybe you are passed.... Maybe you went around... Kansas has high wind warnings all over the state tomorrow!!! That's WEDNESDAY! Travel safe!

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  16. One of our favorite places and the photos don't do it justice, you really just have to go to the Valley of the Gods.

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  17. Thank you again Al great info on some really super spots. I have already marked those in Streets & Trips for future reference.
    Be sure to allow time at Mesa Verde next time you are there, you will not be disappointed.

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  18. Thanks Al (& Kelly). We've added Valley of the God's to our a-list. Great job! Goosenecks too!

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  19. Great write up. Sure glad I visited 4 Corners almost 40 years ago when there was absolutely nothing there except a place to stand in all 4 states and a mangy dog, for free.

    Too bad Mesa Verde wasn't in full swing but you're right about trying again. It's awesome.

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