THIS IS MONDAY’S POST COMING TO YOU FROM CAMERON ARIZONA & I HOPE TO GET MY POSTS ALL CAUGHT UP BY TUESDAY……If you missed Sunday’s post you can read it HERE:))
TWIN ROCKS CAFE BLUFF UTAH
It was 5 a.m. when Pheebs & I stepped out of the coach into an enchanted Moonlit landscape. Not a sound anywhere & one could almost hear the stars crackling.
JUST ABOUT READY TO HEAD OUT FOR ANOTHER DAY
The day dawned clear as we had ourselves a wee walk & chatted with a couple big black cows out by the old corral we were parked beside. We slowly rolled the big wheels down the short dirt lane & turned left through a big Utah mud puddle. Ten minutes later we were parked in an area in front of the Natural Bridges National Monument Visitor Center. It was 8 a.m. & the Center didn’t open till nine but no problem we just grabbed ourselves a brochure showing us the 9 mile driving loop & we were off.
EVEN THE SHADOW COWBOY MADE AN APPEARANCE THIS MORNING
We never saw a person or another vehicle all the way around the loop & what a bonus for us that was. We were once again in a very special place all by ourselves. There are 3 Natural Bridges to see & we did see all three. Very impressed with the way they have done the paths to the viewpoints. Wide concrete walkways which are also wheelchair accessible.
I LIKE HOW THE SCENIC LOOK-OUT WALKWAYS ARE WIDE & WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE
It wasn’t the best time of day to see the bridges because of late Autumn’s lower sun angle so early in the morning. Much of the canyon floors were still in deep shadow while the higher rims were in full morning sunshine. That kind of lighting does not make for good photos but I took some pictures anyway. Best photos of these natural bridges should be taken from right down in the canyons themselves & there are hiking trails leading down to them. Again this is a Park where one wants to spend a few days for sure.
OWACHOMO BRIDGE……..IT’S VERY HARD TO MAKE OUT THIS BRIDGE BUT IT’S THERE ON THE LEFT SIDE TOWARDS THE TOP
LIKED THIS LARGE STARMASTER 16.2” F3.2 NEWTONIAN TELESCOPE IN THE VISITOR CENTER WHICH IS USED FOR THEIR VISITOR’S STARRY NIGHT PROGRAMS
After dropping back into the Visitor Center when it opened we were once again on the road heading east to link up with highway 191 which would head us south down to Bluff Utah. Pheebs & I were in the lead with Kelly bringing up the rear. We knew we had a stretch of road ahead that was going to put the Big EEE to the test. Our ‘Mountain Directory West’ book had two warning notices flagged for this stretch of road. Five, six, & eight percent grades & I did see one yellow sign this morning warning of a 9% grade ahead. For diesel driver’s this may not be a big deal but for a 37 foot gasser it’s a struggle & it’s the reason we had decided long before hand not to tow the Jeep through this section. I was certainly glad we had made that decision. If your in long mountainous grades like that every pound counts & I can attest first hand to how important that is. In those grades this morning with Kelly following in the Jeep I was down into my lowest gears struggling at 25 mph to get up & over 3 of them. A few days ago we made a slight error when we decided to fill up our Jeeps gas tank in Green River before heading down highway 24 towards Capitol Reef. I noticed as soon as we pulled out onto the highway the difference it made in our pulling power. For diesel drivers maybe no problem but for gas drivers it’s a different bag of hammers.
Again the scenery was nothing short of spectacular as we wound our way along over hill & dale until we reached highway 191 & hung a right for Bluff Utah. We had decided to pull into the ‘Twin Rocks Café’ again & this was probably our 4th stop there in the past couple years. I like this place cause it’s just kinda neat & besides we remembered a Verizon internet signal was possible. But there was another reason….I just had me one mighty big hankerin for some bacon & eggs for a change. I had never been inside the Café before & this morning was it. The breakfast was totally excellent. Kelly had a ‘Shepherd Sandwich’ made with Fry Bread & said hers was excellent as well. Back in the rig we fired up our computers & stayed for about an hour catching up on things. I was able to begin publishing my post but it kept stopping so to make a long journey short I left my computer on & it finally finished publishing in Cameron Arizona about 5 hours later after many re-starts. Needless to say Verizon coverage is spotty in the area we traveled through today.
BLUFF UTAH & THIS IS ABOUT THE 4TH TIME WE HAVE STOPPED AT THIS LOCATION
TWIN ROCKS PATIO
VIEW FROM OUR TABLE INSIDE WITH THE RIG IN THE BACKGROUND
KELLY’S BECOMING QUITE THE BLACKBERRY PHOTOGRAPHER ON FACEBOOK
Finally leaving Bluff we again drove the Jeep & rig separate because being familiar with this route we knew we had some extremely steep grades just ahead in Medicine Hat. Not sure but there might be a 10% grade section climbing west out of Medicine Hat. Needless to say the rig struggled up at least a dozen grades before reaching Monument Valley where the landscape finally leveled out. But here’s the good news…..not once did the engine falter like our trip home last March. She was maybe slow but she worked hard & hauled us up every one of those steep grades. At one point on the east side of Monument Valley road crews had the road blocked halfway up a long grade. (they have finally re-paved this whole section of previously rough road) I thought ‘oh no’ I’m going to have start up hill from a dead stop. When traffic started moving again I manually shifted the rig from it’s lowest gears to it’s highest gears & we were on our way again:))
THIS IS ANOTHER MUST SEE & DO FOR ANYONE IN THE AREA, WE DROVE THROUGH HERE A COUPLE YEARS AGO
THIS ONE’S FOR YOU MIKE & PAT
SOON AS WE CROSS THIS BRIDGE IN MEXICAN HAT IT’S BASICALLY AN UP HILL BATTLE ALL THE WAY TO MONUMENT VALLEY
LITTLE DID I KNOW I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO COME TO A COMPLETE STOP HALF WAY UP THAT FAR GRADE
Planned to hook the Jeep back up at Arizona’s Monument Valley Visitor’s Center but with all the paving going on I missed the left turn. (we crossed the Arizona State line about 2 this afternoon) Saw some large buildings ahead & figuring they would have big parking lots for us to hook up in I turned right only too late seeing a sign saying it was a dead end road. First building was a school so didn’t want to go in there. Next building was a medical center so I took a chance & ventured into the parking lot hoping the road went around the building. It didn’t. Now I was in a pickle. Could I back my way through the turns I had just made coming in. Well yes I could but it would be my last option. Luckily there was a wide enough space between parked cars for me to back up & into then wiggle my way around to get myself faced back in the right direction. Quickly headed out of there & down the road to the Visitors center & hooked up the Jeep. We really hadn’t intended to drive the vehicles separate all the way from Capital Reef but it was a nice drive for Kelly in the Jeep & she enjoyed the freedom of just getting out there & driving through the mountains all by herself.
MAYBE NOT THE BEST PHOTO BUT DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BEST STATES:))
“ARE WE THERE YET DAD”
Remainder of our journey for the day was rather uneventful as we rolled south to Kayenta then hung a right hand turn & bucked a gusting head wind all the way to Tuba City. Figured maybe we could find a boondocking spot there for the night but we didn’t particularly care for the town so kept on going. I remembered a little place called Cameron Arizona where we had been through a few times before & it was Cameron where we found a spot for the night tucked in beside a gift shop next to the Conoco gas station. In the morning we will make our way down to Congress Arizona & our little adobe home away from home. And I must say we sure are looking forward to getting there & I’m also looking forward to getting my posts caught up to date finally. Areas without an internet connection sure can mess up a daily Blogger’s routine:))
- I tried to catch fog yesterday,
- Parallel lines have so much in common. It’s a shame they’ll never meet.
- My wife accused me of being immature.
I told her to get out of my fort.
- What do you call a woman on the arm of a banjo player?
- I called a psychic once. She asked who was on the line, so I hung up.
Know exactly what you mean. We were down that neck of the woods a few years ago when we had our 37 foot Fleetwood gasser. We did the same thing, unhooked the car and gave the rig a break. Still struggled up some of those grades. Could have walked faster I think. It's just awesome down there, so beautiful. So glad though that we have the 5th wheel with the big diesel F350. Diesel really does make a huge difference. Drive safe.ReplyDelete
We passed thru this exact area about a month ago, returning to So-Cal from Colorado. Our 32' Bounder gasser was fine as long as our Liberty was detached. Your experiences when hitched are the same as the rest of us "gassers". I often wonder if a Banks turbo setup would make a big difference. BTW, the road crew was there a month ago as well.ReplyDelete
Love this area I had to bypass it on my recent trip due to time constraints but will certainly be back Lovely photos! Did you know the owners of the Twin Peaks Trading Post have a blog Steve is quite a good writer and you may enjoy his insights & stories.ReplyDelete
We know about the gasser (ours is 36 feet), in the mountains, another reason why we have not travelled that route and like you said every pound makes a difference. We have disconnected our car a few times, but its still a hard climb.ReplyDelete
Even more in awe, thank you.ReplyDelete
We stayed at a great BLM park near Bluff called Sand island. Gave us easy access drives to Goosenecks (a must see) and surrounding areas!ReplyDelete
We saw Natural Bridges a couple of years ago. Fantastic scenery out there.ReplyDelete
We so have a diesel in our GMC and Den also put a "programmer' in the engine, which gives it extra horsepower...We took it out West a couple times, but never came into AZ from the North, always the West in Texas, so we missed those steep grades..We did get into a few sandstorms on I-10 however..not fun. Loved the pictures of that area!!ReplyDelete
How nice to have Natural Bridges all to yourselves. Bill and I actually met two people using those excellent accessible trails there. That spot in Cameron looks better than the RV park across from the trading post for $15/night. I'm sure you'll be glad to see the Congress home.ReplyDelete
Those are really some fantastic places!ReplyDelete
Looking forwrd to your posts every evening! Glad the trip has gone well.ReplyDelete
I agree with Gaelyn above, Cameron Trading Post RV Park isn't a very nice spot to stay. I was there a little over a year ago when heading north to Montana. When you parked by the Conaco did they charge you?ReplyDelete
At first they wanted $10 but after Kelly chatted up the manager a bit he let us stay for free:))Delete
Nice, when I come through there next time I'm going to check it out. ThanksDelete
Nice, when I come through there next time I'm going to check it out. ThanksDelete