Monday, June 30, 2014

Moab to John Day, Oregon

Day Three was a lot of driving and not much of anything to talk about. We did stop just short of Salt Lake for lunch and you may not be able to guess where.

I'm sure a certain member of the Platt family will know......

After shopping and lunch, we decided to push on to Twin Falls, Idaho in an attempt to shorten the next day's drive.

The first rain we had on the trip was this day!

The potato fields of Idaho

We did our first ever Walmart boondock and, I have to say, I will have to stop dissing Walmart so much after this! We were able to replenish some groceries and have a place to sleep for free by using their parking lot. Up and off the next morning for another, not so much long as boring, drive into the center of the eastern part of Oregon.

Right after we crossed into Oregon, we checked Gas Buddy and saw that diesel was being posted at $3.72 . Having run down to half a tank, we decided to fill it up while we could get a good price. For those of you that don't know, in Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own gas. So we thought $3.72 and having someone else do the work was a pretty good deal. Not! We learned that that price was "with PUC", some kind of discount accorded to truckers. Talk about a grumpy old man – Sid discovered the real price of $4.03 when he went to pay! He asked if they had an AARP discount, a military discount or a senior discount! The cashier was not amused, but the people in line behind him were rolling on the floor with laughter!

Anyway, after filling up, we pushed on through the "mountains" (highest elevation was, I think, 5277) into (put what this valley's name is here). It looks very much like Colorado!

Knowing me, if I were dropped into this place, I would think it WAS Colorado and never find my way home! The big surprise of the day was when we got to John Day and arrived at our campsite. Clyde Holliday State Park is an oasis in the high desert. Our site is so private, with wonderful smelling bushes on one side and greenery on the other. The only downside is the mosquitoes! Been a long time since we've had to deal with those! The John Day river runs through the campground, so, of course, Sid had to drop a line this evening – the first of the trip.

 Up tomorrow is meeting our daughter-in-law's parents. We're looking forward to it, then off to Portland for the first of the children visits! I hope you keep reading – you never know what adventures might pop up!

Arches National Park and Canyonlands

An early start was needed because we had a lot of ground to cover in our one day in Moab. Even still,in there was a line to get into Arches National Park.

We had gotten a little glimpse of the area on our drive into Moab yesterday, but the drama that is Arches started almost immediately upon entry into the park. Driving up a switchback just inside took us up several hundred feet and the beauty began. I'm not a great photographer and can in no way compete with the multitudes of beautiful photos that already exist of this national treasure, so I'm just going to post a few of our particular favorites.

One of the views from the visitor center

We spent about a half a day driving all the way through the park and back. Leaving, we decided that we'd go next to Canyonlands, since we've always heard about it. It was very different from Arches, but stunning in a different way. My pictures in no way represent its' beauty.

Sheer cliff

Green River Valley

Islands in the sky

Very interesting how they build fences with essentially dead tree trunks

I'm constantly amazed at how beautiful and vast our country is, from coast to coast, in entirely different ways. I can only imagine what people from other countries think when they tour ours.

That pretty much wrapped up our day, with a desire to return to this area. There is so much to do and so many different ways to see Moab, we will definitely plan to make it a destination again.

Next stop, John Day, Oregon!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Canon City to Moab, UT

Our trip started earlier than planned – prior to 6 am.! What was I thinking?! Needless to say, there wasn't much conversation leaving Canon. But soon the sun was up, the truck was running smoothly and we were on our way!

Blue Mesa was much higher than the last time we were here.  Maybe the drought in Colorado is easing!

Blue Mesa 2012
Blue Mesa 2014

We made it to Grand Junction and stopped there for gas. Then it was on to Utah.

The plan had been to leave I70 just after entering the state and take Hwy 128 to Moab. After looking at the map again, we discovered that there was a little bit of road colored gray. The legend indicated that we should “check local conditions” for gray roads. This did not sound good, so we planned to go on to Hwy 191 and take the main highway to Moab. However, when we got to Cisco, Sid, at the last moment, decided to turn off the highway. And we are glad that he did! This way into Moab takes a little longer but follows the Colorado River all the way and is beautiful!

Rafters on the Colorado River

If we had not made that last minute decision, we would have missed one of the most beautiful drives so far on the trip. Score one for Sid!

Once we got to Moab, we doubted the GPS for a few minutes as it took us through a residential area and many twists and turns to our campground for the next two nights. When we saw the sign for the place, it was in front of a really shabby looking trailer park! We turned in anyway, wondering just what kind of place we had booked.

Pack Creek Campground and RV Park was very nice, if a little dusty. The amenities were unbelievable. For only $20 per night, we were treated to water, electric, free showers (including soap and shampoo), a beautiful little creek and very friendly people! It's definitely off the path, but all the other campgrounds in the area were going for more than double what we paid.

Everything in the park had quaint, hand carved signs and the current owner (as of 6 months ago) was very busy working on improvements. We will definitely go back and look forward to what it will be on down the line.

We settled in, cranked up the air conditioner (it was 102 degrees!) and went to bed early in anticipation of our day of touring in the morning.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Long awaited Update!

Well, it's been quite a while since I last posted and a few things have changed.  We now have a 27 ft. travel trailer - still plenty of room for living, but a bit short on storage - and we have downsized almost to the point of being ready to put the house on the market.  But first, we are going to be traveling to Oregon, with stops on the way, to visit our sons for about a month and a half.  So, if you already  follow by email, new posts will soon be coming your way.  If you don't follow by email, sign up on the side of the blog and you'll never miss an exciting post! (Ha!)  Anyway, we're leaving in 5 short days on Wednesday, so I'll be entertaining you all soon!