Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Valley of the Gods, BLM, Utah

The Valley of the Gods, is Bureau of Land Management area.  The Valley of the Gods is sometimes called the little monument valley. 

 There is a 17 mile dirt road going through it and I have read of many bloggers and other campers dry camping along this dirt road so we thought we'd give it a try.  I had read that entering the valley from the Bluff, UT side was a good way to go so that is what we tried.  Well we did manage to make the turn off the main road onto the dirt road but that is when things took a turn for the worse. The road was narrow and crossed a creek which had some water in it.   Luckily there was a man in a pickup parked there while his wife was taking pictures and also lucky there was a fairly large turnaround area.  Let's remember I'm 31 feet long and that's not counting the tow hitch and car.  I pulled up to ask the man what he thought about me driving in and he just shook his head no.  He said that there were some very tight turns and he didn't think we could make them.  So I unhitched the car, (because with the car hooked up behind the rv I can't back up, it's not good for the hitch and the car seems to develop a mind of its own), and had enough room to turn the rv around and then hooked the car back up.  That's when we decided to go to Gooseneck State park.  After getting settled into our spot at Gooseneck we took the car and drove the 17 mile dirt road in the Valley of the Gods to see what it was like.  
(Sorry but I couldn't get this paragraph to left justify).

We started our drive from the other end of the dirt road and it starts out nice.  It's in good condition and wide enough for two cars to pass.  But about 7 miles in it gets very bad.  There are steep hills which bottom out in washes and then start right up the other side.  No way could we have done that.  I have a long wheel base and there are several places where I would have gotten centered high and a few places where I would have been stuck at the bottom.  To be fair entering from the Bluff end there are some very nice boondocking spots about 2 or 3 miles in and one could come back out the same way but I'm glad we didn't try it.  We did see several trucks with campers on them that did just fine and a few campervans as well.

We did have a nice drive through the valley in the Honda but we're glad we didn't try to take our expensive piece of rv equipment in.

Claret Cup cactus in bloom. 

San Rafael Prickly Poppies in bloom.

Evie and Joy

Prickly Poppies up close.

See you later.

Evie and Joy

Monday, May 23, 2016

Gooseneck State Park, Utah

On our way to Gooseneck SP, Utah, this highway goes on to Monument Valley which we will do in a few days.  That's Monument Valley way over there,  I used my big camera with its 40X zoom for this shot.

Gooseneck State Park, that's the beautiful San Juan River down there.

I was standing about 20 feet in front of the rv for the picture above this one.


Sunset and moon.

This tour bus pulled in around dinner time and I thought it was a little late to be out looking around.  The next time I looked out they were all set up for camping and fixing dinner.  It is a Green Tortoise Adventure tour.

A whole line of small tents set up for the night.

Evie and Joy

These are blooming all over the area.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Evening at Hovenweep Campground

This story will be in pictures only.

A note about my pictures.  Almost all of them are taken with my iPhone 6.  You are welcome to use any of them if you wish.  I take them for my pleasure and your as well.  If you're on an Apple device just touch and hold on the picture you wish to save and a menu will pop up asking what you want to do.  

Next post, on to Gooseneck State park, Utah.

Evie and Joy

This picture is of Sleeping Ute Mountain, CO.  Scroll down to see second picture which I took from the internet. 

"Sleeping Ute Mountain, which resembles a sleeping Indian with his headdress to the north (left). The legend is this was a Great Warrior God who helped fight against evil ones, and during the battle his feet formed the mountains and valleys".

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mesa Verde, Colorado

Mesa Verde National Park is in the southwest corner of Colorado.  To read all about it click here. We stayed at the campground in the park for three days, without any internet.  Boy is that hard for me because I rely on the web to keep in touch with friends and family.  Those were three long days. I'm just going to give you a few pictures to look at, the first two are from the internet.  The day we were there it was hazy and not the best picture taking light. To get to most of the ruins one needs to hike down the mountainside but we found some that even mom could get to.

 Cliff Palace dwellings

A blurry Square Tower

These ruins were easy for us to get to, so mom and I walked around them.

Some preservation going on here.  

There are a few plants blooming.  Not sure what this is.

A word about the campground and camping in the park.  First of all even though Mesa Verde is a National Park it is now run by the ARAMARK corp. and I don't think they are doing a very good job of it.  The campground was very unkempt, tall grass all around and generally not looking very nice.  Now for my next complaint,  There are 435 camping sites and the weekend we were there, there were maybe 50 campers.  That leaves a lot of empty sites. Why then do people find it necessary to park next to me with their monster 5th wheel and put their generator right next to my bedroom window? Really?  Good thing my house is on wheels and we can move somewhere else, but really.

Evie and Joy.

Hovenweep, Utah

From Mesa Verde we drove west to Hovenweep National Monument.  On the way we passed through Ismay, CO.

All that's left of Ismay, CO.

And we passed a herd of wild horses.

You can see they weren't to afraid of us.
  You see that momma pinto (a "pinto" is a horse with colored spots on a white background)
 with her baby behind of this fellow?

This is the best picture I got of them, very unusual color.
Sorry I had to crop most of this picture but see how cute that baby is.

Grey pinto with dark face and tail with brown and white baby.

Spring wildflowers along the road.

Two Round Towers

The Canyon Roses were in full bloom and the air was sweet with their perfume. 

A member of the penstamin family.

Next post will be about what happened after we settled into the Hovenweep campground.

Evie and Joy

Ship Rock, New Mexico, The Rock not the Town

Ship Rock, the Navajos call it, the rock with wings, is about 10 miles south of the town of Shiprock.  If you click here you will see a map of where it is and read all about it too.


Rock with one wing.

Wing and Rock from backside of wing.

Close-up of wing.

We parked the rv in an rv park in Kirkland, NM for two nights while we explored the area.  We revisited the Aztec Ruins on the beautiful San Juan River, and Ship Rock, the rock and the town.

Next post will cover our stay in Mesa Verde, Colorado.

Evie and Joy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Angel Peak, New Mexico

Last year when we went to Chaco Canyon we drove out to the Angle Peak camping area.  Angel Peak is off of New Mexico hwy 550, it's a really cool little place, so this year we went and spent one night there.  The campground is about four miles of dirt road which is in pretty good condition.  We were the only overnight campers there.  Nice and quiet and dark, just the way we like it.

About half way there.

There it is only a little ways more.

There it is, on the left, with snow capped mountains in Colorado way back there.

We had the best spot in the place.

Next post will be about Shiprock, New Mexico.  

Evie and Joy.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Returning to Lake Abiquiu, New Mexico

On NM 550.

Picture from internet.

We spent some time driving around the Ghost Ranch. Ghost Ranch is a ranch near the town of Abiquiu, New Mexico.  In the 1940's, the artist Georgia O'Keeffe spent some time here painting.

Georgia O'Keeffe's painting of Pedernal.
 Photo taken from internet.

Movie set on the Ghost Ranch property.  In background see
a bit of Abiquiu Lake and the flat top mesa, Pedernal.

We bought sandwiches from a shop at Ghost Ranch and 
drove out a dirt road to eat our lunch, this was our view.

Pedernal in the background, and a bit of snow still showing on the peak to the left.

Abiquiu Lake.

After driving around the Ghost Ranch area we drove down a dirt road below the Abiquiu dam.  The road follows along the Chama River.  The next pictures are from that drive.

The beautiful Chama River.

Painting of Rio Chama, by Georgia O'Keefe

A tall cholla.

You never know what you'll see while on a back road.

We'll be heading north from here, and will be posting about that soon.

Evie and Joy