Friday, April 17, 2015

Adios Goosenecks

Wednesday night/Thursday morning it got quite cold, and in our bedroom (we don't run heaters at night) it got down to 43.....I get the shivers just remembering it.  I got up before 6 and turned on all three gas heaters to take the chill off the interior, and then I checked the battery level.....76%.......wait, what?  We started at 100% Wednesday night (yep, one more time back to 100%)......how could they be down that far?  The batteries were at 98% when we returned home from Linda and Steven's at 8 pm (AST), and we only watched 2 hours of TV on the inverter....I was expecting maybe 87%.

Then I remembered......I had turned on the small generator to watch TV, but it seemed to be laboring, and was only registering 90 volts on the analog voltmeter., which is too low to run any electrical appliance.  I suspected some alternating current appliance was on, but nothing inside the coach was on.....I checked both electric heaters, and the block heater......all off.  Finally I decided to turn off the generator, and just watch the TV on the inverter.

Now (Thursday morning) I am staring at the Blue Sky monitor and remembering how the small generator was inexplicably laboring the night before and then thought I should check the water bay electric heater......I go outside and find that the thermostat dial is sitting at 48 degrees.......just slightly to the left of "OFF", and realize that we were running that heater off the inverter while we watched TV.....thank goodness we don't leave the inverter on while we are sleeping!  To reiterate....the Honda is only a 1,000 watt generator, which means, effectively, it can barely power anything drawing 10 amps, and those electric heaters do draw over 10 amps when in operation, hence the generator "labored".

Okay.....minor glitch.....now that the phantom AC draw has been rooted out I decided to go outside and turn on the small generator to try and get the batteries back to 80% before the sun comes comes over the eastern horizon.  I pull the starter rope to start the Honda and it snaps off in my hand.....what the #@%*&!

So, there I am standing over the Honda on my pajamas at 5:50 am (AST) in the morning thinking I'm going to have to wait until it gets warm enough to start the big 7.5 kw Kohler propane generator.....it used to start at any temperature, but the past year it will not start unless it is closer to 40 degrees.....I'm not sure why that is, but I suspicion the solenoid that is supposed to open up and allow propane to flow sticks when it gets too cold......may need to replace it.  I can hear all three gas heaters rockin' in the background sucking more volts out of my already depleted batteries and remembering that if they get too low I'll have to merge the start batteries with the house batteries to start the big generator.....if it will start.....we need the big generator to power the block heater on the DD because it is 'cold blooded' and when it gets below 40 degrees it needs a little preheating before it will fire.

So I unplug the Honda, disconnect the Kryptonite Cable that secures it to the trailer so it won't wander off in the night, and take it inside.....I'm going to fix the starter rope and get that sucker going....I will not be defeated! Ironically most of the time it took me to get the housing off so I could re-string the rope was taken up trying to find a 10 mm socket to unscrew the 3 bolts that secure the starter rope housing.   Apparently I only have one 10 mm socket, and it was not where it was supposed to be.....I think this must be the only thing I own that requires a 10 mm socket.....I finally find it after a 30 minute search and get to work on fixing the rope.  It took me a few tries, but finally after an hour I succeed in getting the small generator started, and electrical juice flowing back into the house batteries.

While my generator drama is unfolding in the predawn hours TLE is curled up in the warm bed dreaming sweet dreams completely unaware of the personal sacrifices I am making to keep our electrical system intact........when she awakens just after 7 am all is well, but she does ask...."Why were you going in and out of the door 15 times?".....:-)

As it turned out the big generator did fire up around 8:45 am (AST), when it was still 35 degrees, and we began the preheat on the 6V92 in anticipation of our departure from Goosenecks after 12 blissful days bringing our boondocking total to 38 days off the grid over the past 2.5 months.

Linda and Steven came by to say 'until next time' and we got this 'usie' to memorialize the event.......we spoke deliberately of making sure our paths cross again in the next year, and we are looking forward to the next installment of our burgeoning friendship.

 Until the next time

Our official time of departure was 9:30 am (AST), and as Goosenecks grew smaller in our review mirrors we both expressed a bittersweet feeling about leaving, but it is time we began our migration back to southwestern Arizona, and TLE's impending dental surgery.....first up will be two days in Flagstaff, which sits at 7,000 feet elevation.  The drive down US 163 to Kayenta, then US 160 over through Tuba City to US 89 and south to Flagstaff was without incident......out of Kayenta we climbed steadily to 6,700', then skated downhill to Tuba city, then began the climb all over again up to Flagstaff and 7,000'.

We stopped off at the local Safeway on US 89 to do a 'big' shopping.....it's nice to be back in a state where you can purchase alcohol easily.....then it was a short 3 mile drive to Black Bart's RV Park where we will plug in for a couple of days before heading south to Wittmann.  The day time temp in Flagstaff on Thursday was 42 degrees with a projected low of 21......we left the front electric heater on when we went to bed.....when I got up this morning at 6 am (AST) I was greeted by the scene below.......


......this is not the first time we have hit snow in Flagstaff in April......

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Attack of the drone......

I mentioned the arrival of fellow nomads Steven Dempsey and Linda Gray Davey in my Tuesday post.  Steven happens to be a very accomplished photographer, and one of his passions is using his drone to get pictures us 'ground hitched' folk cannot.  Please click on his name to get a sample of his work (All the pictures in today's blog entry were taken by Steven Dempsey, and used with the expressed permission of Steven Dempsey).  Steven is an early riser of necessity.......the light before, during and after sunrise is unique.

 I walked outside to find out what that 'buzzing' sound was to find Steven's drone in flight......

 Great shot of our proximity to the abyss

 Taken just before sunrise Wednesday....

 Altitude of the drone here is about 600'

If you look closely you can see my 'Hockwald' rock creation in the lower part of the frame....it's upside down.

The temperature at this time was about 35 degrees with a still brisk breeze left over from Tuesday's winds, and I would imagine it was under 30 when taking into consideration the wind chill factor.......my hands and ears began to hurt within minutes from the intense cold.  Over night the low temperature was in the high 20's.....by far the coldest night we have had since Cottonwood back in February.

After the drone affair Linda and Steve decided they would take a drive to familiarize themselves with the area more, and ended up driving all the way to Kayenta and back with a stopover at Goulding's Campground to check out their site for Friday.

I loitered around the coach putting stuff away for our Thursday morning departure, and ultimately it was time to put the VW in the trailer.....of course it isn't running right now, so TLE and I were turning it around in preparation for it's insertion later in the day.  Just as we were muscling it around a caravan of 7, or 8 vehicles came into the park, and one of the drivers stopped and asked if we needed help.....he said "...there are 10 of us....let us give you a big push and get her in!".....I quickly accepted their offer, and in less than 35 seconds the VW was in the trailer and I was strapping her down......I love serendipity!  I thanked everyone profusely for their help and watched them drive down the dirt road to check out the view.....the entire entourage was gone within 10 minutes!  It was like they were sent to help us, did their job and left......thank guys!

The rest of the day I continued to putter around putting stuff away, and then read for a while.  Around 3 pm (AST) Linda and Steven returned and suggested we convene to 'Scoopy' (their Travel Supreme class A) for a chili dinner and beverages around 5 pm (AST).

As it was the first time we met in Cape Blanco, and then this past Tuesday night, the conversation was endless.  We got to know each other a little bit better, and Linda's chili was....OMG.....I cherished every bite!  You know how with some people it takes work to get to know them, and get beneath the surface.....and then with others it is just plain easy peazy?  Well, that is the way it is with Linda and Steve, and we look forward to meeting up with them many more times as we continue our wandering ways.

Around 8 pm (AST) we excused ourselves for the evening and walked back to our coach.....by this time the temperature had plummeted into the mid 30's and by the time we finished our walk we were both shivering.  We spent the rest of the evening watching 'Survivor' and 'Idol', then called it a night.....it's going to be a cold one!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Converging....

I write occasionally about the nomadic community that exists out here in the hinterlands created through friendships formed while traveling hither and yon, to and fro across our great land.  It is precisely that community that creates the sense of continuity us nomads need.  When we find we are getting close to friends as we crisscross the country we all make an effort to meet up.  While TLE and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time of solitude these past 7 weeks where we have been able to recharge our social batteries, we love it when we can hook up with friends.

When we arrived back at Goosenecks from our ERS adventure on Monday there was a 'Post-It' note from good friend Brian Gore (Goin' RV boondocking) on our door announcing his unanticipated arrival.......the note read "You just can't get away from us.....Brian and Arlo".

As we were exiting the cab of the tow truck I remember commenting to TLE that there was a 5th wheel way down the dirt road, which was the biggest rig I had seen go down that far.  Within seconds I found Brian's note and told TLE I should have known that it was Brian down there.  Brian is a died in the wool 'boondocker' going way, way back, and he loves to get his rig as far off the pavement as he possibly can.

Brian's 5th wheel in the distance hugging the edge of the abyss

Then Tuesday afternoon friends Linda and Steve arrived in their Travel Supreme class A diesel pusher (nicknamed 'Scoopy') as expected.  We first met Linda and Steve in Cape Blanco at nomadic get-together this past September and had an immediate connection. We talked about trying to hookup down the road, and since then we have been trying to hook up with them, but our paths never quite converged until now.  They were down near Shiprock, NM a few days ago, and I commented on their Facebook 'wall' that they were only 125 miles from our location.  They had planned to head to Monument Valley from Shiprock, and then come to Goosenecks this Thursday, but when they found out we were leaving on Thursday they changed up their plans to come here to Goosenecks to spend a couple of days with us before heading back over to Monument Valley......that is what us nomads do.

Linda and Steve's class A nicknamed 'Scoopy'...about 200 yards from us.

Brian dropped by with his border collie Arlo about mid morning and we talked for about an hour about what we have both been doing since we last met up at the NFS land near Cottonwood, AZ.  Brian loves remote areas like this and says the solitude, and beauty of the area helps him clear his head so he can write.  As you will recall from past blog posts he is a writer of Westerns, and he's currently working on a couple more that I hope will be ready for publication soon!

Linda and Steve arrived a little after 1 pm just as the forecast winds began to blow......and did they ever blow!  I walked down to greet them while they were situating their coach in a site about 200 yards from us.  We talked for a few minutes and then I left them to take care of their 'set up' chores.  

The wind continued to accelerate throughout the afternoon hitting 35-40 mph at times.....certainly the worst winds we have experienced since Cape Blanco.  Linda knocked on our door about 3 and we sat and talked for about an hour before agreeing to meet at their coach for drinks and snacks at 4:30 (AST).

As is typical of nomadic convergences we talked non-stop until almost 8 pm (AST).....we wanted to watch the series finale of  "Justified" and the 8 pm show was the last of the night, so we said our 'until next times' meaning until Wednesday, and headed back to the coach for the evening.  I am so thankful we have Malibu lights out, because it was so pitch black dark that I could not see our coach, but could see the Malibu lights which guided us home.

The wind continued at a ferocious clip all through the evening and into the early morning hours.......as I write it has calmed down to under 10 mph, so we're hoping the worst is past.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ERS stinks sometimes

On our way home from the Four Corners monument Friday we stopped briefly in Bluff to pickup some firewood, as I reported.  What I didn't report, because I didn't think it was going to be an ongoing problem, was that after started the VW up to head home from Bluff the car began hesitating like it wasn't getting enough fuel.  It gradually went away, and the 24 miles home was uneventful.  When we decided to drive into Mexican Hat to have lunch (Mexican Hat is about 8 miles away.....probably more like 4 miles as the 'crow flies') this prior issue was in the back of my mind, but the car started up just fine......when I turn the ignition key clockwise to start the car I always hear the fuel pump in the rear of the car (located on the top of the fuel tank) come on and pressurize the system, and that is just what happened, so I'm thinking maybe whatever happened the other day was an 'outlier'......it's good to be optimistic, right?

At any rate we cruised the 3.5 miles out Utah 316 and ultimately back to US 163 and into Mexican Hat to the 'Olde Bridge Grill' located right on the San Juan River where US 163 crosses it.  There are four restaurants in Mexican Hat and they all get ratings of 3.5-4 stars based on less than 25 reviews, so who knows how good they really are.  The Olde Bridge Grill gets 3.5 stars and I would settle in right about there.  I was expecting there to be some sort of outdoor dining being right on the river, but there is none available in the restaurant proper.  You can order 'take out' and then go outside to the other side of the parking lot and sit on one of two picnic tables, but there is not much ambiance.  The service was above average, and my BLT with fries was also.....not the best one I have ever had, but quite adequate.  They offer a good selection of craft beers (I ordered DP this day) including Polygamy Porter.

That was the good part of our 'first Saturday'.......we paid our bill and got in the VW to drive back to the 7-11 to pick up a couple of things before heading out to see the rock formation for which Mexican Hat derives it's unusual name, but that was not to be.  When we exited the parking lot from the restaurant the car began to do the same thing it did in Bluff, but smoothed out again just as we parked at the 7-11 (also a Shell gas station).  We went inside, got what we needed, and went back to the car.  It would turn over, and start, but then would just sputter and die.....and I could not hear the fuel pump pressurizing the system.  After trying to get it started for about 5 minutes I gave up and called AAA.....that was the easy part.

I belong to the Southern California AAA, so when you are out of state you call the out of state '800' number and they transfer you to the Utah desk, in my case......the 'desk' is not really in Utah, it's in Las Vegas....go figure.  I was connected with a very nice young lady, but in spite of her wonderful 'niceness' she did not seem up to the task of entering the address of our location.  To be clear, Mexican Hat is about 1 mile long.....the main drag is US 163 (aka: Main Ave.), and there is only one 7-11/Shell station.  She (her name shall not be revealed) kept me on the phone close to an hour before she was able, with the aid of a supervisor, to finally enter an address that the computer would accept.  Then she told me they had located a 'local' towing service that serviced the Mexican Hat area and they would be at my location in 30 minutes.....it was 1:30 pm by this time ('this time' means Arizona time.....we did not change our clocks), so I thought "Cool, we'll be home by 2:30 (Arizona time).  

At 2:15 there was no tow truck, so I called back and was connected once again to the Utah desk.  I advised her I was told a tow truck would be at my location in 30 minutes, and now 45 minutes had expired, and no tow truck.  She said "let me talk with dispatch, and see what I can find out".......she puts me on hold for 10 minutes.  Let's get one thing clear here.....I spent over an hour on the phone with the first nice lady, and my battery was beginning to get to the critical stage.....I can see that within 30 minutes my battery will be operating on fumes, and I let her know that.  She comes back on the phone and says it will be another 30 minutes, which would make it 3 pm AST (Arizona Standard Time).  I'm thinking that the only towns near Mexican Hat are Bluff (24 miles away), and Kayenta (48 miles away), so where is this tow company that can be there in 30 minutes?  I already know there is no tow company in Bluff, so I ask "What is the name of the company, and where are they coming from?"......a reasonable question you might think, right?  She doesn't know, so she puts me back on hold again for another 10 minutes (we've now been on the phone for 30 minutes on this current call, and I can 'hear' my battery hyperventilating).....she comes back on and tells me the tow company they contacted is too busy, and can't be there until 6:30 (AST)....wait, what?  I say....."you just told me 30 minutes......what is going on?"......I still have no tow company name, or the location from which they are coming and ask her once again for the tow company name and phone number.  She puts me on hold again for 5 more minutes and comes back telling me they are trying to find an alternate tow company and will have to call me back.  I ask her to call me back within 30 minutes, regardless of what she finds out.

Forty more minutes elapse and it is now closing in on 3:15 (AST), and no call back, so I call once again, get transferred to the Utah desk to another nice lady.  By this time my phone is flashing a the message that says "battery level critical, please either plug in the phone, or put a new battery in"......I didn't bring my USB cable with me to lunch as I didn't think I would be gone for 4 hours, and be on the phone for 2 of those hours, so I tell the third nice lady my problem and give her TLE's phone number (she brought her USB cable......she's way more prescient than I).  She (the AAA 3rd nice lady) is repeating to me what the #2 nice lady told me 40+ minutes earlier.  Finally I insist that she give the name, phone number and contact name at the towing company so I can call and find out what the 'bleep' is going on.  She puts me on hold for another 10 minutes, and finally comes back with the requested information.

I end the call, and turn off my phone.....the battery indicator is now showing 'red', which means I've got about 2 minutes left.   TLE gives me her fully charged phone and I call the towing company (Nations Towing).  Within 30 seconds I find out the tow truck has already been on the road for 90 minutes and will be at our location within an hour.....Nations Towing is out of MOAB, UT.....124 miles way....I give the nice young man TLE's phone number after explaining that my phone is dead.  I'm now very encouraged, but totally wondering why AAA's Utah desk didn't know that.  I'm thinking "How could they have actually called Nations Towing and not found out what I found out in 30 seconds?".

Okay, it's now 4:30 (AST) so I'm thinking the tow truck will be in Mexican Hat by 5:30 (AST).  Within a few minutes after I hang up with Nations Towing TLE's phone rings and there is a nice young man from AAA practically falling all over himself apologizing for all the problems on my service call.  I listen patiently to the multitudinous excuses he provides, then when he is done I relate how I called the towing company direct and got the information they were unable to provide over the course of 3 phone calls in less than 30 seconds.  I ask him....."Do you really think anyone in 'dispatch' really called and talked with a human being at Nations Towing?"  I tell him "I called and got the answers to all my questions in less than 30 seconds.....why couldn't they do the same?".  He was speechless.....I bid adieu to the nice gentleman, ended the call, and went to the bathroom.....and that's all I have to say about that.

The tow truck arrived about 5:4o (AST), and the VW was on the flatbed within 10 minutes....we were 'home' at Goosenecks by 6:20 (AST), and very happy the sun was still just above the horizon.  My good friend Tom McCloud says "most everything can be fixed with a credit card", and I totally agree.....I would only add that 2 fingers of The Glenlivit Scotch helps, too....:-)




So, why have I gone into exhaustive detail on our latest ERS experience?  I do it for one reason......we have never had a bad ERS experience until now.  I read a lot of complaints on various RV related websites written by people complaining about their ERS service.  My theory is that if you have to call  your ERS enough times over a period of time you will invariably have at least one bad experience....we just had ours.  The thing to keep in mind is at least we were in a safe location, near a restroom....the only thing AAA's lack of competence cost us was time.  The reality in our situation was we are in a very remote location, and when one finds themselves in a remote location it will probably take a long time to be 'rescued'.  If the 3 nice ladies at AAA had just given me accurate wait times to begin with I wouldn't have been upset that it took 3 hours for the tow truck to arrive....I've driven that road up to Moab, and know that it takes at least 3 hours of driving time.  The problem arose when I was told 30 minutes twice, and then found out they had no idea what they were talking about....it seemed to me they were just telling me what they thought I wanted to hear.  What I wanted to hear was the truth, or at the very least somewhat accurate information, and I didn't get it.

About 7:30 I got a message from my friend Tom with a link to a YouTube video that shows how easy it is to replace the VW Beetle fuel pump.  I ordered a new one on Amazon Prime and it will be at Tom's home on Thursday.....we'll just fix it together when we get to his home!

TLE made some great soup for dinner, and it was the perfect ending to a not so perfect day.....thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Livin' on the edge.....


We have loved living on the edge of the abyss!

Sunday was the final day of the Masters Golf Tournament.....at times it looked as if it would become a real 'horse race', but each time a competitor began draw close Jordan Spieth responded and ultimately he won by 4 strokes tying Tiger Woods' 4 day course record at 18 under par.  I turned on the TV around Noon time and watched until the final putt just after 4 pm......why do I open today's blog with a golf story?  Well, there was a time, not too many weeks ago, when I thought I needed to be plugged in somewhere to watch TV all afternoon.  That was until I finally realized I could watch TV during the day via the inverter and still charge my batteries!  The only time I watch TV during the day is on the weekends when there is a worthy sporting event that grabs my attention.  Believe it, or not, this was a major obstacle for me to boondocking for extended periods of time, especially this time of year when two of my favorite sporting events occur.....'March Madness' and 'The Masters'.  Of course, a couple of years ago when we still had the more power hungry older flat screen TV's I could not have done this because their power consumption exceeded the charging capabilities of my current solar system.  Next winter after we have installed the additional 2 solar panels it will be even better.

Sunday ended up being a very good day to spend the afternoon indoors watching golf as the winds returned once again......they never got into the 20's, staying in the rather docile range of 15-17 mph, but the wind comes with the dreaded 'chill factor' that tends to make it uncomfortable this time of year....with no wind it is totally pleasant to sit outside even though it barely gets to 70 degrees most days.

During the afternoon our batteries once again returned to 100%.  On the water front we have about 98 gallons left after 10 nights in the wilderness........our gray tank is about 1/2 full, and the black tank is about 1/4 full....we're using a tad more water per day than at Lone Rock, but we only have to last 12 days this time, so the showers can be a little longer, and a little more frequent than last time.  Ultimately, as I have said previously, it really comes down to the black tank, and we are doing a much better job of generating less waste water.

On the propane front we filled our tank (60 gallon capacity, but you can only fill it to 80% full, or 48 gallons) the day we left Wittman.  We are down to about 1/3 of a tank, so even though we have used our gas furnaces liberally, and run our big generator 4, or 5 times we are in very good shape, and could probably go another month dry camping, but since we are going to be sitting in one place for 4 months once we arrive in Tahoe we'll fill up before then.  Once we are plugged in again there are only two appliances that will be using propane....the water heater and the stove/oven, and TLE tends to use her 'induction burner' to do most of the cooking when we are plugged in, and I use our electric percolator instead of the stove top one I have been using for the past almost 3 months.  We found when we spent the year at the Riverside Country Park back in 2011 that we could go 6 months before having to fill up again, but dry camping basically cuts by at least a third, if not a bit more.

We both spent the evening reading.....I finished book 6 of James Lee Burke's 'Dave Robicheaux' series, and started book 7.  I have a hard time putting these books down, and am really enjoying them.

Thought I would put up another link for this 1978 Newell Classic for sale in Arkansas.....this one may be a little over priced at the $25,000 asking price, but it looks to be in good condition, and I'm sure the price is negotiable!




Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Live long and prosper...."


Real Saturday was was a balmy day in paradise.....around 11 we decided to take our daily walk, which this particular day ended up being just over 4 miles.....we decided to walk out Utah 316 for a change of pace, but just past the sign that announces to all that you are entering Goosenecks we spied a dirt road off the the left and took it instead. It petered out after a mile, but gave us some new views of the river canyon we had not seen before.  We caught this cool view of the coach on the way back to the pavement.....


As we were returning from our 4 mile Saturday walk it suddenly occurred to me the distant rock formation I originally thought looked like a 'peace sign' is really, in fact, the Vulcan sign for "Live long and prosper"......am I right, or am I right?


All that frivolity aside, what else did 'we' do (I think I'm probably using the royal 'we' here)?......around 1 pm I turned on the Masters Golf Tournament and watched it (off the inverter) until sometime after 4 pm when the last grouping finished their round.  It looks like Sunday has the potential of being a 'barn burner' as there are any number of folks at the top of the leader board who have a chance to win.

After that I took a chair along with my Kindle and a glass of ice tea over to the cliff's edge to sit, enjoy the view, and read for the rest of the day, or at least until 5:30 which is 'our' (not the royal 'our') happy hour.  During that time a young guy walked up to ask me about our coach....at first he thought it was a bus conversion, as many do, but I replied "....no, it's a Newell"....that's all I had to say, because he knew about Newells.  He, as it turns out, had just arrived with his family of 5 (3 kids) in a 35' BlueBird Wanderlodge (forward control with a 3208 Cat engine).  Next to Newells I love Wanderlodges.....they are so elegant looking.  We talked for about 30 minutes.....it turns out he (J.F.) and his young family began fulltiming about 1 year ago and are home schooling their kids as he works and they travel.  I love to see young folks buying, appreciating, and using these older coaches.  All that being said, I can't imagine TLE and I traveling in our 36' coach with 3 kids......my hat is off to you, J.F.!

J.F.'s 1984 Wanderlodge, 35'

TLE brought a bottle of 'Zin' out for happy hour, and we sat and watched the sun set one more time.....no fire this night as it was just enough breezy in the wrong direction that we did not want to be fighting the smoke.  Both of us sat there in short sleeves remarking about how warm it was at 5:30....usually we are starting to bundle up by that time.

For dinner TLE whipped up this amazing Anchovy Pizza.....I know, I know......many of you may be thinking 'YUK!', but it's all good......that just means more for me!  The best thing about Anchovy Pizza is the cold left overs the next morning......what?  You don't think Anchovy Pizza is a breakfast item?  Once again...good....more for me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cornered

We have passed by the 'Four Corners Monument' entrance several times over the years, but have never opted to make the turn.  We had decided earlier in the week to make a day trip out of it and head over there on Friday........it's about a 150 mile loop....I like loops because that means you're not covering the same ground twice, and let's face it......you never get tired of the scenery.

We left Goosenecks on our quest around 9:30 am heading northeast on U.S. 163 up through Bluff, UT and then turning on to Utah 162 going southeast to U.S. 491 back southwest to U.S. 160......



The first 15 miles of Utah 162 is rough and uneven, and it was difficult traveling at anything over 55 mph.  After that it is easy driving for the most part, and we cruised at 70 mph much of the time.  As you travel you first cross from Utah into Colorado, then New Mexico, and finally Arizona when you enter the 'Monument'.  The 'Four Corners Monument' is operated by members of the Navaho Tribe....admission is $5/person.   For $5 you get a very rough, unpaved, hilly parking lot, access to pit toilets with doors that do not lock.....:-(.....and the 'Monument' itself.  I understand from friends that the marker here is about 1,800 feet away from the true intersection of the four state lines.  I guess the fascination for many, including myself, is that you can 'theoretically' go stand on a designated spot and be in four states at the same time.


I like the message, but I'm wondering if this 'Monument' were being rebuilt today in 2015 if it would be allowed by those whose idea of 'tolerance' is a one way street.

I have wanted to do this for a very long time.....one more thing off the 'bucket list'

TLE put this collage together....she took a picture of each state sign as we drove the 'loop'.

In 1992 the 'Monument' was modernized

This picture dates from the 70's and was taken by good friend Don Neff....it was much more primitive back then.

I was able to scratch one more thing off my 'bucket list' and that was to have some 'Indian Frybread'......there were two little food shacks in the parking lot and one of them sold 'Navajo Tacos' on Indian Frybread.....how could I resist......and it was delicious....I added a little Tabasco for seasoning, and a Dr. Pepper chaser.




We were at the 'Monument' less than an hour (unless you want to browse through endless displays of native American jewelry, or eat Indian Frybread, there is nothing else to do) before continuing on with our day trip 'loop' (see map above)....heading west on U.S. 160, then north on U.S. 191 back to U.S. 163 (with a brief stop in Bluff to replenish our firewood supply) and home.  The scenery in this 'Four Corners' area is just breathtaking.

We were home before 2 pm to find our batteries had once again reached 100% in our absence.  I watched a couple hours of the 'Masters', then read until 5:30 when it was time to light the ritual evening fire.......TLE busied herself preparing 'wine cooler's for happy hour.

 Someone may have too much time on their hands

The sunset was not as dramatic as some, but seemed to fit the mood.........


Street tacos where on the menu for Friday night so I was tasked with BBQ'ing the Pollo Asado......I cherished every single bite.....

Thanks for stopping by!