Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fifth Saturday

You have to take a day off once in a while, even if you are on a perpetual site seeing tour.  We have to remind ourselves on occasion that we are not on vacation......just living on the road.  We sometimes feel like kids in a candy store, especially when we find ourselves in an area like southeast Utah.  So, as you can probably guess by now we took a vacation from our "vacation" on this 5th Saturday.  

Taking a day off means different things for TLE and I.....for TLE it means mostly ready a good book, or two.  For me it means doing something with my hands.  This Friday, for me, it meant cleaning the exterior of all our windows in the coach....there are 11 windows in our coach counting the two piece windshield, which I count as two.  We knew rain was coming in later in that evening, but I would rather have my windows get wet when they are clean, otherwise the dirt and dust that is on them streaks and then makes them look even worse.

While I was at it I wiped down the VW which was quite dusty from our 10 mile dirt road drive out to Muley Point on Thursday.  Once again my theory is the same for our car.....would rather it rain on a clean car, than on a dirty car....water is easy to wipe off, muddy dirt is quite another thing.

Once those housekeeping chores were done I got my mountain bike ready to ride.....right were you turn into our campground the paved road ends, but continues on as a dirt road.  I've wanted to explore that road ever since we got here.  Our elevation here in Devil's Canyon campground is around 7,145' according to my Garmin Edge bike computer.  I rode uphill for  a little over 2.5 miles before stopping to turn around.  I had gained almost 500' elevation in that distance.  The dirt road has a lot of sandy spots over that 2.5 mile stretch which made it quite a work out for me, especially at over 7,600'.  The downhill back to camp was my reward....I think I topped 25 mph at one point.

Our altimeter reads a tad higher than 7,145', but it's close

We both spent the rest of the afternoon reading.....for me there were a couple of interspersed naps.  Around 5 TLE served me some pollo asada street tacos, which made me weak in the knees as they always do.  Around 7 we started a fire in the portable fireplace and watched a somewhat cloudy sunset, and the approach of the storm front we were expecting.  It's funny, sometimes we will sit by the fire chatting like a couple of magpies, and other times like last night we will just sit quietly enjoying each others presence making occasional comments, but pretty much just being quiet.  

Around 9 we turned on the TV to watch "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares", and were in bed by 11 pm awaiting the arrival of the forecast rain.  Around 1:30 am I woke up to hear that lovely rain on the aluminum roof that I love so much.....we have not had rain for a long, long time.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

A bridge too far?

Thursday morning it was sooooo cold!  I got up around 6 am to turn on all three gas heaters, and then quickly jumped back into bed.  How cold was it?  It was so cold I thought my feet were going to stick to the floor kind of cold.  It was don't put anything metallic near your lips or it might stick to them kind of cold.  The inside temperature was 46 degrees.....about the coldest we have ever experienced inside without heaters on.  Normally we are able to maintain a 20 degree differential between outside temps and inside temps without using our heaters, so that would mean it must have gotten colder than the forecast 30 degrees.

We had it in our minds to drive over to Natural Bridges National Park which was about 45 miles from our camp, but we were not budging an inch until it warmed up to at least 40!  Around 10 am it reached 40 degrees.....I guess that is one of the hazards of camping over 7,000' so early in the season.  At any rate we were on our way to see what we could see Thursday a little after 10 am.

One side trip almost everyone we met had almost insisted we take was SR 261 down to Muley Point Overlook.  Two days before we had been at the base of this overlook when we drove into Valley of the Gods, but didn't want to drive the 5 mile switchback dirt road to the top, and then another 5 mile dirt road to the overlook.  By coming down to Muley Point from the north on 261 we drove a little further, but it was all pavement until the beginning of the dirt road out to Muley Point, but was worth it.  The views were gigantic, and long.

Standing on the edge of Muley Point Overlook

 What we saw.....

I'm amazed TLE got this close to get this 
picture....it is a long ways down!

Surprisingly, for such a heavily used dirt road, the road out to Muley Point Overlook was in good condition, and we averaged about 26 mph.....there were only a couple of mildly rough sections.  The other surprising thing was we were actually getting a cell signal out here in the middle of no where.  As I pulled my phone out of my pocket to take some pictures I noticed I had an e-mail from very good friends David and Denise.  We first met David and Denise at our Austin, TX Newell mini rally back in April of 2009, and had an immediate connection.  We have since met up with them in Creede, CO (2009), Santa Fe, NM (2010), Denver, CO (2012), and Spearfish, SD (2013).  The e-mail said they would be in Moab, UT Sunday and Monday and would we be able to hook up with them?  That's exactly where we plan to be Sunday and Monday!  As if things couldn't get any better!  I replied that we would meet them in Moab Sunday afternoon!  Miss Serendipity I'm beginning to think you like us more than a little.....

From Muley Point we next headed back to SR 95 and up to Natural Bridges.  I knew just from the name of the park that there must be more than one "natural bridge", but I had no idea there were actually 3, and that you could hike to the base of each of them if you chose to do so.  The actual distance for each of the three hikes is not great, but the elevation loss and gain is significant.....at least for the two of us.   Total elevation loss and gain for all three hikes was about 700' for each trail.

Once again our Golden Age pass paid dividends once again granting us free admission to the park.  Once you leave the visitor's center you turn on to a one way 9 mile paved road that takes you to each of the vista points, and trailheads for each natural bridge.    

The first natural bridge you come to is "Sipapu", which means "place of emergence" in the Hopi language.  Just past that vista point is a picnic area.....by this time it was after 12 pm and we were both getting hungry.  We stopped there and ate our lunch before continuing on to the Sipapu trailhead.


Then it was time to start hiking.  The round trip distance for the trail down to Sipapu was about 1.2 miles.  There were numerous stairways they had built, along with handrails here and there, plus three ladders you had to negotiate to get to the bottom.  

 2nd of 3 ladders

1st ladder


Almost to the bottom


It took us a little over an hour to do this first hike, and it was strenuous, but it was nothing compared to the hike down to Kachina natural bridge....the next one up....this hike was 1.4 miles round trip.  There was only one short ladder, but there were hundreds of sandstone steps with a lot of hair pin turns that kind of leave you hanging out in space, or so it seemed......a lot of high consequence places......if you fall the consequences are deadly.



Kachina natural bridge

The final bridge, Owachomo (rock mound in Hopi) for me anyway, was the most spectacular of the three....the round trip hike was only .4 miles, but after the prior two hikes out the canyon our tanks were on empty as we climbed back up for the third time.  Nevertheless, we loved this bridge the most.

Owachomo natural bridge 


Still smiling before we start our hike out

The hike back to the top from Owachomo was a grind and seemed much longer that the advertised .2 miles.  "What a day!" we both repeated over and over again as we drove the almost 50 miles home.  In all we covered over 150 miles, but it was well worth it.  We are so grateful for our little VW Bug that gets such great mileage, and drives so well!

We arrived back home totally spent energy wise.....the first thing we did was change clothes, grab a couple of cold ones and enjoy the view....a great way to wind down after such an amazing day.

Thanks for stopping by!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

"The Devil you say!"

Only 11 days as of Wednesday morning until we will need to be in Sioux Falls, SD, so we've only got 3, or 4 more days here in southeast Utah's Canyonlands before we need to be motivating onward.   We set a high bar for ourselves this day and moved north 31 miles......we don't sound very motivated do we........of course I know you want to hear the rest of the story, so here goes.

With such a short distance to travel we saw no need to blast out of Bluff at the crack of dawn so we lazed around until about 10 am, then walked over to "Comb Ridge Coffee" for coffee and breakfast.  On the way we passed by a couple of old trucks.

 I really like old trucks....the stories these trucks could tell!

Yelp gives Comb Ridge Coffee 4.5 stars on 20 reviews and we would have to agree......they hand pour hot water through the freshly ground coffee beans into your pre-heated cup, and it is a large cup.  They use all fresh ingredients in their food preparation.....I had the "Boat Launcher" which consisted of two pieces of home made multi grain bread, scrambled eggs, ham and potatoes.  What a pleasant surprise!


 After that gastronomical interlude we strolled back to our coach, put the car in the trailer and thus began our "long" drive north through Blanding up to Devil's Canyon Campground, which happens to be a US Forest campground, which means we only pay one half of the daily $10 fee.  The campground is located at just over 7,200' elevation......close to 3,000' higher than Bluff.  Along with that 3,000' increase in elevation comes much cooler temperatures.



US 191 north of Bluff is in excellent condition and is, as I like to say, "as smooth as a baby's butt"......just after you leave Bluff the road begins to climb quickly, and within a few minutes you are up on top of those bluffs I took pictures of yesterday.

As we cruised through Blanding we saw a couple of RV parks that were quite attractive, but resisted the urge to camp in town, and continued on the extra 8 miles to our destination, and are we ever glad we did.  We left the high desert behind in Blanding and continued our elevation gain topping out in an actual forest just as we turned into the campground.  This is a popular campground, and just re-opened for the summer season a week ago.  The view back toward Blanding is long and beautiful.  We were able to snag a nice pull through spot (#2) that fit our 62' perfectly.....it was just 11:30 am, but we decided to take a day off from site seeing and just take at easy.......

Hmmmmm, that didn't last long......we have pretty decent Verizon service here, and 3 bars of 3G, but for some reason my phone kept dropping an important call I was trying to make, so we decided to drive back into Blanding so I could take care of business.  Once our business was completed, we decided to drive back north past Devil's Canyon Campground to the next town, Monticello, just to check it out.....it was only another 10 miles.  Both Blanding and Monticello are nice towns, but not the charm of Bluff.

By the time we got home it was closing in on 3:30, but now that we are in a state that observes "Daylight Savings Time" the sun goes down later.  We spent the rest of the afternoon reading, and listening to an XM radio station called "Classic Vinyl" (channel 26), which I am coming to like a lot.

Around a quarter to 6 I got our BBQ out, and got it warming up so I could grill a couple of filets, plus some pollo asada we had bought a few days ago at the Safeway.  The pollo asada is for street tacos Thursday, but the steaks were for Wednesday night.  TLE prepared a nice salad, grilled onions and mushrooms for the sides......we chased this great meal with a bottle of Pinot Noir.


But wait, there's more......I also got out the portable fireplace for a fire later that evening so we could watch the sun set, and what a lovely fire it was.....there was some Scotch consumed, and a couple of cigars.


Around a quarter to 9 we headed inside to watch TV for a couple of hours, and then hit the hay about 11.....the overnight temperatures got down to 30 degrees, so there were a couple extra blankets on the bed.  When I got up at 6 am this morning to turn the heaters on it was 46 degrees inside the coach........

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Miss Serendipity called my "Bluff"

Our Jello plans for Tuesday were to drive on up to Blanding, UT, park the coach and do some more site seeing, however, Miss Serendipity had a lot to say about that.....but yet again I get ahead of myself.

The temps got down to the mid 20's Monday night, but with 30 amps we stayed pleasantly cozy in our coach.  I was up around 7 am and trying to write my blog with very thin broadband.......there was a lot of "weeping and gnashing of teeth", but by 9 am the deed was done and we were unplugging and heading out for Blanding.  As we rolled up US 163 we were captivated by the giant views, but there was no place on this narrow highway to pull over in our behemoth to take pictures.  About 8 miles before Bluff, UT we hit a 10% downhill grade which took our breath away, and then just as quickly we were chugging back up a 10% grade in 2nd gear at about 21 mph. By the time we rolled into Bluff we were thinking we had to drive the VW back to take pictures after we got parked in Blanding, but then out of the corner of my eye I spied a funky little RV park called Cottonwood RV Park and decided on the spot we had driven the Newell as far as she was going to go this day.....a whopping 19 miles.

We pulled in, but no one was in the office so we followed the instructions on the sign and picked a spot, parked, hooked up and then headed out in the VW for a day that will go down in our memories as one of the most amazing days of serendipity we have ever experienced.  We started back tracking along US 163 thinking we would just find a place to stop along the highway back towards Mexican Hat, take a few pix and head back to Bluff, but one thing led to another and before we knew it we had driven almost 6 miles on a dirt road to the Valley of the Gods and were just blown away by the scenery. 


A closer view of Jack Rabbit Rock


Jack Rabbitt Rock in the back ground



Then as we were heading back to to US 163 we saw a sign for  Goosenecks State Park......to think we almost passed this turn by.  It was only 4 miles to the park so we both almost simultaneously said "why not!".  Here is what we found.....


Edwin and Lydia in their 2004 Newell....
and their amazing view below 
Literally Edwin and Lydia's view out their driver's side windows

You can camp here on this BLM land for 14 days at no charge over looking the San Juan River as it winds back and forth through this labyrinth of canyons!  I still can't believe we almost bypassed this amazing place.  We had taken dozens of pictures and were walking back to our car when I suggested we walk out to the area where we saw several BIG rigs parked along the canyon wall just to check it out for future reference......as we walked along I began to focus on one coach in particular, and then suddenly realized it was a Newell!  Well, we had to walk over and meet these smart people.  They are Edwin and Lydia from Holland.  The spend 3 months at a time in this country touring in their Newell.  Every three months they fly back to Holland for 3 months, and then back to the USA for 3 more months, and so it goes.  

We spent almost an hour talking with them, and now even as I write I cannot believe we almost missed an opportunity to meet two such interesting people......if we had not made that right turn we would have been the poorer for it.  After an hour we knew we had to get going and let our hosts get back to enjoying their view, so we exchanged contact information with them and headed back to Bluff just amazed at how this day had turned out..... and to think it wasn't over by a long shot!

Just before we arrived back in Bluff we saw a sign for "Sand Island", on the right again, so we hung a right hand turn to see what Miss Serendipity had in store for us......well we found out this is another National Forest campground where we could dry camp for $5 per night with our Golden Age pass.  In addition, there are very old petroglyphs  on the sandstone walls along the San Juan River.




From there is was just a mile or so into Bluff.....when we had arrived earlier that morning we had not really driven through town as Cottonwood RV Park is on the western edge of the town, so we took this time to drive to the eastern edge......along the way we saw a coffee shop that we thought we would return to in a few minutes, but that plan was short lived.  After fueling up the VW one more time (still getting 30 mph!) we continued on to the east side of town and found this funky cafe called Twin Rocks Cafe.....how it got its name becomes immediately apparent......I'd hate to be in the restaurant when those twin rocks decide to fall.


We weren't sure we were going to eat there until we saw on their menu they served Wasatch Polygamy Porter, one of our favorites!  Well, that sealed the deal and we grabbed an outdoor table and put in our order.  We sat there just looking at each other and shaking our heads.  We started out the day with a very vague plan.......the best kind on a day such as this turned out.....and were just blown away.

Along with our Porters we ordered two appetizers.....some jalapeno poppers and Navajo Cheese Crisp (Navajo fry bread) and they were delicious!  Yelp gives this establishment 3.5 stars, but we would give them 4.5 in a hearbeat.  Great service, great food, and the best brews!

Those rocks hang right over the cafe!

We arrived home about 5 pm with smiles of self satisfaction that you couldn't have slapped off our faces if you tried.  As the sun was setting I captured the two following pictures.....one from inside the coach and one from outside of the same view....this is what we have to put up with!



It was a grand day and we are profusely grateful to Miss Serendipity for giving us a wink and a nod Tuesday!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monumental.....

Monday, or first Saturday if you will, came up clear and cold!  The winds of the previous day had swept the skies clean.  Our goal for the day was to drive 130+ miles up to Monument Valley to spend a couple of days.

We were out of our campsite by 9 am, but still had to spend some time at the dump station to unload 10 days of black and gray water, and take on fresh water....we were down to 20 gallons after 10 days.

By 10 we had merged our 62' on to US 89 back south to Page where we parked at the local Walmart so we could do some shopping before we headed into Utah and Monument Valley.  We hadn't put the VW in the trailer yet for this very reason.  Our first stop in the VW was the Post Office to put some tax stuff in the mail, then the local Safeway supermarket to do our shopping and rack up some more fuel points.

By 11:15 we had the car stowed away in the trailer and were on our way east on SR 98 to US 160 and eventually US 163 through Monument Valley.

Our Jello plan this day was to find a spot in the RV park not far from the main vista point.  This is where Mr. Jello reared his head and said....."not so fast there"......there is a kiosk located just 1 mile from The View Hotel where you pay $5 per person to enter the Navajo owned and run facility.  We were advised by the very nice lady in the kiosk that the RV park was not open due to renovation and upgrades they were doing for the coming summer season, but we were welcome to stay in the more than adequate parking lot at the hotel for free.....hmmm....this is where we get burned sometimes by our policy not to make advance reservations. "Okay" we thought, this may still work.  We made our way up to the hotel parking lot and found a decent spot in the bus section, leveled the coach, got dressed, and walked into the hotel to get some information about tours, etc.  By the way, you can drive your own vehicle on the dirt road through the valley, but you are competing with many other private vehicles, plus all the tour vehicles.  It costs up to $100 per person to take a guided Jeep tour, and even as much to take a horseback riding tour.


When we got out of the coach we were in for a rude awakening.....it was very windy, and if it was as high as 45 degrees I would be surprised.  This is a very beautiful setting to dry camp, and would have been just fine if our batteries were fully charged, which they weren't, even after the 130+ mile drive. In addition we had a bad angle to pick up sun on our solar panels.  The final straw was we knew we would have to run our big generator at some point as that night's temps were forecast to drop under 30, and there was a cute little travel trailer right next to where our exhaust pipe for the generator is located....we didn't want to "smoke" them out.  To even move the next day we would need the generator to run the block heater so we could start the DD.  So, ultimately, with the forecast of more wind the following day, and just slightly warmer temperatures, we decided to take some pictures and move on up the road to Bluff, UT where we could get an inexpensive electrical hookup for the night.


The views up the valley from the deck of The View Hotel are spectacular, and well worth the trip, however US 163 that you must drive up to Monument Valley is narrow, has no shoulder, and is seamed with cracks that have been resealed with tar.....not the ideal highway for our 62' length.  I often felt I just had enough room to pass semi trucks coming the opposite direction, plus there are no passing lanes for those vehicles who would loved to have passed us.  Additionally, there were no places for us to pull off, or we would have used them to let traffic pass us.



This is the dilemma we face as we move north....it is still cold where we ultimately are headed, and we are trying to pace ourselves to avoid the below freezing temps, but occasionally we run into very cold temperatures, and have to alter our plans based on our current circumstances.

We left Monument valley around 4 pm and headed another 49 miles north to to Bluff, but within 25 miles as we were passing through a little village named Mexican Hat we found a little RV park called Valles RV Park with a sort of view of the canyon through which runs the San Juan River.....when Miss Serendipity presents herself you must acknowledge her, and we did.  Of course, the main attraction is the rock formation for which this little village is named.....it is actually quite spectacular.....I don't know how that rock stays balanced.  The park itself was adequate for our needs Monday.....it is definitely not a destination resort.  They offer only 30 amp hookups, and have no amenities, but they do have full hookups if you need them.  It was a great overnight stop for us, nevertheless.

Mexican Hat Rock in the distance

It was just before 5 when we parked to go into the office, and we just caught the owner getting ready to shut the office for the day.  We quickly paid$27 for one night plus 30 amps of electricity, which we knew we would need this night.  We'll move on to Blanding, UT Tuesday and decide where to go from there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Everyone knows.....

I was reminded of a song from my youth (1967) yesterday......"Windy" by the Association.....the refrain goes...."Everyone knows it's Windy".....yesterday everyone knew it was "windy".  TLE and I were getting weather alerts all day on our phones warning of high winds.....really?  Is that what is rocking our coach to and fro and making it hard to hear each other talk?  It's windy?  Unless you were in a submarine, or a coal mine yesterday here in southern Utah you did not need a weather alert to tell you what you were experiencing.....there was plenty of impirical evidence.

Since we had received all the warnings the day before we had decided not to do anything Sunday, but hang out in our coach......out of the wind.  It was an easy decision for me as Sunday afternoon the final round of the Masters Golf Tournament would be on, and I cannot remember a year in recent memory when I have not been sitting in front of a TV during the final round of the Masters, and thus it was Sunday.

After almost a week of boondocking our house batteries were down to 77% when we woke up Sunday.  It had been heavily cloudy Saturday while we were gone site seeing and the batteries did not recover as much as we had hoped.  When we left for Kanab they were at 82%, and when we returned 7 hours later they had only made it back to 84%.  Normally we would have seen them get up to 90%, or more.  This only reconfirmed one more time for us that we need to add at least one more 150 watt solar panel to our current array.  Thankfully when we find ourselves in such situations we have our little Honda 1000 watt portable generator that we can run for hours on very little gasoline, and that is precisely what we did Sunday starting about 11 am all the way to 5:30 when we finally got our batteries back to a respectable 87% with the help of the sun.  Even though Sunday was a partly cloudy day we got enough assist from the sun we got to bring the batteries back up.

The night before, right after we returned from site seeing a couple pulled in behind us pulling a 5th wheel, which is not an issue for me....there is plenty of room here.  Within minutes there was a knock on our door....I opened the door to see an older gentleman who preceded to inquire if we would be running our generator (we had turned on the big Kohler 7.5 kw generator just after we got home), and if we would be having a fire that night.   You see, his wife did not want to park behind us if she would have to listen to our generator, and smell smoke from our campfire.  She apparently has an allergy to wood smoke.  At first I was a little miffed, but maintained my composure and replied that "No" we would not be running the generator much longer, and "No" there would be no fire that night due to the wind that was already coming up.  He thanked me and went his way.

Sunday morning about 9:30 while I was in my trailer working on something he came back.....I was thinking "Okay, now what?".  Isn't it interesting how we can form opinions about others before we really know them?   Based on the ever so brief conversation I had with this gentleman I had formed a somewhat negative opinion of him and his wife.  I believed, without foundation, that he and his wife were "worry warts", and here he was again to address some concern.......I thought.  In reality Des had come to ask for my assistance with a problem they were having with their stove.....apparently with all the vibration and rattling that goes on when an RV moves down the road, some screws had come loose on the burners and they were no longer properly secured.  He was not sure how to fix them and asked me to take a look.

Well, that began a real conversation as I stood there in their kitchen giving Des and Diane some pointers on how to fix their burners so they wouldn't come loose again (a little locktite).  We ended up talking for over an hour, and before I left we were exchanging contact information.  Des and Diane are from Wheeler, OR, one of our favorite coastal Oregon towns.  There are many great antique shops there, and it is right on the Nehalem River where  Des and Diane own a few miles of shoreline, and have invited us to stop off on our way up to Cape Blanco Lighthouse in September.  Hmmmmm.......you just never know, and you will never know unless you take the time to to get beneath the surface.  As it turns out Des and Diane are the most delightful people you could hope to meet in this lifestyle......just like Chuck and Jan earlier in the week.  You start talking and listening and suddenly you realize you have a connection.  Note to self for the 1 millionth time.....don't jump to conclusions about people......don't jump to conclusions.......DON'T jump to conclusions.

After bidding Des and Diane adieu.....they were headed up to Kanab.....I turned on the Honda and then the TV.  For the rest of the afternoon I watched the Masters.  It was a good day for golf, and one of my favorite golfers, Bubba Watson, ended up winning the green jacket for the 2nd time in three years.  I can't imagine a nicer afternoon than TLE and I had....yes, she watched part of the time, too.

TLE made a wonderful dinner for our last night at Lone Rock NRA......a parm crusted swai, honey bourbon glazed carrots, and a romaine salad with cilantro and tomatoes......plus....plus some hot sake.....yeah for me!


We ended this delightful day watching "The Amazing Race", "Resurrection" and "The Mentalist".

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kanu Kanab?

The last item on our list of things to do this time around in Page, AZ was to drive up to Kanab, UT to check it out, and then site see on the way back.  The drive over is only 64 miles, and the entire way you are driving through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  Since the forecast for Sunday is "WINDY" we decided Saturday would be the day to make the drive.

We had to fill up the VW gas tank as we had pretty much run it low with our round trip to Flagstaff, so we left camp just before 9 am, filled up in the little town of Big Water, UT (about 6 miles north of us) and then we were on our way to Kanab.

Kanab is located at the crossroads of US 89 and US 89A.....89 takes you north to Bryce and Zion National Parks, and 89A takes you south and east to the Grand Canyon.  We enjoyed the views of GSE (short for Grand Staircase Escalante) as we motored to Kanab, arriving at our destination a little after 10 am (Arizona time......we haven't changed our clocks over to Utah time and don't plan on it until we get nearer to Moab).  We visited the visitor's center to find out about a slot canyon located near Wire Pass somewhere between Kanab and Big Water.  We hadn't been able to figure out where the turnoff was, but he nice gentleman at the desk helped us out. Next we headed over to the local market to buy some bottled water....two gallons of Arrowhead for $1.98.....not bad. In addition we found they had Snap-E-Tom Tomato Cocktail juice in stock so we cleaned them out of their 13 can stockpile....score again!

Next we drove across the street to the local Shell gas station so I could clean the VW windshield while TLE went into the Subway next door to get a footlong for our lunch later.  There are not any services between Big Water and Kanab, so if we wanted any lunch time sustenance this would have to be it.

We were not done with Kanab quite yet.....we drove on through their "old town" section and found  a little antique shop called  "Antiques and Things".  TLE score another pair of Marcasite earrings for $10, and I 2 more state license plates for my collection.....Wyoming and North Dakota.....for $10 each.....that gives me 31 plates so far and 11 to go to catch up to the 42 states (plus one more for Alberta) we have been in so far on this journey.


Kanab Visitor's Center

We then headed back east toward's Johnson Canyon Road which is a scenic 16 drive into GSE.

Johnson Canyon

Then it was on back east and a little south to House Rock Canyon Road which would take us to Wire Pass and the beginning of our 5 mile roundtrip hike into a really cool slot canyon. The drive into Wire Pass trailhead was about 8 miles of washboardy, quite uneven dirt road, but we made it in about 40 minutes.  The parking lot was almost full, but we managed to snag the last parking spot.  Before starting our hike we ate our Subway sandwich, and then We bought two $6 hiking passes at the trailhead iron ranger.

The first mile of the hike takes you down a wash before you hit the slot canyon.  This slot canyon is very long and very narrow.  The colors were not as spectacular as Antelope Canyon, but they were pretty nice, nevertheless.







In all we hike about 5 miles before returning to the trailhead and beginning the tortuous 8 mile drive back to pavement.  By the time we arrived home around 4 pm I was ready for a nap, but not before taking a nice hot shower.  It was a good day, and I wish I could have uploaded more of the pictures we took, but my internet connection this morning stinks......not sure why, because it has been pretty good all week until this morning.

Sunday will be our last full day at Lone Rock and then we will begin to move northward toward Moab.....first stop Monday will be Monument Valley for a day, or two.

Thanks for stopping by!

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