Friday, April 3, 2015
I was up by 6 am Thursday.....put the coffee on, turned on the generator, then the block heater, and began putting the entry step and mats away, and we were rolling by 6:45.....sorry neighbors.......don't park so close next time!
As we merged on to HWY 89 we descended toward Glen Canyon Dam which is at 3,700 feet elevation and then began our tortuous climb to over 6,800' before descending back down to Gouldings Lodge/Campground at 5,700'. Our reason, once again, for the early start was the forecast winds, which did arrive about the time we hit the intersection of 89 and 160 where we turned directly east and picked up the brisk tail wind all the way to our next turn in Kayenta, AZ.....nothing like a 25 mph tail wind pushing 40,000 lbs. of steal down the road!
We stopped at the Basha's in Kayenta to buy a few things before we merged onto HWY 163 to fight the side winds coming from the west (our driver's side) the last 24 miles into Monument Valley. Keyenta is smack dab in the middle of the Navajo Nation where it is illegal to serve, or, apparently, sell alcohol. Part of our reason for stopping at Basha's was to buy some wine before we enter Utah....sometimes the 'plan' does not always come together.
Narrow shoulderless 163...Monument Valley coming into view
We left Kayenta a little after 9 to traverse the final 24 miles back into Utah, and Monuyment Valley. I spent the next 35 minutes wrestling with the wind out of the west trying to keep our 'beast' on the narrow, shoulderless road that is 163. At one point a gust of wind broadsided us and almost succeeded in pushing us off the road. Whenever you find yourself in this situation you must resist the temptation to over correct and cause an even more serious problem where you lose control. I saw the lip of the road coming fast as I gradually turned the wheel to the left.....everything seems to go into slow motion, but in reality you really do usually have more time than you think......I kept turning the wheel to the left and finally felt the coach and trailer respond by moving back to the left, and just over the center line (no one was coming thank God), and then gently corrected back into my lane. I could see the right wheels of the trailer just go off the lip of the road, and then come back on again. There was a moment there when I thought worst would happen.
Goulding's is, as TLE would say, a "cheek by jowl" park......very, very tight.....we parked in the 'waiting' area while we went into secure our reserved site for two days. We then walked to our site (23) to be sure we could get in, and with the lone exception of a slightly low hanging tree it was fine. Fortunately, we are in kind of a sheltered area from the wind.
After we got set up I went back into the office to make a reservation for the 3:45 pm sunset tour of Monument Valley on Friday....when we were here last year it was cold and very windy and we didn't have time to take the tour anyway, so we resolved to do that when we came back again this year.
'Cheek by Jowl'
I spent the afternoon working on my taxes as this is probably the last good broadband we'll have for a couple of weeks.......looks like we'll see some more money flowing back our way from Uncle Sam!
As we sat eating dinner I noticed the moon creeping up over the local sandstone formations.....very cool!
We watched 'Bones', 'Blacklist' and 'Elementary' before heading off to slumberland once again.....thanks for stopping by!