We did say we wanted adventure, didn’t we?? Well we got it in spades as we left Las Vegas and headed to Moab, Utah to meet up with our friends Jane & Rick. We’ve known Jane since before we were married and hadn’t seen her in more than 20 years. They live near Grand Junction, Colorado, and since we were going to be fairly close, it made sense to meet up in Moab.
We kept our eye on the weather and all looked great until the day we left when suddenly they were predicting SNOW! Being SoCal natives, we were pretty intimidated at the idea of driving a 36′ refrigerator shaped object towing a jeep on snow-covered roads, but it was supposed to stop soon, so we decided to risk it!
Our travel style is to drive 3-4 hours per day, then stay somewhere 3-4 days, unless we have a specific date we need to be somewhere, in which case we still only drive 3-4 hrs, but we just stop someplace quick for the night. Usually it’s a Wal-Mart or Cracker Barrel parking lot, both of which usually welcome RVers for the night. Sometimes it’s a rest stop or a truck stop. Often we don’t even put out the slides. We just live “squished” for a few hours and carry on. We can still get to all we need, such as the bathroom, fridge, stove and microwave.
This time we had planned to get to Richfield, Utah and stay at a Wal-mart, then have an easy 2-3 hour drive into Moab the next morning. But once the snow started, by the time we hit St. George, we knew we couldn’t make it. We found a Home Depot that we had heard would allow overnighters, and we made ourselves at home there.
The next morning it was touch and go. Most of the snow had melted on the highway and it was only snowing lightly. We had to decide whether to keep going or to turn back to Vegas and go the long way around, adding another day to the transit time. The traffic cams we could see showed long stretches of dry highway with no snow, so we decided to risk it and headed up the I15 on our way to the I70. We unhitched the Jeep so that David didn’t have to tow it along with trying to keep the Bounder from sliding around, and I drove along behind. Before long, here is what we encountered! It was pretty scary, let me tell you!
Eventually, though, the skies cleared up and we were able to hitch the Jeep back up. What was supposed to be a 2-3 hour day ended up being 6 hours, but the sites Jane & Rick had picked out for us were just gorgeous and we were SO glad we hadn’t taken the extra day.
Horsethief campground is on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land about 30 miles outside of Moab, Utah, and is fairly primitive. You have to drive down a gravel road to get there, and although there are vault toilets and large trash receptacles, there is no electricity or water, so we were very glad to be self contained! During the night it began to snow again, and we woke up to a winter wonderland! Twenty four hours later it was all gone, and we had nearly perfect weather the rest of our time there.
As the snow was melting, we loaded up the 2 dogs (Rick & Jane had brought Esther, their adorable pup) and headed for Dead Horse State Park. It is the only park in the area that allows dogs on the trails. We hiked around 5 miles and it went by SO fast! Pongo had a BLAST in the snow, and it was a beautiful park!
By the next day all of the snow was gone and we set out with the dogs to do some hiking. We wanted to try to find Corona Arch. We started out going the “long way” around because it would be more beautiful, but because of all the wet mud and fallen rocks, we couldn’t navigate the road. So we decided to go the “traditional” road which was about 40 minutes longer.
The GPS took us down a CRAZY road that we couldn’t even begin to navigate, even with our Jeep. I don’t have photos, but another couple posted some video from where they tried to do it in their Subaru! (If you want to check that out it’s here https://youtu.be/nMvKkVdOhQI)
That was a no-go for us. We decided to check out Longbow Arch instead. It was a great hike and the dogs had an awesome time!
That was Rick & Jane’s last night and so we spent the evening playing games. We discovered that Skip Bo is the longest game in the history of the world! I’ve played many Monopoly games that were shorter! We all CHEERED when David finally won so we could all go to bed!
The next day, after bidding a sad farewell to Rick & Jane and making very loose plans to meet up again later this year, we decided to check out Arches National Park without Pongo (dogs aren’t allowed). It was a bit late in the day so we only drove through it and did one short hike, but it was truly spectacular. By now we had learned our lesson and had dressed in many layers! We didn’t worry about all we had missed, because we WILL be back here!
On our final day, we made the drive through the upper part of Canyonlands National Park. We took Pongo, but he had to stay in the car for most of it, except for potty breaks. Our favorite view was of Mesa Arch, which is known for gorgeous sunrise photos (Sorry, I love you all, but not enough to get up at 5am to get the shot. You can see plenty of them online if you’re interested!) This particular photo was memorable because on the way to the trailhead I was gawking and not paying attention, and fell FLAT on my face in front of God and everybody! I was SO embarrassed, but except for some scratches to my glasses, and a scraped up knee, forehead and hands, no serious harm done!! Fortunately for me, David chose not to document the moment so you’ll have to make do with this view of us taken by a fellow tourist at Mesa Arch!
Here’s another lovely view from Canyonlands. For some reason we didn’t get a closer view. I honestly think this place rivals the Grand Canyon for spectacular views. We couldn’t do the GC this trip, so it’s going to have to wait until our next pass through the area.
And with that it was time to say goodbye to Moab. We will DEFINITELY come back because we want lots more time to explore the many national parks in the area. Because of course, we bought one of those National Parks passports and now we have to collect ALL the stickers and get it stamped at every park!! (Whatever marketing firm came up with that idea deserves an award!) Chat again soon!
Next Up: Monument Valley