Monday, September 23, 2013


Sunday, September 22 – We visited three sights today beginning with the Moki Dugway. The breathtaking ride up the Moki Dugway is an experience not soon forgotten. Stunning views open from the Dugway as it winds its way up an 10% grade, 1200 feet from Cedar Mesa to the Valley of the Gods.

Moki Dugway

The Dugway got its name from the ruts DUG into the trail so wagon trains climbing the mountain could put their wheels in the ruts and not slide off the side of the mountain. Can't imagine horse-pulled wagons climbing this grade. The road does have a “wash board” texture. Why does this happen on dirt roads? Any ideas?

Up we go.
Moki Dugway

One of the many switchbacks.Moki Dugway

Moki Dugway

This guy is nuts doing this drive with this load!
Moki Dugway

At the top of the mesa, a road leads west five miles to Muley Point. It provides a wonderful view of the valley below. We could see the Four Corners region (The spot where NM, AZ, UT, and CO meet.), to the east lies Sleeping Ute Mountains near Cortez, CO, to the southeast is Shiprock, AZ and to the southwest are the Corrizo Mountains in New Mexico.

Muley point

Our third stop was Goosenecks State Park. This is one of those sights Paul has been wanting to see for sometime. We were here about 30 years ago, and it's a memory that stuck in Paul's mind. It's an awesome view of the San Juan River meandering through the red rock over a 1000 feet below the overlook.

Goosnecks SP

We walked along the rim (no guard rails, so be careful and don't trip) to take in several different views and to get some pictures of the river curving below.

Goosnecks SP

We then drove out the path along the canyon rim to check out some boondocking (camping without hookups) sights. We are considering moving up here for a night or two if the weather cooperates. Unfortunately, the weather guesser is calling for rain, high winds, and possible snow or hail. That would make camping on the rim pretty scary and in our minds a No No!

Vicious wildlife is everywhere.Goosnecks SP

We intended to continue on to Natural Bridges National Monument, but the skies were looking threatening (heavy thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon). Marsha was getting nervous about descending Moki Dugway during or after a heavy rain, so we decided to return to the campground and put off visiting the Bridges until tomorrow. That will require another pass through the Dugway.....don't remind Marsha!

We will be back with the living tomorrow. Headed for Cortez, CO. The campground assures us that we will have WIFI and cell phone…yipppppeeeee!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!


Saturday, September 21 – We hit the trail again early this morning to drive through the Valley of the Gods.

Valley of the Gods

Now this is more like it! Much better than Monument Valley. In our minds you can skip Monument Valley and instead enjoy the Valley of the Gods.

The Valley is administered by Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and they do a terrific job maintaining the road through the area. The 17-mile loop road is a graded gravel and clay surface road that has a few sharp turns and crosses several washes. It is suitable for most passenger cars when the road conditions are dry. Driving time is approximately two hours.

road conditions

The beautiful Cedar Mesa sandstone monoliths, pinnacles, and other geological features of this amazing area along with the accessibility make it far superior to Monument Valley, in our opinion.

Valley of the Gods

During the drive through the valley you see a number monoliths which have been given local names. A guide is available to help identify each feature, but it is equally fun to name them yourself, depending on what you think they look like.

Seven Sailors
Seven Sailors

Hen sitting on the butte.
 setting hen butte

The next one is called Balanced Rock and Lady in a Tub. See her little toes sticking up.

balanced rock/lady in a tub

Marsha named this one Locomotive. See the moon. This is two days after the Harvest moon.


Before things begin getting hot and hazy, we recommend you head to the Valley early. That provides the best lighting for viewing and photography.

Fragile foliage.


We were permitted to hike to any landmark of our choosing.

Castle Butte.
Castle butte

Being BLM land, you are free to spend the night along the road in beautiful sites found among the rocks. Our 5th wheel is too big to get down the road comfortably.


Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!


Friday, September 20 – We had an appointment this morning to get our new tire mounted on the 5th wheel before pulling out of Moab. When Paul was doing his pre-travel inspections he noticed a big bubble on another of the 5th wheel tires.....YIKES! 


We called Chip at Grand Tire in Moab to arrange installation of a second tire. Both tires are on the front axle of the 5th wheel. We're not sure if that's simply a coincidence or an indication of some problem. Paul is considering all new tires but wants to wait for a more economical location.

changing tire

Our trip to Mexican Hat, UT, was uneventful. Paul did stop twice to check the torque on the wheels as recommended by the tire installer. No problems were found either time. Surprisingly, we had to ascend a fairly long 8% grade between Bluff and Mexican Hat. Again, our Ford 350 handled it without any problems.

Going down

We are in the Valle RV Park in Mexican Hat, UT.

Mexican Hat Rock
Mexican hat rock

Certainly not a resort! We don't stay in those anyway. Pretty much a gravel parking lot. There are about 12 sites but 7 of the sites are closed due to electrical problems. We are in site #6 at the end of the row – a 30 amp, FHU site. It is adequate for the three or four days we will be here. We are close to most of the attractions we are interested in visiting. Very poor Verizon phone/internet service, if any! But hey, we have satellite TV so what the heck!

Site 6

Site 6

Looking left. Nothing right.
looking left

Can you make out what is way across the canyon from us on Navajo land?


Did you guess correctly? There are long-horn sheep also, but we haven't seen any yet.


We drove over to Monument Valley this afternoon after we got setup in the campground.


First off, it's the Navajo Nation so forget about using the America the Beautiful pass…$5 admission per person. The buck doesn't stop there!

entrance sign monument valley

The Visitor's Center is poorly done unless you want to spend money in the gift shop. Due to all the rain Utah has had recently, the road out to the monuments is considered impassable.

monument valley sign

We watched some brave souls drive their vehicles on the tour....ouch! I value my truck more than some people value their vehicles, I guess. You can go on a tour starting at $75/person in one of the Indian Jeeps. It's all about money here in the Navajo Nation. We left very disappointed but so happy this was not our first visit.

Here are some sites from the Visitor's Center.

West and East Mitten Butte
West and East Mitten Butte

mounment valley

mounment valley

This evening's moon rise over the canyon.

moon rise

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!





Friday, September 20 – This is really a continuation of the day we hiked to Landscape Arch.

After our hike to Landscape Arch, we jumped into the truck and stopped at Broken Arch and Sand Dunes Arch on our way out of the Park. Both these Arches can be viewed with an easy one mile hike (each way).

Broken Arch. Paul is the little guy way up there.broken arch

The hike to Sand Dunes Arch was pretty cool. We hiked through a slot canyon into a very sandy area.

Good thing Paul didn't have that extra piece of pizza last night.slot

sandy area

Sand Dunes Arch

Our last stop was Fiery Furnace viewpoint. This is a closed hike. You must make reservations (booked solid), and pay a small fee ($10 each). We watched the group of 25 hikers begin their decent into the Canyon and chuckled a bit. In the first 200 yards, several hikers were having difficulty causing breaks in the line of single-file hikers and causing other hikers to try to pass. Paul felt this might have caused him a little frustration if we were members of this hiking group. Maybe missing the hike was a blessing in disguise.

Fiery Furnace

Firey Furance

It was a short day of hiking intentionally. We returned to the RV to relax a little and to avoid the afternoon thunder showers that have become typical during our time in Moab, UT. We've received over 3.25 inches of rain (according to Paul's rain gauge in the RV Park) since our arrival in Moab.

Now to the present….We are sure y'all got to see the Harvest Moon last night. Here is what it looked like in Moab.

Rising last night.
moon in Moab

Setting this morning.
moon in Moab

We give two thumbs up to Moab Brewery and Paradox Pizza. Marsha is definitely not a beer drinker but really like their lightest beer. We had pizza twice at Paradox Pizza. Excellent grilled veggie pizza. Also, if you need anything from Walmart or any other retail store, buy if before you get here. The nearest shopping area is 90 miles away.

We had an excellent two weeks in Moab and highly recommend it to all.

We arrived in Mexican Hat, Utah, this afternoon. More on that later.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day.