Sunday, August 26, 2012

Petroglyphs, Goosenecks and Valley of the Gods!


Last Thursday, August 16th, Chuck and I got up early and headed out. First to Sand Island, 4 miles south of Cadillac Ranch RV Park in Bluff Utah.  Most of you know I love petroglyphs!  I would love to be able to understand them, as would many others much more scholarly than I! One of my favorite panels is at Sand Island.  I did a post on it last year, so I will just post a few photos of it this year and post a link in case you are interested in seeing more.

There is only this small sign on the east side of the road announcing Sand Island, no mention of the petroglyphs. As you go down the hill, take the first road to the right to get to the rock art.

I love the old Navajo songs and stories!

This art is between 300 and 3,000 years old!

There is art drawn over art, some of the newer art obliterating some of the older drawings.

The drawings are dense in places, you can click on the image to view it full size.  Many animal drawings and beings I don't recognise.

Like this guy, does he look alien or what????

Many Kokopelli images on these 2 panels.  They are very large and dense with art! If you like petroglyphs this is a place you should visit!
Visit last year's blog for more photos of Sand Island


There are about 5 or 6, maybe more, of these very deep, very tight "Goosenecks".

The older I get, the stronger my fear of heights becomes!  Knowing it is at least 1,200 feet straight down behind her, my heart was in my throat as I watched this lady backing up for a photo!

Then Chuck took this photo of 2 young men who climbed down to walk out on this ledge.... YIKES! What were they thinking? How did they get back up?
It was almost straight down to get to where they are now!

For more information on the "Goosenecks State Park", click the link below!


Valley of the Gods is like a mini Monument Valley. Up close and personal. 

However, please pay attention to the signs and don't just blow by them like this guy just did. It clearly states that this road is not recommended for RV's etc., etc., etc.

The roads are dirt, mostly narrow one lane tracks. Steep hills, sharp curves hanging over cliff edges and deep dippity do gullys! Fine for a regular sized car or truck but NOT an RV!

Chuck and I can not figure out how this idiot made it this far into Valley of The Gods under those road conditions! This was a 32'-33' Class C rental! Sheeeh!

We followed him for several miles, unable to pass him. When we finally get to a wide spot in the road what do we find?  Another RV rental coming up the hill from the other direction! This was the only wide spot in the road for at least 5 miles, so at least they met in a good spot, but what the hell were they thinking???? 

Actually, both drivers were probably terrified! They spoke for several minutes as they sat side by side, probably discussing what the road ahead was going to be like for each of them.  Here is the road ahead for the guy we were following!  He let us pass him after the other RV passed by us both! That strip of land that looks like it cuts through the road was actually a very DEEP dippity-do gully... we had serious doubts that long RV would ever get past that! The shorter RV going the other direction left scrape marks all over the rocks!

But for those of your who are the more intelligent of the human species, Valley of the Gods is certainly worth the time and visit. You don't really need a 4 wheel drive, but we did engage ours a few times. We were in my Chevy TrailBlazer.

The vistas here are awe inspiring!

I love the totem formations!

More road views....

We had a great day! Valley of the Gods and Goosenecks State Park are both on the same side road off highway 163 about 1/2 way between Monument Valley and Bluff Utah.  We went back to the MotherShip at Cadillac Ranch in Bluff and felt that wonderful kind of tired you get from having had a good day.
We left Bluff the next day and headed down the most beautiful road just south of Bluff, we picked up highway 191 to Chinle AZ and Canyon de Chelly our next stop!  More about that on the next post, I promise!
Right now, August 26th, we are now in our home at Truth or Consequences NM.  We are workamping only 2 hours away in Mimbres NM near Silver City. We work 3 days and we are off 4 days....  how sweet is that????  So on our first days off, we came home for the first time since we left in April! hahaha! Found waist high weeds in our yard waving in the wind to greet us!  We spent our first night in town at our favorite restaurant "Groovy Gritz" and with good friends Dave and Gayle Turpin.  Cactus Flats was playing good tunes on stage but Chuck and I were pooped from the drive and yard work so we left early!  Felt good to wake up at home!
That's the news from the crew of The MotherShip, Geri, Chuck and the HoundHerd, Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar.  Tell ya about Canyon de Chelly in a day or two!
Somebody has the right idea of home! Love it! Seems those 3 dogs do too! I found this photo online and loved it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bluff Utah - One of our favorites!


There really isn't anything particularly beautiful about the town of Bluff, but we love it primarily because of it's location to all things amazing to the Southwestern USA! There are some really cute houses here worth driving around to see and of course Fort Bluff, well worth your time to visit!
 AND of course the GOOD restaurants! But let's start with the location!   To the South of here, you have Monument Valley, Goosenecks State Park and Valley of the Gods. North and West of here you have Natural Bridges, Highway 95 to Hanksville is one of the most beautiful highways in the Southwest taking you to Capitol Reef National Park and Escalante. To the North, there is Newspaper Rock, Moab with that wonderful rock petroglyph panel on Potash Road, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, to the East you have Hovenweep Ruins, Mesa Verde and Four Corners.  All are day trips from Bluff! We usually stay here a week or so and go exploring. This time we can only stay a few days because we are heading for our new job in New Mexico.


In this tiny town of Bluff, there seem to be at least 5 up and running restaurants.  Our Favorite is Twin Rocks Cafe.

Named for the Twin Rock formation towering over
the restaurant

The restaurant has a mixture of traditional Navajo fare as well as lots of typical American restaurant foods to choose from.

Corri Benally serves us our favorite! Navajo Pizza! It's is just like a regular pizza (only better!) served on traditional Navajo Fry Bread.  YUM! They even cut it in half for Chuck and me and I can't even begin to tell you how good it is!
Chuck's grin ought to tell you how much he loves it!

This is where we stay when we come to Bluff. It's not fancy but it has everything you need including wonderful owners, Diana and Tim, who treat you like family! This is our 3rd year coming here.

 The campground is small, 14 RV sites with Full Hook-ups and 4 with water and electric.  There are 14 tent sites available on a small pond with fishing allowed or you can fish in the nearby San Juan River.

 Reservations are suggested!  It's a great little campground. We are sad because the current owners are ready to retire and have this jewel up for sale!
If you are looking for a great opportunity, here it is!
Cadillac Ranch Highway 191 East Bluff Utah
phone: 435-672-2262

If Chuck and I were a bit younger...  we sure would consider this!

Campground Kitty

Geri and Diana looking at a turquoise and silver pendant made by Emmanuel Gray of Monument Valley.

If you decide to visit Bluff, this is the road from Capitol Reef and Hanksville down to Bluff, a beautiful drive!

Yesterday, Chuck and I visited GooseNecks State Park and Valley of The Gods. But that will be another blog another day.  Today we leave here headed down to Canyon de Chelly. My 3rd visit and Chuck's first.
From there we head down to Mimbres NM to our new workamping job at Mountain Spirits RV.

Happy Trails from The MotherShip and Geri and Chuck and the HoundHerd Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!  Hope you enjoyed Bluff Utah!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Page/Lake Powell AZ

Waiting in Page AZ

It's so darned frustrating... just waiting on something you have no control over! Our Doctor  in NM is on vacation and apparently left nobody in charge for authorizing refills for prescriptions!  We started trying to get Chuck's prescription refilled while we were still in Hurricane Utah and nothing before we left. WalMart pharmacy told us they would forward it to Page as soon as the approval came through.  We stayed here in Page an extra day, called the clinic and made the request again, and still no prescription for Chuck!    :-(

Usually, when we come to the Page/Lake Powell area we camp at Wahweap Campground .  Their prices have gone sky high but it is a beautiful campground and worth every penny!
So we decided to try the more affordable Page-Lake Powell Campground on 849 Coppermine Road.

It's is $23 here for water and electric and it is a very nice campground close to the WalMart Pharmacy (should we need to run over there!)

 Page is a small town created when Glen Canyon dam was built. Much like how our hometown of Truth or Consequences NM emerged from the Elephant Butte dam!  See DoogieBowser grabbing his leash? He likes to walk himself!
 This campground is huge! As you can tell from the sign on the laundry, the main campers here are Europeans! They come in the RV rentals, Cruise America's etc.  There are at least 3 huge groups of teen tenters here also from Europe. Perfect time for the Europeans to come, the dollar is so devalued that  they can travel far on their euros and our gas is about $2 cheaper per gallon than their gas is back home. 
We are very happy where they put us in the campground. Off in a corner by ourselves. We had no close neighbors here, nice!

The east side of the campground is a huge red rock, and they have created an interesting hiking trail there.  Page-Lake Powell Campground offers an indoor pool, hot tub, exercise room, laundry and is dog friendly.

Chuck and I have the best luck in finding amazing restaurants!  In Page we found "Fiesta Mexicana" and OMG!!!!  It is amazing! (Gaelyn, they have one in Kanab!) The campground folks highly recommended this restaurant to us and we were glad they did! 

 The salsa that comes with the chips is good, but you haven't tasted good guacamole until you have tried it here!  YUM!
 Our server was Fernando, funny, friendly and delightful! He gave good service and we asked for him the next 2 nights we visited! Hey, good Mexican food is hard to find in Utah... we were making up for lost time now that we were in Arizona!
 Chuck got a chimichunga and I got chicken enchiladas with verde sauce. The servings were HUGE and very moderately priced!
The patio outside is colorful and it really feels like a happy place inside and out to enjoy your meal!
I do want to put in a word here about the folks who come from other countries and rent the motorhome RV's.  I just wish you would figure out the speed limit signs and stay on the right side of the road and not drive down the middle! Yesterday we followed a Cruise America RV for 44 miles from Mexican Hat to Bluff UT. The speed limit was posted at 65... They drove most of it over the middle line at 45mph except when going downhill! And there are several long downhill 7%-9% grades where I was wondering if they had found where the brake pedal was yet! EeeeeeK! Because of their erratic driving we opted NOT to pass them with the MotherShip but to follow with flashers on. Only 2 cars attempted to pass them and one nearly got sideswiped as the rental RV drifted over in the left lane, I don't think they ever used the rear view or side mirrors to see if anyone else was sharing the road with them! Of course I agree, the scenery from Mexican Hat to Bluff is awesome and amazing, BUT !!! Please... PAY ATTENTION!
Last night we landed in one of our favorite campgrounds, Cadillac Ranch in Bluff Utah!
Bluff is a perfect place to spend a few days or weeks just exploring the Southwest! Great location! Less than an hour to Monument Valley,

or Hovenweep or Canyonlands National Parks, Moab, The Goosenecks State Park, Valley of the Gods and some of the most amazingly beautiful country America has to offer! Less than 3 hours from here is four corners and Mesa Verde National Park. Usually we just plunk ourselves down right here at the Cadillac Ranch for several days and go exploring! This part of Utah is one that will keep your jaw dragging on the ground, it is just so beautiful.... it screams "THIS is the SouthWest!" to me! It defines the American southwest better than any other place we have visited.  More later in the next blog! 
Love ya'll!
Geri, Chuck and our HoundHerd Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grand Canyon - North Rim


It was gloomy, hot, humid and overcast when we finally left Willowinds RV Park in Hurricane UT.
A very nice and affordable alternative to camping closer to Zion!

When we arrived on Wednesday, we just sat outside and visited with Gaelyn for awhile! What a treat just to sit outside! The weather was low 80's coooool compared with the 100+ temps of Zion and Hurricane for the past few months! What a treat to sleep with all the windows open and need a blanket!

On Thursday morning, we got up fairly early and Gaelyn took us sightseeing! Talk about a tour guide.. !!! Gaelyn has been a National Park Ranger for some 20 years, the last 5 have been as a ranger at the Grand Canyon North Rim! We met via our blogs. Gaelyn has been blogging several years and so have we, we just recently started reading each others blogs! When Gaelyn had mentioned in her blog that she was coming down to Hurricane to shop.. I invited her to come for a visit, which she did!
She invited us up to the North Rim when we finished our time in Hurricane. We agreed! Please feel free to visit Gaelyn's blog:

Gaelyn found us this beautiful camping area near the rim and under all these beautiful pine trees!

We took a traditional pose with Angel's Window behind us, Gaelyn was kind enough to take the
picture for us!

There is a short trail out over Angel's Window. But by this time the altitude had gotten to me. The North Rim is over 8,000 feet high. I felt like I had an elephant on my chest, so I handed the camera to Chuck and walked back to a bench hoping to grab some oxygen!
Oooops! I did take this photograph and the one below of Gaelyn.  Then I pooped out and found a bench! It was so cool to see rain approaching the inner canyon!

Gaelyn captures images for her blog!

It was really different seeing both sun and rain in the canyon! The colors are magnificent!

We watched as the storm approached the inner canyon.  This is a very rare sight for visitors! We were so lucky!

Then we moved to a different viewpoint. I stayed in the car, trying to breath as Chuck took these amazing photographs!
Proof that wet rocks are more colorful than dry ones!
As close as we were to the rain, we never got rained on!


Amazing job with the camera Chuck!  You just might have a new job!

Imperial Point was our last stop for the day! Even though I wasn't able to participate as much as I wanted, I had a wonderful time! Thank you Gaelyn.
Breakfast at the Lodge and
Native American Heritage Festival
 Gaelyn picked us up about 9:30am and took us to breakfast at the Grand Canyon Lodge, overlooking the beautiful canyon through huge picture windows! I had wonderful eggs benedict, Chuck had a breakfast burrito, Gaelyn and FabGrandma had 2 eggs with hashbrowns bacon and sausage.  We all waddled outta there! Here you see L to right: Chuck, Gaelyn and Karen (FabGrandma).Link to FabGrandma's blog:

FabGrandma took this candid shot of Chuck and I on the patio outside the restaurant.

 Just below where Chuck and I were standing is a shot walk to another viewpoint!  I remember walking down there with my mom soooo many years ago!

After breakfast, I was still feeling yuckkky, so we went back to The MotherShip to rest up until the festivities started at 2 pm.  One thing for sure to remember about the North Rim, it is not nearly as crowded as the South Rim and it is beautiful! It's not as accessible as the south rim, nor as big, but if I had to choose between the South Rim and the North Rim for a visit, I would choose North Rim everytime!

2 pm came and I was still feeling yuckkky  Darn, I really wanted to attend the festival!  I decided against going and handed my camera over to Chuck once again.  He did a great job!


 Hopi Basket Weaving

This young lady, Ranger Susan, put this whole festival together herself!  Thank you Susan!

Hand woven, beautiful Navajo Rugs!

Hopi Dancers

Father and son Hoop Dancers

  Hopi   Singers....  young son also plays drum!

Father and son also dance The Eagle Dance

 Another day comes to an end. Saturday Chuck and I drove to Page and it is from here I am posting this blog. Down 4,000 feet lower, the elephant is off my chest and I am feeling much better! We will be here one more day as Chuck has
to pick up his meds at WalMart and then Tuesday we head up to Bluff Utah via Monument Valley and a quick visit to our friend Emanual Grey!

I must say that it feels so good to be back on the road again! Seems like we were in Hurricane for such a long time, but we made some new friends while we were there. It just feels good to have some wind in our sails again!

We love ya'll and hope you enjoyed the visit to the North Rim Grand Canyon! 
Happy Trails from the crew of the MotherShip:
Chuck, Geri, and our HoundHerd Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!