By: Bears Butt
We have been covering a lot of ground since I was last on here….sorry, but without satellite computer connections I have to wait until I’m at a place with WiFi. We arrived here last night and I’ll tell you more about that towards the end of this.
So, the last you read we were in Moab enjoying the WiFi of another campground, it’s funny how this all works…just joking. You also were told we were going to make the loop up through Castle Valley and over the LaSal Mountain…well we didn’t make that loop and here’s why.
When you are travelling with a 30 foot class A motorhome, you get quite restricted as to the places you can and can’t go, we experienced that when we went into Arches National Monument. Add to that our little dog MaPa’s and you have just doubled your restrictions. Signs throughout the park say “No Dogs” on the trails. So, even though we are not equipped to go hiking very far, we could not go hiking anywhere. So, take it from me, don’t waste your money on the park entrance fee of $10 and your gas to drive the 30 mile round trip through the park because that is all you will do and you will not see but one arch (a long way off) the entire way and a pinnacle spire of a rock that looks like a phelic (sp) symbol. Just pick up a brochure and take close up pictures of the pictures in it and tell everyone “You were there”, close enough.
So, we wasted about 3 hours doing just that and that cost us our trip through the LaSal mountains and Castle Valley. But the day was grand weather wise and off we headed towards Monticello and eventually the 4 Corners area.
Winemaker got to see Newspaper Rock, but here again, with little MaPa’s in tow, I took him for a walk across the road, while she visited the rock. From there we headed toward Foy Lake in hope of locating a good camp spot there for the night…no shade…so down to Dalton Springs we went. Dalton Springs is a very nice camp ground $10/night, tucked away off to the side of the road leading to and from Monticello. They have fresh water if you have a way to carry it, but the nicest part about our stay was the quiet. So very quiet and full of nice shade trees (tall oak trees). You almost felt like you had to whisper to be allowed to stay. We had only three other campers sharing the 14 or so camp areas with us and we all maintained our distance from each other. Only an occasional cough or closing door could be heard. Of course at the entrance was a sign about “Bears have been seen in the area” and the usual warning about keeping a clean camp and your food inside a locked container. Oh ya! For those without a way to keep their food locked up, they have a “Bear Proof” locking metal container in the middle of all the camp sites for you to use. I opened it up and looked inside…pretty cool. It was big enough you could sleep in it if you had to, but remember, if you do get inside to sleep, you will have to have someone from the outside let you out. In that remote of an area you might be in there a few days.
So, we went to bed about 8:45 p.m., it was dark and very quiet. The distant thunder of a storm way off to the South could be heard and only twice during the night did I hear faint pattering of rain on our roof. Just enough to make sure no dust was going to ruin our stay. It was very nice…quiet and very cool, almost cool enough to warrant the furnace heater, but we resisted and just cuddled under the blankets. MaPa’s made sure he was between us as well.
During our deep sleep, about 5 a.m., a sudden commotion outside sounded like a pack of 50 wolves, began howling and making a very big racket! I sat up in bed with a start! What the heck!!! The wolves were not far off and my mind went racing to the poor people up the campsite sleeping in a tent. The noise was coming from their direction! And then my sleeping mind began to sort out the noises…Hounds….hounds that chase after bears and cougars. A Houndsman had turned his pack loose just up the road and they were baying and charging through the forest trying to locate something of interest. As time went on, their baying and barking got fainter and fainter and soon they were so far off you could barely hear them. That was sort of a rush and I’m certain the people up the road (with Colorado license plates) were “rushed” even more. Can you imagine what they thought with that noise so very close to their camp? Especially if they had been enjoying some of their wacky weed.
Well, MaPa’s got quite a thrill out of it as well, and he kept his head up, be didn’t move one muscle, nor did he make any sounds.
After a good breakfast, we packed up and headed for the 4 Corners National Monument. A pretty long boring drive, but we made it and had another tourist take our pictures standing in 4 states at the same time. Well, we were holding onto one another with two feet in two states for the pictures…Winemaker in Colorado and New Mexico, while I was in Utah and Arizona. The place is different than we expected and they had many booths around the placard in the middle, each boot selling Indian jewelry and assorted trinkets and bobbles. We went for a Fry Bread and made a sandwich out of it for our lunch. The other shining beads and stuff didn’t appeal to us, besides little old MaPa’s was looking forlornly out the coach window, anxiously waiting our return. He is such a good little dog.
Now, it’s on to another tourist “must see”….Mesa Verde! Spanish translation for this place is “Green Table”. We planned on spending a night very near there and then all day exploring the many relics that make up that place. The brochures we had all said the same type of things that they did at Arches…No Dogs, hiking with guided tours, bring lots of water etc….
On our way, we contacted Laura, Dennis’s wife, and she said she was on her way but would not be at their cabin until about 3 hours or so later, but that Dennis was already there. We should stay at their place and then go see the Mesa Verde the next day. It all sounded so good, they even offered us a car and to watch MaPa’s. Well, we aren’t the type to impose like that but the offer to stay at their place sounded like we could not turn them down. Soon we got a call from Dennis and he met us at a place (accidently we were lost in downtown Deloris) and led us to their cabin. As we were about to leave Deloris, his last comment to me was, “When we get to the bridge, don’t worry about how narrow it looks, it will hold the weight of your coach, I take mine across it all the time”!
Bridge? What bridge? I don’t recall seeing any bridge when I looked up their place on Google Earth. Oh well, maybe I was looking at a different place than theirs. But soon there I was faced with “The Bridge”….just barely the width of the coach (inside duel tires only) and I drove across it like I knew what I was doing. The back of the rig only slightly dipped as the right rear tires came onto it. Our speed carried us the rest of the way. Life is good.
We spent the night at their place, sleeping in the coach and not hooking up to their facilities. Their cabin runs totally on solar power and to hook up would mean they would have to turn on a generator or go through some other “battery draining” thing and I did not want that to happen….our batteries are good enough for a night’s stay. They served us a very nice evening meal of venison steaks, spuds and salad…yummy! And in the morning a great breakfast burrito, one of Dennis’ famous meals….Both meals were very good. Our visit was super as well and we got to all share stories of our past and of course to see their very nice cabin and properties. I also got to meet Dennis’ father and step mother. His dad is in his 90′s and still going strong. He shared several of his war stories with me and I got to see how he gasses gophers. 22 minutes is all it takes to kill the whole bunch.
In the morning we had convinced ourselves a trip through the Green Table, would be just like the Arches one and decided we needed to head for Grand Junction to visit with some of Winemakers relatives. We said our good byes to Dennis and Laura and headed for the narrow bridge.
I didn’t even slow down as I approached the bridge, figuring if it caved in with us, that was what was meant to be and off we went. I don’t think it even creaked as I went across it, after all, Dennis said the “Bureau” had recently rebuilt it.
Now on the road that takes you from Deloris up through Telluride and over towards Grand Junction. The road from Deloris to Telluride and down the other side is very interesting and beautiful and if it wasn’t for all the folks trying to get to Telluride to get their stashes of weed, it would have been a much better trip, but they were all in such a hurry, I was as tense as could be by the time we started down the other side. Not much traffic going down, as they were all going up, to get “UP”. Dennis and Laura say it is fun to go to Telluride to watch the people all standing around in their tie died get ups and saying weird stuff to one another. Dennis says that even the dogs are on the stuff. We didn’t actually go into the town, as the road has a turn off before you get to it…just another “Park City” to us. Pretty scenery though.
As we proceeded down the road, I felt the need to top off the fuel tank because I didn’t know what to expect on the road. The map shows a series of snake like squiggles and distance marks that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I passed on gassing in a small town along the way, figuring the next town would have a bigger place to pull into. As it turned out we ended up gassing in Grand Junction with the fuel gauge licking the “E”. The drive was “normal” until we got into a steep walled canyon, with the Deloris river running down the bottom of it. The cliff walls stood 200 or so feet vertically on both sides of us and it was so cool to be driving down through it. Miles and miles of it as we wound our way along. At one point I could see the remains of a cliff side road made out of timbers sticking out of the walls with other timbers laid on top of the ones sticking straight out from the cliff face. I didn’t get a chance to pull over for pictures as the road is two lanes going each way. In my mind they would have been wonderful pictures and to think about the people who actually drove their horses and wagons on that “road”, wholly crap!
We arrived safely in Grand Junction, gassed up at the slowest gas pump in the west and finally made our camp at the Junction West RV Park! I was ready for a beer and to get away from the wheel.
In my excitement to get parked, I left the door open and the step down as I followed our host to our camp spot and in backing in, I hit a post with the step…I didn’t break anything, but bent the step bad enough it would not close. DANG! Now what? After a couple of beers and having taken MaPa’s over for a bathroom break, I remembered throwing in my “new” tool bag that Duck had given me and in it I had placed my “come along”. At home I thought about taking that out, but figured, what the heck, it won’t be in the way and besides, it’s already in the bag….Nothing happens by accident and I’m sure glad I had it. I borrowed a short nylon rope from the host and tied it to the rear axle under the rig, hooked the one end of the come along to it, the other to the step and with a couple of clicks and a prayer or two the step went right back into shape and closed just like new! Thank you Junction West hosts and Thank you God!
While I was busy doing my thing, Winemaker was contacting her relatives and made arrangements for us all to meet today…Sunday….I’ll make us some breakfast now and then we will be on our way. If we don’t spend all day visiting we might make our next destination….Flaming Gorge, or somewhere between Grand Junction and there. Who knows, but stand by and you’ll find out in upcoming events on this station…..Bears Butt Dot Com!
August 3, 2014 (what happened to July???)
Dennis said he has not seen any Eurasian Collard Doves in the Doloris area…..Well, get ready Dennis, they have a firm Wing-Hold here in Grand Junction!!!!