Tuesday, 28 September 2010

4 Corners & Monument Valley

We started off to an early start yesterday morning, thinking that we’d get underway around 8:30 AM.  Got all packed up, pulled in the slides, put up the jacks? put up the jacks? put up the jacks.  Ok, jacks not coming up.  Try a few things, nothing.  Ken goes and gets our tail gunner, the handy man.  He checks a few things, can find nothing wrong.  I haul out my manual for the jacks.  They have an electric console that you use to lower and retract.  I try all the troubleshooting options.  Nothing.  Our tail gunner, Bob, puts on his overalls and crawls under the rig to see if he can find anything amiss.  I keep fiddling with the console.  Finally, manually, I get 3 out of the 4 up.  Then lo and behold I finally get the 4th and final jack up.  We finally get underway, almost 1 1/2 hours later.  It was a long drive today, 194 miles. 

We stopped at the 4 corners monument.  This is where Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico’s border all actually touch, therefore the 4 corners.  Not much there, just the monument a few kiosks selling Indian jewellery.  So we were on our way.
We got here to Monument Valley.  Now the jack console is giving the error message on another jack.  So we don’t/can’t put the jacks down.  The site we’re in is a little uneven so we move the rig around until we can get it almost level.  It’s not a good idea to put out the slides out if the rig isn’t reasonably level and the fridge must be almost level or you could ‘fry’ it.  Only problem with the jacks not down is that the rig is a little rocky when you walk around.  I called Fleetwood and they gave me instructions on how to reset the console, but we don’t want to try this until we are somewhere there are RV repair shops.  So we will wait until we get to Sedona to try this procedure.  Next stop our Wagonmaster is going to try and get us the most level site. 
We went on a jeep ride today out into Monument Valley.  It was a 3 hour trip.  This is Navajo Indian territory.  The valley is beautiful.  A dessert with these beautiful peaks and spikes.  Today was not a very hot day and we left early in the morning so it was a very comfortable drive out in the valley in this open vehicle. 

Tomorrow we are on our way to Lake Powell, Arizona.  It is 133 miles.  We are there 2 days.  There is a boat cruise and luncheon on the boat.  Tomorrow night is another Pot Luck dinner.  I am making an Apple-Pineapple Betty dessert.

There is only 6 days left on the caravan, a week today we will be on our way back home.  I can hear my daughter saying YEAH !!!! 

4 corners Standing on 4 Corners 4 Corners

Our transport Monument Valley #4 Ken & Ruth The 3 Sisters Monument Valley #3 One of 2 Mittens Hotel with a view Monument Valley #2 Monument Valley

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Today's excursion was a trip to Silverton, Colorado.  We started out by taking a tour bus which made the 1 1/2 drive up to an elevation of 10,000 feet.  This was the highest point going through the mountain pass then we came down to 9318 feet in Silverton.
Silverton started out as a mining town in the 1860’s.  Deposits of gold and silver were found there.  By 1883, Silverton had a population of about 2000.  Mining closed down in 1990, but there is supposed to still be gold and silver in the mountains and it is felt that mining will return one day.  Today there is a population of around 600.  Winters are very severe. Very cold and lots of snow.
Many tourists visit Silverton via the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tour.  This is a old steam engine trains that travels from Durango to Silverton.  The train has been in operation for 128 years.  It is a 3 1/2 hour ride from either Durango to Silverton or Silverton to Durango.  There are 2 trains that run the route daily. 
We took the train back to Durango.  I don’t think it barely gets over 10 miles per hour.  It’s only 50 miles to Silverton and it took 3 1/2 hours to do the trip.  It’s a pretty trip which runs for the most part right along the Animas River.  Coming back to Durango there is one large climb up and you really begin to wonder if the little train is going to make it to the top, but it does.  Apparently going to Silverton there are several very long uphill hauls for the train.  I know that the bus had several long uphill climbs.  As I said at one point we were just over 10,000 feet.
It was a long day, we left here at 9:30 AM and didn’t get back until about 6:45 PM.  Ken did not go as we felt it was just too long a day for the dogs to be cooped up, especially Jackson.  Maggie would have been fine, but I think he would have been climbing the walls.  They did offer dog walking services here but we didn’t feel that was sufficient for him.  So while he was home here he washed the rig and car which really needed it badly.

Until later..take care.

Place mouse over picture for explanation and click to enlarge picture.

.Ride up in the bus Ride up in the bus #2 Silverton Silverton

Main Street Main StreetI Like this Restaurant I like this restaurant !!

A long way up Animas #2 River Animas River Looking back at the train Polution Straight down The Train The Train #2

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Mesa Verde

Today was a bus tour to Mesa Verde.  This is where the Anasazi built cliff dwellings.  There was a tour this morning that left here at 7:30 which was to climb down to one of the dwellings.  But that meant you would be gone all day, until 5:30.  With 2 dogs, that was not feasible for us.  So we did the bus tour which was from 12 noon to 5:30 tonight.  And as it was we were still able to walk down to one of the smaller dwellings and see it.  It was fascinating !  It’s like travelling back in time.  You can see the soot on the roof of the caves, soot that is over 1000 years old.  National Geographic named it as one of the 50 ‘must see’ places of a lifetime.  It is America’s first World Heritage Site.  We climbed down into a kiva click here.  This is a ceremonial hut, but their huts are built below ground.  The entrance to them is through the roof via a ladder.  The site is located about 15 miles inside of the park and you drive up and up and up.  Fortunately, we were driving the car, not the rig.
Last night we had a really bad rain storm.  We were sitting here watching TV and watched the storm moving in through the front window of the rig.  Ran outside quickly and retracted the side awnings.  We lost our satellite signal, of course, due to the storm.  The rain seemed to be coming sideways.  Poor Arthur was sleeping in the passenger seat of the rig and the rain was hitting so hard, it scared him and he ran and hid.  Always a concern in a rig when it rains, leaks.  Checked out everything and it seemed fine.  Went to bed with the sound of rain falling on the roof.  Fortunately the storm moved on. 
Tomorrow we move onto Durango, a short 47 miles down the road.  They say they have wifi…we’ll see.

Until later..take care.

cliff dwelling cliff dwelling #2 Cliff Palace entrance to the kiva inside a kiva inside a kiva #2 inside the kiva me in the cliff dwellings move cliff dwellings someone exiting the kiva soot on ceiling of cave the canyon the cliff dwelling

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Moab – on our own

Other than the first day where they had supper and the boat cruise planned, we have all been left to our own devices.  We have enjoyed it thoroughly.  Don’t have to be somewhere at a specific time.  It’s a nice break.  They did have a optional rafting trip today, but #1 there are no rapids and #2 the river is really scuzzy.  So we didn’t go.  Took the time to tidy up the rig and wash all the windows, inside and out.  My goodness I can actually see out.  No washing of rigs in campgrounds around here.  Considering the amount of rainfall they get a year, about 6 inches, they really need to preserve their water.  So I can understand the ‘no washing of rigs’ rule. 
Yesterday we drove the road through Arches State Park from start to finish.  I think it’s around 30 miles.  Really quite beautiful driving through there.  Of all the parks we have visited so far, it is by far the busiest.  Lots of tourists. 
We had one of our caravan members leave today.  She had only booked up to this point and she’s meeting up with a family member a couple hundred miles down the road.  She was a single lady, who had just acquired a Goldendoodle puppy, Maggie, just before coming on this trip.  She pulled a small travel trailer.  Very nice lady, and of course, her puppy was a people magnet.  Sweet dog, very good.  Always sad to say goodbye to someone.  It’s amazing how close you all become on these caravans.  I remember the one last year to the Maritimes, it was so hard to say goodbye to everyone, hugs and tears all around.
The leaders had planned a goodbye evening tonight for her, but for whatever reason she left a day early.  So we’ll have it without her. 
Still fighting with Jackson, trying to keep him out of Arthur’s food.  We have tried everything, and he manages to fight his way through every barrier we have put up for him.  Guess it’s back to picking up the food and putting on the counter when we go out.  What a bad dog !!!!

We’re leaving here tomorrow heading for Cortez, Colorado.  We are there 2 nights.  The temperature there appears to be alot cooler than here.  Don’t know how these people stand the heat, it’s brutal.

Internet here hasn’t worked for 2 days now and prior to that it was spotty.  Thank goodness for Verizon.  We are heading for a KOA in Cortez and they say internet, course so did this place.  Ah well….

Until later then…take care.
many movie sets here #2 Many movie sets here Arches Park #2 Group of elephants Arch in the making Arches Park

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Picking up Where I Left Off

When we got to Goblin Valley State Park, first thing we noticed was ‘it was a desert’!  The campground is just individual set up numbered sites.  We have never dry camped before so it was a new experience for us.  We filled our water tank at the last stop before Goblin and made sure our gas tank was full.  We knew we’d be running our generator for power.  What we didn’t realize was just how darn hot it was going to be there.  We got there about noon and the generator ran until about 6:30 PM so we could run the A/C’s.  It was 8% humidity.  You could just feel the moisture being sucked right our of your skin.  We took a hike down into Goblin Valley.  They really are unique.  Funny looking little things, some not so little.  But that was all there was to do there.
That night the caravan had a pot luck dinner, strange time, we thought considering that there was no electricity there.  But we all managed.  Actually we all (but 1) have generators. I made KD casserole and cooked it in the convection microwave oven.  There was alot of good grub there.
After dinner, the park ranger gave us a presentation about scorpions.  NICE!!  And then after the presentation you could go out an hunt for some.  Lots went, we didn’t.  No thanks.
As our rig doesn’t have an inverter (converts your battery power to DC power so you can use things, like TV’s.)  We had lights due to our battery power, but that’s it.  No generators are allowed to run after 10PM.  In the morning we had to turn it on so that we could run our coffee pot and toaster.  If we had an inverter, we wouldn’t have had to turn in on to do that.  When the generator was running we did have good satellite reception though.
But due to that and the heat we were glad to leave.
Goblin Valley Goblin Valley #2 Rig at Goblin Valley

Got to Moab yesterday.  It’s very hot here too, but we have full hook ups.  We are here for 4 days.  There was only one scheduled tour.  It was last night, dinner at a cowboy type place, I thought the food was excellent and after that it was a cruise up the Colorado River in a pontoon boat.  When we started it was light but it got dark pretty quick.  There was a commentary about the canyon, how it came to be, the people who have lived here, Indians, explorers etc.  There was a light show along with the commentary.  Hard to explain.  Here’s the website which will give you a better explanation click here
Today we went touring on our own.  Drove up into the mountains into the Arches State Park.  Hiked a bit.  But we had to get some groceries so came back and did that.  Tomorrow we will go and do some more touring and hiking.
Balancing Rock Balancing Rock #2 Moab Moab #2 Moab #3 Moab #4

Mock Wedding for our Anniversary