Friday, July 11, 2008

Trail of the Ancients 2005

We are on the road again. The WIN group is slowly heading North. We were with them in Yuma for Christmas, in January in Quartzsite, and the first week in March at the Dance Rally in Yuma.
We will be joining the group again in Bluff, Utah. I would have preferred to meet them at Canyon de Chelly, but Doreen had a medical and dental appointment. The next stop would have been Kayenta in Northern Arizona.
The group could not find a place which could accommodate 35 motorhomes, so they moved on to Bluff. At the moment there are 35 motorhomes, this changes constantly. People come and go.

This was a driving day. We tried to cover ground and were lucky with traffic in the San Diego and Phoenix areas. Our friends, Susan and Jack, are in San Diego for a couple of days and they gave us a key for their house in Sun City West. Without them it is not much fun staying in their
house and I rather stay North of Phoenix, so we do not get in traffic when we leave.
We ended up at Camp Verde RV Resort, in Camp Verde. This is a membership resort but they take Passport America Members for up to three days. For $15.00 a day (half price) we enjoyed our stay. Very clean place with Internet access.

We left Camp Verde at 7:00 AM and arrived at the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument at 9:00 AM, at opening time. We walked the Lava Flow trail. All that lava in the valley reminded me of Hawaii. There are also large Cinder Hills.

We continued on the 40 mile park loop and stopped at the Wupatki National Monument. First we visited the Wukoki Pueblo. This is a three story dwelling on a little mountain. The people who lived there 800 years ago had a fantastic view of the surrounding area.

Then we stopped at the Wupatki Pueblo. This is the largest ruin in the park and has many rooms. It also has a ball court and a community room.
With the snow covered mountains in the back ground, the pueblo and the beautiful valley, it was a Kodak moment. We take digital pictures, Kodak makes no money on us.
The two parks are North of Flagstaff.

We found a small campground in Kayenta. We are in Navajo Country. Not many white people live here. Doreen was nervous about this place, lots of Navajo people running around till late at night, she wouldn't let me go outside after dark.

We arrived at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park at 8:00 AM and were the first people to go for the 17 Mile ride. They have pick up trucks with seats, for guided tours, but we took the Saturn. It is a dirt road and the Saturn thought it was a Jeep.

I have been here before and every time it amazes me and I enjoy those spectacular buttes with the walls, which have colorful tapestries. The ride took about two hours. When we left, more cars and tour buses had arrived and there was more traffic and more dust. Our timing was perfect.
Being alone also had some benefits, pictures without people and I could scream my head off.

Sharon, the WIN President took this picture. I think it is special.

While standing in front of a horse shoe shaped butte, I called Doreen, who was taking pictures a hundred feet away. I heard an echo. I screamed louder and a triple echo came back. It was fun to listen to my voice to repeat.
We got back on US highway 163 and headed towards Bluff, Utah.
This highway is a scenic highway and there are surprises around every corner. We arrived at the San Juan River County Airport at 12:30 PM.
It is a small airport and there are no planes in sight. The WINs camp along the taxi strip.
After setting up the motorhome I went for a walk and talked to people and got the news and schedule for Hug and Mugs and the afternoon circle meeting. I also found out that the Twin Rock Cafe has is a free hot spot for WI- FI. After lunch we went there and got our E mail.
At 5:00 PM we went to the circle meeting where tomorrow’s trip was announced. The men also volunteered to cook breakfast next Sunday, Mothers Day.

We had a big four wheeling day. First we went through the Utah desert and enjoyed the flowers and the well known Utah buttes.

Some rough spots had to be conquered. The lady who owned the vehicle, we were passengers in, asked me if I would drive her SUV since she had lost her purse with driver licence in Flagstaff, and the person who found it, was sending it to Bluff.
She went this morning, after Hugs and Mugs, to the Post Office and her purse was there. So I was a passenger instead of a driver.
Every time we had to climb over boulders she was saying: "My poor car". We made it to Muley Point Overlook without any breakdown. At the overlook we had a 45 minute lunch break. This spot is one of the best places to view the whole Monument Valley area. It is very high and one has a 360 view, with the Grand Gulch and Gooseneck areas, and the San Juan River below.

Everybody enjoyed this trip, even the drive down into the valley. The road is very steep and has many curves.

On the way home we took the 16 mile dirt road through the Valley of the Gods. An area with unusually shaped buttes.

All ten vehicles made it safely back and we had to tell a story to the people who did not come along. We were gone six and a half hour.

The group went today to the Navajo Monument Valley Tribal Park. Since we did this on the way here, we took it easy.
I cooked a big breakfast and then we went to town to get our E mail. Doreen was still exhausted from yesterday and slept longer than usual.
The restaurant also has a Trading Post with fancy Indian jewelry, and other merchandise. I liked a belt buckle and asked for the price. I have good taste, it cost $ 500.00. A bit much for me.

When we were leaving the air port, an oncoming official county truck stopped us.
The driver told us that we have to leave the airport area today. I told him that every body is gone. He said that the local RV Park owners are complaining that the county lets us stay for $3.00 a day, (actually they wanted $ 2.00, and we told them we pay $ 3.00). Doreen and I went to a little BLM campground and checked it out. It is too small for our group. Then we went further out to look for more BLM land, but it started to rain and we headed home. The rain did not last very long and the sun was coming out again.
When the group came back from their outing, we told them the bad news, Jim, our tour leader, went to town right away. He came back with no good news. At the 5:00 o'clock circle meeting there were a lot of angry people. A heated discussion did not solve anything.
Before this problem arose we wanted to empty the holding tanks and fill the fresh water tank at the local RV Parks when we were leaving Bluff.
This changed now, nobody wanted to spend any more money in Bluff. Some people gave only $2.00 for the daily camping fees. We and a few others paid the $ 3.00.
Everybody started to get their rigs ready. Doreen and I drove to Mexican Hat and checked out the campground there. We had in mind to stay one day there and empty our tanks and get fresh water. This place has no dump station and no sewer hook up. That was no help.Today was a bad day, not only did we get kicked out of a wonderful camping spot, we also found out that a few couples broke up.
We liked especially one couple. Betty came from England and Doreen got along fine with her. I had gone hiking with Betty and Chuck and liked both of them. She had to go back to Canada because of her health insurance. A day later another" lady "from the group took her place.
Chuck has not been with the WIN since then. Betty would like to come back to the group but can not, because she is 74 years old and you can not be older than 70.
She was a companion, there is no age limit for companions. If she finds another WIN member who will take her as a companion, she can come back in the group.

She went hiking and kayaking with Chuck and they were together for seven years. Life is not fair.
We got up and got ready to move out. We waited until most of the motorhomes had left the airport. Then we drove to the restaurant and I stayed in the motorhome and got my E mail. The restaurant has a fast system. I never got my E mail that fast. Doreen went to the restaurant to get herself a coffee, to help the restaurant paying for their Wi Fi connection.
Then we went to a RV Park and dumped and got water. They charged me $ 10.00, which is a lot, but it is better than driving 25 miles out of the way to do this. I would have spent more money on gasoline. Some people drove all the way to Blanding.
I am also angry at the RV Park owners in Bluff. But I have to take care of myself. Most of the other motorhomes are large houses on wheels.
Their fresh water tank holds 100 gallons. We have a smaller tank and we are two people. I am the only person who has a companion with me. There are couples but each has his own motorhome or trailer.
We met the group again at Goosenecks State Park. The park provides a cliff top overlook into the "gooseneck" canyons of the San Juan River. The cliff is 1000 feet above the San Juan River.
It reminds me of the Grand Canyon, only here you can see the river. The distance across the goosenecks is one mile. What a sight. Another million dollar view and it is for free.

In the afternoon we drove to Mexican Hat, a very small community. Doreen went in a store and I went along the river and took some pictures.
On the way home we stopped at the Mexican Hat. It is a butte, a slender tall column, with a large flat, round stone on top. It is near the river, and we walked to the river and enjoyed the view. .

Today we went to Natural Bridges National Monument. Since there was no four wheeling involved, I drove, and we had two passengers. We stopped at the visitor center and saw a movie about the park and got information.
To get to the Sipapu Bridge one has to walk 1/2 mile. A group of us started out and after climbing down the trail, people stopped and walked back. I went half way. There were wooden ladders and I thought about my knee. Recently I had pain in my right knee. It is OK now, but I do not want to irritate it and have pain again. A few of the group made it and came back exhausted.

The other overlooks were not that far from the road. We ate our lunch at the picnic area.
The weather so far is perfect for hiking and doing things.

When we came back we took a small rest and then got ready for a potluck dinner. It almost did not happen. Suddenly a strong wind came up and shook the motorhomes. The storm passed through very fast and we had our dinner at the picnic tables.

After dinner I went for a walk along the rim. Doreen had informed me not to ask her to go for a walk. She had enough walking for a day.
One motorhome was parked very far from our group. When I got to this motorhome the man asked me whether I worked for Boeing.
I told him my story, I worked for Convair, plant was shut down, was hired by McDonnel Douglas, Boeing bought McDonnel Douglas, Plant was shut down. He flew MD-11s. This is not the end. He flew F-106 in the Air Force. I told him that I worked on the F-106 and had to go to McClellon Air Force Base a lot. I also told him that I met the test pilot who checked out the
F-106 planes after the repair. I also told them that my name is Richard Sturtz and when the test pilot saw my badge he took his leather name plate off his uniform and gave it to me. It was held on with Velcro.
I told the man that the pilots name was Dick----, his wife had joined us and both of them finished the name for me, Stutz. They are friends of Dick. I could not believe it. I am here in the middle of nowhere and meet somebody who knows a person I knew.
A similar thing happened to me when we were at Mount Rushmore. Doreen and I were talking and a person behind me said: " I recognize that voice anywhere". It is Richard Sturtz. It was Mike Yoggerst who worked with me at Convair and we had not seen each other in four years. It is a small world.

We got restless and moved to the Sand Island Recreation Area. A few of the group where already there. They did not want to go the Goosenecks State Park. When we rolled in the Sand Island campground, they were leaving. They are going to the next stop on the tour, Devils Canyon Campground. We are early, because of the weather they had in Arizona, and being kicked out from the airport in Bluff. We should be arriving at the Devils Canyon, United States Forest Service Campground, on May 13th.
The group up at Gooseneck will be there on Monday. We will be together again and new people will meet us there.
We set up the motorhome and went for breakfast at the Twin Rock Cafe and got our E mail.

Then we went to the Swinging Bridge. It is a pedestrian bridge. The bridge spans the San Juan River North of Bluff. I walked across and Doreen followed. She did not want to be a wuzz. It was a shaky affair. The lowest point is a few feet above the swift river. She remembered walking across another bridge in Vancouver, which spanned a very high gorge, called the Capilano State Bridge. Her children were quite young at the time preschoolers in fact. They jumped up and down to make it swing. The very high winds did it for us here.

At the campground is a boat ramp. We watched young children and their guides load large rubber rafts and take off. They were heading for Mexican Hat. A group of adults were taking off for a four day trip.

Doreen refuses to take a raft trip. Her excuse is that she does not know how to swim. She likes hot air ballooning even though she does not know how to fly.

We had planned to leave for Devil's Canyon this morning. While I was filling up the six gallon spare water container, one of the three WIN people who stayed at Sands Island Campground approached me and I told them that we would leave for Devil's Canyon.
He said it would be cold up there and they decided to stay here. I discussed it with Doreen and we decided to go and see how it is up there. We stopped at the Cafe and got our E mail and then proceeded to go to Blanding. At the Visitor Center we got maps and information and walked
through the museum. It has a lot of items from the Mormon settlers. We also checked the Shell gas station for emptying our holding tanks.
From Blanding it is ten Miles to Devils Canyon. At Devil's Canyon we talked to one of our WIN people and talked to the camp host.
Since the water lines are still frozen they charge only half the fees. With our 50% Golden Age Pass discount this amounts to $ 2.50 a day.
There are asphalt roads in the park and the camping sites are almost level, in the part of the park where we will be camping. The picnic tables and fire circles and BBQ stands are on concrete slabs. It is really a beautiful park, as long as the weather stays as it is.
This is Mormon Country and we have not gone dancing yet. In Arizona it was different. There was dancing every day.
We paid for three days and left a chair on the site. We will bring the motorhome here tomorrow.
On the way home we did some shopping in Blanding and had lunch at the A&W Rootbeer restaurant.

Doreen had a bad morning. She picked up Caroline, who is also staying at Sand Island, and they went to the St. Christopher's Episcopal Mission for church services. I walked to the sides of the cliffs which are on one side of the park. The other side of the park borders the San Juan River.
I had my binoculars and was checking out the petroglyphs on the walls of the cliffs. There are figures like Kokopelli, the humped back flute player.
After that I walked to the boat ramp and watched people getting ready for their raft trip.
When I walked back to the motorhome Doreen was there already. Church was at 10:00 AM instead at 9:00 AM because of Mothers Day.
So the women got in the car and went home. Doreen wanted to stop the car at the Cafe and the brakes did not work. Something went wrong.
The women bought their coffee and came home. Doreen spilled coffee on her shirt. She was pretty nervous. The brakes work again and when we arrive in Moab I have the brake fluid drained and replaced, and the brakes checked.
After Doreen did feel better we attached the car to the motorhome and left for Devils Canyon.
In the afternoon we drove to Blanding and went to the Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum. They have a large number of Navajo artifacts. It is one of the better museums. We also liked the outdoor displays.

There is a ruin of a prehistoric pueblo with a rebuilt Kiva. We were able to climb down the ladder and go into the Kiva. The museum uses computers to identify items on the shelves. A complete picture of the shelf is on the computer. To get information one clicks on the item on the shelf and the information pops up.
More WINs arrived at Devil's Canyon campground and the group is almost together again.

Most of the group is here now and we had Hugs and Mugs at 8:30 AM. Since no group activity was planned, Doreen and I went to Hovenweep National Monument. The ruins are like no other ruins of the Ancestral Puebloans, or their old name, Anazazis.
The buildings at Hovenweep are towers, some are round and some are D shaped and some are regular shaped.

We walked the two Mile trail along the rim of the canyon. The rim trail was fine and we got very close to the ruins. We did not expect to have to climb down in the canyon and up the other side. We took our time and Doreen made it just fine.
When we got back to the Visitor Center we ate our lunch and then saw a movie about Hovenweep, with animation of how the area looked when the buildings were intact.
On the way home we stopped at the Blanding Visitor Center and used their computer to get our E mail.
At 5:00 PM we had the Circle Meeting. Our group leader had gone to Moab to look for parking sites since the parks we wanted to visit still have snow or can not take our large group. He found a shut down airport near Moab.
We like it here in Devil's Canyon, we are in the foot hills of the Blue Mountain. The are 11,000 feet high and the top half is covered with snow.
It is a beautiful sight. It is cold though during the night. Last night it was 45 degrees F in the motorhome, freezing outside. During the day it is perfect weather for hiking, about 65 to 70 degrees F.
We used an extra blanket and Doreen also used my robe on her bed. Tonight I will take another blanket out for her. We are at 7,000 feet. It is warmer in Moab. I get up in the morning, turn on the heater and then go back to bed for 30 minutes.

The sun was shining at the Hugs and Mugs meeting and it looked like it would be a nice day. By ten o'clock it was cloudy and the wind came up.
Doreen was preparing the potato salad for the potluck dinner, early in the morning. When we left for Blanding it was really windy and cold. We went to the Dinosaur Museum. For a small town the museum is really good.
They also have an exhibit on the new feathered dinosaur discoveries.
After the visit to the museum we went to the store to pick up two dozen eggs for one dollar. It was a special and since we passed the store I could not pass up a bargain. Now we have eggs for one or two months.
In the afternoon we went to Monticello to check out a RV Park. We might have to get water there and empty our holding tanks before we go to Moab.
The weather did not improve and we thought the potluck would be canceled. At the 5:00 PM circle meeting I asked whether we would have the potluck. The answer was:" We are WINs, and nothing stops us". At 5:30 PM people came with their food and we had our dinner. Luckily the weather suddenly had improved. When we were at the store last night we met one of the members who had not yet come to Devil's Canyon. He looked at the price of celery and told us that he had cooked a 14 pound turkey and would bring turkey soup to the potluck, but without celery, he did not like the price. And that is what he brought, a good turkey soup, but no celery in
it. We all have our priorities. Some of us have $ 200,000 motorhomes, but if celery is expensive, we do without.
Actually we miss the Boney's and the Mexican Food Mart, both in Oceanside. Vegetables and fruit is very expensive when we are away from California

It was cold last night. When I woke up it was 39 degrees F in the motorhome. Doreen was covered with a down comforter and two blankets. I use only the comforter and one blanket.
I got up and turned on the catalytic heater and closed the door between the living room and the bedroom. I read my book until 8:30 AM and then went to Hugs and Mugs. Everybody tried to get close to the fire. When I got back to the motorhome Doreen was making her tea. She said she has not slept that good for a while.
We ate breakfast and then left for Canyonlands National Park. We were in awe before we entered the park. The stone formations on both sides of the canyons are hard to describe. The colors and shapes are fantastic. We also stopped at Newspaper Rock before we got to the park.

On this rock people told a story or just had fun scratching pictures of animals, people and signs in that large rock.
In the park we went to the Visitor Center and got information and looked at the displays. Doreen saw a movie while I was talking to German tourists. There are plenty of them on the road now. Some in rented cars and some in rented motorhomes.

Then we drove to Elephant Hill to see the Needles. They are massive sandstone spires standing side by side. We had to drive on a dirt road for a few miles. On the way back we stopped and found some large stones on the side of the road, and sat there and ate our lunch. The only sound we heard were the birds.

It had warmed up and we took our coats off. When we left the park we came under a cloud and it rained first and then hail came down. It was noisy but did not do damage to the car. It lasted only a few minutes.
The WIN group had gone to Hovenweep and when we came back to the campground only a few had returned. It was a short circle meeting today.

We had enough of the cold nights. After Hugs and Mugs we took off for Moab. Other people of the group did the same. The 75 Mile drive was pleasant on the eyes. This is a beautiful part of the country.
Instead of going to the old airport we went to a RV Park nearby. With our Passport America membership we pay only $ 12.00 per day. (Half price) We have full hook ups, cable and WI-FI.
Only getting fresh water and dumping would have cost us $ 5.00. We enjoyed the loooong showers. After lunch we went to town. Moab is located in a beautiful valley and surrounded by two National Parks and several National Monuments. Nearby is the Colorado River. The altitude is 4,000 feet and it is warmer than at Devil's Canyon.
At 4:30 PM we went to the old airport for the 5:00 PM circle meeting and told the group that we would be showing up with the motorhome tomorrow morning.
Then we went back to town to the Mexican restaurant for dinner. The food was very good and we enjoyed the ambiance of the place.
On the way home we went to the library to check my E mail from the parking lot. It did not work. I took the computer inside but could not get any help. The regular library personnel had gone home and the evening crew did not know anything about computers. I do not know what I am doing wrong.

In the morning we went to Hole 'N The Rock. It is a 14 room, 5,000 square foot home, carved out of rock. The home is in a large sandstone cliff.
During the uranium mining boom it was a restaurant and living quarters. Now it is a gift shop and museum.

After lunch we took the 65 Mile La Sal Mountain Scenic Loop Drive. We went up the mountain to the Manti-La Sal National Forest. The road is just at the snow line. Then the road went down the east side of the mountain to the Colorado River. We followed the river for 11 Miles, down to Moab. The river canyon is hard to describe, the colors are so beautiful.
We took pictures, but they will not do justice to what we saw. People do rafting and kayaking on the river.
In the evening we had a large camp fire. The group is almost complete again, only a few WIN's are missing. Several car loads went looking for a chance to dance. Most of them came back and joined us at the campfire. They found only dancing for young people.

I am alone again. This morning I took Doreen to the airport, where she boarded an eight passenger airplane for Salt Lake City. From there she took a flight to Oakland. A friend of Doreen is very sick and Doreen wanted to see her.
The group split up today. Ten wanted to go kayaking, so they took off at 9:30 AM. Most of the group have kayaks and bicycles.
The rest of us went to Needles Outlook. There one can see the needles from above, from a high plateau. Like in other parks, we see more foreigners than Americans. The John Wayne Western movies, and the travel movies they see in Europe, prepare them for the trip. John Wayne made several movies in this area. Also the exchange rate of the Euro to the Dollar helps them coming to the US.

At the 5:00 PM circle meeting WINs who had stayed out last night reported that they found the Outlaw Saloon and Grill and that there was music to our liking. The owner even changed the start hour from 9:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Since he serves only beer we will not have to buy a temporary club membership. Only private clubs can serve liquor. All soft drinks are free.
A large group of us went and we had good time. The DJ played music by request.
After an hour the owner went on the microphone and told us he would get a DJ for tomorrow (Sunday) and would start at 7:00 PM.
Some of the group do not say a word normally, but after a few beers they are a barrel of fun. We were almost as many men as women, that worked out fine.
I was tired at 10:30 PM and sneaked out, the rest stayed until midnight.

This was the first morning I did not have to turn on the heater. It is getting warmer. The snow on the mountains is melting fast.
I packed a lunch and after Hugs and Mugs went to the Northern Part of Canyonland National Park. It is called Island in the Sky.
The Grand View Point Overlook is unbelievable, gigantic and beautiful. Before I climbed Upheaval Dome, I found a shaded picnic bench and ate my lunch. Several people walked by and asked me whether I would share my lunch. When I offered them half of my peanut Sandwich and a bite from my apple, and a few baby carrots, they declined.

On the way home I sinned. I had a Whopper at Burger King. Now it is going to be salads for a few days.
At the 5:00 PM circle meeting, a Thursday baby back rib dinner was discussed. One member of the group will be going to Grand Junction, Colorado, and volunteered to bring back 35 pounds of ribs. I will be one of the assistant cooks.
The dance tonight was not as much fun as last night. The DJ was late. He is a river guide during the day, and he had problems getting back to the marina. Not everybody, who had raised their hand during circle meeting, did show up. Andy, the life of the party, hurt his foot last night doing the Russian dance, he took it easy tonight.
At 9:30 PM I got really tired and left. When I left the parking lot I saw the rest of the group come out.
At the circle meeting one woman told us a little story. She is one of the younger people, she is in her fifties. She came later last night to the dance.
When she saw the bouncer inside the door she asked him: "Are you not going to check my ID?" He told her: " No, but we have a group of really old people in there, dancing their head off." We got a good laugh out of that. One of the ladies is 76 years old, has a hip problem, and has a
hump, but she will never refuse a dance.
The men dance with every woman, even if they have a girlfriend.

After Hugs and Mugs I went to the library. From there I went to the computer repair shop, which is located around the corner. They told me to be back at 1:00 PM.
My next stop was the barber shop. Three lady barbers or beauticians were sitting together and chatting. When I asked for a haircut they told me the next appointment available would be at 11:00 AM. There were no customers in the shop and I would have to wait for an hour. This did not look right. I asked how much they charged. She told me $14.00. In my case that would be approximately a dollar a hair. The haircut has to wait a while.
Last night while waiting for the dancing to start, I walked along Main Street. There are many restaurants with out door seating and the tourist shops. In one of those shops I saw a T shirt. It has a stitched Moab logo, not painted. It is very nice and cost the same as a hair cut. Before I leave here I will buy it.
The computer doctor was still scratching his hat about the problem with my computer at 1:00 PM and also at 3:30 PM. The next possible hour for success was 10:00 AM tomorrow.
A strong wind had come up and at the 5:00 PM circle meeting the chairs had to be sit on or laid flat. There was no chance for a camp fire in this wind.
So I was alone with no computer and no television. Everybody else has a dish, I have only an antenna and because of the mountains there is no reception. Fortunately there are books and I have plenty with me.

I wasted this morning. The computer was finished at 10:00 AM. I walked to the library and had the same problem as before. I walked back to the computer doctor and after more operations was told: " Now it will work" Wrong, it did not work. I went back again and they put some more magic spells on my gadget to the outside world. There was no change. I had to bother them again, and that after I had paid $ 76.00.
Now they turned on their own network and got serious. I was sent on the way again, this time with high hopes. I had just turned on the computer, when the lady computer doctor arrived
at the library and sat beside me. Everything worked fine and she left happy, not as much as I was.
What did I learn from that experience. Read the book when you buy a computer, read it again. It would have not helped me with the problem, but I would have known that I had a build in WI FI card in the computer and did not have to buy one. They asked me why I was using a D-Link card.
I told them because I wanted to go on the Internet.
I finished my computer work and then stopped at the Chinese restaurant and had their buffet lunch.
From there I went to Ken's Lake, which is located three miles from the old airport, just around the corner from our temporary home.
I drove to the lake and then to the campground. I hiked to the waterfall, along the fast and cold river.

While I was hiking our leader and three of the women came towards me in a four wheel drive vehicle. They had just come back from the 65 Mile La Sal Scenic Mountain Drive. Doreen and I did this last week.
Back at the airport, improvements had taken place. We had collected money for dumping a truck load of gravel on the dirt road leading to the airport.
It happened today. The construction company next to the airport did it for a reasonable price. The next step is to get rid of an old sofa and other stuff some idiots had dumped in the area. We are a distance away from this mess but WINs like to leave a place better than the found it.
Getting rid of garbage and junk is expensive in this town. We are still negotiating. We have pickup trucks but the charges at the dump are high.

After breakfast I packed a lunch and had in mind to go after Hugs and Mugs to Arches National Park. Hugs and Mugs turned out to be an emotional roller coaster.
After discussing the planned and unplanned happenings of the day, one of the women started crying and told us that we were her family and some of the family had let her down. I knew that this was coming. Last night there was a party not far from my motorhome. It was a planned party, and not a spur of the moment get together. Not every body was invited.
One member of the group has been involved at all the meetings and happenings. It is the first time I saw him. He and his companion joined the tour at Devil's Canyon.
They have with them a relative and his companion. They have their own motorhome. The two couples are close to a few other members of the group, especially the drinkers, not water consumers.
At the party last night there were about 15 people, consuming margaritas.
Since the lady was crying they could not defend them self, but I heard them talking to each other later on. Cliques can ruin a good organization.
The next item was the road we had just fixed. Water was washing away the gravel we had put there. One WIN had gone with his ATV up the canal and found out that in the canal were too many weeds acting like a dam, and the water had found a new way. It was coming through the old airport.
Four of us men and two women went up the canal and dug a new channel and build a dam. We used dead trees and stones and some of the junk left by uncaring people. We were up to our knees in water. I needed new sneakers anyway. Shoveling wet mud did not make my back happy. But I felt I had to contribute something.
After a shower I had lunch and a nap. Then I went to the library, and from there I took the drive along the river to Fishers Tower. The drive along the Colorado River is spectacular, on one side are the high, red
cliffs and the other side is the river.

I saw Fisher Tower from a distance, but did not take the five mile dirt road to the tower.
In the evening I went to the movie theatre and saw half of " Monster in Law". I do not know whether it was me or the movie, but I had to leave. It was not funny at all. There was more excitement at the camp fire..

This was a hot day. We were cooking the baby back ribs in four Dutch Ovens, over char coals. It would have been easier to put the Dutch Ovens on the barbecues. Tradition had to be kept up. The pots were put on the coals and some coals were put on top of the lid. Coca Cola was used as liquid.
After the ribs were cooked they were put on three grills. We had forty pounds of delicious ribs. They were served with beans and coleslaw.

Everybody was happy. After the meal we had a little celebration. The women had collected money and had bought a gift for Jim, the wagon master, and his girlfriend Lola. Lola will be heading home with her motorhome next week.
If Doreen was here we would head east towards Denver, and later join the group again in Colorado.
We started with the meal at 12:30 PM and it took us five hours.

I left the old airport at 7:00 AM, stopped at the library and checked my E mail and then went to Arches National Park. I should have left earlier, since the park is open 24 hours.
I drove to Devils Garden Trail head, which is the longest distance from the park entrance. After hiking one mile I noticed it was getting hot. I turned back and got in my car.
To conserve energy I stopped at all the Viewpoints and walked only the short ones.
The windows section is my favorite. There are many arches and easy accessible.

A short while ago I heard one person say: " I am not going to look at rocks".
He does not know what he is missing. I wish Doreen would have been with me. It is more fun sharing experiences like that.

On the way home I stopped at the library again and then walked over to the park and ate my lunch. It was cooler under the large trees and there is always something to see.
I will miss Moab. 4,100 people live here, but all year there are many tourists in town. Last week there were 1,600 Mazda Miada's here.
Those little cars were everywhere. Since the Uranium mines are closed the town lives of tourism.
The local people come to the old airport and asked what we are doing here. There are about six RV Parks in town and many hotels and motels, and those old people rough it. We are now 40 motorhomes, a couple more came the last few days.
The Trail of the Ancients Tour is over on May 26th. The next day the Colorado Tour starts. The group goes to BLM land near Canyonland National Park and meets the new wagon master. After a few days they leave for Cortez and visit Mesa Verde National Park. Since I have been there several times, I will leave Sunday morning and head in direction Denver. I will join the group again in Colorado Springs or another place.
At the moment I am not sure, I have to wait and see what Doreen is going to do.

Early in the morning I went to the Farmers Market. They did not have many booths, but as promised live entertainment. From there I went to the library. I did computer work until lunch time and then went to Denny's for lunch, this was another air conditioned place. After a long lunch I went back to the library and spent most of the afternoon reconciling my check book, downloading pictures from the camera to the computer, and renaming the pictures. Some of the pictures went in the round file cabinet.
I noticed a lot of other people hung around the library too. The hot spell should be over by Tuesday.
I had enough of the heat. It cools off in the evening and I am able to bring in the cool air with the two ceiling fans. At least I sleep well.

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