Escaped Doodles

September 28, 2018 - Mostly Utah

Well, we crept down the 5 mi. washboard road from Walker CG at about 5mph. It took awhile but didn't cause more problems with Dora. Then drove around the rest of the Manti-La Sal loop ending at Hwy 128 outside Moab. Nice curvy drive through Castle Valley with great scenery. nice views of Priest and Nuns/Castle Rock, The Needles and other formations.

This was Monday and we decided to stay around Moab. So, along the Colorado River to Big Bend CG. It's the first BLM CG coming from this direction. We didn't realize it but we were lucky to find a campsite. It was very busy with a solid stream of vehicles coming though looking for sites. But we were able to score one on the river where the kids went swimming. Did some shopping in Moab. Found two cups to replace those broken along the way, expensive (Moab) but nice.

In Moab we had a good, though expensive, gluten free lunch. It wasn't as crazy on Monday as it was on Saturday, but still too busy for us. So we hooked up the next morning and headed north on Hwy 128, along the Colorado River. This is a beautiful drive through a very pretty, deep canyon, highly recommended.

We turned back west to Green River UT along I70 and stayed at the Green River SP for four nights. It was time to do laundry and clean. We did all this, including cleaning Larry and Dora inside and out, but couldn't find a place to get haircuts. We did find the the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in downtown Green River. Interesting history on river runners on the Green and Colorado Rivers. They also gave us info, and maps, to two petroglyph/pictrograph sites. We found both! The first was up Sego Canyon north from Thompson Springs on I70. A good number of petroglyphs and pictrographs panels were found where the canyon narrows.

Here are several pics of them.

There was an old coal mine up Sego Canyon. This was before coal mines were a giant mile wide hole in the ground. A few collapsed building and this standing general store skeleton.

If you continue up the road, way up the road, you find a trail head. A long ways up the canyon the road climbs out of the canyon and up, up, up. We found eleven pickups with horse trailers parked there. This could be hunting season?

The second set are up Gray Canyon, on the Green River north of the town of Green River. At the end of the road is a rock formation termed Nefertiti. Viewing the formation shows why the name.

Not as many 'gliphs as up Sego but the number up Sego was staggering. The one below is there plus the top of this page.

Met John in Green River. He's also travelling fulltime with his dog Carly. Discovered he's also headed to the state park in Fruita, where we saw him again. We were also surprised when Tim & Julie, who we met up with in Dinosour, showed up in Green River overnight. Good times.

A week before we came though Green River and had trouble finding a camp site due to the Melon Festival. This time when we got to town we picked up two melons from a roadside stand. They were marvelous. So on the way out of town we again stopped at a melon stand for more melons, yum.

After all that excitement, and washing the truck again, we headed out to Grand Junction for supplies. Grand Junction because there is a Sprouts there. Three nights at James Robb SP in Fruita, just outside Grand Junction. Yep, met up with John again. He was one site away, he says he's stalking us but I think we're stalking him. We were finally able to get haircuts in Grand Junction, as well as food. Life is good.

Then off into the wilderness again. We headed for the Canyons of the Ancients and Hovenweep NM near four corners. Not to take the direct route we headed out of Grand Junction on Hwy 141 through Gateway. This is a wonderful road for scenery. Starts out as a small canyon, then a narrow high valley before transitioning into a large canyon with towering cliffs.

We thought Gateway would be a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. When we drove through we found it's been taken over by the Canyons of Gateway Resort. We didn't stop but it sure looked like a nice spot. Well, we did Google the Resort and yes it is nice and fancy. Would have liked to stay there for a few days, but prices start at $360/night and going to $1500. If we'd known that we'd have continued on as we did. Found a campground along the river called "The Ball Park". Quite dusty but other than that a great location. The cost was a donation so we gave $5, very cost effective. It's located near the ghost town of UraVan. It was a mine initially for uranium and later for vanadium, thus the contraction Ura-Van. The kids even got to go swimming in the creek.

When we arrived at "The Ball Park" there was a past visitor. A bear! He left prints. Note the relative size of the dog print from one of our "large" dogs and the foot print.

We followed Hwy 141 until it hit Hwy 491, formerly known as Hwy 666 "The Devil's Highway". They renamed it because it was getting quite a reputation. Denise spent a half hour or so reading aloud the Wikipedia page. It runs from Gallup NM to Monticello UT. We searched for fuel using the GPS navigator in Larry (now named Bambi for her very sexy voice) and got this.

We couldn't believe a highway numbered 666, thus the Google search and story. Cool.

Then through Cortez for ice and dog food supplies and on to Hovenweep CG. We'll be here for a week or so looking at ruins and canyons. The location is quite remote, to say the least. Near four corners but 40+ miles from Cortez, 40+ miles from Blanding, and 40+ miles from Bluff on paved but rough roads. Stay tuned, we're set up for a trip back to ancient Anasazi times. WoooHooo!