Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Covid-19 and Moab, Utah

Well if you haven't heard by now, there is a worldwide pandemic going on. Turning our world and I am sure your worlds upside down at the moment. It is totally unprecedented. I am really behind on the blog and will try to catch everybody up now.

We have been trying our best to social distance ourselves from others. As you may know we live in a camper full time and travel full time. We have been staying in the smaller towns and any sight seeing we would do we made sure to stay away from people. We left Blanding, Utah and headed to Moab, Utah. It has been four years since we were there last.

Four years ago we had worked at the OK RV park for some really great people. There were also 2 little girls that liked us. Kids don't usually like us, but they did. Angie and Maci. So we just had to stop and see them. They are growing up so fast. They both like horses so they wanted us to see them.
That is Angie and her horse Edward
Maci and her horse. Watching those two girls with their horses, they seemed like naturals on them. Then they wanted to get Gladys up on one.
I think Gladys has been on a horse once in her life so she was a little nervous. But she did it and I think she had fun. Once up, Angie led her around.

It was a bucket list item for her because I guess her parents never rented a pony for her birthday.
Just a couple more pictures of the girls on their horses.

I did not get up on the horse and I am sure the horse was very thankful for that. To this day it is walking around without a broken back. Thanks for the fun afternoon. Our visit was cut short because of the pandemic. We decided to go out to the BLM campgrounds to see what was going to happen. We went to Williams Bottom Campground first. But because of the canyon we could not get cell service or any news. The next day we went out to Castle Valley near Fisher Towers.
That is a beautiful area. We decided to drive up the Onion Creek Trail. It is one of our favorites because there are about 20 creek crossings to go through.

It was another great area to be in. It has been cloudy ever since we got to Utah and that day was no different. I did say 20 creek crossing didn't I?
Moab started shutting down, they were talking about closing all of the BLM campgrounds and they were wanting the tourists to go home. They have a small hospital and didn't want it to be overrun with tourists if worse came to worse. We packed up and headed to Palisade, Colorado where we could make plans to beeline it north. We decided we could quarantine in the pickup camper if we had to. Our son called and asked us to take care of his kids because they wanted to pull them out of daycare. That was the excuse Gladys was looking for.

"Tango! start the truck!"

Off we went like wild banshee's headed to Pringle, SD. We asked Jim and Barb if we could spend the night if we brought them our latest test results. They reluctantly said okay after bribing them. Besides we had to deliver their chairs they left with us in Quartzsite. Here they are with their gifts.
Jim got a nudie pen and Barb got a Las Vegas sticker. Plus it also cost us a roll of toilet paper. It would have been cheaper to stay at the Holiday Inn. Barb made us ribs for dinner in the true RV-dreams fashion. It was delish! Our visit was short and we had to leave in the morning. Jim was taking all kinds of precautions. After a second roll of toilet paper he let us eat in the house.
Here he was trying to get the deer to wear masks when they were around him. We got up early the next morning because we had another long drive ahead of us to get to Fargo. Gladys gave me the green light and we were off. We said some quick goodbyes with tearful hugs, hoping that we all make it out of this pandemic and if we did we vowed to meet on New Years Eve in Time Square. Good luck to our BFF's. And to Jim, if you don't make it we will take good care of Barb.

We made it to Fargo without incident and jumped into our new roles. I was showing Virgo, the soon to be 2 year old how to fashion a respiratory mask out of a tortilla, MacGyver style.
You too can do that to save your lives if you have to. For Audie, we just dressed him in camo and will throw him in the bushes.
So that is where we are at at the moment. Social distancing in Fargo. We are out of our Hobbit House now, which had turned into the tin can for us. Way too many months in that thing anyways. I feel safe that no one will visit us because of the pandemic and if I do see you coming up the driveway I hope that you are Ninja fast to get through 12 gauge buckshot coming your way.

On a more personal note. Of all of the ways I thought we were going to go out of this world, like zombies, aliens, sasquatches or unicorns, it had to be the stupid Covid-19. As a Y2K survivor I expected something better..

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Goosenecks and Blanding, Utah

We left Lake Powell with plans made and our hearts, giddy. We were going to travel between weather systems because we don't like to travel through rain. We watched our weather apps for the opportune moment to leave. No rain at the moment in Page and our final destination was dry. 10 miles out of Page it started to rain. It rained on us all of the way to Kayenta, Arizona. So note to self, check the weather half way between destinations.

Southeast Utah if by far one the most beautiful places that we know of. Our destination was a place that we have checked out before when we were in Utah but never had the opportunity to camp there. With our pickup camper, it made it possible to stop and enjoy this special spot.

Goosenecks State Park. Thanks to all of the media induced panic over the Covid-19 virus, I am way behind on the blog which is good news for you. That means more pictures and less commentary!

The fun thing about this state park is that you can park your camper as close to the edge as you dare. If we had the fifthwheel you can hang the back end over the edge and have a spectacular view. But we were in the pickup camper.
That's us on the edge there. It is 1000 feet down to the San Juan River below. So watch your step. The rains were going to show up again the next day. We had hoped to camp in the Valley of the Gods but the road through there is impassable in the rain. So we decided to go to Blanding, Utah and explore from there. We waited for the rain to quit and then we went back to the Valley of the Gods to drive through it.

The clouds hung around all morning. When the sun is out the colors in the rocks are so vivid. It would have been nice to camp there. We were told that that is the darkest sky in America. So if you are into stargazing, this is the place you want to go. The road goes from the north end to the south end which is right near the Moki Dugway. Moki Dugway? What praytell is the Moki Dugway. The Moki Dugway is a road that is 3 miles long, it climbs 1200 feet up the side of a cliff. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Straight ahead is the road that climbs that rock face. It's hard to see but it is there.

It is a nice drive unless you are afraid of heights. Then you will be clutching your butt cheeks all of the way up. Now a couple of people told us about Muley point at the top of the Moki Dugway. Boy were we glad they told us about that. I think it was Steve C. and Mark G. so thanks. Right at the top of the Moki Dugway you take a left on the first dirt road you come to. There is no sign there so it took us awhile to find it. Go down the road 4 miles and it comes out to an amazing vista that looks down to the San Juan river. So doing the math, 1200 ft. up the Moki Dugway and then another 1000 ft. to the San Juan. That's over 2200 ft. down to the San Juan now.

 When you are taking pictures out here it is amazing the amount of elevations that you are in. The visibility goes for miles on end during clear days. That is why this area has always been our favorite for scenery. It is so breathtaking. Our last day in Blanding was going to be another weather day so we didn't do a whole lot. We went to the Edge of the Cedars State Park to learn about the ancient Puebloan people that used to inhabit this area.

The gentleman at the visitor center also told us to check out a cliff dwelling near our campground. It's not marked but he told us how to get there. It was called the Five Kivas Dwelling.
It was found in a ravine just outside of town.

Next up for us is Moab, Utah. 

The world is becoming a crazy place. So many things are out of our control. All we can do is wait and see what happens. For me, I have a beer in one hand and a Zombie gun in the other.

"Gladys! Watch your six!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Lone Rock and Lake Powell

With face masks on, we drove north through Flagstaff and made it to our destination for the day. Lone Rock Campground on Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area.
We have seen some other RVers post pictures of this place and we really didn't know about it until just a few years ago. So we wanted to camp there and try it out. It was overcast, cool and breezy. So we set up and just hunkered down for the day.When the sun came out I would go outside and try to enjoy the scenery. Finally the clouds left and the sun came back and it brought out some beautiful colors.

Lone Rock without the sun.
Lone Rock with the sun.
We were sitting out, watching a storm across the canyon. The rainbow was super bright.
It was also the weekend of the super worm full moon.
The next day we wanted to check out some of the sights. We have been to Lake Powell a couple of times before so we didn't do Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend. Been there done that kind of thing already. We stopped at the dam for a sticker and some pictures.  It is quite different than the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

After the dam we went out to Antelope Point. It was just a marina and not that photogenic. We found a BBQ in town for lunch and then I wanted to stop at a Machine Gun store. I wanted to shoot a HK MP5 because I have never shot one on full auto.

That would have been fun, but they only offer 3 or more gun packages. Really? I can't just shoot one gun and be happy with that. No. You have to at least pick a 3 gun package for $150. Then you can shoot a 9mm pistol (I own several of those), a 12 gauge shotgun (again, I own several of those), and the HK MP5. Well I didn't want to pay to shoot guns I already own just to shoot the one I want to shoot. Bye.

The Lone Rock camping area is also a OHV area which we didn't know. So as a bonus we unloaded the Ranger and went out and played some. 
 If you look real close, you can see our camper down by the waters edge. I dropped Lisa back off at the camper and kept riding the trails. It's not a large area but it will give you hours of fun. I found some "S" curves and had a blast going through those. So I went back and got Gladys so that she could video me getting wild.
It was a lot of fun. Those of you who know Gladys, you know she is not a big thrill seeker. But I did manage to talk her into doing the "S" curves with me and I think she had fun.             
Our time at Lone Rock has ended and we must move on.The Coronavirus is chasing us to areas that are less populated now. So if we never see any humans again, keep this in mind. If you come at us as Zombies, we will not hesitate to pull the trigger.


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Verde Valley or Roundabout Hell

Kingman is in our dust now. We headed into the mountains of Arizona. With an elevation of over 7000 feet, they still have snow up there and the day we went through it, it was still snowing. Now what you are about to see next may be disturbing so I want to include a disclaimer. Please kids, do not try this at home. We are trained professionals.

SNOW! The four letter word we hate. I would like to also add that I put down the camera before it really got heavy. It was near zero visibility. Zero visibility going down a mountain. Thats is always a good time in my book. But we made it down.

We found our campground and it was warmer. Some occasional rain because we are at a much lower elevation. Verde Ranch RV Resort. It is a brand new campground. It is very large, over 400 sites and the best part is that they offer Passport America for 6 days. That's half price for you and me. Full hookups for everyone!

This post I am just calling the Verde Valley because there are so many places we will be visiting here.
Gladys picked this location. I do believe that it is because of all of the winerys in this general area.

Camp Verde.

Camp Verde is our home base here. On our first day we went into Camp Verde to find the visitor center. The lady there was extremely helpful, giving us armloads of information. Lisa quickly made a plan of attack and then we were off. First stop was right around the corner. Fort Verde. A State Historic Park.
I cannot pass up a picture with a cannon. 
It was the Army post for this area against the Apache Indians. There are only 4 original buildings still standing in what was once a fairly large fort. The visitor center is in one building that housed offices and a warehouse. The other 3 buildings where the commander's house, bachelor officers quarters and the surgeon's house.
It was $7 a person to view. It would have been nicer if there was more to it than that, but oh well. Our next stop was Montezuma's Castle. Not to be mistaken with Montezuma's Revenge. That is something completely different.
It is a well preserved indian dwelling dating back to 1000 to 1200 AD. It was a thriving community here and then all of a sudden they moved on. I think the aliens got them. It was time for lunch after that so we went to the Verde Brewing Co. It was a little hard to find and I think that it is a work in progress.
They serve food inside a warehouse along with the bar. The food was good and also the beer I had. It could have been better if they would just get a little fancier. Lisa had a veggie sandwich. They served it on plain white bread. We thought it could have been served on a 7 grain or anything fancier than white Wonder Bread. I had a roast beef sandwich which came on a hamburger bun. Again if they would have used a hoagie bun or something. A forty dollar lunch right in the crapper. See why I have trouble with breweries, Jim? If they are not 200 miles away, they are passing cheap food off as fancy food. Oh, well.

Jerome, Arizona and Tuzigoot.

The next stop on the list was Tuzigoot National Monument. More indian ruins not far away. This turned out to be a large settlement on a hill. They think 200-300 people lived here at one time.

We enjoy going to these out of the way places and to learn something. Like Montezuma's Castle, these people just disappeared. Aliens again. Next up, Jerome. A mining town not far away, built on the side of a mountain.

There is another State Historic Park in Jerome so we stopped there first. We paid our $7 to go in and it turned out to be a great place for information and the history of Jerome. They have a movie there and it is a must see. There were lots of exhibits to see also. 
This was the crane that they used to lower people 900 feet straight down into one of the mines. You can look down into it. Pretty scary stuff.
The views were pretty nice up there. The town of Jerome was built right next to the mines so that the workers didn't have to travel too far to work.

We had lunch at Bobby D's. A barbeque joint and it was very good. We both had the brisket sandwich.
Lots of cute shops with all kinds of trinkets. Gladys was shopping in one and almost died.
That is one of her biggest fears, getting stabbed. Usually she thinks that she will get stabbed in the thigh as she walks by people. She also found a candy store.
After we walked and shopped, I wanted to hit the gold mine tour. So we headed just out of town and got suckered into paying to see a rust farm. My brother-in-law would have loved this place. I asked about the gold mine and she told me that it wasn't a tour. You can just look at the entrance. We still went in for $7 apiece.

There were so many old and rusted truck there, it was hard to believe when we found this.
This was the nicest vehicle there. A Studebaker Lark pickup and it was for sale. I don't know how I would of been able to get it home. We had a full day and really enjoyed the Jerome area. Next up is Sedona.


A couple of observations first. Sedona is a beautiful town. I like how so many of the buildings and houses are adobe and that they use colors to blend into the surroundings. There are trees everywhere so you can't really see the entire town. The population is just over 10,000 but it feels like a very large city. Very touristy. We were there on a Thursday and there were so many people everywhere. We didn't like it. Every trailhead parking lot was full. We stopped to look at some of the major attractions like the church.

We couldn't even park there. It was full of people. So we just had to do some driveby picture taking.
Courthouse rock. We did do a hike, believe it or not. Boynten Canyon. It wasn't quite what we were expecting. We thought a nice hike out in the solitudes of nature would nice. The hike is in a canyon. But there is also a resort and a housing development in that same canyon. So instead of peace and quiet, you hear cement trucks and lawn mowers.
Oh well. It was still nice to get out. Every picture I had to zoom in to crop out the houses.

Here is proof that we were there hiking.
Where in the heck did they put the darn benches?

Our final day took us to Prescott Arizona. Again It wasn't what I pictured. I thought it was going to be a quaint little town up in the mountains. What it turned out to be was urban sprawl. We ate lunch at the Palace bar because of a recommendation by someone whose initials are JandB. Maybe they didn't remember they were there because I sent Jim a picture of the inside and said "guess where we are?" He didn't have a clue.
Oh well.Lunch was good.

Here comes the rant.

Roundabout hell. I have never seen so many roundabouts in one area before. They are in the towns, on the highways, they are everywhere here. I am sure there are pros and cons. (High whiney voice)"They make the intersections safer, they keep the traffic moving, blah, blah, blah". Where are we, England? In my opinion they are time wasters and gas wasters. Imagine if you will, travelling at 55 mph to all of a sudden slow down to 20 mph to go around a roundabout. Then to have to speed up to 55 mph again.
22 roundabouts inside those circles. That's not even taking into consideration the ones in the towns.

Between Camp Verde where we are, to Cottonwood where the nearest Wally World is, there are 7 roundabouts. Each time you go around the roundabout, you can hear all of your groceries sliding around in the back and coming out of their bags. You open the door and what happens? The groceries come falling out.

Coronavirus. That's all we see and hear is this media induced panic about the Coronavirus. Stores are running out of toilet paper(?) and hand sanitizer. So as a public service announcement I would like to share this. When I cough now, I lift up my shirt collar and cough into my shirt. Being careful not to let any possible germs go spewing all over the public. However, this technique does not work that well with sneezing. I discovered the hard way that all you get is a chest full of snot.

"Gladys! Get us to a Coronavirus free zone, one with an endless supply of toilet paper, STAT!"