Sunday, June 4, 2017 – Home, Sweet, Home

Left Wakeeney, KS about 10:00am.  I drove 350 miles home (elevation 863).  I arrived about 6:00pm.  It was very warm and humid.  Less than an hour from home a rock flew up and chipped my windshield.  Insurance is going to fix it for free this week.   So within a 4 day time span, someone ran into the back of my car, I ran over a nail that caused a flat tire and a rock chipped my windshield.

So as always, I enjoyed the trip.  I always try to focus on the positives.  Things do go wrong at times but I just try to power through.  I got of town for a few days, visited some places on my list and had very, very nice weather.  This trip finished up the Utah Mighty 5 for me.  I had visited Zion National Park, Bryce National Park and Capitol Reef National Park in 2012.  With Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park this trip, I am 5 for 5.

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I am not sure of my next trip.  Here is my travel map.  All the states in color, I have camped at least one night in my EggCamper.

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#198 – Saturday, June 3, 2017 – Up, Up, Up, Over, Down, Down, Down – Repeat

I left Silt, CO about 9:45am.  The stretch of I-70 through that part of Colorado is a beautiful drive through the Rocky Mountains. The road itself is in terrible shape.  Not only is the road full of holes, many times the paint is missing and you can’t even tell where your lane is.

You pass through the Eisenhower Tunnel at an elevation of 11,158 and it is 1.7 miles long.  You also cross Vail Pass at an elevation of 10,666 feet.

So….I left the campground that morning where the elevation was 5,456, then spent three hours going up, up, up and down, down, down.  You do get to see the Colorado river running along the highway quite a bit of the time.

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I stopped in Dillon, CO (elevation 9,111) for a lunch break.  Here are some views from the restaurant and the parking lot.

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By Denver you are at an elevation of 5,280 and the eastern half of Colorado is pretty flat.

Moving on to eastern Colorado.

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Then you cross into Kansas.  Now here was a beautiful highway.  It must have recently been resurfaced.

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I arrived at the KOA in Wakeeney, KS (elevation 2,447) at 8:30pm after driving 475 miles.

Friday, June 2, 2017 – Really? – Feeling thankful

Time to head for home.  It is just over 1000 miles between Moab and home.  For my preferred travel style, that is a 3 day trip.  Then you have to look at RV/Campground options for the trip.    I also look at any interesting stops I might want to make along the way and after all they I make my plan.

So my plan was for day 1 to be a short trip day, day 2 a long, long day and day 3 a medium day.

I left Moab about noon and headed for Grand Junction, CO.  This is about a 115 mile drive.  I had already reserved my site for the night at KOA, Silt, CO.  It was only about an hour east of Grand Junction.

About 2:00pm I stopped at the mall in Grand Junction.  I shopped a little and had a snack. I got back in my car just before 4:00pm and when I turned the car on and an indicator light came on showing a tire issue.  I got out and my left rear tire was half flat and I could hear air escaping.  So, now what.  I turned on my GPS and searched for auto services.  There was a Firestone Auto Care one block away.

I drove there and went in.  They were swamped.  I talked to a nice young man that said it would be at least two hours before they could even take a look.  He said he would try calling another tire place.  I had purchased the tires at Discount Tire originally so I asked him if they would happen to have one of those in Grand Junction.  They actually did!

So the nice Firestone guys put 20 pounds of air in the tire and I drove five miles down the road to Discount Tire.  They were so nice.  What great customer service I had there.  They were also swamped but put me in the line with everyone else.  So I unhitched the trailer in the lot, took my book into the waiting room and at 6:00pm they told me they were done.  I had a nail in the tire.  As we walked outside, one of the employees already had the car hitched and was putting on the chains.  When I asked about payment, they said there was no charge.  Wow!!

I drove on to Silt, CO to the KOA and arrived about 7:30pm.

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So….. it was a good day to have a short day planned and it was great to have it happen in the middle of a large town (pop. 60,000) during the day and even better to happen in a town that has a Discount Tire location.

So while I never want to have a flat tire, I am thankful for the good parts.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 – Are you kidding me?? – Feeling lucky

I headed out to Arches National Park late this morning to continue where I left off.  They only have two entrance lanes to the park so traffic backs up waiting.  I had read where some people waited in line over an hour to get in.  Here is a photo I took waiting in line:

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Stop, go, stop, go…..bang!! What!!

Someone ran into the back of me!  An older man driving a volvo hit my bumper hitch going 2 mph or something like that.  He just barely caught the right side of the hitch.

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His car suffered damage from the tangle.

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The very odd thing was they were from Springfield, MO.  I drive 1000 miles to get in a wreck with someone that lives two hours from me.

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Here is a photo of my tiny site.  All of the sites are very, very small.  You will notice my orange cones.  I have had them since the beginning but rarely need to use them.  In this park they have no walking paths to the bathroom/shower building.  So…..the campers are supposed to walk down their row, across the end and then down the row to the building…..yeah….that is really happening.  What happens is that everyone just cuts thru all the sites.  It is considered rude in the rv world to walk thru occupied sites and the park has a ton of signage but I saw people do it over and over.  Of course, my site was right at the bathroom/shower building.

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Apparently there are a lot of cottonwood trees here as there is cotton floating all across town.  It was very, very heavy in one corner of the RV park.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017 – Dead Horse Point State Park & Canyonlands National Park

I wandered in and out of a few shops before having lunch on another outside patio.

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Lovely weather.  Moab is a small town with a population of less than 6000 people.  Tourism is the big employer here.  Two national parks, one state park and the Colorado river all within 30 minutes.  Dirt bikes, ATVs, Jeeps, rock climbing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, rafting etc, etc are all big draws here.  Basically it is a playground for big boys with big toys.

There are few shopping options here.  There is no Wal-Mart here.  They do have a McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Dennys and Pizza Hut.  Beyond that is about two dozen local restaurants.  There is also no evening entertainment options here.  I saw a movie theatre that had three movies listed.

What they do have is a lovely main street.  So basically tourists go out to the parks or the dirt play areas during the day and then in the evenings have dinner/drinks/dessert/ice cream and wander in the few shops and just enjoy the lovely weather.

Peak tourist season is March 15 through May Sept and Oct. still busy in the summer but not as crazy as spring and fall. The summer slows a bit because temperatures can easily average 105 degrees.

I cannot believe how many European tourists are here.  I have heard many different languages.

After lunch i drove out to Dead Horse Point State Park.  It is 31 miles from Moab.  It basically has one great look out a few other stops.  It is much smaller.

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I then continued a few more miles to Canyonlands National Park.  This park is pretty large and I just drove the Island in the Sky section.

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