Living on the Edge

Time for me to step away from the photo challenges and return to our travels…… After our grueling, nightmarish, eleven hour travel day, we arrived at Goosenecks State Park and quickly found a level area perched high above the San Juan River to park for the next four days. It was a brutal day and we were glad to finally make it to our destination.Adventure living on the edge

That said, we went to bed early that evening and fell into a deep, exhausted slumber. We awoke the next morning to a stunning sunrise that lit up the canyon. It was a beautiful morning with a clear blue sky. Yes, yesterday was in the past and a new day was unfolding.adventures in RVing

The stunning scenery before us was exactly what we needed to forget about the previous day’s mayhem….that and a little visiting with a fellow blogger.

Camping near Mexican Hat Utah

Camped near Mexican Hat, Utah…..guess where the towns name came from 😉

First, a little bit about Goosenecks State Park. The park is located in southeast Utah eight miles north of the town of Mexican Hat. To use the term State Park is a tad of a misnomer in my book. It’s predominately a scenic overlook with free dispersed camping. There are a couple of picnic tables, a vault toilet, and a few garbage cans. That’s it, but the view…..oh my gosh, it’s all about the view here; an endless view, one that seems to go on forever.Camping near the San Juan River

As you enter Goosenecks State Park, there’s a paved parking lot. Since this park is located along the Trail of the Ancients, this parking lot usually has a steady stream of vehicles coming and going. Thus, it’s not a good place to camp. The parking lot does expand with gravel past the restroom and that’s where we stayed during our first visit here 2 years ago.

This time we took a left at the parking lot and slowly drove over a very rocky, bumpy, dirt road, embedded with large rocks. We knew the further back we went the worse the road would get and after that blown tire we were a little apprehensive to venture down this road too far. We found a nice level spot near the edge (well, not too near) with a comfortable distance from the other RV’s already parked….a little boondock etiquette…..keep some distance.boondocking etiquette

We do use a generator and as a courtesy to others, we make sure we’re parked far enough away from those using solar or folks sleeping in tents. One day we hope to go solar and be generator free, but the budget just isn’t ready to go that route yet especially with new trailer tires on the horizon.

There’s plenty of room to find a spot and spread out.  The majority of folks are just passing through and spending one night.  However, our neighbors to the east and Al and I were planning on spending a few nights.  And just who are those neighbors?

boondocking etiquette

Linda and Mike’s motorhome in the distance

Linda and Mike from Bear Tracks Blog.  We weren’t totally sure if they’d be here or how much of our travels would overlap as each of us kept changing our schedules based on weather.  Don’t ya love that freedom…..freedom to come and go on a whim?  This gal is forever changing her mind……not – it was the weather changing it for us this time.  High winds, snow, and rain kept us in Phoenix an extra couple of days. Linda and Mike rearranged their plans as well due to high winds.

We had a feeling our paths would cross a few times during the month of April since our travels had us going to some of the same places, but we weren’t exactly sure where or when.  It was fun seeing them camped just down the road from us.boondocking

Did I already mention, there’s practically no internet connection here? There’s cell service providing you’re standing in the right spot, “Can you hear me now?” and we did manage to get a channel or two of TV via the antenna. Entertainment?  No problem.  These kids found activities to occupy themselves.

building a fire ring

Ingrid builds a fire ring

wood chopping

Al chops wood

happy hour Utah style

happy hour at Linda and Mike’s place

happy hour in Utah

Cheer’s Linda!

rock art

As we hike around the area we discover rock art by ancient civilizations – or rather a previous camper engaging in another form of entertainment

As beautiful as Goosenecks State Park is, there is a downside and that’s the weather.  You see, we’re sitting on a mesa 1,000 feet above the San Juan River.  There’s nothing protecting us from the grueling winds.  We ended up leaving the fifth wheel connected to the truck for extra stabilization and Linda and Mike pulled in two of their slides when a storm rolled through.  This location is NOT for the faint of heart.  The weather can turn quickly and it’s a long way down.

ominous skies

Ominous skies have us calling happy hour quits and we retreat to our rigs.

ominous skies

keep an eye on the sky!

After a very relaxing and uneventful (the gale force winds rocked us to sleep) four days, we bid farewell to Bear Tracks Blog and Goosenecks State Park.  Until we meet again.

Oops, I almost forgot about our scenic drive through Valley of the Gods……. that’ll be next!

living on the edge adventure

Can you see that white spec? That’s my home for a few days. Living on the edge! I’m glad I don’t sleep walk 🙂

 

 

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68 thoughts on “Living on the Edge

  1. I suppose there will always be a little living on the edge if we are to experience the truly remarkable things in life — what a magnificent adventure. So glad you visited us at Savoring Today, it was a joy to find your blog. Happy travels. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Utah – Monument Valley to Gooseneck State Park | Bear Tracks

  3. Wow, you take great photos! Nicely written as well. We’ll have to stop by that place sometime. Wouldn’t want to get too “happy” during happy hour that close to the edge, though…..lol.

    • Thank you and yes one does need to watch their footing from our perch above the San Juan River. Definitely worth a stop even if you don’t overnight 🙂

    • I was definitely in my element and loving every minute. Getting repairs completed on the RV and me….. after all, we have so many excursions and adventures planned 🙂

  4. Hello Ingrid, I’m enjoying these posts (although that very first awesome pic of someone’s feet, and the “little” canyon spread out waaaaay below – I don’t know about that!). We visited the Moab area and Canyonlands and Arches back in the 90s with a teen and a preteen (long ago, now). It was all pretty awesome for Midwesterners. I’m looking forward to more to come!
    Thanks for visiting TB&WC today. I just replied to you over there a minute ago. Happy trails!.

    • Hailing from IL the first time I visited Utah I felt very uncomfortable almost like I was visiting another planet, and these days I feel right at home. It’s amazing country with one spectacular view after another 🙂

    • Our first time visit to Goosenecks was during our southern CO route the very way you are thinking about going in the fall. So yes, do plan to stop. The roads in this part of Utah shouldn’t concern you. It is quite the sight to behold in person….photos do not do it justice.

  5. It has been years since we have been to that part of Utah and your beautiful photos made me long to go back. Did you get a chance to do any hiking while in the area?

    • Oh, how I wanted to hike to ‘house on fire’ but alas my lungs were telling me otherwise. My walking is still relegated to less than an hour 😦 Since we think this will be a regular route for us, I’ll plan on catching it next time. Made it to Grand Junction yesterday and we’ll work on the repairs on the RV and my health 😉

  6. A generator is on our radar this summer so we can do some boondocking, solar isn’t in our budgets right now either. We’ve been to Goosenecks a few time, with my vertigo don’t know how I’d feel camping there though.

    • Ooh vertigo and that drop? Probably not a good match. In that case I’d stay in Valley of the Gods. We got an estimate for solar and it was just too out of reach for us at this time, but something for us to save for in the future. We’ve had the Honda 2000 for eight years and love it.

  7. Whoa, that first photo of your toes on the edge — I had to step back from my computer screen. Goosenecks is such a beautiful place — we’ve visited but never camped there — probably will, but probably a few feet back further from the edge than you looked to be. Our trailer is a lot smaller and might take flight in a strong wind. 😉

    • Ah yes, our RV’s are not meant to act like hot air balloons. During my walks I discovered a hidden alcove at Goosenecks that looked to block the winds nicely…. a little further in on the left. Roads a tad rough though. Lots to see in the area. Comb Wash (west of Blanding) is also a good place to boondock and get in some hiking to “house on fire”. I had to pass on the hiking this time through. We’ll catch it in the fall, I hope.

  8. URGH! Dang it, why am I coming back to this blog again and again! 😀 Such kind of nature’s art that I would like to see myself. That formation is just whoa-some!

    • Remember…..I can provide a travel itinerary for you anytime LOL. Utah and Colorado are two states you definitely need to explore 🙂

  9. Holy Skydive, Batman!! I am such a klutz that I would have to park just a couple “trips” away farther than you did! The view is just breathtaking…Wish we could have been there for “happy hour”…How much more happy could a girl be, right????

    • Not a good place to trip and fall that’s for sure….it’s a loooong way down. When we stayed there the first time, we had the dog and I kept making sure his leash and rope were tight. The little guy was old and hard of hearing with poor eyesight – not a good way to loose a dog, eh!
      Next time you’re out west, we’ll need to do happy hour among some stunning scenery. However, I’ll be just as happy sharing drinks with another big butted gal at the Gulf Coast 🙂

  10. Your pictures are amazing. We are retired TX teachers who full time. We were in Rockport about a week before you, and also loved the birds and seafood. We stayed at Copano Bay RV Park on the other side of the bridge from where you were. Your pics near Mexican Hat make us want to go there soon. We’ve spent the last few weeks at Monticello Point campground at Elephant Butte State Park. It’s one of our favorites, and we find ourselves coming back over and over. We will leave here and start a slow trip to Volo, Il for an extended visit with our daughter’s family near Chicago. The fall will bring us back west. I have thouroghly enjoyed your blog! Hope you guys have an uneventful, beautiful trip ahead!

    • Thank you and yes I’m hoping for an “uneventful” trip. We too have enjoyed staying at Elephant Butte. NM is a state we’d like to explore more of. We hope to return to Rockport next Jan. for more seafood and birding and perhaps a summer visit to my dad in the Chicago burbs.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Keep me posted on any great places to stay along your travels.

    • Seeing the vastness of the landscape in person is aweing. There’s a lot to see and explore in the area. Keep an eye on the weather and enjoy.

  11. Thank you so much for camping there so I don’t have to. I get to live vicariously through your photos. Great view though – it would almost be worth it….almost. I must be getting soft in my old age.

    • I think the opposite is happening to me…..twenty years ago I would’ve been so freaked out. The first time I saw this place all I could say was wow! It is a sight to behold in person.

    • There’s pinion trees but compared to the Midwest this land is desolate….mars like, but just 30 minutes away is a pine forest. We found our firewood at another camp in the National Forest.

  12. Stunning photos. We were there last September. We visited Goosenecks State Park but didn’t stay there. It was extremely windy, and they were having tons of rain. The ranger actually recommended we stay in one of the campgrounds in Mexican Hat. We took his advice. Glad we did…the second day we had such a storm and high winds. Yuck!

    We did the Moki Dugway drive in the truck. Never do this again…EVER! I couldn’t look out the window. If you haven’t done it, do not take your RV on it. Dangerous enough with just being in a vehicle. Paul, of course, loved it. The view is awesome.

    If you haven’t visited the Valley of the Gods, please don’t miss it. We think it is much better than Monument Valley. The road is much, much better. You can get out of your vehicle and actually climb the rocks. Gorgeous. Enjoy!

    • Yes, we visited Valley of the Gods…..beautiful. Moki Dugway drive? I guess we’ve driven so many back roads in Colorado’s high country that we thought it was pretty tame and typical. I’m very used to driving roads like this and I almost went back up myself to go to that scenic overlook at the top of Moki Dugway, but the winds never died down and we were eating dirt thus forwent the overlook. You need to come to CO and I’ll show ya some roads that’ll really scare ya….lol.

  13. Sure is windy out there on the edge. We were staying in Bluff when we visited here. It was so windy I was afraid to get too close to the edge for photos for fear I would blow over. Only one camper that day. But it sure is a magnificent view. Glad you had enough calm to sit and enjoy the view with friends and good eats:)

    • Although it did get pretty windy, we’ve been in much worse. If there had been a high wind warning I think we would’ve moved. When we took the Moki Dugway road we didn’t go left to the overlook because of the winds and blowing dirt in our eyes. Hard to enjoy the view. So we’ve saved enough to explore next time 🙂

  14. What a great place to spend a few days. We stayed one night there last year and loved it so much! I am constantly amazed by all the wonderful places we get to park our homes – and even better when it’s free. Looking forward to your photos from the Valley of the Gods.

    • You are so right about getting to park in some pretty wonderful places. If we hadn’t had a reservation at Dead Horse Point we probably would’ve extended our stay and camped at Valley of the Gods. Once past that first big dip in the road, we wouldn’t have any trouble fitting into any number of sites. Oh, well next time. We seem to share your slower pace and feel we don’t need to see it all now…..save something to explore for another time 🙂

  15. OMG, your new digs have a stunning view despite living on the edge! We are with you in spirit during your happy hour for I am a little envious of where you are right now. Great Photos too!
    ps. this might be a dup comment, not sure what happen to my first one, maybe eaten by the ads 🙂

    • I do believe it was eaten lol. Goosenecks is quite the location and so much to explore in the area. It’ll probably become a regular stop for us. These darn lungs did not allow me to hike to the ‘house on fire’ (see Pam or Nina’s blogs)…..you and Steve would enjoy the explorations in the area, but no birds.

  16. OMG what a stunning new digs despite living on the edge! Were you not scared you might be blown over? We are with you in spirit during your happy hour with Linda for I am so envious!

    • The winds do kick up here but fortunately it never got as bad as a couple of storms we encountered in Phoenix. Weather is weather, ya just never know where it’ll get nasty. It was a fun place to hang with friends for a few days 🙂

    • Thanks…..fun times! I thought of you today; hubby and I are on ‘the program’…..health and fitness. That is, once I kick this cold. Now where’s that whiskey?

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