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 🙂

 

 

Monument Valley

The diverse landscape in the United States never ceases to amaze me.  One day I am surrounded by green, fragrant pine trees with rugged, majestic mountains and the next day there are no trees, no distinguishable scent.  Yet the air is crisp and fresh.  There’s rock, rock in all directions as far as the eye can see.  Rocks in a multitude of hues.  Rocks in awe-inspiring size and shape.RVing

We spent the night in a gravely parking lot on a Mesa high above the San Juan River (Mesa is the Spanish word for Plateau.  The English word Plateau is rarely used in this part of the country.)  Gooseneck State Park was a great find, although I have a bit of a problem referring to a parking lot as a State Park.  The 360 degree views, the faint sound of the rivers’ rapids echoing in the canyon, and the absence of a fee made up for any lack of amenities.

RVing
Horses roam the Navajo Nation

While Al and I are enjoying the sunset at a picnic table, a young couple drives up.  They ask about the fee and if a tent is ok?  We inform them they can tent here free, much to their surprise.  Turns out this young couple are from the Czech Republic and traveling America’s west for the next month.  They share their intended journey and we offer recommendations and advice, which they appreciate.

RVing
other campers spend the night on this scenic mesa

The next morning all campers (us and three cars) are up early and ready to embark on the day’s journey.  For Al and me, we are excited and look forward to today’s drive through Monument Valley.  It did not disappoint and was well worth traveling a bit out of our way to experience the scenery of Monument Valley.  We would definitely return and plan at least a day or two stay so we could horseback ride or ATV the backcountry.  We’re fascinated by the uniqueness of the area.  If you must have trees….well then….this is not the place for you.  It’s all about rock!Monument Valley

Monument Valley
Monument Valley
RVing
Monument Valley

Today’s destination is Page, Arizona.  We’ll stay in an RV Park for the night to regroup.  The last time we were in Page, AZ was in the mid 90’s and we camped with the kids at the Wahweap Marina.  That was a pretty exciting trip for me.  Lake Powell was a place I had longed to visit.  And once again, I’m excited and happy to be returning.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell
Lake Powell