March 28 – April 7, 2014
We were excited to begin our month of boondocking as we headed into Navajo Nation and the Monument Valley. We felt like the weather was finally warming up enough to allow us to leave Arizona and head north into the beautiful state of Utah. The picture below is the road that Forrest Gump was on when he decided to stop running because he was tired. Do you recognize it?
We learned of a primitive camp (no electricity or water) on Monument Valley Road about 1 mile east of Highway 163, called Mustang Valley. Dorothy is the contact person at 928-209-5106. She can see the camp from her house, which is about 1/2 mile away, and she will drive down to collect the $15 fee each day.
We paid another $10 to go into the Navajo Nation Visitor’s Center which was 3 miles further east on Monument Valley Road. Within the Navajo Nation is a 17-mile scenic drive through Monument Valley on a really rutted bumpy dirt road. Many people pay for the jeep tour, but we decided to beat up our car and drive it ourselves. The speed limit is 10 mph, but even that is too fast for this rough road. I’m actually glad we drove because the jeeps went flying by us and all the passengers were covering their eyes and mouth to keep all the dust out. That didn’t look like fun. We were able to pull over whenever we wanted, take pictures or take a walk at our leisure.
We went across Highway 163 to Gouldings Resort $$$ to check out how the other half live. An interesting sight at the fuel station!
We enjoyed a couple of days in Monument Valley, and then saw that a wind storm was approaching the next day. We were camped out in the open in soft and very fine red dirt. We could just imagine what would happen to us if we sat here in 40 mph winds. We’d never get all the dirt out. So we decided not to find out. We hot-footed it up to Bluff and spent the next few days at Cadillac Ranch RV Park. It was nice to have a full hook-up, I must admit. And, as predicted, the wind blew!
What a difference a day makes!
The RV Park is across the street from historic Fort Bluff, settled in 1880 by Mormon pioneers. The story of these 70 families and their 6-month journey covering 260 miles across some impossible terrain was impressive. Historians consider this expedition one of the most extraordinary wagon trips ever undertaken in North America and I agree! The presentation we watched was jaw dropping. These were some tough folks!
We also drove another 17-mile dirt road through gorgeous Valley of the Gods. This is another sandstone valley with stunning rock formations. It is considered a photographer’s paradise. This dirt road was MUCH better than the one through Monument Valley.
If our rig was a bit smaller, we could camp here. This beautiful location made us wish we were in something smaller. This is BLM land, and camping is free. In the picture below, Mike is standing at a campsite clearing. Can you imagine waking up to this view?
Next it was time to backtrack a little bit. We had blown past Gooseneck State Park when we were running from the windstorm earlier in the week. We absolutely did not want to miss camping on the rim of the canyon. And we were planning to rendezvous with our blogger friends Ingrid and Al of LiveLaughRV. Then, another weather system decided to head our way bringing the wind back. It was kind of scary! We even pulled our slides in. I didn’t want our slide-out toppers to turn into parasails and send us into the canyon!
We had a blast anyway because we were enjoying fun times with our friends. Thanks to Ingrid for sharing some of her pictures with me and allowing me to use them on my blog.
If you’ve never seen her blog, Ingrid is a wonderful photographer. You should check it out at www.livelaughrv.net
We drove the switchbacks up to Muley Point, which was another vertigo-challenging day. But oh so beautiful!
I put the camera on a tripod and set the 10-second timer so I could be in the picture. Then I just hoped I wouldn’t be running so fast to get in the picture that I would fly off the cliff.
Next up, Natural Bridges National Monument, House of Fire and Comb Wash BLM. Cheers!