Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BACK IN ARIZONA


Last Friday, we were on the road about 10.  Aileen drove the car to Safeway in Cortez where we refilled the larder again.   I hooked the car on while she put the groceries away.  We went to the Four Corners Monument for lunch.  The Indians charged us $3 each for the privilege.  We took our obligatory photo, looked at some of the jewelry then beat it. 
We got detoured in Bluff as an old VW camper was on fire beside the highway.  It was 2:45 when we got to Goosenecks State Park and found ourselves a nice spot right on the canyon edge.  Aileen tried to nap after we got the motor home set up.  I puttered with the outside things like getting the scooter off the car and building a bottom step since it was quite a drop from the stairs.
After a good sleep, we had a slow start Saturday morning just lazing about.  Aileen made us pancakes for a change.  After breakfast, I took my camera for a walk all the way to the end of the mesa then back along the other side.  We both spent quite a while sitting outside.  I read mostly while Aileen did puzzle book.  I cooked steak for lunch and Aileen did spuds, onions and mushrooms inside and they were yummy. 
We fed Mitzy a little early, packed our supper and went to the Valley of the Gods.  The lighting was excellent but the road was horrible with huge washboard for much of it.  There was lots of crawling along today.  I hate washboard like that.  I did get some good shots though.
Aileen cut my hair mid morning on Sunday.  She was only part way along when the Gig Harbor, Wash. couple came along and stopped to chat for a while.  He‘s the guy in Telluride who said he wouldn’t run over me when I was in the middle of the road taking a picture.  Then they were beside us at the Four Corners parking lot.   They were heading for Natural Bridges and thought they’d check in on us.
I’d seen a light down in the canyon Sunday night which I took to be a campfire.   On Monday morning I found a couple tents and a raft tied to shore while looking through my binoculars.  I alerted Randy to the fact we would maybe see a raft float by so he and Diane came over in time to see it.   Randy and Diane are from Florida and had spent the summer work camping at a KOA in Durango.  They were parked just up from us at Goosenecks and we hit it off.   Randy is an avid photographer so we had lots to talk about.
Later, I suggested to them and Aileen we could go to Muley Point and everyone agreed.  We had a great time up there shooting and visiting and having our picnic.  I met a young couple from London.   I gave him my blog with the idea he could see my images of the area.
We stopped part way down the Moki Dugway at a couple of places to see the view.  It was Mitzy’s supper time when we returned so Aileen fed her then I took her for her stroll.  Aileen had a short nap. I put some pictures of Randy and Diane onto the thumb drive to give to them.  Randy came back with me and I did a few HDR processes while he took notes.
Randy and Diane came by for a short visit before departing Tuesday morning.  It was very warm all morning then in the afternoon it clouded over and we had several thunder storms come rolling through.  I was out shooting the darkening skies for a time.   I made it home before the rain began along with some real major wind. 
I chatted with a photographer from Georgia quite a bit.  He’s retired air force and has a second career as a nature photographer.  He stopped by last night and we chatted through the window as he was just leaving and wanted a bit of info on the Dugway and Muley Point.  Sometime after dark, we saw lights coming in and it was him returning.  He’d enjoyed the Moki Dugway and Muley Point but didn’t feel like the 1.5 hour, or more, drive back to his mother ship.  He sleeps in his Highlander two or three nights away from his RV quite often so as to be in good spots.  Bill came and visited until past 10:30.    We looked at lots of my pictures, mostly of places he hasn’t been yet.  He’s 51.
Last night was quite  stormy.  I’d run the Honda generator a while last evening since all the clouds interfered with the solar panels charging the batteries yesterday.   After five nights boondocking  at this great Goosenecks State Park, we were hooked up and on the road just before ten this morning and it was dry for a while.  We took Highway 191 south from Bluff, UT to I-40 then I-40 to Holbrook where we are in OK RV Park tonight.  We hit some major rain along 191.  The desert was really flooded, with water lying everywhere and some of the creeks were rampaging mud.  Unfortunately, there were no places where I could pull over to get pictures as there was no way we were pulling over unless it was guaranteed firm.  We had our lunch in a Mormon Church yard in Chinle as we could not find anywhere else paved to park and it was still pouring and blowing.  Shortly after that, the temperature really started to drop and at one point was down to 1.1C which would be maybe 33 or 34F.  We had a lot of sleet on the windshield and one short stretch had some slush on the road.  The ground alongside was white for some distance also.

Looking down from Muley Point toward the Goosenecks of the San Juan River


I named this the Kissing Rock



Part way down the Moki Dugway looking out over The Valley of the Gods


Storm over Muley Point

The storm coming through the Goosenecks shot from the motorhome window



The last wave of the storm, it is getting brighter