Monday, October 31, 2011


We arrived back in Caliente last Thursday mid afternoon and have been busy ever since.   Our new cleaning lady did an excellent job, and at a cheaper rate, than the previous two so that was a real bonus.   We’ve done lots of visiting with old friends and used the pool each night.  We found a spot close by to park the motor home until we get the RV cover roof raised enough to park the motor home under it.  We scraped coming out last February and with the suspension modifications we did in Grant’s Pass, it is likely we’d not make it in.  Several of the neighbours have already offered to help with whatever I come up with for a solution.   
We have been shopping a couple times getting restocked in the food department.  Aileen has been busy planning a party for my 65th this coming Friday and laying in food for that as well.  I think we are over 30 invited guests so far and more friends are coming in every day so it could be up around 40 by then.  One of our guests will turn 75 that day so the event has been expanded to include her special day.   We washed the park model and carport today so that’s looking pretty spiffy.  I imagine the carport will be pretty crowded with guests on Friday.
Yesterday, we were invited to a pumpkin carving party.  Never heard of such a thing among us older people but it turned out to be great fun.  I did our pumpkin freehand while Aileen did one for our neighbour, Kathy, who is still in BC recovering from surgery.  Aileen worked from a pattern and her pumpkin looked really sharp when the candle was lit in the evening.   Our works of art were on display on the club house stage this morning during the regular Monday morning coffee/announcements meeting.
I was happy that my ATV started easily and seems to be running fine when I got it out from where it spent the summer.  I’m looking forward to riding again even though it is a little warm and very dusty.  I will have to hang well back to minimize the dust, which is what I normally do anyway.  

Aileen's work of art

My freehand effort

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Our self portrait at the Four Corners

Evening at Goosenecks.  The pickup was from Phoenix, Randy and Diane from Florida were in the center motor home and that's us down at the far end

A morning shot of our home, that's Monument Valley peeking up in the back

Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods, see the face on the right side?

Valley of the Gods with Monument Valley behind

Goosenecks of San Juan River

Up on Muley Point

Up on Muley Point

Up on Muley Point

There is more to this report in the post following. 


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

Thursday, October 20, 2011


We took a drive over to Mesa Verde this morning since we are only about 20 miles from the entrance and our yearly national parks pass is good til the end of this month.  The lighting was difficult with the sun and shadow but we did what we could with it.
We came home through Mancos just for some different scenery.  Aileen managed a nap after we returned home while I started packing stuff up for our move tomorrow.  We plan to move over to Goosenecks  State Park in Utah where we hope to dry camp for a few days.  We need some down time, or at least quieter time.  This will be the last blog for a few days, I expect, since there is no free internet anywhere in the area that I know of.  If we’re day tripping somewhere bigger, perhaps I’ll take the laptop along just in case.  We haven’t come up with a route south to Florence after we leave Goosenecks, yet.  We’ll decide when the time comes based on the weather, mostly. 


In our campground

Dolores River

Old Coke Ovens

Rico, CO

Near the Ophir turnoff

I took Mitzy out around the frosty dog run Wednesday morning then came back for my camera since there was some nice colour and reflections to be had.  This Dolores River RV Park just north of the town of Dolores is one of the prettiest parks we’ve stayed in.  There are huge areas of cottonwood trees that are at their peak colour and pathways through the groves and along the river and large ponds.
We hit the road at 9:50 am bound for Telluride.  I thought we were getting a little jaded with all the mountains and colour but boy, today was probably the highlight of Colorado!   We were up close and personal with a lot of great looking mountains all day on the drive.  We got to Ophir just after noon and drove a little way up the Ophir Pass Rd to have our lunch all by ourselves.  After lunch I walked about 1/2 of a mile further up the road and got some even better views.  Sadly, the road was better than what we’d already driven so I could have driven more and then walked further .  I probably gained 500 feet or more so I did quite a bit of puffing.  Aileen and I decided Ophir has to be the prettiest location to live in. 
From there we finally made our way to Telluride which was rather anti climatic as it is another tourist trap town which we normally avoid.  The only surprise was seeing the twin high waterfalls at the head of the valley with the big house or several houses beside the falls perched on the cliff edge.
Our return toward home was fairly slow since we were getting nice light on a different aspect than in the morning.  We also ventured a few kms up the Alta Lake Rd before turning back.   Aileen drove from Lizard Head Pass home.  I was fairly beat with all my walking and many times in and out of the car.  I took 437 shots, so about 140 different subjects.


Upper Ophir looking up to Ophir Pass

Time for lunch

Walking further up the road

See all the iron bubbling up with this spring?

Just to prove I was there

The lower part of Ophir