June 1, 2022 Moab, UT to Dolores, CO

We didn’t have to rush this morning because our drive to Dolores, CO was only 144 miles. Bob did a few more things to get the bus ready for our drive today and he had a few business phone calls to make before we left. It took awhile to get my mind in the groove about all the things I had to do to ready the bus inside for travel because we haven’t moved in 8 days, but it all came back to me pretty quickly. We hooked the Jeep to the bus in the road in front of our site and were on the road at 10:00. I will miss our campground in this beautiful location and the Moab area.

Campground located in the trees.

I love these red mountains!

Our drive today started on the same highway that we came to Moab on–Highway 191. As we left Moab, we noticed that most of the snow was gone from the La Sal Mountains.

We again passed the Hole in the Rock–a popular tourist attraction.

At Wilson’s Arch we saw people who had climbed up to stand in the shadow of the arch.

It was only 57 miles to Monticello where we had to pick up fuel. Bob did his research and found the cheapest diesel for $5.55/gal. That’s only 6 cents more than what we paid on May 24. However, gas went up 12 cents since then. Our tank was pretty empty and the low fuel alarm was going off as we entered Monticello. We hold 100 gallons and we took 82 gallons. You DON’T want to know what the bill was. Bob said it’s the price of having fun. We only got 8 mpg on this tank with all the mountain climbing we’ve done and add some windy travel days and the mpg really took a hit. If we could have waited until we got to Colorado, the diesel would have been cheaper there, but we couldn’t make it that far. We will need to fuel up only one more time before getting home, so that’s good. Bob had seen this vehicle in Arches NP yesterday and we saw another one on the road today. That makes 3 in all that we’ve seen just recently. It is a Rivian–an all electric pickup truck with a 300 mile range. It just recently came out so it was unusual to see that many in this one area.

It took us about 20 minutes to fuel up and we were on our way. We left Monticello and took Highway 491 to the Colorado border.

We eventually picked up Highway 184 towards the Rocky Mountains and Dolores, CO.

The highway took us over the top of a dam where the Narraguinnep Reservoir was very low. There are many man-made reservoirs in this area.

As we came around a bend, we saw that traffic was stopped. We thought it was some construction again. Silly us! When we looked ahead to see what was going on, we saw that it was a CATTLE DRIVE in progress. Yep, that’s right—a CATTLE DRIVE.

There were cowboys of all ages riding horses and moving the cattle.

This grey horse was running loose with the herd and went over to check out the other horses on the side behind the fence.

Traffic was halted in both directions for awhile until we could determine what was happening with the herd. There were cows and lots of calves. We even saw some pregnant cows and a few bulls with horns. We watched three or four Border Collies working the herd and moving them along. We inched along slowly and the cows moved ever so slowly to the side of the road.

Cows would stop in the middle of the road and bellow. This gal was. We didn’t know if they were bellowing at us or calling their calves.

It wasn’t long before we got through the herd and were able to move on. Some of the other drivers were less sure about moving through the herd, so they just sat and waited. We couldn’t see where they were taking the herd, but we surmised that they must have been moving them to another pasture. There were maybe a couple hundred cows stretching down the road for a mile or two. It was an interesting phenomenon to see.

Once we got past them, we turned onto Highway 145. We started to get a closer glimpse of the Rocky Mountains in the distance.

We entered the town of Dolores–a busy little western town at an elevation of 6,936 ft.

We weren’t actually staying in Dolores, but north of town about 27 miles. The road out of town traveled through the canyon along the Dolores River. It is designated a scenic highway and was very picturesque with the cliffs on both sides and the beautiful rushing river alongside us.

We came upon some road construction that we were warned about, but it didn’t hold us up very long.

While we waited, Bob noticed these tailings on the hillside from an old mine that was dug out years ago.

There were many beautiful homes and ranches along this stretch of road along the river. They made great use of the river and reservoirs, creating areas for people to enjoy fishing and picnicing.

There was a “Point of Interest” sign for Memorial Rock along this road, but there was no place to park and nothing else to explain anything about it. I looked it up on the Internet and learned that on May 24, 2019 two massive boulders fell 1000 feet onto Highway 145 damaging a section of highway. One boulder, weighing 2.3 million pounds, crashed intact onto the road, cratering and buckling the road like an earthquake. The other boulder, an 8.5 million pound chunk, plowed a trench though the asphalt and came to rest on the shoulder where it remains. A witness said it sounded like a jet plane, darkened the neighborhood in a cloud of dust, and nearly hit 3 vehicles. It tumbled between 2 cars and a truck driver braked hard and was pummeled by large rocks as he drove in reverse to avoid the falling boulder. Amazingly, nobody was hurt. The rock was named Memorial Rock by the Governor because it fell over Memorial Day weekend. It’s amazing what you can learn about the area you’re in.

We climbed higher into the San Juan National Forest and were enjoying the drive.

One rancher even set up an authentic looking teepee on his property.

It was about 1:30 when we reached our destination for the next 4 nights, Priest Gulch Campground and RV park on the river.

It’s my favorite kind of campground–woodsy, in a lodgepole pine forest, along a river, in the mountains. What more could you ask for? We checked in at the office and were led to site #37.

We set up in no time and got Auggie outside. He had his own little private grassy area. His little nose was twitching a mile-a-minute at the smells he loves. I’m sure he could smell the pine forest like we did. Bob set up our Tailgator system for satellite TV. Our campsite happens to be perfect for connecting to the satellites in the southwest sky. We use our Tailgator system when the main dish on the bus is blocked by trees or buildings. The Tailgator is sitting on top of that tree stump.

The ride wasn’t long today, but tiresome for Bob due to the narrow winding road that requires a lot of concentration. He was happy to sit still and enjoy a cold beer after the drive.

One of the first things I did was to check out the river right across from us. No one was in that campsite yet, so it was easy to get close to the river. Dwayne, our campground host, asked us how we found this campground. We told him we found it on our Park Advisor campground app. He said most people hear about them by word-of-mouth and once they visit, they return often. There will be a lot of campers arriving for the summer season they told us. When we made our reservation in Jan./Feb. they also told us we got the last available site. Lucky us! We would come back here again. Nice place and friendly people. There are also some great Jeep trails in the area we’re told. We’ll check those out while we’re here.

Bob was excited to set up his hummingbird feeder and immediately his visitors arrived. We enjoyed watching the hummingbirds all afternoon. How do they even know it’s there?

We enjoyed the 67 degrees and sunshine with a cocktail before dinner. We were tired, so we didn’t put out the firepit last night. We watched a little TV and called it a night.

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