May 24, 2022 Grants, NM to Moab, UT

Bob woke up at 5:45 and got me up at 6:15 even though the alarm was set for 6:30. He even made the sandwiches for our drive today. What a guy! The temp was 41 when I got up. We slept nice and toasty all night, but we hauled out our warm clothes to throw on today—long pants, socks, and heavy fleeces. We had very little to do in order to leave this morning and we were 1/2 hour ahead of our planned departure at 8:00. The skies were clear blue–the clearest it’s been in a long time. We wanted to get going before the winds started up. High winds are expected later today, so we wanted to be off the road by then. You know the saying, “The best laid plans often go awry”. Well, that is how it went. We were all set to leave when we realized that there wasn’t enough room to pull the bus out of our site. The site ahead of us was full and the guy next to us who pulled in late, pulled too far forward, so we couldn’t get the bus past him. We had to disconnect the Jeep anyway, after we specifically asked for a pull-through site so we wouldn’t have to. After we disconnected the Jeep, I helped Bob back the bus out of our site and we reconnected the Jeep. Problem 1–solved. Problem 2–the jacks were up, but the alarm kept going off. As we left the campground, we tried all the little tricks to get it to stop its periodic beeping, but no luck. The jacks were up, but the beeping continued. I guess we were going to have to listen to it for awhile. Problem 3, we missed the I-40 ramp entrance while messing with the jack switch, so we jumped on Route 66 that paralleled the Interstate for 2 miles and then we got back onto I-40 at the next entrance ramp. We only lost about 15 minutes with problems 2 and 3 in the process, so that wasn’t too bad. After all of that, we were finally on the road at 7:45. The scenery was spectacular with the bright sun and clear, blue skies.

We climbed to 7200 ft. and crossed the Continental Divide.

After about 60 miles, we left I-40 and took Highway 491 north through the Navajo Indian Reservation. By this time, the jack alarm had stopped going off. Thank goodness!

There were small towns all along the highway on the Reservation. The wind had picked up a little and fortunately it was out of the northwest, so it was coming from the 11:00 position. That was better than from the side. We were getting 9 mpg with the wind, which wasn’t bad. The road took us up and over the mountains and into the valley.

Much of the land was desolate, with no inhabitants whatsoever.

We stopped around 10:00 along the side of the road to use our bathroom. There were no rest areas anywhere along this road. That’s what’s nice about bringing your bathroom along with you. It was now 66 and windy, but we had a great view of this huge rock.

As we approached the town of Shiprock on the reservation, we could see where the town got its name. This mesa was HUGE like a ship! Shiprock was the largest town in the area with all the services.

We crossed the river in town.

We saw 2 hitchhikers outside of town. When have you seen hitchhikers lately? We came out of town with the road straight ahead of us. Another missed fry bread opportunity!

We left New Mexico and crossed into Colorado at 10:45.

The view was spectacular! We were now on the Ute Indian Reservation and in the Ute Mountains.

This butte was very distinctive.

The sun created some very interesting shadow designs on the rock formations.

Our gas mileage was horrible due to the wind, but we were making good time. We neared Cortez, CO where the Ute Mountain Casino was located. The Navajo Reservation also had a casino.

It was very green in Colorado with the irrigation of alfalfa fields outside of town. From the top of the hill entering Cortez, it was clear enough to see the snow on the top of the Rocky Mountains.

Once we got to Colorado, our spirits were renewed with all the greenery–grass, trees, growing fields, and WATER! The farmers were just beginning to work their fields getting them ready for planting.

The rolling hills protected us from the wind at times. The last town before the border was Dove Creek. This silo marked the edge of town and sat at top of the hill. We couldn’t tell what it was until we got close to it.

We left Colorado and entered Utah around noon.

Abajo Peak at 11,348 ft. could be seen in the distance for miles. It still had snow on the top.

With the wind, we saw many dust devils twirling across the open plains. Tumbleweeds were blowing across the road and plastered against the fences.

In Monticello, we picked up Highway 191 for the last 52 miles.

It was 56 degrees with clear skies coming out of Monticello and the view was spectacular. The descent was steep, but you could see forever. What a difference clear skies make after all those hazy/smoky days.

The La Sal Mountains were majestic! This road from Monticello to Moab should be designated a “scenic highway”. It is so beautiful, but I’ll let you make up your own mind.

We passed Wilson’s Arch. We had taken the hike to view the arch on our last trip to Moab.

The road also took us past “Hole ‘n the Rock”–a tourist trap, but interesting none-the-less.

We had 13 miles to go and we were getting excited and anxious to be done for today. We arrived in Moab at 1:30 after a long, but stunningly beautiful 311 mile drive.

As we drove into town, we saw lots of new development since we were here last. It wasn’t too busy in town, but we are here over the Memorial Day weekend, so I’m sure things will pick up a bit. The temp was a very pleasant 72 when we arrived after our 5 1/2 hour drive. We located our campground, The Portal RV Resort, on the north side of town.

We checked in and went to our reserved site #M18.

Office

A portion of the resort is privately owned, but those sites can be rented out. We have one of the privately-owned sites. We had the same type of site on our last visit here, but it was a drive-in site, instead of a back-in site.

We set up in no time and were glad to be sitting still and staying in one place for 8 nights. The view out of our front window is beautiful.

We are surrounded by red rock mountains on 3 sides and are located just down the road from Arches National Park and so convenient to Moab!

View from my side window.

We are on the far right with the bluffs across the road behind us.
This is the view out of the back of the campground.

We took our walk around the campground after dinner. They are pretty full tonight and they said they will be full for Memorial Day Weekend. On our walk, it looked like it was raining over the mountains, but the rain wasn’t reaching the ground.

We have a lot of things we want to see and do in this area AND we’ll celebrate Bob’s birthday tomorrow. We are glad to be in Moab. It is one of my favorite places!

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