October 16, 2017 Monument Valley, AZ to Moab, UT

We woke up this morning and were ready to get on the move. We pulled out of the campground at 10:00 with 142 miles to go today on some very interesting roads. The first 42 miles took us on scenic road 163 though the rest of Monument Valley. 

We were actually seeing the backside of Monument Valley if you were coming from the north.

It was just as awesome from this direction. The terrain switched quickly from mountains to rolling hills to plains in a short time. We climbed through Monument Pass (Elev. 5735 ft.) and came out on top. Then we came upon this 10% grade for 3/4 of a mile with a sharp right-hand turn at the bottom.

That took us to the one-lane bridge over the San Juan River and that crazy turn.

You don’t want to miss that turn or you’ll end up as part of the mountain.

The San Juan River cuts through the valley there and empties into Lake Powell. The terrain was continually changing.

We passed through the town of Mexican Hat. This is Mexican Hat Monument.

Again, we climbed and descended as the road paralleled the San Juan Mountains.

The mountains exposed some pretty interesting rock formations along the way.

Up and down, up and down. We did a lot of that today. We passed a lava field which looked really interesting.

At the end of the scenic drive, we came upon the city of Bluff. What a cool setting for a town! It was set in the middle of some really cool bluffs.

From there, we traveled north on Highway 191 where we alternated between mountains and high desert. We could see Abajo Peak (Elev. 11,348) in the distance. 

I saw the Wilson Arch marked on the map and was looking forward to seeing it in person. All of a sudden, there it was! 

We had a 10 minute stop for construction. They were laying blacktop on 1/2 of the road, so they were running one lane at a time with many trucks waiting to bring the blacktop.

We could see this weird rock formation sitting in the middle of an open, flat area. Up closer, it resembled a beehive. It reminds me of the state slogan for Utah—the Beehive State.

Farther down the road, we saw “Hole in the Wall”. It was also marked on the map, but it was very commercialized.

They did have this cool cactus standing out front. It was made of colored styrofoam floats.

As we neared our destination, the OK RV Park, near Moab, we saw snow on the very top peak of the La Sal Mountains. It was Mt. Waas (Elev. 12,306 ft).

We pulled into our campground at 1:15 for the next 3 nights and set up camp.

It was a beautiful day–sunny, no clouds, and 65 degrees. We have site #2, the “best site in the whole park” as the owner said.

We had snow-capped Mt. Waas on one side of us and a long ridge of high rocks on the other. 

Our site was perfect for Auggie with real grass which he proceeded to roll around in. 

We relaxed outside with a cocktail before dinner. We would spend the next two day exploring Arches National Park. We had a very interesting drive today with lots of variations in scenery and a few quaint small towns thrown in.

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