Day 29-33, 03/28-04/01/2022 Monday-Friday: I have been kind of lax updating this blog the past few days, so will try to catch up now.
We enjoyed our short few days with Jimmy and Rachel in the desert 15 miles north of Moab, UT in spite of some strong winds and dust, then rain and mud. LOL We, Jeri and I, mostly hung out in and around the trailer during the day after sharing breakfast and a couple of dinner duties with Jimmy and Rachel. On Tuesday evening, our last night, we all went into Moab and had dinner at the Moab Brewery. Good. After we got back to camp and in spite of a couple of short, light rain showers Jimmy made a very nice big campfire, Rachel made a S’more and Jimmy roasted some marshmallows for his Mother and himself.
On Wednesday morning we kind of took our time breaking camp to give the road and some of our stuff time to dry a bit. Jimmy made delicious bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches. We said our good-byes after too short a visit. Jimmy and Rachel went off for a ebike trail ride while Jeri and I finished breaking camp and hooking up the trailer. J&R called and texted us to advise we might want to wait another hour or so for the worst (muddiest) section of road to dry a bit more, so we waited about another 30-40 minutes and headed out. We did not have any trouble.
J&R would head back home in Denver after their ride. (Note: we texted with them later that evening and they were just getting home.)
We left the campsite around 11:30 Wednesday morning with only a little over 200 miles to the Bluff View RV Park in Farmington, NM. Jeri had reserved us two nights there a day or two ago. We arrived late afternoon and set up the trailer. I dumped the two gray tanks and we both took showers. Felt good to be clean. We also changed the sheets on the bed. LOL
Why Farmington? Because it is fairly close to the Chaco Canyon National Historical Park and it was my last planned major place to see on this trip. So Thursday morning I drove the approximately 50 miles or so to the park. It was overcast and Jeri decided to stay at the trailer and relax with the dogs. The first 40-some miles were good roads, but while I had read how bad the last several miles were, they were even worse!! The pavement ends and the last eight miles to get to the park were washboard gravel and I do mean severe and constant washboard about two to four inches or so deep and virtually for the entire eight miles! In about sixty years of driving this has to be the absolute worse road I have been on. And the funny thing is the road is nice and wide and looks great until I hit it at about 40 mph and about lost all my fillings! The truck was literally trying to dance sideways. My average speed over that eight miles was less than 8 mph and at times I was doing 4-6 mph. I tried various speeds, but could not find anything that did not feel like it might shake the truck apart. The only things on this entire stretch of road were some cattle and a few abandoned hovels. After what seemed like hours I reached the entrance to the park.
All the roads in the park were thankfully nicely paved! I checked in at the visitor center. They normally charge $25 per vehicle to enter, but we have a Senior America The Beautiful National Park Pass, so it was free. Personally I thought it was kind of nervy to charge anything after enduring the drive in! LOL But I cheerfully said to the woman checking me in, “Okay, I have endured the normal road in, so what is the secret way out?” She laughed and said that’s the only way and isn’t that road terrible? She pointed out the circular one-way road around the park and reminded the park closed at 5:00 PM. It was just after 1:00.
Jeri had made me lunch and I had planned to leisurely enjoy it once I found a good spot, but since now I knew what a long, slow drive out it would be I just ate my sandwiches while I toured the place.
The ruins are incredible, to say the least. I was just looking through all the pictures and videos I took and will put a couple below, since I cannot include them all here. But I encourage you to look up videos on YouTube and read about this place because pictures do not really explain how the various huge buildings, built over centuries align with each other and the sun. I only took the time to totally tour through one of the four to five big ruins.
Very incredible place, but I would never go there again unless they fix the damn road.
This morning we left and after a bit over 400 miles we stopped for the night at the KOA in Tucumcari, NM just off I-40. We did some laundry, at least enough to get us home in a few more days. Yes, we are in our way home. 😩