Monday, June 15, 2015

Moab, here we come!

Last Summer, we had plans of going to the Mighty 5 in Utah. If you've never heard of the Mighty 5, it is all 5 National Parks that Utah has to offer: Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion. For those of you that read this blog you know that last Summer we were called back to Georgia for personal reasons and were not able to fulfill these dreams.
Not this Summer baby. This Summer would be the first Summer since we started full-timing that would be ours, not working but traveling and moving around and actually doing the Mighty 5! woot woot!!!
We were sitting in Sedona waiting for the weather to change, (we had been having quite the crappy Spring/Summer) and our route was already "planned". The plan was to go from Sedona to Flagstaff, Williams, hit the Grand Canyon, sit there for a while, scout it out and enjoy it, then head North towards Utah, do the Mighty 5, then.........Well you know what they say about making plans, (or as Miss Cheri would say), "Plans are set in chocolate pudding."
As we sat there day after day after crappy day, it hit us. Why don't we just go to Utah now? duh. So, after 2 days of laundry & packing we hit the road. 
Laundry Bike
First destination: Moab.
Driving to Moab was awesome, we have both never been to Utah. Jamie has driven through it & I've had one layover in Salt Lake but that's definitely not anywhere near spending time there or seeing the beauty that lies within the majestic mountains and red rock. We started by driving North on 89 out of Sedona, going through Tuba City on 160, to 163 passing through Mexican Hat to 191 putting us in route through small view points of Monument Valley then taking us right into downtown Moab. Wowzers!! 
Mexican Hat
Monument Valley
 Moab is a hopping place. As we enter the downtown area, the first thing we hone in on are all the Jeeps, we've seen more Jeeps in this one area than we've ever seen anywhere else before. There are people everywhere; the City Market which is the biggest grocery store in the area (no big box retail stores here like Walmart or Target), walking down the street, at gas stations, at hotels, at rental I said before, this place is hopping. It's definitely the time of year to be here, (late May) it's not too hot yet...maybe low-mid 80's (in the heat of the Summer it gets as hot as 120*).
To be perfectly honest we didn't do a whole bunch of recon/research before getting to Moab, we figured we would just figure it out on our own once we got here, which we did, but it was kinda tough, not just for camping but also for drinking water. Water turned out to be a toughie in this area, which we were amazed at by how much activity goes on here. We did find a great spot to get cold filtered drinking water, at a Twice the Ice on the North end of town (but 2 days later we were driving by and saw the whole building up in the air on a crane, they were removing it!!)
 We did find another Twice the Ice in the center of town that was also twice the price as the one removed, but still had cold filtered drinking water. As for camping, while we were at (North) Twice the Ice, Jamie went into the Inca Inn Hotel next door to ask about dispersed camping. Unexpectedly the guy at the desk gave him a map and written directions to a place just right up the hill that has dirt biking trails among many other activities and only 3 miles from the Arches National Park. We drive up the hill and approach a check-in/pay station (dang), we ask them about dispersed camping and they are very guarded while telling us about Dalton Wells dispersed camping area North of town. We drive back down the hill, putting Dalton Wells in the find, no go. We are back on our own. At this time, I get my 'puter out, turn on the wifi hot-spot and I cannot find Dalton Wells. I go to and find a couple of places...I write them down as well as keep them on the front page of the 'puter and we keep driving. On our way, we find a Maverick gas station that has the cheapest gas in town $2.85 (but with a free members card you get .06 cents off). There are two Maverick's in town, the one at the South end of town has a RV/potty dump, plus a hose on the side of the building to fill up solar showers. After reading up a bit on Utah, as we were searching for camp spots, we learned it is a requirement if you are going to camp on BLM, where toilets are not provided, you must have a porta potty. The state of Utah does not allow you to dig holes to bury your terds nor do they want you pooping in nature!
Now, we have full water, full fuel, full fridge & pantry and an empty potty....we start off on our journey to find a free camp spot for the night or maybe even a week. The first road we drove down from downtown Moab is Hwy 128, we drive down about 20-25 miles to the free site that is posted on freecampsites but we find that the area has been closed off due to revegetation or construction. 
Highway 128
 The only sites available on this land are paid BLM sites that cost $15.00 a night, if you are caught crossing the creek, even one time it is a $250.00 fee. The BLM paid area (Onion Creek) was full of tents and Church vans. We decided to keep on this road and try a few 4wd roads, most of what we found were No Camping, No Tresspassing roads. We did find one road that had no signs at all, although very dicey and rough we drove down about a mile but had to turn around due to rain, bad roads and nowhere to park the van without being on vegetation (which Utah is very adamant about not parking on). 
 We turned around and wound up back down Hwy 128 toward Moab to 191. We remembered one area, while driving into Moab, which had several Class A's, 5th wheels and trailers that looked like they were camping for the night. 
 Even though there were about 8 different rigs parked on this piece of property, there were signs everywhere saying No Camping, but in this life we do what we see others doing, so for tonight we pulled into this spot, off of Hwy 191 (Yellow Circle Road) with an amazing view of the La Sal mountain range. 
Yellow Circle Road

La Sal Mountains
 We are going to sleep here for the night and start fresh again in the morning, hitting up the BLM office for some maps. Here's to an UNeventful nights rest!

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