Vernal, Utah

It seems the expression, "If we didn't have bad luck, we'd have no luck at all," is a fitting way to begin today's post. Before I get to that part though, let me just show you how beautiful our drives have been. The roads are lined with blooming Desert Sunflowers. The image below was the road leading up to the dump station at Massacre Rocks State Park.

The flowers are so bright and sunny!

They've been painting the hillsides yellow. They are every bit as impressive as the California poppies we saw last spring.

When we left the state park, we had more than a quarter tank of fuel left, and so we opted to head for the first station along our way that had diesel. Doing anything else would have meant back-tracking a fair distance. The station was billed to be open 24 hours, and so we figured...no problem. (Famous last words...again.)

When we arrived, we found a sign on the door that said, "Back in a bit." It was possible to buy gasoline with a credit card and no attendant. For diesel, we were required to go inside and pay in advance. With the store closed...temporarily, at least...we had to wait. So we wandered around waiting for "a bit" of time to pass. They had some baby llamas along with a machine that dispensed pellets for feeding for 25 cents. (We didn't do that.) This picture was funny for the llama in the back, who was attempting to eat the plastic flowers the entire time we were there.

There were also two little burros.

So, approximately a half hour passed, and we had to decide whether to continue waiting or head on down the road. It was iffy since the next service was not for another 50 miles. We were, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere. We decided to chance it, and we probably could have made it, except that our journey took us up a miles-long upward grade. Heading uphill drained our fuel tank very quickly and we found ourselves stuck by the side of the road. Out of gas. Bummer. It was kind of a bad place to be stuck too because we were just about 100 yards from a curve in the road, and so barely visible to oncoming drivers of (lots of) trucks and cars.

I'll tell you what I told my friends on Facebook, which was this: There must be something about travel to Colorado that turns our trips into a fiasco. Last trip, we got caught in epic flooding in Estes Park and had to completely reroute ourselves. So far, third day of our trip, we’ve had a flat tire and a plumbing leak. . . . We’re stuck by the side of I-84 waiting for the AAA guy to bring us some fuel. Geez. Can’t open the slide on the RV to reach the bathroom (it’s on the freeway side, and too dangerous). So, of course, I’ve trekked off into the sagebrush to...you know. What I really need is to get snake bit. Then I think we’ll have covered all the contingencies.

After three hours waiting, we were on our way again. Oy. We had a long day of driving ahead, and we had to get to our final destination in Vernal. So we crossed the state line, brushed off our most recent bad luck, and moved on. 

What choice did we have? And I'm invoking the "Nobody Died" rule again, and calling it a good day.

Once we got underway, we passed through some diverse landscape yesterday. We saw all sorts of different things on our drive through the northeast corner of Utah. Lots of dry grasslands...

Lovely green farming communities...

Rugged rock hillsides...

On our way to see this formation, called Devil's Slide. It's one of the items pulled from my Utah envelope. You can read about it right here. It consists of two parallel limestone strata that have been tilted to lie vertically, protruding 40 feet out of the mountainside. Intervening layers have eroded more quickly, forming a channel some 8 feet wide, and running hundreds of feet down the mountain

It can easily be seen from the road, but there are also two pull-out areas where one can hop out and take a picture. This is the kind of destination I refer to as "hop-out-and-hop-back-in." Some of my favorite places are such.

Shortly thereafter we left I-84 for the first time since leaving Portland, and let me tell you, we were pretty happy to be off the interstate for a while.

We began to see the characteristic red rock of Utah.

It was late in the day by this time. We've been going through the hottest part of the day with the generator running and the air-conditioning turned on in the camper for the kitties. The temperature had cooled considerably, and so we stopped off at this viewpoint to turn the generator off. Below, we saw this dwelling. What a lovely place to live!

Here's a more expansive view of the area.

Turning around 180 degrees, it looks like this...completely different.

And then we headed on down the road to our final destination.

It was well past dinner time by then. You can see the long shadow cast on the road by our truck.

And after such an incredibly long day, this was indeed a welcome sign.

I'm finishing up this post on the road. We're about halfway to our final destination of Canon City, Colorado, as I'm writing this, and we're stopped for lunch and for Mike to take a short nap. Before leaving Vernal, we purchased groceries, propane, FUEL!, a plumbing fitting, and we mailed off a letter at the local post office. So far, so good on our journey today, and we've vowed to have a better day.

I’ll close by revealing the 4th of my mystery projects. It was a housewarming gift for my friend Gail, who has a shiny new husband and a shiny new house. It's a pattern from Bird Brain Designs. Originally done in black work, I added just a hint of burgundy red to each panel.

Onward to Canon City. It's our last long day of driving for a while, and we're in Canon City for two nights. A day off from the road will be nice.


Katie said...

Your travels remind me of the stories my parents tell about their driving with a pop-up from Michigan to Alaska. While their camper was not as fancy as yours (a very basic pop-up), they managed to get lost countless times, have three flat tires on their trailer (with only two tires total back there, you'd think two repairs would have maxed them out, but nope), run out of gas at least a few times, and generally have a grand adventure. They made it there and back, with both the vehicle and camper in one piece, but oh the stories they can still tell, so many years later! And that is what you and the kitties will have - grand stories of things that could not ALSO go wrong! But it sure looks like a lot of fun, beautiful places to see. And at least it wasn't raining when you ran out of gas, right?! I hope your travels continue to be fun and safe, but with fewer of the unplanned events!


Hey where you are going is my last name--only with 2-'n's instead of one--
and I have done that same sampler--
really cute and what alovely gift for someone--
hope the rest of your trip is a 'piece of cake' and loads of fun--
I am also having an adventure--trying to move to Florida--with delays cause of hurricane Dorian!! the new fly out date is Monday the 9th--
luv, di

Julierose said...

The rest of your trip HAS to be fine...I hope all goes well...very cute Bird Brain design...hugs, Julierose

Shari said...

We call those photo hops. Hope things go better today.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

They say it comes in threes - so it has to be smooth travels from here on. Thank you for sharing the 'catch what we can' photos - love the sunflowers.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Oh geez, what a trip you've had so far. BUT such great scenery. And aren't you glad to see that SLIDE! Another "remember when we went" memory.
xx, Carol

Debbie said...

Life with you is such an adventure! But somehow you always see the beauty in it. Love that you stopped for Mike's nap....very important for the driver to be well rested. Hope your wheels are level and all things stay safe for the rest of the travels.

gpc said...

What a lovely drive. My family drove west several summers for a 3 week vacation, but that was before air conditioning and I remember it being brutal, especially since my father smoked and the ashes blew back on me through the open windows. I wouldn't mind trying it again as a grown up, making my own general rules, but first I need to get that shiny new husband settled in. We absolutely LOVE the mini quilt! Photos don't do justice to what truly lovely work you do.

piecefulwendy said...

Oh my goodness, not a fun day, but a good ending, arriving at your destination. Uffda, as we Scandahoovians say. That little gift for your friend is so nice, perfect for a new beginning! Enjoy the days ahead; I hope they are full of fun and relaxation!

SJSM said...

You have definitely overcome some some obstacles in the last 48 hours. The fact you keep focused on the the fun to come probably helps you to get through these days. Now I don’t feel so bad about my day. Thanks for that sharing. What a lovely gift your friends opened. I’m sure the warm glow they exuded could be felt by you. Enjoy

quiltzyx said...

Mystery #4 is a wonderful house warming gift! Sweet!!

Devil's Slide is cool looking. Hard to imagine people actually did slide down it!

Thanks for taking us along with you!!

Sandra W said...

Looks like another amazing trip. I'm enjoying your images and commentary.

QuiltGranma said...

I definitely understand your frustration with lack of restrooms through lots of that part of the west. AND it is just so flat that there is nowhere to hide to do ones business! (plus I'm getting older and cannot climb down into the arroyos or ravines and out again to hide!)