Gooseneck State Park

Good afternoon, my friends. It's true I told you I probably wouldn't be blogging today. But you know what a blabbermouth I am. Besides...I have words piling up in my head, and we can't have that.

We had a pretty good cell signal at the state park, but only 3G, and so I could get on the internet, but uploading pictures would have been a pain, if it was even possible. So we find ourselves in Kanab, Utah, this afternoon. I'll tell you about our day of driving in tomorrow's post. For now, I want to tell you about our one night stay at Gooseneck State Park. 

We had only about 80 miles to drive from Monticello to reach the park, but we ran into some road construction along the way that delayed us for a bit. The kitties were pretty relaxed as we packed up to go.

Heading south, we passed a few abandoned structures.

And some barns.

We got a good look at the Blue Mountains, aka the Abajo Mountains, on our way out of town.

We first drove up in elevation, where we found more pine trees and less desert.

We passed by Recapture Reservoir. There is fishing and camping here.

We got a better look at it as we crossed over a bridge. Smooth as glass on this morning.

From there, we descended in elevation to the little town of Bluff, Utah. That's a resort you see there on the left.

Easy to see how the town got its name.

This was an interesting home.

And we crossed into the southern unit of Bears Ears National Monument.

Here's the map to explain about where we've been. We were riding and visiting in the portion of Bears Ears and Canyonlands circled in yellow. We stayed there in Monticello where the red dot is. For this day of travel, we headed down the road where the blue arrows are until we reached Gooseneck State Park at the lower red dot.

And it looked like we expected it to look...with lots of colorful landscape and bands of red and white.

We were traveling the Navajo Code Talkers Highway. Here's a little blurb about the Navajo Code Talkers.

Approaching Gooseneck, which is just this north of Monument Valley, we started seeing some of the monuments.

It was just a few miles off the main highway. We visited here once before nearly 20 years ago in our first little fifth wheel trailer.

And wow! The place has seen some improvement. We traveled 4 miles to the gate on this brand new paved road. It was paved just the week before our arrival. On our previous visit, this road was just dirt. And you can see the state park sign on the right isn't even finished. It used to be free to camp here, but it's now $10 per night. And that, my friends, is a bargain.

And wow! The view is everything I remembered it to be. That's the San Juan River below that is responsible for this beautiful carved canyon.

I knew Smitty would be happy about the abundance of lizards skittering everywhere I set my feet. This one was fairly long...maybe eight inches from nose to the end of his tail.

This next one was maybe a quarter his size, and that's what we saw most.

And when we were set up, Smitty and I wasted no time getting our shadow selves out for a walk.

And, oh, those lizards. How they tormented Smitty.

He thought he had one here, but it escaped under those rocks. It was a good thing I had him on a short leash, or I think he might have chased one right off the cliff's edge.

I wanted to walk around the rim and get a picture of our rig from the other side. I kept going until I could get the whole cliff in the image. As I walked, I took pictures at various places along the rim.

Finally, I was able to get this shot. That's us where the yellow arrow is pointing. What a stunning view we had.

Here, I've zoomed in. I thought I might see Mike sitting outside.

Then, I walked across to the other side of the canyon. Here's how it looks facing to the north.

And here's a pano of the area.

So, once you've seen the view, there isn't much more to do. There is a hiking trail down to the river. The key word in that sentence is "down," which means one would also have to walk back "up." No thanks. I'll ride 44 miles on an ATV, but there ain't no way I'm doing that hike. 

Instead, we just relaxed outside. Mike listened to music, and I worked on my slow-stitching. I did enough to move my hoop to the right, encompassing the flower there. I'm happy to be working with a little more color.

Toward sunset, we got our shadow selves out for a little walkabout.

Here's how it looked in the setting sun.

Looking north, it looked like this.

Looking a little to my right, it looked like this. There was a 3/4 moon rising.

Looking even further to my right, it looked like this.

Looking north again, it looked like this. Day is done.

Without electricity, we did a traditional camping night. We lit our fire bowl. It runs on propane. Fires were allowed, but we don't have firewood with us. We do like our fire bowl, however. I miss the crackle of a fire, but I don't miss the smoke at all.

It was extremely quiet overnight. I don't think I could hear anything except from the interior of our camper. In the morning, the rising sun made the canyon look like this:

And then, we readied ourselves for today's drive to Kanab. And here we are! I'll tell you about our day's drive in tomorrow's post. Until then, have a good evening, my friends. I hope you're enjoying the trip so far.


MissPat said...

Gosh, each time I think the pictures can't get any more spectacular, but, wow, this place is incredible. What an awe inspiring trip this has been.

Auntiepatch said...

Once again, beautiful photos! Thanks!

Christine said...

I think you're very brave to be up there.... The thought is too terrifying for me.
I must admit those views are breathtaking.

Kara Benavides said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! I really have been enjoying your travel log!

Sara said...

The rock formations are spectacular. And wow! The views go on forever don't they? I would have been looking for snakes along with those lizards.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I remember stopping there but just for an hour or so to look around and rest a little bit before we continued on our way someplace else - it must be 6 years or more since we were going that same route you seem to be doing right now.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I think each view in your photos is more stunning than the ones previous. I keep saying 'wow' over and over. I know I'll never get to see any of this in person so it's fun to live vicariously through you.