Moab and Arches

And our Caravan Adventure Continues …..

One of the golden rules for RVing is to expect the unexpected and roll with it.  There will always be things that happen that you just have to deal with the best you can in the situation.

John Wesley Powell Navigating the Colorado River

After our short, two night stay in Torrey, we headed out toward Moab, UT planning to stop en route at the John Wesley Powell River Museum in Green River, UT.  We squeezed into the museum parking lot with several other caravaners and spent an hour or so enjoying the museum and learning about Powell’s expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers to the Grand Canyon.   At this point it was lunch time and the Tamarisk Restaurant was just across the street and they had a large gravel parking lot with plenty of room for several RVs.  Along with two other couples, we moved our coaches to the larger lot and then had an enjoyable, long lunch (being sure to waste a lot of time so the WM could get to Moab).

Once we were sure our timing was right we headed out to the coach.  Just as Joanna was getting ready to pull out she noticed that the bikes, which were on a bike rack on the back of our towed Jeep, didn’t look right.  We got out and found that while we were at lunch someone had tagged our bike rack and it was not only bent, but also twisted.   Fortunately, there was no damage to the car but we had to take the front wheels off the bikes and stuff them into the back of the Jeep, then we were able to stabilize the rack enough so we could finish our drive to Moab.  We spent the rest of the afternoon evaluating the damage (rack was so twisted it was toast), finding a bike shop in Moab to have the bikes checked, and talking to the insurance company.  We do have to say that if we were going to have a bike problem, Moab was the place to get it fixed.  It is a mecca for mountain bikers with lots of great shops to choose from for emergency repairs.

Canyon Boat Ride Before the Rains Cut it Short

That evening we had a scheduled outing of dinner, river cruise, & light show on the Colorado river.  The Cowboy Dinner buffet was OK, but unfortunately, the rains came in just after the start of the river cruise so it was cut short. The next day we were up early and in downtown Moab as the stores opened to drop the bikes off.  Turns out Jon’s bike was also hit and the front wheel was bent.  Since we had to have Jon’s fixed we decided to give both bikes a complete tuned up.  The Bike Fiend was awesome!  They could not only get the bikes fixed in a day but they also gave us the recommendation for a gear trading shop, Moab Traders, where we were able to pick up a used Thule bike rack for half price.  Between the rack and fixing the bikes it was an expensive, unexpected, affair but we were able to get everything done quickly.

We had the rest of the day to explore Arches National Park.  Now on our “free” days we were supposed to be carpooling with other caravaners to the parks we were visiting but we were finding the social aspect of the caravan was not coming together for us.  We felt a bit like awkward high school freshman at a new school trying to break into already established social circles.  There seemed to be three groups within our tour.  Ten of the coaches had signed up for the tour together and were a pretty tight group as they had taken multiple trips with Adventure Caravans … some of them as many as 16.  Six others also signed up together which left two of us that were first timers to figure out where we fit in.  We ended up just going by ourselves on the free days as we liked long hikes and none of the others were quite that adventurous.

Going solo allowed us to hit several trails in Arches.  This red-rock wonderland was created millions of years ago as the water and wind eroded the Navajo sandstone into magnificent carved arches rising  hundreds of feet above.  We hiked the Devil’s Garden Trail to Pine Tree Arch, Tunnel Arch, and Landscape Arch.

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We spent as much time as we could wandering among the rocks then headed back to the campground for the staff prepared BBQ and travel brief.  Though Joanna had told the staff about her food allergies, they really did not provide safe alternatives for her, so at most of the socials and dinners she either had to make her own arrangements with the restaurants or, in the case of the potlucks and staff dinners, she would bring her own food or eat later at the coach.  At this dinner, one of the other caravaners mentioned a trail we might like to hike while in Moab, the William “Negro Bill” Grandstaff Canyon Trail.

We had gotten the call that the bikes were ready so first thing the next day we picked them up then headed out to the canyon trail.  This was a fantastic but strenuous hike!  The rugged six mile trail took us deep into a boxed canyon, criss-crossing a stream, climbing over rocks, squeezing through crevices, balancing on stones, and edging along narrow paths all the while trying to avoid the massive amount of poison ivy!  It was awesome!  We made it to the end of the canyon to find the sixth largest natural rock span in the US …  Morning Glory Natural Bridge spans 243 ft across the back of the canyon.  After trudging out on the same tortuous passageway we headed back to the coach for a nap!

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Yes, Joanna made it across the steam … Jon just had to quit filming to come give her a hand!!  We had to cross over 10 times each way!

Every once in a while we were able to delight in an evening out getting to partake in the local cuisine.  After our nap, we wandered down the main street in Moab and found Miguel’s Baja Grill.  We had a scrumptious meal in delightful surroundings after a very long day!

We ended our stay in Moab with a jet boat cruise up the Colorado River.  We traveled several miles up the river getting a different perspective, seeing the canyon from water level.

Next up … yep plenty more to come … Durango, Cortez, & Mesa Verde!

Till then ….