Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Another one of THOSE days on the way to Colorado National Monument

Friday August 22 & Saturday August 23, 2014
Saddlehorn Campground Colorado National Monument
Fruita, Colorado



**   First off, I must apologize to those great guessers in my West Side of Rocky Mountains post.  Jodee Gravel of On The Road Abode wins the non-prize for knowing what both of the gadgets were. 

The first is a crumb scraper.  Congrats to Jodee who was first to identify it. She also knew that the second was a traveling egg crate.  If you have to pick up or deliver eggs in a buckboard, you’d need some springs to protect them.  Isn’t it great!!   S

Second right guess is Laurel of Raven and Chickadee and third is Pam of Nomadic Newfies.  Thanks so much for your guesses.  And I’m so sorry I forgot to put the answers in my last post. 

We have just left Capitol Reef National Park where there is no internet for over 11 miles.  Even with our booster there just isn’t a signal to boost.  I’ll still be writing about our summer at Christmas at this rate.


Back to Friday and leaving Rocky Mountain National Park….





David wants to make one last stop at the Donut Haus before leaving Rocky Mountain National Park so he is up uncharacteristically early and says when he arrives at 6:30 there are 5 cars in the parking lot.

But he is able to bring back the goodies.  One chocolate donut and one coconut donut are missing from this picture. Smile








On his way back he finds a herd of elk in the Moraine Park along the campground road. I’ve never seen so many elk in one place at one time.   It is so nice of them to give us one last look and this time at the huge herd.







I know, lots of elk pictures but I think these may be it for a long while.







Notice how close the elk are to Ruby.  They don’t seem to give a fig about her or us.





We are making two stops on our way; one goes great, the other is Camping World.


When we leave the campground, we are driving separately again partly because of the Rocky Mountains and partly for efficiency.  I’m going to stop in Boulder at the Whole Foods while David goes on with Winnona to Camping World in Golden Colorado to get a new toilet.  This one hasn’t been holding water for a while.  We’ve replaced a number of things and I’m tired of throwing money and time at it so we’ve called Camping World and been told they have what we need.

The trip to Whole Foods goes swimmingly.  It’s the biggest nicest Whole Foods I’ve ever seen.  Lucky Boulder.  It has everything and more.

Camping World, not so much.  We get there and they don’t have what they said they had.  We need a left pedal, they only have a right pedal.  We need one that has a hose hook up, that’s an extra adapter kit which of course they don’t sell.  I say just forget it and keep the one we’ve got which works ok, it just doesn’t hold water.  We’ll get one some other place.  David says all Camping World’s are alike, they tell you anything to get you in the store.  So, he buys the toilet and says.  we’ll figure out how to make it work.



I don’t think they are Irish but they call it River Dance.



We are spending the night at River Dance RV Park just off of I-70 in Gypsum, Colorado.  It’s an extremely nice overnight campground.  A bit pricey for us.  FHU $35.71 with Good Sam discount.  Immaculate laundry and bath house. Nice large sites in the shape of an H with parking for the RV in the long arm and the car in the short one.  Ruby is parked behind the bush at the end of the picnic table. We’ve become more inclined to do an overnight in FHU between boondocking spots.  We can do laundry, take showers, vacuum the carpets and all those things I don’t do if I am using the solar and LP for long periods. 






David and Winnona have a mishap.




I get there ahead of David who has had a problem in a traffic circle.   He is in the circle.  A woman enters the circle at a yield sign and hits Winnona in the front fender.  The woman jumps out of her car and is talking on her cell phone before David even knows what happened.  She called her husband who tells her to call the police.  She does and tells them she was rear ended.  WHAT?  The officer comes and can clearly see that isn’t the case.  He says the damage to each vehicle is less than $1000 so he isn’t going to write it up.  David reports that her vehicle had so much prior damage that you couldn’t even tell there had been an accident.  When I look at Winnona I see the other woman’s pain and a clear large crack in Winnona’s bumper.  For us this will not be a less than $1000 fix.  The policeman obviously doesn’t know about fiberglass RVs.  I would like to take a moment here to ask,  what happened to real bumpers that actually protected you from “bumps”?  Bumpers that were metal and useful not just decorative. 

So we’ll be out the deductible for this accident that was not David’s fault.   How could she not see Winnona?  Or was she thinking she could “squeeze” in rather than wait?  David says there was no one else in the circle and she came out of nowhere.

It begins to rain.  Only the duckies are happy about this.






We continue on to Fruita Colorado and Colorado National Monument.  The entire trip is on I 70.  It spits rain off and on and pours down to almost invisibility at one point.  Even though it is dark and dreary, this is an eye popping drive. 

Those of you who have made this trip will understand what I mean.   The scenery is drop dead gorgeous.  All I can keep thinking is what a shame to have people driving so fast through this gorgeous place and along the Colorado River.  How could anyone ever hike through here and enjoy this glory with the sounds of interstate traffic.  Such a shame to ruin this amazing place.

But it gets me where I need to go and I’m sure the rest of the folks on the road feel the same way.







After 130 miles, I arrive at exit 19 and turn left to enter the monument. 

I climb climb. climb through amazing beauty on a road too narrow and curvy for pictures.   I arrive at the turn to the campground and there is the formation known as Saddlehorn.  The campground sits just beyond it and is named for it.








While I wait for David and Winnona, I go over to the visitor center to pick up some information.  I get hiking information and find out about the programs and that there is a film.  But the most amazing things here are the views.  There is back porch to the center and it has chairs for just sitting to take it all in.




This isn’t a framed panorama or a glassed in view, this is outdoors in real time.





David and Winnona have to drive down the middle of two short tunnels to get to the campground.



The drive up to the campground is spectacular.  it goes up and up and around and around on the edge of the gorgeous formation.  Not sure I’d want to be driving Winnona especially through the two short tunnels where the height is 11’4”.  When I see this I ask the rangers and they say “oh just drive down the middle”.  So I call David and tell him.  No charge like at Zion.  No traffic to stop since they are short tunnels and everyone can see everyone coming and going.


David arrives and tells me no one was in either tunnel.  After looking over the sites which will fit Winnona and looking at the few of those that are anywhere near level we get Winnona and Ruby settled into site 20, a nice pull through.  No need to remove the dolly.  $20 a night or half of that with a senior pass.  Nice restrooms, no showers, no water take on, no dump site.  Be prepared if you come here.   But it’s a beautiful campground and a beautiful National Monument.


After dinner we go over to the visitor center where behind it the Canyon Rim Trail begins and runs along the rim of colorful wedding canyon for about a mile. 



The rim walk itself is beautiful and the views of the canyon are extraordinary as the sun sinks lower and shines on the features.




Isn’t it just amazing how this little canyon wren seems to have the same colors as the rock on which I see her?  The beauty here is just everywhere you look.








We watch the sun drop lower and lower.  What a great time of day to be taking this hike.









With the sun down and the sky beginning to color the canyon takes on an ethereal look that almost seems unreal.




It is beginning to look like a painting.  I did nothing to these photographs.






The end of the hike brings us to just below Books Cliffs View where there is a small shelter open to the view.  We look up and see that a ranger is doing a program.  We climb up  to find out what it’s about.



Lucky for us it is all about the geology that has made these amazing formations.   What a classroom he has for explaining the layers.   You can see the chart in the lower left but he can point out and show us just where the kayenta, wingate, chinle, and morrison layers are.



By the time we leave to walk back to the campground it is nearly dark.  Luckily we can walk the road.   Along the way we pass around the saddlehorn and I get this picture of it silhouetted in the night sky.   We’re certainly going to have a beautiful few days here.




  1. The canyon is amazing, to say the least! A shame about the mishap with the RV.

  2. At 11'4", I'm afraid my rig wouldn't even make it through the tunnels in the middle.

  3. These are the rocks I so miss and can't wait to return to so I can climb around. Love the photos:)

    Sorry to hear about David's mishap. Hope a repair can be made.

    I can't wait to hear about your visit to Capital Reef. We really enjoyed our stay there. Of course, it helped that we had private tour guides for our visit. Friends that turned us on to fulltiming in a MH live in Teasdale right next to Torrey. We did some awesome back road trails with them. I hope you got to Sheetz Gulch for a hike. It is one of my favorites and one of our best blogs for humor.

    Enjoy your new home:)

  4. Our rig would never make it through those tunnels. So sad. Maybe we can take the Miata up there for a day.

    That lady was/is a jerk. I hope David got photos of her damage and his. Shge may try to pin more on David that is honest.

  5. Wow, I have never heard of the 1K rule anywhere. Sounds like the cop was in a hurry, or maybe knows the woman.

  6. I love the canyons - all of them. I wish there were some way to watch them form using a frame a year video with a pause button but then a million frames still would only be a million years. I love to listen tot he geologists and if I had another lifetime, I think I'd choose to be a geologist. It is really fascinating. Sorry about the mishap - some people are oblivious - probably texting. Glad no one was hurt. Pictures are great!

  7. The sunlight on the rocks makes such a beautiful picture.

  8. I'm so sorry to hear about the damage to Winnona. Those kinds of situations are so difficult when it's obviously unfair for the perpetrator to not have been charged with the accident and unreasonable that your damage (at least part of it) won't be covered. On a happier note, Fruita is gorgeous! That's our kind of place. Your sunset photos are especially beautiful.

  9. Sherry, try this trick on your toilet. Turn off the water and with some rubber gloves take some petroleum jelly and coat the toilet seal and ball (or slide depending on which you have) liberally. You then dry flush the toilet several times to ensure the petroleum jelly coats everything completely. Then turn the water back on.

    This will help the rubber seal to swell a bit and hold water. My toilet gave me the same trouble and I did this about four months ago and it still is working. Hope it works for you and buys your some time to get all the parts you might need for a permanent fix.

    Sorry to hear about Winnona's damage. I'm still scratching my head as to how I'm going to get the bent compartment door on my MH fixed. Not easy when you live in your rolling home.

  10. Had a cop not write up what he thought was under his estimste...grrrrrrr!! I would have had to eat all the donuts at that point. Is that a cherry or apple fritter!!!?

  11. Never have figured out why people think they can get away with blaming the other driver for their carelessness. Too bad the policeman couldn't be bothered to write up a report. Love the sun on the formations.

  12. Don't u just love the colors and the twisty trees? Can't wait for more of your hiking pictures.. So, so sorry about Winona.. she will be ok, some people just feel the rules do not apply to them!

  13. WHOA... at 12'8" we will probably only see this through your eye;o))

    But couldn't ask for better photos or narration...thanks for taking us along!!!

  14. Just read this quickly on my phone. Remember, I used to be a claim adjuster and investigated a lot of a auto accidents. I'll email you later but if you are close by I would suggest you call and
    try to get some sort of police report...even after the fact. You should not have to pay your deductble.

  15. What an amazing place. The canyon colors and lines were stunning. It certainly feeds the explorers spirit to see around the next corner.

  16. Beauty all around :) And, stupid people...not actually having the toilet and saying they were rear-ended when that was obviously not true. Sigh. Ah well. That's life :( Beautiful campsite though and extremely yummy looking donuts :)

  17. OMG, what an adventure. Except for camping world. And what was that woman drivier thinking, or not thinking. Someone drove right into the side of my parent's 5er because 'they didn't see it.' But this place is spectacular. The colors on the canyon walls just glow. Kind of looks like my view this morning.

  18. So sorry to read about David's accident! It amazes me what stupid things other drivers do around an RV! Hope Karen can help.
    Beautiful pictures!

  19. Our toilet hasn't held water for years but doesn't smell and hasn't been a problem.
    Jim was also a claims adjuster. You need a police report, and hope you got her insurance info if she has any.

  20. I'm so proud to be the winner! And I swear we didn't have either of those things when I was a kid - I'm not THAT old :-)
    How is it that Camping World has such consistently poor customer service in all parts of the country? It's like they have a staff training program that focuses on misleading customers, and a reward program for incompetency :-( Sounds like Winona's assailant knew the cop and thought she could blame the hit on David - when the cop saw it was clearly her fault, the "best" he could do for her was not file a report. I'd file a complaint with the police dept and send a copy to my insurance company. They will do an investigation before they pay for any work.
    But really - wrapped between those donuts and those views - all that other stuff is just stuff! I could sit in that little spot where the ranger was and not worry about another thing, just looking out over all that amazing-ness. The shots of the elk, the sun setting on the canyon, the twilight rock........'tis a grand life.

  21. Great pictures at twilight time! They look like paintings because they do inspire painters to try and capture the wonder of such a sight. Some do it well, but the camera did a great job and made short work of it too.

  22. I don't think you will be out the deductible- I think David can do it with a fiberglass kit, some bondo and spray paint from automotive touch up. The paint is a little expensive but that is what I used when we cracked the front fender on the Suncruiser and it worked like a charm.

  23. Sorry about Winona. I have "real" bumpers on my truck, but it costs a thousand dollars to replace one it needs replacing. Glad you're still enjoying the beautiful places in the west. Are you disappointed to be headed east? At this point, I'd be glad to be headed anywhere!!

  24. How many photos you brought us! I love that kind of landscape, I wish I had been there too but seeing it from your blog is nearly living it! :)


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