Day 15 – 10/8/14 Wednesday
Woke up today just in time to catch the last bit of the full lunar eclipse last night seeing it through a break in the mostly cloudy sky. That sky did eventually reveal a nice sunrise, but I couldn’t get much with it since the pink light shot northward instead of up throughout the sky. But the sun finally broke through for a bit and I was able to find a water filled pothole with some colorful lichen around it to shoot the monuments across the canyon. Breakfast was trail mix since I had run out of power bars. I looked at my food supplies and realized that it had been depleted quite a bit and I decided to get to a nearby WalMart (thanks to my trusty GPS) and replenish my supplies. As an added bonus, they had a watch repair there and he was able to replace the pin that broke on my watch and it was free!! Since I had cell service, I checked my voice mail and Rhona called to say that the nurses at Sea View wanted to speak to me, so I called and found that Mom has some discoloration on her feet and they made an appointment with a vascular surgeon on October 22 for an evaluation. After that, I then headed out I-70 toward Moab and decided to get off at Exit 214 and drive along the Colorado River (Route 128) into Moab instead of the quicker route on Route 191. That decision ended up costing me several hours because it passes Cisco, which turned out to be an abandoned “town” with really old buildings and rusting cars, trucks and motorhomes. There wasn’t much color there, but it sure was interesting. I spoke to another guy who was there photographing and said it was an old water refilling station for the railroad, and when steam locomotives went out, so did the people of the town. This Route 128 indicated when I got off I-70 that there were no services for 54 miles and was really nothing more than a paved dirt road. No paint lines, not even in the middle, a lot of bumps and patch jobs but even in that remote location, with nothing around, I had cell service in Cisco!! It really was much more interesting on that road because eventually, it meets up with the Colorado River and it is like driving inside the Grand Canyon. Red cliffs on either side of the river, the Fischer Towers, and so much beauty it was almost overwhelming. I actually found the little side canyon where I took some photos over 10 years ago but it just didn’t have the magic it had then. It looks like they’ve added a bike path along the river as well with double lanes divided by a paint strip and stop signs when it crosses roadways. Really nice; it makes our green ways at home look a bit shabby.
Finally reached Moab and went to Arches NP and found the campground already full, unlike last night where it was pretty wide open, just pick your spot. So I headed into town and went right for McDonald’s for Wi-Fi, charging electronics and dinner. Decided to hang out there as long as I could before looking for a quiet spot to park for the night. This is the first where I didn’t really have a specific spot so I’ll just have to wing it. Unfortunately, tomorrow’s forecast appears to be cloudy again, but hopefully no rain.
I don’t know why, but even though I’ve been away from a hotel and shower for only two days, I feel more like it’s been two weeks; my fingernails are dirty and I just don’t feel anywhere near clean. I will be wearing my hat until the next shower. I have a list of places to get showers in Moab, but it is from my last trip so many years ago. I think I’ll go to the information center tomorrow and find out if they have a list.
I spent part of my time here in McDonald’s trying to get a basic plan together on how to spend the next 12 days. Unfortunately, I have too many things I want to do, not enough time and two weekends to contend with. But first things first, the more pressing issue is where to end up tonight.