Blanding (Natural Bridges), Utah

Hey there,

When I arrived in Natural Bridges it was about 10:20 am and was able to find one campsite available.  Of course backing in was required and of course, I have not practiced much.  Sighing heavily, I took out my little cheat sheet and tried.  The whole experience went exactly how it was supposed to go.  When I turned the correct way, the trailer followed… The challenge was, there was not much space to make these maneuvers and though the trailer was turning the way I wanted it to, I was not getting it.  Almost at a full jack-knife position and 25 minutes later, I decided to unhitch and use my dolly (trailer valet)…  This dolly works ok, it’s hard to use and definitely tough to control when you are slightly down-hill or going over a small bump. I tried using my drill but the one I brought doesn’t have enough power so one hand felt like I was lifting the trailer the other tried to move it, good thing I have incredible upper body strength…


In order to appreciate the full distance, the trailer was about maybe 1/3 of the way in the spot it needed to be in, which meant, it was blocking the one-way drive (luckily no one tried to pass while I was having this much fun). So, I would get it about 2 feet and then have to take a break, mind you I had to move it about 14 feet and turn it… Watching this would be like watching a comedy on how many times I started, stopped, adjusted, turned the wrong way, had to turn back the other way, taking a break, listening to Sofie bark saying “hurry up already”, finally after about another 30 min, I get it in the right spot… Then – Crap – its not level, I have to lift one side on a step leveler thing… sigh… trying to do this on the dolly was just me being tired.  Finally, I hitched it back onto the truck, moved it forward, way over the board, then had to back it up on it, went too far again… Finally the third attempt worked… This is a lot harder with one person, as I am running in and out of the truck needing to adjust and see where I am… After all of that, I had a very narrow area to park my truck… Double crap… So I start in head first, caught a large rock and said to myself: “backing it up it is, I can see better…”  With about 2 inches from a large rock that could puncture my tire and about 6 inches from my trailer, I nuzzled myself in this spot and finally stabilized the camper, Sofie is happy laying outside, I have tea as it is freezing outside.. And it starts snowing!  Welcome to Natural Bridges.

If Sofie could speak, I think she would say: “Finally you parked and look – it’s snowing!”

The first day and night was great, cold but I woke up at about 11pm and saw so many stars, it was unbelievable.  This is why I came, not wanting to get up though I told myself the next night I will try the night sky pictures again.  I was able to take 2 – ok looking ones..

15 min exposure
20 min exposure

The days were full of hikes around this area, I made one where I was able to let Sofie run free. She was so excited, running circles around me running up and back, always looking where I was.  It was great to see her having so much fun.  After that hike, I drove to see Valley of the Gods and looking at the map to get there I saw one area with a lot of switchbacks… No big deal, this road was no joke, I had to drive the craziest switch-back, sometimes one lane dirt road with sheer cliffs. I cant remember when I held tighter to my steering wheel.  The views were breathless, or I was just so scared, I couldn’t breathe – who could tell… Scariest 3 miles ever…  I continued down the road, made it to Mexican Hat (named after the upside-down rock that looks like a sombrero) to get some gas and a couple apples.  Then off to Valley of the Gods, it was nice kicking my truck into 4WD, I drove through just a little.  Then back up that scary road…

Scariest drop and no railing!!!

The next days hikes were a lot less dramatic, as the wind picked up, we set off to Mule on Fire Ruin… and then to Salvation Rock… Looking at the forecast, it will be windy, rainy and snowing the next couple nights, so I decided to stay one more night to try to get the clear night sky pictures again.

Mule on Fire
Adoring my hat???
Mule on Fire

Today it is snowing and am not sure what I want to do, hiking seems too cold, staying inside might drive Sofie and me crazy, taking a drive sounds like just a big waste of gas so alas it is 9:28am and I am relaxing. 🙂  After speaking with my new RV neighbor who seriously looks and laughs like Tim Allen from “Home Improvement” and “Last Man Standing”, he loved visiting with Sofie and providing information about the area and what tools I needed to for camper… I swear, I felt like I was on the show.

It snowed, hailed, snowed, rained, snowed and then clear blue sky

Well, it is Saturday and it is nice and sunny. Just like the weather forecast. This morning I hiked down to one the bridges, it was beautiful, the pictures do not give it enough justice.


Then Sofie and I went to Fish and Owl Creek, it was a 15 mile loop which we did 5 of it. 🙂  The scenery was beautiful, of course when we just start out the hike, Sofie is all about it, so excited to get out and here is a picture of Sofie at mile 3, she is less than enthused.  We missed the sign showing – turn here to stay on the trail, and we went about a mile out of the way, finally turning back we saw the “sign” clearly marked if you actually paid any attention to where you were walking… Then we climbed up that for a bit, it was an easier hike than walking on what looked like a dried out waterway… Again, really nice, Sofie trailing behind me wanting to stop every so often to rest under a shaded tree looking at me like “why you have to walk so fast, enjoy where you are” – when really she just wanted more water, which I obliged.  Finally, when she realized we were on our way back to the car, she got her 5th wind and she led me to the car.  It was really cool to see, I would say, follow the trail, take us to our car, she would look up, turn, smell, look at the trail and move on… LOL – When we finally got to the car, she passed it… LOL Good thing my GPS and my mad tracking skills work well.

Sofie happy on this hike… LOL

So tonight is our last night, I am hoping to get some good night pictures, hope they come out ok. And now that I took the pictures, only one is ok… The other three, a dork decided to drive with his headlights on and ruined the picture and the other, it was so windy and the moon was so bright that it looks just bad.  The last one came out ok, not great though. Will have to keep trying,

Way to bright!

Now back to civilization and connectivity!

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