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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Made It To Monument Valley...

Above, The Beast at Goulding's Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

...but it wasn't easy!

I departed Durango early this morning so I can beat the town's early morning rush hour traffic.

Durango has grown three-fold. It is almost as bad as L.A. I miss the days when the town was very small with hardly any traffic. It has changed since I was last there in the late 1980s. It's now a zoo.

I needed to refuel The Beast and planned to do so in the next big town, Cortez. THAT was an interesting experience.

Above, The Beast getting a snow-job. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

As I was approaching the outskirts, it started raining heavily and then I noticed that it was getting icy on the windshield and then it started snowing...HARD! It thought it prudent to slow down as The Beast is big and heavy and all I need is to demolish it by sliding on the road into someone or something.

Fortunately, I found a gas station and pulled in. The snow was blowing hard (falling "horizontally") when I was gassing up the RV. The snowflakes were large.

After refueling, I stepped into the station store to get some coffee. It was still snowing when I came out and took some photos. While it was freezing cold out, Sierra was warm and cozy inside.

I was debating whether or not to get back on the road or wait it out. But I noticed a break in the cloud cover in the direction I would be going and took a chance and headed out.

Within a mile or two, the snow stopped. Whew!

Above, the windshield's view on the way to Monument Valley from Kayenta. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The gale-force winds were blowing pretty much all the way on U.S. Highway 160 to Kayenta, Arizona, the gateway to Monument Valley.

But, at least the skies were clear and I can see everything clearly for miles.

I pulled into the Goulding's Campground in Monument Valley in Utah around 10:30 and checked in. I was told that the tours through Monument Valley won't be taking place tomorrow due to a marathon, so I bought a ticket for today's 2:15 tour. They promised that the bus will be enclosed. It is 42 degrees out and very windy. We'd be icicles if it isn't enclosed. I'll wear my wool coat, just in case.

Above, John Ford's director's chair at the Monument Valley Welcome Center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There's a handful of other RVs in the campground. But it is a beautiful campground and I was assigned to site 46. It is the second or third time this trip that I was assigned to campsite 46. Must be my lucky number?

Above, Sierra roaming the RV at Goulding's Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Goulding's Theater will be showing the John Wayne classic, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949) tonight, but since I have the movie and it is cold out, I'll pass on that.

Tomorrow will be spent just relaxing and checking out the stores around Goulding's.

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