Bluff Revisited

Sunset at the Comb Ridge

Since our last update, we completed our three-week stay in Torrey and returned to Bluff, Utah, for a short six-day stay. We were looking forward to spending more time with our good friends, Joyce and Paul Martini.

Monday was a travel day from Torrey to Bluff. The drive went well and we enjoyed the scenery along the way, passing through Capitol Reef National Park, Caineville badlands, crossing the Colorado River at Hite, Utah, and passing through Fry Canyon and Cedar Mesa. We stopped at the Hite scenic overlook for lunch and enjoyed the impressive view of canyons, buttes and mesas along the Colorado River.

Arriving in Bluff, we setup camp at the Cottonwood RV Park, just down the road from the Cadillac Ranch RV Park where we stayed during our earlier visit. We checked out this park during that visit and were impressed by Cottonwood’s more spacious grounds. I’ll post a review of Cottonwood RV Park, soon.

Once camp was setup, it felt good to just kick back and relax for the afternoon and evening. We both find that travel days are tiring and try not to schedule many other activities for those days.

Tuesday morning, Joyce & Paul invited us over for breakfast. Joyce made some wonderful blue cornmeal waffles and blueberry pancakes. Yum! Jasmine and Pepper enjoyed having a play date with their new friend, Bart.

Later that afternoon, Paul and I headed out to Valley of the Gods for a photo shoot, while Joyce and Kim planned to take the dogs to Calf Canyon for a long walk. All day long, skies had threatened rain and thunderstorms. Possibly good conditions for photography, but not so great for a hike. Joyce and Kim ended up cancelling the outing to Calf Canyon as the storm front moved in and began raining in earnest.

Paul and I drove into the Valley of the Gods, despite the rain. We hoped for shorter, more isolated thunderstorms which would present interesting cloudscapes over the valley rock formations and, perhaps, some interesting lightning displays. As it turned out, the storm front was quite wide, covering the region and bringing waves of heavy rain, sparse lightning, and little of photographic interest. As conditions worsened, we turned back and left the valley via the river ford. The river level was rising and any more delay would strand us in the valley overnight, until water levels dropped.

Another car load of tourists was less fortunate, having only a two-wheel drive with low clearance. These folks were heading out when we were heading in, about thirty minutes before. Apparently they reached the ford and dithered about crossing until it was too late for them to safely cross – they were in for a long night camping in their vehicle until the storm passed and water levels dropped, sometime in the early morning.

On Wednesday we took care of some chores, did the laundry, and caught up on blog posts. Joyce and Kim got together for a movie night while Paul and I headed back out to the Valley of the Gods for the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. We were surprised at how many other visitors were in the valley setting up to view the meteor shower. We setup our camera gear at a favorite spot and kicked back to watch and photograph the shower. Although we did see a few nice meteors, the show was rather disappointing and there were none of the bright fireballs which the Perseids are famous for. Photographically, we did not capture any meteors of interest. We called it quits by about 4 AM and headed back home.

Having been up most of the night, Thursday was another light day. Kim and I drove to Cortez for supplies and then returned to relax around camp. Around sunset, I photographed several panels of horse petroglyphs on the outskirts of Bluff. These panels feature some very lovely rock art, but are of recent origin. Some of the petroglyphs may have been carved by Ute and date from the 1800’s. Other carvings are of modern origin.

Friday was fairly light, too. We caught up on some more chores and I worked on recent photos. Joyce and Paul invited us over for dinner. Joyce made some wonderful cabbage rolls and Latkes (potato pancakes). Jasmine and Pepper had a great time playing in the back yard with Bart.

Later, Joyce and Kim watched another movie while Paul and I went out to photograph a site at the Comb Ridge at  sunset. On our previous visit, the Comb Wash road had been impassable, but the road had since dried out, been graded and was in good shape up to our chosen site. We had a productive photo session shooting the colorful badlands at the base of the towering sandstone cliffs of the Comb Ridge. It never ceases to amaze me when I think that this massive rock formation extends for over a hundred miles.

On Saturday, Kim and I had Joyce and Paul over for breakfast – pumpkin pancakes & sausages. We visited for a while and then said our goodbyes. Saying goodbye is the hard part of the mobile life-style, although I guess it’s the same when visiting friends or family on vacation.

A bit later, I took Kim for a quick day trip out to the Comb Ridge. We stopped at the site Paul & I had visited the night before and then continued on, intending to visit an old homestead about five miles further up the road. Unfortunately, the road had not been graded far past our first stop and road conditions quickly worsened, with many rills, gullies and wash outs. We turned back and returned to camp to make preparations for our departure for Ouray, Colorado, on Sunday.

That’s it for now. Until next time…

One thought on “Bluff Revisited

  1. Hi Kim and Jerry,
    As always fascinating to read your blog. Never thought how wild the US can be. I’m looking forward to have your pics and text.
    Have a safe journey.

    Ton & Herma

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