From Holbrook, Arizona, we moved on to one of our favorite places in Utah, Bluff, for a two-week stay (May 17-31). We looked forward to visiting with long time friends, Joyce & Paul M. (and their dog, Bart), as well as spending time sight-seeing and photographing in the area with Paul. We stayed at our preferred campground in Bluff, the Cottonwood RV Park, a small, nicely maintained campground with lovely views of the namesake sandstone bluffs across the San Juan River.
Rough roads on the way to Bluff
Our drive from Holbrook passed through the lovely desert country of the Hopi and Navajo reservations and was largely uneventful, other than a very rough highway surface on Indian Route 15. IR-15 cuts across from state highway AZ-77 to US-191 and is reasonably well maintained black top, except for many expansion cracks in the surface. At times, our trailer was taking a pounding as we hit these cracks. Upon arriving in Bluff, I checked the trailer interior for damage and found that the bottom of one of our overhead storage cabinets had broken through. There had been too many heavy books in the cabinet and the shelf bottom did not survive the pounding. The shelf units are only stapled together and the staples and materials are too weak to hold under the weight and conditions.
I later moved the heaviest books into a Tupperware storage container in one of our trucks and purchased a pneumatic staple gun in Cortez to repair the shelf. The repair isn’t pretty, but it works. I also used the staple gun to repair a strip on the sliding closet door in our bedroom which had worked loose several times.
Having a great time with friends
While in Bluff, we spent much time with friends, Joyce & Paul M. Jasmine and Pepper enjoyed the many play dates with their good buddy, Bart. We were able to leave our pups to play with Bart on the days we ran errands into Blanding or Cortez. We went out to dinner with our friends at the Twin Rocks Cafe and had several other dinners and barbecues at camp and at their house.
One afternoon we all drove into Blanding to see Paul’s on-going photo exhibition at the Edge of the Cedars museum. Paul does some incredible night and landscape photography and was selected for a year-long photo exhibition at the museum – quite the honor. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by the museum and see Paul’s show!
Other highlights of our stay included day-trips to the Valley of the Gods, Comb Ridge, Goosenecks State Park, the Moki Dugway (all part of the newly formed Bears Ears National Monument), Hovenweep National Monument, and a scenic drive on back-roads around Sleeping Ute Mountain. Kim and Joyce took the dogs on several hikes around Bluff and the Comb Ridge, while Paul and I were out photographing.
Photography around Bluff
As mentioned above, Paul and I took many photo outings in the area – both day and night. We took several photo trips to the Valley of the Gods and along the Comb Ridge. We also took a hike into the Long Finger Ruins across Butler Wash and into a canyon on the back side of the Comb Ridge. Hiking out after dark was interesting, especially as we passed through a herd of open-range cattle bedded down for the night. The cattle’s eyes glowed eerily in the light of our headlamps from all around. Ever get that feeling of being watched?
Here are some of the photos from those outings:
Sadly, our time in Bluff passed way too fast and before we knew it, it was time to move on. We miss our friends (and Jasmine & Pepper miss Bart) and look forward to another trip to this area, soon!
That’s all for now. Safe travels and enjoy the journey!