From California to Monument Valley

June 4th, 2022

We left Porterville California on Wednesday, May 25th and headed back to Barstow where we stayed at a Marine Base on the way to California. I have told folks “we are backing out of California!” If you remember, we were not impressed with the Marine Base so we stayed at a KOA. It was nice, as most KOA’s are. We were there for two days, did not do much, just rested. The desert is real here. The dog park is just sand, haha. Don’t see any grass anywhere.

North of here just a few miles is Fort Irwin where the National Training Center is located, one of three Combat Training Centers (CTC) which provides units a host of facilities to simulate battlefield engagements with a dedicated opposing force (OPFOR). The other two CTCs are in Fort Polk, Louisiana and Hohenfels, Germany.  I have never been but I have heard stories (don’t want to go back type of stuff)… a one road to a isolated base where they play war games in the hot desert.

A Friend of mine suggested we get the fried burrito and milk shake at Fosters in Barstow, so we did. He said we made him home-sick. It was good! He had lived in the are when he was younger.

On Friday we headed to Kingman Arizona for two nights. Nice place, lots of full timers here. Here are a few photos of our time on I40 and the campground. The wind picked up again as you can see. When we travel if we are at a destination we try to stay a week to 10 days. If we are at campgrounds in between destinations we stay two to three days. We use the 333 rule… don’t driver over 300 miles a day, get to your destination by 3pm, and stay three nights. Sometimes we have medical things to do so we use these stops to do those.

Click on an image to make it larger…

We left Kingman on Sunday the 29th and headed to Gouldings RV Park in Monument Valley (Goulding is a name of a small town after the man who developed the area). So, from Kingman you head West on I40 then at Flagstaff head North on a two lane highway (89) with truck lanes every once in a while. The road was rough and bouncy but the drive was spectacular… and very windy with dust flying across the roads. This whole area is part of the Navajo Indian Reservation, no National Parks here. We stopped at a truck stop and they were requiring masks… had not worn one for a while so had to find them. The fine dirt is more like Gulf Shores fine sand but red (iron oxide). It is very pretty but I can see it will work its way into everything, even our shorts. Here are some photos of the drive Rene’e took and the campground with a trail up in the hills to an Arch overlook.

Click here for some travel photos…

Have you ever seen something on the web or TV that you thought, “I need to visit that place before I die?” Well on highway 163, about 15 miles North of Monument Valley, there is a spot on the highway that has the Monuments in the background. In the movie “Forrest Gump” Forrest decides to quit running there. Click here for the YouTube Video segment. We went there On Monday as we traveled to the Valley of the Gods and I was able to get the one photo I have wanted to get for some time. Very cool! Rene’e was the same with going to the Sequoia National Forest, she had always wanted to visit there.

On Monday we went to the “Valley of the Gods.”

The Valley of the Gods is a scenic sandstone valley near Mexican Hat in San Juan County, north of Monument Valley Utah across the San Juan River and has rock formations similar to those in Monument Valley. There are tall, reddish brown mesas, buttes, towers and mushroom rocks, remnants of an ancient landscape. The road was dirt and windy and at times a bit scary but we made it through in 4×4 drive but will need to wash the truck later.

Click here for some photos…

On Wednesday we went to the official “Monument Valley.” A 17 mile drive on a very rough gravel/sand road. The photos do not do justice the the size and vastness of this place. There are some cars and people in a few of the photos to give scale (find Rene’e). We also went to a small Museum near the campground. Time to watch some John Wayne movies.

Click here for some photos of this spectacular place…

We have seen several Class-C rentals in this part of the Country, more foreign folks I think. Seems like a good way for a vacation with a family. Lots to see within a days drive. If you don’t have an RV, you can take some time off, rent one of these, and see a good portion of the West. Here are three side by side in our campground. There are others here as well.

It has not rained on our travels since early April… things are dry and dusty to include the truck and camper. Thursday was work day. Washed the red dirt/sand off the truck and wiped it out of the inside. Did laundry, cleaned the camper, and rested. On Friday we went to the small grocery store and a town South of here called Kayenta and got fuel and lunch. On Saturday I participated in a Ham Radio Digital contest. You see how many other people/places you can contact in a certain period of time using a certain digital mode of communications, I used what is called FT8, click here for more information. I submitted my log file, will see what place I ranked in about a month.

On to Moab Utah Sunday and Arches National Park.