So we pull into Moab and get set up at our “home” for the stay at Portal RV Resort. For Moab to seemingly be the Jeeper’s center of the universe, it is a small podunk town. And if you need to look for parts and pieces to do any minor RV repair work, good luck. We found a livestock feed store (Farm & City Feed and RV Supply) that surprisingly carried some, if not limited, parts and pieces. But, me and Murphy, we are inseparable. They did carry the Shurflo water pump that I needed, but were out of stock at the moment. Fear not, for the nice folks were able to order one up within a couple of days. Well, once I got it, I put my mechanical incompetence to the test. I thought the swap out would be a piece of cake, all hand tightening of fittings, no tool other than a Phillips screwdriver to remove the base screws, and I am board certified in the correct use and care of said Phillips screwdrivers. I was all proud of myself as I neared the end of the repair…until I tried to attach the water pump strainer unit. Hand tighten, oh yeah, oh —— crap! 1 twist too many and “SNAP!” goes the plastic. So now I’m on the hunt for a simple piece of PVC elbow. Hit all 2 of the hardware stores and 1 plumbing supply place but failure strikes again. How I ended up at an auto parts store I have no clue but wouldn’t you know it, they had a stainless steel elbow for hydraulics that worked just beautiful! I kicked Murphy in the posterior region and reveled in my success. On to some fun.
I’ll tell you now, 5 days in Moab is not enough time to see and do. And if rain pops in on you, it shortens the time even more. We missed out on many miles of Jeep trails, as well as Canyonlands NP, so a return trip will be most necessary. But here now we made 2 day trips into Arches NP. Again, K9’s are not allowed on the trails, so Woody had to miss out. We took the wind-sucking hike uphill to Delicate Arch which is touted as the most photographed arch. The hike was not difficult as far as rock scrambling or challenging obstacles, but it was steady up hill and tended to make one suck wind much of the way (I just GOTTA lay off all them stouts and porters!). It is a one and a half mile, one-way trail that ascends about 500 feet. But boy-oh-boy what a view! Now don’t yell at me because I am going to post some photos and more than likely I will get wrong names associated with some; after all, there are over 2,000 catalogued arches in this park. But we visited (hiked) several of the main attractions such as Tunnel Arch, Landscape Arch, Skyline Arch, Fiery Furnace, Balanced Rock, Double Arch, North & South Windows, Turret Arch, & Three Gossips. You could easily spend 3-4 days in this park, not only are there hike-to formations to see, but there are a couple of Jeep trails that take one to see other features and off the beaten path.
One place we were able to include Woody in our exploits was the Dead Horse Point State Park. A hiking trail traverses along a very scenic canyon rim overlooking the Colorado River and parts of Canyonlands NP. And word has it the cliff scene from “Thelma & Louise” was filmed here. So Woody got his chance to take us out for about a three hour walkabout. The ranger we spoke to at the visitor center told us the trails were well marked. He should have said “well marked if you know how to follow cairns”. We did pretty well for the most part, only got off track a smidgeon toward the end of the loop.
With our time limited, Jeanne picked a Jeep trail to take, the Tusher Tunnel Trail. It is an easy trail, not a lot of challenges (OK, none at all). It ends at about a 100 yard natural tunnel through the mountain.
Time up, we headed for the great state of Texas, our state of domicile. We overnighted at an overpriced Indian casino that ran the Route 66 RV Resort in Albuquerque, NM, then into Lubbock, TX for a few days. Stops at the Buddy Holly Center and Texas Tech University Museum were in order, while home basing at the Loop 289 RV Park.
Onward and upward, a couple of uneventful and, ergo UNexciting days in the city of Abilene. Next stop Waco, TX and the Waco Lake COE campground. Nice, scenic site on the lake. Jeanne wanted to go see Magnolia’s, a shop of trinkets and a bakery all owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Jeanne tells me they have a TV show about fixer-upper houses and I now see they are getting plenty of bad press about being anti-LGBT based on their faith. I will elide any further personal comments on that subject based on my 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and because I have not succumbed to that liberal Kool-Aid drinking lifestyle.
From Waco we wandered south to Pecan Park RV Park in San Marcos. This was a good base for sneaking into Austin to check things out. All other Texans we talk to speak of Austin in hushed tones and we have heard more than one liken it to the whacked out city of San Francisco. From what we saw, I agree. But we did get to visit LBJ’s Presidential Library. Everybody talks now of Obama’s massive government regulations but LBJ created his own share of regulations, and then some. The more of these Presidential libraries we see, the more I regret not having taken road trips with the kids when they were tadpoles and showing them some of this stuff.
In Austin we also took a short walk along a trail at Covert Park on Mt. Bonnell, along the Colorado River with a scenic vista overlooking some very nice homes I might be able to afford in another life.
Done with San Marcos, we sidled over to Bryan, TX to visit the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library. One thing I had not known was George 43 had a sister, Robin, born in 1949 and passed in 1953 due to Leukemia. Sad. There was a lot of coverage on George 41’s military service and a nice section on Operation Desert Storm.
From Bryan it was on to Arlington, TX to take in George 43’s Presidential Library. We had missed it last time through a few years ago due to our great government’s inability to function (aka: the government shut-down over budget fight). Both LBJ’s and George 41’s libraries had some form of oval office display, but George 43 has an actual sized replica office. Another little trivia fact I was not aware of is 43 was actually a managing general partner of the Texas Rangers baseball organization back in his business days. There is a nice personal collection of signed baseballs on display here at the library.
Well, moving day tomorrow. I found the Freightliner service center here in Dallas and will be attempting to get some recall work, service work, and maybe my goofy dashboard warning lights and sirens looked at before continuing toward Nashville and the Griswold, er, Watkins Family Christmas Vacation. Merry Christmas to all!