This is what we affectionately refer to as a “stupid stop.” After a bout of long distance traveling and boondocking, we love nothing more than these stopovers at KOAs. First and foremost, we get to run the air conditioner unreservedly. We use the wifi. We open and close the refrigerator without hurrying to keep the cold air in. We turn on lights when we don’t need them. And we do laundry. We are obviously cutting edge adventure travelers here.
Oh yeah, and we go out to dinner, go grocery shopping, and do a different kind of hiking through Targets, Cabelas, and Walmarts. This trip to Walmart included the purchase of a string of LED lights to replace our dearly departed wax candles. It’s ok. Does the job. I prefer the look of the candles, but concede that it’s just not practical.
I should back up and say that we started the travel day with Richard getting to bike along Highway 128 from Moab. I recommend that stretch of road. It hugs the Colorado River until the last ten or so miles and makes for a lovely way to head back up to 70.
In all seriousness, these stupid stops are really important when you’re out for an extended time. It’s a chance to catch your breath and be boring for a little bit. That way, you can be more fully present when you’re on the go in the spectacular spots.
From here, we head to a week long Altoistes rally, aka an “Altogather.” Get it? I did not coin the phrase, but enjoy saying it. I’m really looking forward to meeting online facebook people in person. Until then, let the cold winds blow!
Additional: After I posted the above, we went out to grab some dinner. Except, on the way, I thought it would be a fun idea to drive over to the Colorado National Monument we’d seen brown signs for. That turned out to be one of the most terrifying drives I have yet done. Thank goodness we did not blithely take Dory up that road. As soon as we started up the steep switch backs, it was really too late to turn around. We were committed, like it or not, until we made it all the way up and to an overlook point. I’m wondering how it compares to Highway 12, the route I specifically chose to avoid. In any case, I made it! And we didn’t fall to our deaths! Now I’m a precipitous cliff driving expert! … No, no I’m not at all. It was all I could do to keep calm and just repeatedly point out how nice and paved the road was.
Interesting local legend: When we pulled over to let me wipe off my sweaty palms, we met a guy who was collecting dirt in a jar. Turns out there is a local story that says once you fall in love with the area of Grand Junction, you can never leave. Or if you do, you will have to return. However, to break the curse, you can collect dirt from four distinct areas from the grand valley, and take it with you. The guy said he was in the Marines and was about to ship out soon. So he was collecting dirt to take with him. Interesting!
Last addendum: The city of Grand Junction is the first place I’ve ever driven that requires strong number sense with fractions. Who names their streets 24 3/4 Street?
Total miles from Arches: 126.4, 17.5 mpg, 4 hours, 29 minutes. This is a fine and dandy KOA. Nice bathrooms, pool, good laundry facilities. It’s what you expect from a KOA.