Day 7 - The Blanding Circle Tour 150 miles- Slight Overcast and 85 degrees.
This day was a bit different from the rest of the trip (so far.) This was our first two day stop in one place. Blanding is a remote little town in S E Utah. We picked this place as it is central to many of the places we wanted to visit in this area. Today we headed N W to Natural Bridges National Monument. As we headed out of town on Utah Rt. 95 we came across a sign of the times… This is OPEN RANGE country. Cattle were frequently beside or in the road. We held our speed down on hills not knowing what would be in the road around the next curve.
We also took care not to let the dogs (or us) make any contact with the little ‘critters’ in the area after reading a posted warning about rodents carrying plague. YUCK!!
We visited the National Monument, but the overcast prevented any quality photos. Luckily later in the morning the clouds dissolved and the sun gave us a pleasant day. We shot our first view of Monument Valley from the Mulie Point Overlook . Since both Janet and I are ‘Nervous Nellies’ near the edge of any cliff you won’t see any straight down the cliff photos here.
The dogs wanted to run around and chase lizards, but they stayed on the leashes like good little dogs.
We found more range cattle on the cliffs. Some were a bit aggressive and the dogs had to tell them to move on…The Scotties were quite brave(as long as they were in the truck!!).
Then we continued down RT 261 to Mexican Hat. The road drops down the edge of the Mesa in a series of steep drops and Hairpin turns. It is a gravel road, adding to the excitement!
At the bottom of the Mesa and a few miles west of Hiway 261 is a Utah St Park (Goosenecks) You have probably seen this photo before. I think it is in every Junior High Science Book I have ever seen. This is where the San Juan River has eroded the rocks into a series of sharp bends. It takes the river several miles to go a few hundred yards in a straight line.
The little town of Mexican Hat is named for this rock formation just outside of town. It was a good place to enjoy an ice cream and run the pooches a bit.
We returned to Blanding on US 191 late in the afternoon. It was dinner time, so since we picnicked for lunch out in the Boonies, we selected the ‘other restaurant’ in town for dinner. The Old Tymer was ‘OK’. Clean and the kids working the near empty dining room were definitely Mormon Polite and helpful. Janet had a large salad with a side of Fry bread and honey (the Hush-Puppies of S W Utah). I settled for some good Chicken Gumbo soup and some homemade Blackberry cobbler. (and a few spare ribs that escaped the camera !!)
We rated the food as average. Blanding apparently lives up to its name in the culinary department.
We looked around the town and spraywashed the bugs off the truck before returning to the motel for a quiet evening. Tomorrow we hit the Trading Posts in Monument Valley to satisfy Janet’s shopping urge, then up to Page Arizona for a two night stay and a little play time and boat tour on Lake Powell, before our first ever visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. P S The dogs are eating better than we are at this point in the trip!
I am trying to respond to the many questions that I am receiving from all of you. Please be patient, I will answer as soon as I sort out the info. Lou, We enjoyed southern Kansas coming west, and will stop in Wilson and Abilene on the return later this month.
Enjoy today's journal entry!