A New Year: Cathedral Gorge & Valley of Fire

8th trip – Days 34-50, Dec 18-2020-Jan 3, 2021. St George, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada (continued)

Reflection off trailer. Camping Southern Utah RV Resort, St George, UT Dec 18, 2020-Jan 3, 2021

During the day it was raining. It was a very light rain and not too cold. When it was done, the air felt and smelled like spring.

Quilting while camping. Dec 18, 2020-Jan 3, 2021

Tuesday, I sewed all day. Making cute snowmen table runner and placemats. Kevin worked during the day. When we were done, we went to Main Street Quilt Cottage in Hurricane. Of course, found it from Traveler’s Quilt Guide book. It is a tiny store with not really a large selection of fabric to amount to anything. They had patterns, kits, and wool. I bought a beautiful blue fabric that is darker on top and goes to light at the bottom and has gold circles. On the way back we stopped at Walmart for command strips to hang the National Park map that my parents gave us for Christmas.

National Park Map. Gift from my parents.

I was texting with my sewing friend, Sandra, this week. Her and her husband wanted to camp and asked where we are. I told her. The next thing I know, she says they are coming down to camp and are staying in the same campground! So fun. That evening, they knocked on our door. It was nice to meet her husband and introduce them to Kevin.

Wednesday, repeat from yesterday during the day. I sewed and Kevin worked. We are love, love, loving living out of HOWE (our Home on Wheels). After Kevin’s work, we drove to Santa Clara to a quilt shop. It is called Clover Patch Quilt and is in Traveler’s Quilt Guide book. So, of course, I just “had” to buy something. HAHA Ended up buying some pretty pink batiks and Kevin wanted some cute camping fabric that has an old Ford pickup on it.

Got KFC and took it home. Then we went over to see Sandra. Their trailer is 6 months old and is a great floor plan. Kevin and I really like the layout. Sandra and I sewed while the guys visited.

Thursday, New Year’s Eve. Sandra and her husband left this morning to go home. Now, when Kevin and I first booked with this campground, we were replacing our cruise, Dec 18-28, which was canceled due to Covid. Then we thought, why go home then? So we had looked to extend our time. Over several weeks, we kept checking but the entire campground was booked. Then one day, we found that 1 slot had opened. We took it. That would extend until Dec 31. We kept watching and soon another slot opened up for Dec 31-Jan 3, exactly what we wanted. So, we had 3 bookings. HAHA When we checked in, they told Kevin that we had missed one day (the check out day we didn’t check in that day and it happens all the time). She made some changes and they had 1 opening. It turns out, we would only have to move sites one time. Pretty cool!

OH, the site we moved to? Was the spot Sandra and her husband were in. That made me laugh. We teased them last night about “get out of our spot!” As soon as they left, we moved over. It was between two long term looking places, one being the AT&T truck. It didn’t have the same feeling as Row E8 and E9 where we have stayed before. But it was fine.

Kevin worked until noon and then everyone was off. After that we went to Sally’s Beauty Supply. You see, I realized something very important. We are camping so much and my Gelish nails (a nail polish that stays on great!) aren’t lasting quite as long since I am hand washing dishes every day. So of course, I need a Gelish kit to keep in the trailer. HA Of course, Sally’s was out of most everything, including the kit. Thankfully I was able to piece together all the parts needed. Back to HOWE and I did my nails. Ah, what a nice feeling. 🙂

In researching things happening in the area, I found that Washington City was having fireworks at 10:00 pm on New Year’s Eve. I think that was a great idea. Kevin and I stood outside and watched them. Our new site looks south and over the whole valley. There were a lot of fireworks and they were fun to see. It was a little bit cold but nothing a jacket didn’t fix. Off to bed we went. One benefit of being deaf? I didn’t hear anything all night. Kevin heard fireworks throughout the night.

Friday, New Year’s Day. This morning we drove through Santa Clara and then north on Hwy 18. We could see Snow Canyon, Dammeron Valley offered gorgeous photos of snow on the cedar trees and ground.

Stunning Dammeron Valley, UT Dec 18, 2020-Jan 3, 2021

We continued to Beryl Junction and turned left onto Hwy 56. The valley there is very flat and reminds us that it is a dry lakebed. We crossed the state line into Nevada and the road name changed to 319. Up and over the mountains and into snow clouds. The roads were dry and the clouds on the mountains gave the feeling of being the only ones on the earth. A quick stop at Panaca and then we turned north. A few miles and we were at Cathedral Gorge State Park.

Cathedral Gorge State Park a place unlike anything we have seen before.

We thought the Cathedrals would be as tall as Zion but they weren’t. However, they were like something we hadn’t seen before. Unlike Utah, where formations are made from soft sandstone and erosion, this was hard as cement. In fact, I kept saying how I thought someone had just made it with a concrete truck.  HAHA Of course, that isn’t true. When you touch the structures, they were hard as cement but you can see all the erosion over time. It fact, some is eroded so much that it made slot canyons. We walked up several.

Charla standing in a Slot Canyon.

There was a little skiff of snow on the ground, but the temp was 52. Kevin made the profound statement: “Who knew Erosion was such as Artist.” Right on.

Kevin looking in awe at the beauty of this place.

We are so very glad we went but it is probably a one time visit. We continued home a different way, taking Hwy 93 to just east of Mesquite. This round about way showed us all sorts of landscapes: from the mountains and cedar trees, to flat desserts and Joshua Trees. Back at HOWE, we planned out our next couple of trips: Arizona. We want to look around and see if we like it. We thought we would fly there for a long weekend (MLK Day) but then, why not work the week there and stay ten days, and then, “why don’t I” (Kevin)” just take vacation days”. Sounds good to me! We booked flights, hotel and car.

Valley of Fire State Park is a must-see!

Saturday, Valley of Fire State Park in Arizona. We had seen signs for this place and when we researched for Gold Butte. Today we drove there. It was another perfect day with sun and high 50s. We are close to the headway of Lake Mead and saw quite a few campers boondocking. Valley of Fire is a lot of red rocks, similar to Zion in color and texture. We stopped at the three cabins, which were used for travelers years ago. They are smaller than our trailer! 🙂 Behind the cabins we saw more petroglyphs. Down the road we stopped at Rainbow and took a hike. It was a mile out and back. I was surprised that the ground was all red sand. Makes sense, that it is from the red sandstone but I hadn’t thought about it before. It was like walking on a beach. Beautiful and the rocks were so close we could touch them. The parking lots were full and we were lucky to find a place to park the truck. Kevin said this was one of his favorite places.

“End of trail” indeed! The drop off behind Kevin is crazy far.

As we drove out of the park, we were again stunned at how different the landscape is: it just rolls along as a desert and a few hills and then all of sudden, these red rocks jet up. Really neat.

Sunday, disembarkment day. Also so sad. Kevin winterized the trailer as I put things away.

It helps my heart that we have plans for upcoming trips.

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