Although it may have taken longer than we wanted, upon arriving in Moab, things went as planned, or even better than planned. Which may be considered boring by some, but I was just fine with that. We found a couple bouldering spots, one over the Colorado River, and spent the day climbing before settling in at Riverside Oasis RV Resort just 2 miles south of Arches National Park. I had cut my toe on our old fuel filter in Durango, but with a little electric tape JB made sure I was ready to get in the water and climb with him.
We visited Arches National Park in the morning . We were planning on riding bikes through the park, luckily before we did that we discovered it was a hilly two lane highway so we made the trip in vanny. However, Connie had a small fuel leak that became prominent when going uphill (something Connie has quite difficultly with). Halfway through the park we turned around and headed back to the RV site because I was seemingly high on fuel fumes. However, we did see the Delicate Arch, an iconic symbol I was hyped up for. The arch and I had quite an anticlimactic interaction, maybe it was because I was lightheaded from gas, but I don’t recall if I even took a picture so I copied one off Google (below) to share with you (much better quality than anything I could capture anyways).
JB fixed the fuel leak at the RV site and we snatched up a spare tire before heading out of Moab. Originally, we had planned to do 3 other parks in Utah: Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Zion. Due to running behind “schedule” we headed straight for Yosemite National Park in California, also eliminating Phoenix, L.A., and Big Sur. This was the last stretch of night driving we will do; mainly because the rest of the drive is too pretty to miss out on, but also because Connie doesn’t take well to windy, dark roads, or going uphill, or downhill for that matter. Connie’s engine runs really hot trying to get uphill at a decent speed, i.e. 45 mph, and her breaks may smoke a bit when going down any hill with a 4% grade or greater. All this made driving to and through Yosemite quite a long process.
We entered Yosemite by the east entrance. I have previously been to Yosemite Valley on the west side of the park where sights of the iconic Half Dome and El Capitan can be captured. JB and I didn’t have much of a plan for our time in Yosemite, except to avoid crowds (nearly impossible) and enjoy the mountains. We drove in circles looking for a couple climbing spots (Yosemite’s granite is renowned for climbing) but we didn’t find anything to our taste in so we headed east to the valley for some bike riding and yoga. On our way downhill we saw signs and sights of a prescribed burn within the park, with only 20 more minutes of driving to the valley we were stopped by a ranger informing us that the prescribed burn had gotten out of hand, and this particular road to the valley was closed, probably for a few days. “It’s 4 to 5″ hour drive to the other park entrance that would provide access to the valley,” the ranger informed us. We thought “no thanks” and without a single picture we headed for the California coast to feel a cool breeze and smell the redwoods.