Departed Durango KOA at 9:05.
There couldn’t be a better time to go through Durango during daylight hours, because on Sunday morning, the traffic was incredibly light as we pulled onto the highway and rapidly made our way out of town. We left Highway 160 long before Cortez, taking the familiar State highway 184, which we had traveled many times while in Dolores. It shaved off a lot of miles and the aggravation of going through Cortez, and put us right onto US Highway 491 which dumped us into 191 which we followed north to Moab. The shortcut really shaved off time, and the trip through the rural farmland was pretty. We traveled through plowed up bean farms alternated with lush, dark green alfalfa fields, some just ripe for cutting. Monticello, UT, was an incredibly neat, well cared for town where the wide, well maintained through highway was lined with old fashioned, black, lantern type street lights. Monticello may be just a tourist town existing because of its proximity to the Canyonland’s south entrance, but it is still an impressive little town in the middle of nowhere. As we neared the south side of Moab, there were plenty of “earth on show” so we had to stop for just a few photo ops, but still arrived at Portal RV Resort by 12:30, just ahead of check in time. portal is the only of Moab’s numerous RV parks that is far enough from the busy highway to be quiet. I did not know this when I booked the reservation, but as we traveled the long freshly blacktopped driveway to the office, I knew this was going to be a good thing. The office was closed for lunch, but our name was among many on individual maps with directions to our site, which seemed pretty straightforward. Our site #45 was an end site and we felt intimately familiar with it from looking at the on line site map, but had no idea that the pet yard’s front gate could not be easily be entered without going across our site. That seemed an odd design for the privacy of those occupying site 45, but we did not realize until later that there was a side gate to be accessed through a poorly maintained gravel drive on the driver’s side of our coach. Most people knew the side gate was there, and we only had one woman walk on our concrete pad, right beside our coach to take her dog in and out of the park.
On the good side, the pool, luxurious bathhouse, and spa, is all just across the street behind site 45, AND the pool is heated. Our concrete pad is huge and there is plenty of room between the sites, but the areas around and adjoining the sites are weedy messes, and there is no maintained grass except in the dog park, which is really pretty and well landscaped. The weeds and unkempt area only seems to exist on our row, as the rest of the park appears to be well maintained and landscaped, almost like this is a new row of sites that just hasn’t been sold or finished. The water pressure is wonderful, no worries there, and as expected the electrical pedestal is modern with good power. Aside from the park, the view out all our windows is wonderful, either the nearby red rock formations or the distant mountains, which as I sit here several days later, are freshly covered with snow.
When we arrived it was hot, really, really hot, and the sun was beating on our windshield. Dan went off to Arches to get his new “old age” pass and literature on the parks while I vacuumed up the KOA gravel and got things set up for staying a while. As soon as the sun moved behind a bank of clouds, I rushed out to clean up the front of the coach ahead of Dan putting the sunscreens in place, which according to Dan, wouldn’t be needed this week. He informed me the weather forecast had changed and they were predicting rain the first five days of our time here. For once, I was the optimist, retorting that 50% chance meant we might still get some decent weather, which as it turned out, was mostly the case. That first evening, and for the next 3, we did have nasty weather, but only in the late afternoon or evening each day. The clouds would build into really ugly monsters, and it would blow dust like crazy just before the raindrops started.