Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31, 2011, Sunday Road to Goblin Valley SP to Goosenecks SP & Blew a tire!

July 31, 2011, Sunday
Road to Goblin Valley SP to Goosenecks SP
Blew a tire, had it replaced, picked one boondocking site & moved to another.  What a day!
After coffee & b’fast as noted in yesterdays post, I got on the road.  Stopped in Hanksville for gas.  About 9am I was driving at 55mph, outside temp about 73 degrees, almost exactly 20 miles S of Hanksville, the left, rear, inside tire blew.  Kaboom!  No cell phone signal, none, nada, zilch!  Fortunately the tire was still intact, not shredded to pieces & no damage.

I don’t have a spare tire on a rim, nor do I have the tools to replace the tire. I decided to just drive the 20 miles back to Hanksville.  If the blown tire had been shredded I probably couldn’t have driven with the rubber flapping all over the place.  One hour to drive the 20 miles, i.e 20mph, to be sure I didn’t stress the one overloaded tire left on that side.  Got to Hanksville, found a very nice couple who do tire, wheel & bearing work and bought and new tire and they installed it.

I did have a used spare tire but not mounted on a wheel (rim).  It was wrapped it up in an old blanket and tied it on the roof rack of BF.  This way if I needed a new tire and I was in a place where they didn’t have a tire, they could mount the used tire and I could go on my way.  Since I was still more than a thousand miles away from home, I bought a new tire, just in case I needed my spare before getting home.  And it is a good thing I did as you will see later on!

Back on the road about 11:30.  Nice drive through the sandstone country.  I stopped at the overlook to view the very northern end of Lake Powell, some 150-200 lake or river miles N of the dam. I was surprised to see the lake looked to be almost full.  Looking online I found out it was “only” 39’ low.  For a lake that is 60’-80’ low much of the time, only 39’ low is pretty good.

I initially decided to spend the night at a BLM boondocking site at the intersection of SR261 & SR95, about 2 miles from the turnoff to Natural Bridges Nat. Monument.  After getting set up I spent about 20 minutes there and decided to move on to Goosenecks SP. The BLM area didn’t make me happy.  The ½ mile road leading to the BLM area, at one time, was nicely graded & covered in gravel. Now there is about 200 yards of rutted downhill (uphill going out) red dirt. A nice thundershower will make it nice and slippery & muddy, with a chance of slipping down into one of the ruts. 

Actually I had thoughts of spending the night at Mulie Point, about 10 miles before the turnoff to Goosenecks. Mulie Point is about 1300’ higher (6300’) and cooler than Goosenecks.  But as I turned onto the road to Mulie Point, there was a sign saying “Road is impassible when wet”. There was about a 40% chance of thunderstorms in the area.  On to Goosenecks, that has a paved road to the camping area.

At Goosenecks I got set up at an nice spot about 25’ back from the cliff dropping down to the river and had a very nice view of one of the goosenecks.  I had a nice place to put my reclining lawn chair in the edge of the cliff with a nice view. I had a quiet night. One other camper a 36’ diesel pusher motorhome setup camp about 200 yards away. 

Goosenecks SP is free.  No defined campsites.  Just drive along the rocky road following the cliff overlooking the gooseneck and stop wherever you want along the edge of the cliff. There is about 1 mile of road and probably 10 or so sites right on the cliff and a few more back a ways from the cliff.  

On the road to Hanksville, UT
A "fixer-upper" camper, not far from where the tire blew on BF
There was a lot of rain last night about 50 miles from where I camped last night.  If that had caught me 20 miles back on dirt/gravel roads I would have been stuck for a couple of days until the roads dried out
Look at the mud which had been scraped off the pavement.

 Someone started down this dirt road and then thought better of it
Lake Powell, near the north end where SR95 crosses

Goose Necks SP
My front yard for the night

Pretty colors in the cliff

 Rain in the distance, probably evaporating before it reaches the ground

If you click on the two pictures below you can see a couple of white dots along the rim.  One is our Born Free and the other is my neighbor. 

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