Brrrr... it'c cold in Utah. That was something neither of us had planned on. The Colorado Plateau is high in elevation hence the cold weather. There is also a cold front pushing down from Canada and it is chilling this place to the bone. The forecast calls for things to get even colder and we make the call to start heading south. Before we can leave I have some business to attend too. Penny is due up for an oil change and this nice quiet piece of semi dry gravel will work just fine. She get's a nice fresh fill of Mobil 1 and a new filter. This means we have already clocked 3,800 miles on our trip.
We hook Shirley back up and roll through Capitol Reef National Park in order to head south. On our way we past groves of apple, cherry, and pear orchards planted by the mormon pioneers who had settled here a hundred years ago.
From here it's a southwest jaunt through Dixie National Forest. However, there are some hills in the way. Damn this hill is getting steep. Penny is forced to crawl up some of the 10% grades in 1st gear at 20 mph. We give the old girl a break and pull out at a scenic lookout to unhook Shirley.
I can see the temperature dropping on my engine information readout. Holy crap that's snow! Oh you beautiful mountains, you never cease to amaze me.
Another 20 miles of twisty switchbacks wriggles in front of our path. Shirley remains unhooked until we hit the town of Escalante. By then things have calmed down enough that we can hook back up and head to towards the grand staircase. What is that? I don't know. I didn't read anything on it and we don't have a cell signal. It'll will just have to be a surprise for everyone.
Dammit. More twists and turns in the road. The next sign that you can't see says the grades are 14% for the next two miles. Well, it was good while it lasted. Shirley needs to be unhooked once more to err on the side of caution. Going uphill with a load can be a real pain in the ass. Going downhill with a load can be downright scary. There's always a chance of turning our brakes into a ball of smoke and fire if used too much. This is especially true in a gas rig that doesn't have an Jake-brake. At least the view is nice.
We are finally close enough to civilization to have a cell signal again. It's been three days since we have looked anything up online or watched TV. The laundry is piling up and we are both completely out of pants and warm clothes. We find an RV park off the beaten path about an hour outside of Bryce Canyon National Park. It's one of the cheapest ones available but has great reviews.
Upon our arrival Brad comes out to meet us and check us in. He guides us down the 1.5 miles of pothole laden gravel to our parking spot for the night. It's out in the middle of his property which is 1 mile X 4.2 miles long. There is an old golf course on the property and hiking trails galore. We chit chat for a bit and find out the washing machine he had in the clubhouse broke last week. The rains in Utah stopped the delivery service from bringing out another because of road washouts. Great. Another day in the middle of nowhere with no laundry. We forked over $60 for two nights of parking with water/sewer/electric, but could have easily toughed it out in the woods. The whole point of coming here was to park and do some laundry, watch some TV, and catch up on marvelous internet stuff. Now we have no laundry, one station that barely comes in, and 4G cell service that is one bar.... sometimes. At least we can run the space heater in the RV. It's supposed to be in the 20's tonight. Oh well, let's go walk the dog.