We had a lazy and uneventful morning. I took quite a few more photos and worked on the blog a little.
We did notice that there were some storm clouds on the horizon.
We didn’t have cell phone coverage, but Jon was able to listen to the weather band on the ham radio.
So we packed everything up. The trail/road we took to get here was a loop, so Jon and I continued the road on foot to see if it would be any easier than our original route. We passed by several campsites with really nice views.
The trail/road was definitely worse than the one we initially took. It was a lot narrower through the trees and the rocky ledges were steeper and would require a lot more time to get down them.
When we got back to camp, we finished packing things up and headed out. It was already mid-afternoon, so we were in a hurry to get out. Jon successful made it through the really tree-filled section with only a few more scratches. Most of the rocky ledge section was downhill, which will make it a little easier in some ways. At least gravity will be working for us.
We got to one point where we were going down a ledge very close to a tree. As one of the tires dropped just a little the camper swayed and a very large broken tree branch went through one of the back windows. One thing about a very tall vehicle like ours, it doesn’t take much change in the relationship between the tires to cause the camper to sway.
So we stopped and assessed the damage. We had broken the large window that is by the dining table/eating nook. It was a coated doublepane sliding glass window. Jon has always been good about making sure that all of the window coverings are down when we are moving. It really saved us a lot of time and energy this time since the window shade kept most of the glass from scattering all over the inside of the camper.
One of the window panes had broken entirely. The other part only broke through one of the panes of glass leaving the inner pane intact.
I worked inside sweeping away and vacuuming up most of the glass that was inside the camper. Jon worked on sweeping out glass and pulling off the parts that would just get in the way. It was a lot more difficult a job than you would expect due to the height of the truck/camper. Even though Jon is very tall, he couldn’t reach this window from the ground. He had to secure a strap to the roof and dangled from it to work.
Jon used a couple of corrugated plastic signs and foil tape to cover the opening of the part that was completely broken through. They were very effective at covering the space and would protect against rain and wind. It was a temporary fix, but one that would get us on our way quickly.
So, Jon, very successfully, took the Fuso out rock crawling and the only damage we sustained was a broken window. No structural damage and no mechanical issues. I am still very impressed with Jon’s vehicle handling skills. We certainly have been places this trip that I never imagined that we would be able to take this vehicle.
The drive out was uneventful, but it really is a good thing that we were getting out before things got wet and very muddy.
We saw evidence of areas that obviously became very muddy because of the very deep ruts in the road. This part of the road was much flatter than the route we took to get to Cathedral Point. That meant that there were parts of the road where the water just collected, making for a really nasty, muddy place. This section also gets a lot more traffic.
The route is very picturesque, especially once we got down to the floor of the canyon. I did take a few photos during the drive.
We passed by a turn off for a camping area, but since we still hadn’t reached pavement yet, we didn’t want to stay there. That was especially true when we had to go over a stream crossing shortly after passing by it. We finally reached highway 211 and headed south. We passed by Newspaper Rock. We didn’t find any place to stay that wouldn’t require going back on dirt roads.
We drove up Needles Overlook Rd to the Windwhistle campground, but it was full. So we took US Hwy 191 north towards Moab. Unfortunately for us, most of the public land in this area only allows camping in designated campsites. To reach any dispersed campsites, we would have to drive down dirt roads to get to them, which would defeat the point of our day’s journey. We could see it snowing on the top of the La Sal Mountains and it was certainly possible that we would see rain or snow tonight.
We eventually came to Ken’s Lake Campground. The campgrounds were full, but we were allowed to park in a gravel lot across from the campground for a fee. It was already almost completely dark at this point so we were grateful for the option to stay there.
It was still a beautiful place to be.