Goosenecks State Park above the San Juan River, Utah

Friday, May 3 (continued)

We enter Goosenecks State Park and I quickly park and jump out to peer over the stone waist-high wall.  Tiny rafts with even tinier people float on the San Juan River some 1,000 feet below as the river meanders through layered cliffs.

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Bridget and Spike are pitching a fit in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

“Okay, okay!  We’ll be there in a minute!”

I size up the situation.  Four motorhomes occupy the broad, flat area next to the viewing area.  Not for us.  My eye follows the dirt lane as it traces the rim.  A fifth wheel and a van camper are further out on the spit of land that’s bordered by a meander.  The fifth wheel is parked so close to the edge of the cliff it looks like any vibration, such as flushing the toilet, would send it over the side.  Good heavens.

Goosenecks State Park brochure, circa 2080 A.D.:  “The unique rock formations of Goosenecks were brought about by millions of years of geologic forces such as uplifts and shifts, as well as erosion caused by glaciers, wind, rain, river current, and frost, including the abrasions caused by motorhomes and fifth-wheels falling down the cliffs.”

We proceed down the lane and pass the Class A motorhomes.

Two men stand together laughing, one with a remote in his hand.  I look ahead and here comes a little red sportscar right toward us.  It’s hopping over rocks and kicking up dust.  Suddenly it spins and jerks out of our path.  Men and their toys . . .

I continue on until I find a spot I like.

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Not more than a place to pull off the road, but there’s not going to be traffic out here.  I like it because it’s not on the rim side of the road. (The photo above makes us look closer to the edge than we really are.) I don’t like to step out of my home to the edge of a 1,000 foot drop.

I’m funny that way.

It also places the refrigerator facing northeast rather than southwest as the rim-huggers are situated. The door of the BLT opens to the opposite view which is a carpet of blue-green sagebrush and rabbitgrass leading to a horizon of “painted” hills with a zigzag pattern. Very nice. 

The rest of the day I set up camp, walk with the crew, and relax.

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More RVs arrive throughout the afternoon.  That evening while falling asleep, I hear voices.  I lift up the blind.  A couple in a Class C are maneuvering their home into position across the lane from us and next to the rim . . . in the dark.  Typical division of labor.  He’s driving while she’s standing outside shouting directions.  Well, it is the beginning of the weekend, after all.

Saturday, May 4

First thing, right after breakfast, I move our camp further out on the rim.  I like kids but not next door.  This new camp is better anyway.

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I like it enough to immediately unhitch.  The day drifts by with me alternating between blogging, responding to comments, eating, walking the crew, cooking, reading, and relaxing while enjoying the breeze and the view.  I’m really not that interested in looking over the edge of the rim, especially when there’s nothing between me and the bottom but air.

A few people walk or bike the lane.  A woman on a ATV roars by.  Mostly it’s a quiet day.

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Sunday, May 5

This day looks unpredictable.  Too much haze, heavy cloud cover, and just enough gusty wind to keep me from taking photographs.  Maybe tomorrow will be better for touring the Valley of the Gods.

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rvsue

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55 Responses to Goosenecks State Park above the San Juan River, Utah

  1. What an inspiring place to read! I could lose myself in a good book sitting outside with such scenery. Darn that wind, though. We’re having a breezy weekend here in central Texas, too. I hope the noisemakers leave after the weekend and you can enjoy the quiet solitude.

  2. Kay says:

    Beautiful, Beautiful. Bridget, I think I should let you know, I see you!

    Ugh, the thought of hearing those ATV’s already has me thinking it’s going to be a stressful time for OCD Rowdy. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for people having fun with their toys. I just kind of wish they would consider slowing down and going by as quiet as they possibly could. I mean, isn’t it a given when you see someone camped off away from everyone they are looking for some quet, alone time? Has times changed that much?

    I like crowds when I am in the mood. When I am not in the mood, well, I am best to keeping moving along. Rowdy on the other hand seems think he needs everyone to know HE is present. Today, he got the great idea of taking the Amour All out back. Apparently, he thought he would shine the grass or something. Needless to say, I retreived it with some new spray holes. I can’t even set my auto bucket of supplies down long enough to use the restroom without him getting into trouble.

    Thank you for the sharing the beautiful pictures, Sue.

    Kay

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Kay, your Rowdy is a pistol! You’re going to have to treat him like a curious 2-year-old… poison-proof the house, childproof the cabinet doors, etc. He keeps you going all the time!

      • Kay says:

        Sue, he is worse than anyone of my kids ever were. I’ve never has such dog like this one. I was busy loading the RV, was out there a mere 5 minutes and came inside for another handful of stuff… He had my wallet and that did it. My kids never took things out of my purse, be darned if a dog will. I set up his kennel. He’s not happy at the moment, but he will learn what time out means.

  3. EmilyO from KS says:

    If memory serves me right, you are where the standoff took place. I remember that rock monument as I was looking that way. Looks quite a bit more civilized, what with all those “neighbors” of yours. I was there in late September, so it was pretty quiet that late in the season. It is amazing how it takes the River to meander for 5 miles, when if it went straight it would be 2 miles. But, then it wouldn’t be the Goosenecks. Enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is incredible that such a formation could exist. Geologists say they can identify 300 million years in the cliff layers which is beyond my comprehension.

      Hope there aren’t any gun-toting vigilantes behind that rock!

  4. Chuck says:

    We’ve been there twice and to Valley of the Gods twice also and going south to north is best (IMHO) to see V of G. Beautiful either way though!!!! Enjoy! You’re NOT taking BLT, correct???

  5. TexCyn says:

    Wow, I’d be afraid to park too close to the edge too! Bet the ground isn’t all that stable in some spots. & then there are wind gusts. EEEKS!
    I guess some folks also feel there’s more safety if they park closer to other rigs. I’d want to be away from others for my dogs.

  6. jeff says:

    that first picture is amazing!

  7. Grace says:

    OK, I didn’t know you could levitate! That one photo looks like you’re standing on air! Looks like a beautiful place. I hope it becomes more peaceful come Monday. This area is new to me. I’m excited to see your adventures here. Grace (in Tucson)

  8. Ron says:

    Sue and Crew,

    A word of warning about the Valley Of The Gods. Very beautiful area, but the 17 mile drive across the VOTG road is the worst I have ever traveled. On my 2011 trip I pulled my teardrop trailer across this stretch of road. It is extremely rough with many up and down undulations, huge potholes, and small gulley like crossings. I drug my steel framed license tag off the trailer somewhere on that stretch of road. If you do brave this stretch, please keep a lookout for my tag. It will be the one from Tennessee as I’m sure that are many others out there:-)

    I know you are on your way to Bluff, UT. Remember to try the blue corn pancakes and the old Fort Bluff. While reading your blog, I’m reminiscing about how much I enjoyed all of this area. All except VOTG road that is.

    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ooh, I hope the PTV can manage it. I haven’t forgotten the blue corn pancakes. I’ll be looking for them.

      • rhutch11 says:

        I just read the “Wheeling It” blog and libertatemamo says that the road was in good condition when they traveled it in mid-April. Obviously, it has been repaired since I was there.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That’s good news. I appreciate that.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Yeah when we travelled the road last month it was in great condition. There are a few dry creek crossings which are dips, but I thought it would be fine for smaller rigs. We saw several smaller guys out there. The rest of the road is in really good condition.
          Nina

  9. AZ Jim says:

    Edges! Edges of cliffs! Edges of buildings! You’ve finally discovered my phobia. If it’s an edge, I’ll go reasonably close to view but not within 10 ft of the infamous “edge”. Have fun but watch the crew and be safe yourself. I’ve grown fond of you guys.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m the same way, Jim. Edges didn’t used to bother me. Now I don’t like looking down into sure death if I fall. And that guy put his heavy fifth wheel and truck right up at the edge. You can see where part of the cliff has given way in the past.

      Oh, we’ll be safe. The crew knows not to go too close to the edge. They’re animals, not dumb humans.

      • Chuck says:

        Me too….and I used to look over aircraft ramps for air drops…..couldn’t be old age, I ain’t old enuff yet!

  10. Barb says:

    My gosh Sue that is GORGEOUS!

  11. Looks like another GREAT spot. Have you been there before?

  12. placestheygo says:

    We were thinking of staying there in two weeks but it looks a little too crowded now. About three weeks ago there were very few people there according to Nina from Wheelin’ It. We’ll see. Take lots of pictures. We want to do the Valley of the Gods and Natural Bridge.

    Hope the weather is alright for you there. We just moved to Bryce Canyon today and we have isolated thunderstorms predicted for every day this week!!! We need sun to really enjoy Bryce’s colors.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know for sure, but I think you’re comparing Nina’s experience here on a weekday with my experience here on a weekend. The place wasn’t ever crowded this weekend and it’s thinning out now that the weekend is almost over.

      Rain is in the forecast this week — 10% to 40% chance depending upon whom you listen to.

      • libertatemamo says:

        We did have rigs there while we were in the area but only 4-5 at the most each night and most left the day after. We had one weekday we were all by ourselves. It does get a little more crowded on the week-end, but it’s really not ever “packed” as such. I don’t know how many rigs Sue saw (perhaps a few more than we experienced?), but I wouldn’t be put off by that. There’s a good amount of space out there.
        Nina

  13. Pat Scrabeck says:

    Oh, my gosh–just awe-inspiring. Definitely gotta go there. Just don’t be throwing any sticks for the crew. Wow, a long way down.

  14. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I’ve never been to Gooseneck…it looks fabulous. Utah is one of the states I have to explore a little more…I haven’t even been to Arches National Park. I guess Spike is being a good boy and not going on unannounced visiting LOL! It definitely is a tad cooler in Phoenix…breezy & overcast. Watch out for muddy roads…especially clay type mud. Can’t wait for your next leg of the trip and Spike’s first soak in water.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s overcast here, too. I have personal experience with clay mud having lived in Georgia for several years. The reason it’s red is because it’s the Devil’s dirt.

  15. Kathy says:

    Beautiful photos, truly a scenic area to visit. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  16. MKReed says:

    Great photos, I see Ms. Bridgette is in her usual place when the camera comes out…under the BLT…LOL.

    I’d be so far away from the rim…I get dizzy with things like that and have to be very careful and it’s gotten worse with age..grrr.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      See the dog bed in that photo? That’s where I put the Bridge for the photo. I run out so everything will fit in the frame, turn around, and she’s gone! She has spoiled so many photos with this little act.

      I never had a problem with heights until recently. I cringe to see people so close to the edge. Well, there are worse things to deal with at a certain age . . .

  17. Pondering Pops says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,
    I just started following you today. I like your writing style, your photos, and your lifestyle. I can really appreciate your “About” page. My wife and I are Michigan residents and vacation campers, but not full-timers. Still, I enjoy reading about other people’s adventures. If you don’t mind, I’ll stick around for awhile!
    -Pops

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t mind one bit, P-Pops! In fact I send you a hearty welcome and a sincere thank you for joining the followers of my blog! They are a kind and thoughtful bunch.

      Thanks also for the compliments. I’ve never been to Michigan. Maybe someday . . .

  18. Ginny says:

    Hi Sue! Found you a couple days ago and enjoy your writing. I’ve been reading George since the beginning and now have added Kevin & Ruth, Mary-Pat and you! I live in Scottsdale,Az. so enjoy seeing some of the places I’ve already been, through your pictures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Ginny!

      I’ve read Tioga George since the beginning, too. He inspired me to live full-time on the road. I’m honored you place me in a list with him.

      I’m glad you found my blog and thank you for writing.

  19. lynne says:

    Just checking in….letting you know that I’m still a regular reader. Have not had anything significant to add to comments. Been enjoying your posts for over a year.
    Hubby and I went down the San Juan in canoes 16 years ago. Seven days on a muddy, flooded river, surviving only due to expert paddling friends.
    Thanks for the pictures….reliving the experience!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Lynne!

      I appreciate you dropping in to let me know I haven’t lost you. Thanks for sticking with us for over a year. Our adventures aren’t as big as paddling the San Juan for 7 days, but we have fun! Nice to have you along . . .

  20. Cyrus says:

    I just found your blog recently, and I love it! I’ll be a regular reader from now on.

  21. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Hi Sue, Do you use steel nail tent pegs to keep your mat from sailing off into the sun set? I noticed you have no big rocks on each corner. Those plastic tent pegs are worthless in the desert in case you haven’t bent, broken or spapped some yet. 🙂 The heat drove me out of Arizona, so I am now in a lightening and thunder shower storm over my new camp near Grants Pass, Oregon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Grants Pass! You’re so close to Natural Bridge! We loved that campground. Quite a welcome change from the desert.

      Yes, I have steel nail tent pegs. They have a yellow plastic thingy on them, I guess so they can be seen once they’re in the ground (unnecessary).

  22. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Those yellow plastic end things are for fixing up a guy line for a tent to tighten or relax the strength of the guy line so the tent will be in shape and nice and tight. You probably wont need them so you can take them off if you use a claw hammer to pull them out of the ground. I have broken most of mine off anyway by using a claw hammer to take the peg out of the ground. Don’t worry if you bend these pegs, you can straighten them out again easily by finding a flat rock and beating them with the hammer. These nail pegs are the only things that work. The channeled metal tent pegs are no good either. If you are in a hardware store look for longer and thicker steel nails that will work even better in the nail section.

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