Photo Essay: From Canyon de Chelly, AZ to Bluff, UT

May 12 (continued)

Bridget, Reggie, and I leave Chinle, Arizona.  The Perfect Tow Vehicle carries us on Route 191 north to Bluff, Utah.  This collection of photos shows some of the scenes along this memorable ride.

~ ~ ~


P1110315We come upon a small herd of burros.  Of course, I have to stop for a photo shoot!

P1110316-002The driver honks his horn several times — “Get outta’ the road!” — before rushing past us.

P1110317A curious trio alongside the road and another curious trio inside the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

P1110319“Uh, you on the left.  Could you move over more and look at the camera please?”

P1110318“What a handsome profile you have!”

~ ~ ~

Red rock!

P1110322This rock formation is massive.  

P1110327See the needles on the left?  I zoom for a closer view.

P1110324The photo is blurry due to distance and hand-held.  Do you see the family?

P1110328I suppose these are considered “badlands.”  To me the rock looks like folds of velvet.

~ ~ ~


P1110331A peaceful scene of mothers with children

P1110332-001A lone horse commands the photo as much as the huge rock.

P1110336Red rock, red horses

Out of Arizona into Utah!

P1110342-001I love this sign.

P1110338Sometimes faith is required that the road continues.

P1110341We stop along Route 191 for a break.  Reggie looks at the storm gathering behind us.

P1110339“We’re almost home, sweetheart.”

P1110343When I see the white rocks, I know we’re close to Bluff.

P1110430-001An exhilarating ride!  “Wheeeeee!”

P1110433Over the San Juan River we go!

P1110350“We’re here!  Okay, cuties.  Let me look for a campsite.  Then you can get out.”

~ ~ ~

P1110422-001What a day!

From the overlook at Canyon de Chelly to Sand Island, a few miles west of Bluff. . .

In the next post the crew will show you around our new camp!



Every purchase is appreciated very much.

P1110359Bridget says, “Be sure to join us next time!”


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84 Responses to Photo Essay: From Canyon de Chelly, AZ to Bluff, UT

  1. Barb from Illinois says:


    • rvsueandcrew says:


      • Barb from Illinois says:

        First place on only my 3rd time commenting…maybe I better get a lottery ticket on my way home from work! The photo with the lone horse against the ruggedness of the background just speaks to me in a way I can’t really describe. It just seems to say “the west”. So very different from the cornfields I see all around me every day.

  2. Colleen from Alabama says:

    Absolutely beautiful country. I love the west and will be spending the majority of my time there. Thanks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Colleen. You’re in the top three a lot! Second place today!

  3. Airstreaming Pagey says:

    Yes, Barb! Congratulations!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Airstreaming Pagey! Good to see you here. Last you wrote you were in Devils Tower, Wyoming, thinking about your summer stint at Yellowstone.

      Congratulations! 3rd place today…

  4. Beautiful pictures Sue, nice to be so close to the top,, have a great day and be safe you 3,,, rusty N Piper

  5. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Drat! Meeting again and what happens?! Sue posts something new! Gotta post this fast then back to the top to read.

  6. Dawn in MI says:

    The burros are so cute, the red rocks are so stunning! I love Utah! So glad I’ll get to see some of it via you!

  7. Denise in Georgia says:

    Beautiful pictures! We hope to get out west one of these years.

  8. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Wonderful photo essay! We’ve been to that area and Bluff on our Monument Valley tour one year. Someday (there I go with that word again) want to go back and camp at Goosenecks State Park. Enjoy your trip.

  9. Excellent photo essay, Sue. I really like the burro pictures. Can’t wait to see the new camp.

  10. Nora now in Virginia Beach VA says:

    Hi Sue,
    The West is on next year’s itinerary! On the way now to Maine. Thanks for the inspiration. Always enjoy your posts and photos of horses, the dogs and scenery even if I rarely comment.

  11. AZ Jim says:

    Some nice character shots of the Donkeys. They always seem so calm. I remember how they invade you immediately upon leaving your vehicle in Oatman, AZ famous for it’s donkeys in town. Detta was feeding them carrots one time and you could hardly see her in the crowd of donkeys. Fun. Nice pics Missy….

  12. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Hi Hi Hi!!! Gosh I miss the burros and donkey’s we saw outside of Red Rock near Vegas. I don’t like the city lights, I like those rocks… so fun!

    Stay safe. We are in midst of our Walk, Roll & Stroll this weekend. I am trying VERY hard to NOT get jumpy and freaked out. I keep telling myself it is what it is. It will all come about… all will be good… blah blah blah!

    Hugs from Hoquiam!

  13. Lynn Brooks says:

    Thanks for sharing!!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore)

  14. Susan in Dallas says:

    Ooooo, burros and horses? Cuteness overload. I kept looking for a stray cow. . . . but the burros made up for the lack of bovines. Beautiful country.

  15. Retiredcajunlady 'N LA says:

    Life Elevated! I love that phrase and so true for you! Beautiful pictures as always. I did see the family in the needle rocks. Amazing how Mother Nature’s handiwork inspires our imaginations. You are blessed to be able to live your life the way you do, Sue. And we are blessed that you share your photos and thoughts with us all.

  16. katydid in Chicago says:

    I have been enjoying your posts from Arizona and now Utah. This fall and winter will be the first in our own full-time journeys. We plan to travel south from Chicago to the gulf coast. We want to keep our first few seasons simple. I can hardly wait until the following winter and spring so we can explore the southwest. Your blog and photos are such an inspiration. Thank you Sue, for that inspiration as well as the great information in your blog posts.

  17. Kristi & Daisie (Nampa, ID) says:

    I stayed one night at the Cadillac RV Park on my way down to Texas. Nice for a one-night stay. I thought the whole area was beautiful and would love to visit it again some day. It was so quiet and peaceful there.

  18. Jane in Bremerton, WA says:

    Wonderful pictures, as always! So many places to follow your journeys, it will keep me busy when I can get on the road! Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas.

  19. Dawn in Asheville, NC says:

    Never can get me ‘enuff burro and horsie pics 🙂 Absolutely gorgeous…keeps me motivated. I’m should have enough saved up to get serious this fall about finding that little road troll I want (one of those old toyota motorhomes). Stubborn, overweight and underpowered…just like me!

    Oh, see – I remembered to put my location in my name this time. Can’t promise next time…LOL.

  20. Good afternoon Sue and crew. Thank you for bringing back happy memories of my vacation last year. Had a delicious breakfast at the chat charming restaurant in Bluff before venturing out to see the petroglyphs near the river. The water was still contaminated by the wanton EPA spill in Colorado. Still furious. Hoping that the water is now safe. Enjoying your blog immensely. Be safe and happy. Toodles.

  21. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    How Ironic i just finished reading about your times at goosenecks this morning, valley of the Gods, and more, and read that you are on your way to Bluff.
    Have Fun!

  22. Rick & Brock the Dog, WA says:

    Hi Sue!
    This is why I like your blog so much….cuteness and red rock! I was wondering why I missed the campground you’re at. After looking at the map I realized I came in on the Burr Trail road and took the ferry over to hwy 276, then up to hwy 275 and down hwy 261 to Mexican Hat. From there I went south to Page. Now I’ll have to come back to camp and see the Petroglyphs. Thanks for the wonderful pictures!!

  23. Calvin R (still in Ohio) says:

    Outstanding post!

    I enjoyed the burros, and I agree that the pictures capture their character. The lone horse against the red rock backdrop was downright inspirational. Reggie studying the storm and that last picture of Bridge show their spirits. And I’ve always like pictures of highways through natural places. The combination probably explains my character. Of course, all the pictures are good, and I enjoy the red rocks just like most blogorinos.

    • Calvin R (still in Ohio) says:

      Forgot to mention: I saw the family in that picture of the needle rocks. That’s a real surprise!

  24. Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas says:

    Sue…thank you for this very special post..I love the horses & donkeys in particular. I’ve raised many a donkey, and you can’t find a better pet(except for dogs, of course). They are such gentle, loving creatures!! Don’t know if you are familiar with the legend of the donkey’s cross, but thought I would share it for those that aren’t.


    The story is told that the donkey that had been Jesus’ mount on Palm Sunday, came to the hill of Calvary.

    Seeing the tragic event taking place, he wished with all his heart that he had been able to carry the cross for Jesus, as he was the proper one to carry heavy burdens.

    Ashamed of what was happening, the donkey turned his back on the sight, but would not leave for he wished to stay until all was over because of his love for Jesus.

    In reward for the loyal and humble love of the little donkey, the Lord cast the shadow of the cross to fall across his back and left it there for the donkey to carry forever more as a sign that the love of God, no matter how humble, carries a reward for all of us to see.

    Published by The American Donkey & Mule Society

  25. AlanOutandAbout - Pahrump says:

    I thought you might be heading to Sand Island. You always liked it there and it is a well located campground.
    Well I leave for Alpine on Saturday and get there on Sunday. Then it will be AlanOutAndAbout – Alpine. 🙂


  26. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue,

    This is such a wonderful area. The pictures are just beautiful. I am sure you and the crew are just loving this.

    Now, I posted late on your last post and decided to wait for a new post to post this information in the comments.

    As some of the blogorinos know, I help admin an RV group on Facebook. From that group one of the gals in that group and I became facebook friends. That was about a year ago we became friends. In the last month I noticed on her personal facebook page her and her husband were going through some difficult times.

    They have been full time RV’ers since around Nov. 2012. They are from the Seattle area and recently had been in GA visiting a grandson before continuing on their adventure. While there her husband was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. So after some initial treatment there, the plan was to head back home to Seattle where friends and family are as well as one of the top 5 cancer centers in the country.

    As they are preparing to leave with their Class A Motorhome, that her husband has to drive because she has never learned to drive it and was scared to, and then she drives their car as they are not set up to tow, the transmission went out on the car she drives. So they found another car on CL and used up their reserves for additional emergencies and set out to head home.

    They got to just outside of Atlanta and the 1988, MH, that her husband is driving breaks down along the interstate. So they are off on the side interstate and call AAA who they have be paying for years, to get a tow. Long story short here, they waited 4 to 5 hours for AAA to tell them they couldn’t find a tow truck for their 28′ MH and they were on their own. So they called around and after being on the side of the interstate for 6 hours with their 3 small dogs, they finally got towed.

    I was in touch with this gal privately and asked her if she cared if I reached out to our RV group without revealing their names to see if we could get them some help. She hated to ask but was so concerned about her husband since he had just had surgery and radiation treatments in the last 2 weeks.

    So between 2 RV groups working together we raised enough money that went into their pay pal account to pay for the tow that AAA should have taken care of and the MH repair. They are on their way and keeping in touch with us. She revealed herself to the groups and we now have people ready along their route should they need help as they are wanting to be back for a June 2nd appt for her husband. They still had about 2700 miles to go.

    What came out of this first off and was discussed in our RV group was AAA for RV towing. They have the AAA plan for RV’s but it sounds like quite a few have had trouble just like these people did. A couple had positive experiences but far more had bad ones.

    The suggested insurance for towing with RV’s was Coach-net. Just wanted to let you all know of this issue with AAA an according to some Good Sam towing was similar. We had tow truck drivers and company owners explained that these companies just don’t want to pay so the companies quit contracting with them but anyone who has went with this Coach-net had nothing but good to say.

    So since so many that follow this blog travel and camp, I wanted to let you know what came out of this discussion about AAA insurance.

    Have a great day everyone!!

    • Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

      Hi Jolene, been following. Nice job by everyone to help them.

    • chas anderson says:

      I can report that Good Sam has left me stranded twice.The last time they said no one was available.I found a Good Sam guy in Moab on my own and had him call Good Sam himself.He said that the phone operators were told to not call anyone who had over 50 miles to travel.Anywhere out west is 50 miles away.Finally I told the guy that I would pay him directly and he came.Had another similar event in New Mexico where the operator told me to limp along I-40 on the shoulder for 50 miles with a blown wheel bearing.They are BEYOND horrible.

      Found out that Good Sam is operated by Allstate a notoriously bad auto insurer.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Jolene, and the RV community for the help given this couple. Thanks also for sharing the story here.

    • Nancy from South Georgia says:

      What a nice story, Jolene. I can add to the AAA stories…..recently had a dead battery on my 26-foot Class C, thankfully, it was not in the storage facility or worse, out on a trip. Called AAA which was a complete waste of time, then called Good Sam and they had someone out within half an hour. In two minutes it was charged and fixed. Never will I call on AAA, and my policy with them expires this month, and guess what…..

  27. Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

    Hi Sue, still trying to keep up…lots of things going on, but I am able to read every post, sometimes just not enough time to answer or comment. Thanks to everyone who missed me and said so… 🙂

  28. WI & FL Beverly says:

    Just a beautiful part of the country. My favorite of all of the photos is the lone horse with the mountain background. You sure have an eye for composition.

  29. Rocky Mtn Bob says:

    Sue, Now you’re in some of my old “stomping grounds”, enjoy the pix. Never saw that many donkeys and horses when I traveled thru there, (35-45 yrs ago), when on the reservation watch for sheep & goats being moved in morning and eve. Urban folks not used to ranch/farm country better stay on the Interstates, “cus you’re going to run into critters and slow moving machinery”. Back in the early 70’s we would come upon “horse drawn” wagons (on the reservation), on the hiways at 70 mph, exciting coming over a knoll at that speed. Eventually they put in 55 mph, and most of the tribe eventually got “pickups”.
    I enjoyed my time working in that area, and did work with the Navajo’s at times, but I can see where Easterners or lifetime urban folks would be frustrated, need patience, slow down and enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I did see sheep and goats. Not many and not in a place to make a good photo…. Interesting comment, Bob.

  30. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    The rock formations in Utah are just magnificent and you’re just starting your trip into the state this year. I love the photo of the lone horse in front of the red rock. The burros are so cute. The one taking it’s time crossing the street was funny, kind of reminds me of the turkeys around here. Bridget sure looks happy in her car, what a smile!

  31. weather says:

    Sometimes after I read your posts, enjoy the photos, study each of them and read the narrative again to take in the story as a whole, I walk away for a bit as I did today. I’ve been busy with wonderful things so wanted time to reconsider those and my thoughts about your May 12th experiences. A day spent seeing soul stirring, awe inspiring, exciting, breath taking or just sweet things and creatures like the burros is far from ordinary. I imagine being all set within that campground and the BLT with Bridget and Reggie was the perfect combination needed to bring you back to earth so to speak.Home’s calm and familiarity from which to ponder and appreciate all the previous hours must have felt especially welcome. That morning may have seemed longer ago than it really was by that evening.

    There are great qualities that I enjoyed in all the pictures. The lone horse one as a stand alone photograph is pure art. How “you” to see the rock as folds of velvet…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Editing photos also is a time when I “ponder and appreciate” what we saw and experienced. 🙂

      • weather says:

        That’s an aspect of the personal significance of your photography I hadn’t given much thought to before. In a different way than we readers do you must treasure your previous posts at times and likely will throughout the future. It’s nice to think that your blogging benefits you in memories of what’s behind as so many benefit by looking forward to what we see and read here.

  32. Geri says:

    You are now in our favorite part of the country! LOVE LOVE LOVE Canyon de Chelly! I first went there a few decades ago when I was traveling alone, living in my cab-over truck camper, Some years later, I got to take my mom thereand we hiked down to the Whitehouse Ruins. Finally, I got to introduce Chuck to the Canyon. We have been there twice, They have a very nice boondocking campground there if you enter from Chinle. Finally you get to see the road from Chinle to Bluff!!! AMAZING! JAW DROPPING BEAUTY !! This is my most favorite corner of the planet Earth! Sand Island is such a great campground too! Yup, you did it! I am envious! hahaha !!!!
    Give the fur babies hugs from us! We love ya’ll!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri… Sweet memories of our time together in Bluff and at Sand Island!

      BTW, I don’t know the “boondocking campground.” Maybe they’re charging a fee now.

      • Geri says:

        They do charge a small fee but like at Sand Island, there is no electric or water at the site. The only electric is there for the camp host. Huge cottonwood trees provide shade and comfort. Very nice place to camp!

  33. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Beautiful pictures Sue. Amazing rock, I did see the family. I really like the pic of Reggie in a previous post where he was excited having just met another dog. That was priceless the way you captured him. Looked like all four paws in the air.
    Have to skip comment reading some days.lately. Getting ready to pull our Taylor coach to Wisconsin to attend a wedding in a couple of weeks. I have used the All Stays app to find a few campgrounds. One is in a national forest but not far off the highway. Which one we choose will depend on how many hours we drive the first day. I would rather be planning a trip to Arizona or Utah, but this will have to do for now. I love looking at maps and packing the trailer, don’t like having to leave the dog behind though.

  34. Judy J. in upstate S.C. says:

    Absolutely stunning pics; you are quite the pro now! Fell in love with burros at Custer State Park, where they would stick their heads in our open car windows. My highlight in life the last few days…got to cuddle two 8 hours old baby kids: the goat type! Thanks for bringing extra joy with each post.

  35. Linda-NC says:

    Wonderful photos of beautiful country! Now you know and I know that Reggie was reading that sign as well as checking out the storm:)) Wonder dog sees all! Have a great camp tonight and keep the photos coming. I am enjoying the journey.

  36. Cool! I didn’t know about this place. I’ll be heading that way in a week or so, so this is timely information.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s easy to drive right by the turn for Sand Island as the campground/boat launch area is not visible from the main road and the scenery is very distracting. Look for the brown road sign…

  37. Judy in East texas says:

    Once again you supplied an awesome inspiring photo essay. I will have good dreams tonight remembering those beautiful sites….

    Stay safe out there and rock on, judy

  38. Darling donkeys and rockin’ red mountains (yes, the family is awesome), but the lone horse is definitely my favorite. You always find such nice places with water nearby. Welcome to Utah :-)))

  39. Mona from West Texas says:

    Wow! You have truly inspired me to pack the RV and head out. I just purchased the New Mexico and Arizona maps , using your Amazon link. Once again Thank-You for taking time to post those beautiful pictures. I have been taking notes and will be cruising the SouthWest.

  40. Cynthia Hilt says:

    Beautiful pictures!! I love the burros!

  41. Linda Hughes- North Carolina says:

    These pics are great! Love the pic of the single multicolored horse, love them all! Utah look so beautiful. Once again you have shown us such interesting sights. Take care and safe travels!

  42. Steve says:

    We loved Utah, I definitely want to go back. We enjoyed Zion, Bryce and Cedar Breaks, but one of my favorites was Snow Canyon, a state park NW of St. George. Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef are still on my “must see” list.

    I love the mountains, but I’m realizing reading your blog (still catching up on the earlier blog) how much I love the desert too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think you’ll enjoy the photos of Snow Canyon when you get to that post. I “gave” Snow Canyon to myself as a birthday present last October. It’s one of my favorites, too.

  43. Wut? We’re STILL stuck at ‘home’ and you’re STILL out living the dream? Life is NOT fair! We got our roof project (phase 1 of 4) on the rental done for this year, got two homemade shade awnings over upstairs West-facing windows put up (all the neighbors are envious of our tenants) *and* got the gate post replaced. By Sat/21st, we will have been here (camping and working in the back yard for FREE) for two months . . . the HOA caught up with us (again — we knew it was coming sooner or later) and now we have to move! Couldn’t be happier . . . was wondering what was taking them so long. :o)
    I’m also playing around with a classic Glastron tri-hull on a really nice Shoreline trailer we got for $150. So, come Saturday, I’ll be moving our house to a FREE campground on a reservoir near here — replete with pit toilet, tall pines, SHADE, and all that implies while I pursue a Shantyboat conversion of this tri-hull which will let us sleep aboard on the future river of our choice (inspired by spending so much FREE time ON and camped near the Colorado River (AZ side — south of Ehrenberg) last winter.
    Annie is flying out for a week to Monterey, CA — to be with her Dad and only sister to spread her Mom’s ashes at sea — so me and the boys (two large cats — brothers; only siblings — survivors and rescue kitties) get to hang out and be ‘bachelors’ for a bit. I miss my wife when she’s gone and I don’t mean to under-value that in any way BUT I kinda’ like a little ME time too and I’m sure you can relate. Enjoy living the dream vicariously through you — especially when we’re unable. :o)

  44. John L. says:

    Sue, you always find the best places to camp!! I’m headed to the Coconino in August, thinking about just the van but may end up bringing the STEALTH trailer as well….I know your rules, but may lurk behind you sometime to find these great spots….lolol..BE WELL and Safe Travels!

  45. chas anderson says:

    More proof that southern Utah is the greatest place on earth.My favorite memory is being parked with our travel buddies on the rim of the Goosenecks grilling 4 ribeyes and drinking Heinekens while my old dog Juice slept in front of me overlooking the river.

  46. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    The donkeys and burros are adorable!

    Southern Utah is on our bucket list! Thanks for the photos! The rock formations are awesome!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules… Any news from Arizona? 🙂

      Actually a lot of what you see in this post is Arizona (Navajo Nation)…

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        The house in AZ is all set up and ready for our occupancy in Sept.

        Got to enjoy the 112 weather and ate Mexican food until we couldn’t swallow! Real Guacamole! The residents seem very nice…or just wanted to check us out! “You both look too young to live here”. Our neighbor on the left is there 2 weeks out of a year and the ones on the right are seasonal.

  47. Pam and Maya, Still in NY says:

    I camped at Sand Island last year! Can’t wait to see your post about it. Hugs to all.

  48. Oh my goodness, that was enjoyable!

  49. Maia says:

    Vicariously enjoying your travels through your wonderfully paced storytelling and your beautiful photos. If you can do it, I will too–when the time comes.

  50. nikki says:

    Sand Island is one of my favorite places. Thanks for the reminder.
    Sue, do you plan to put the financial pages back up?


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, nikkie . . . No, I’ve discontinued the financial pages for now. I may post something at some point, but have no plans for that soon.

  51. Pamelab in Houston says:

    Hi, Sue and crew –
    Thank you for all your beautiful photos. I also enjoyed the slideshow of the buffalo, burros, and pronghorns from a previous post.
    I have been reading your posts on my phone, and then want to comment on my laptop, but then I am late in the comments and just wait.
    Happy Trails, and thank you for sharing.
    Pamelab in Houston…for now.

  52. Milliehubbard says:


  53. Elaine in Colorado says:

    Oh Sue, I’m loving your pictures and adventures! The crew seem so happy!

  54. Nancy from South Georgia says:

    Cannot come up with adequate words for the photos, so here’s a few song lyrics:

    Wild, wild horses
    couldn’t drag me away….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope that’s true, Nancy, because I’d hate to “lose” you from my blog!

  55. Corkerinna620 (Mobile AL) says:

    Such beautiful pics. So enjoyed.

Comments are closed.