Dwayne had some business in Farmington, NM and needed some riding partners. Ray and I just needed an excuse to get out on the open road and the weather was near perfect. We left Salt Lake City on Friday morning and rode straight down to Farmington. We stopped at the famous Hole in Rock in Moab along the way and in Green river for lunch. Ray and I camped at Mom and Pops RV in Farmington. It was a nice place where you actually didn’t need quarters for a shower. Bonus!
Ray and I had planned on doing a loop to Pagosa Springs while Dwayne was doing business in Farmington. I needed to scout the area a bit to get ready for the 2014 season. We would then meet back up with Dwayne in Durango later in the day. Pagaosa Springs is a ride that we take on the rest day from Durango, which is on the Eastern Utah & Western Colorado Tour. We took off in the morning and headed for Dulce, NM. Along the way we stopped to check out Navajo Reservoir. When we rolled up to the damn we noticed around 100 people fishing the same section of the dam. They were lined up like sardines and the fish were boiling. They were knocking them dead, cast after cast. It was amazing to watch!
When we got to Pagaosa Springs we looked around and scouted out the Pagosa Springs Resort. It has grown from the last time I was there and it looks amazing! It offers 23 different hot mineral pools which would feel great after a long ride. There was no rest for Ray and I though! We had to eat some lunch and keep moving to meet Dwayne in Durango.
On the way to Durango I got a text from Dwayne saying that he was running late with his business and that we would have to go on without him. We had planned on splitting up at some point anyway because Dwayne had to be back by noon for some family activities. So Ray and I headed for Hovenweep National Monument, which is kind of off the beaten path. We got there just in time to have a chat with a staff member inside the visitors center and get a map. The sun was setting, which made it challenging to get photos. Hovenweep is an amazing place and I plan on returning when I have a little more time. Isn’t that the story of life! There is a campground there as well, which is where I would like to stay next time. We managed to hike to most of the ruins and get some pictures before departing for Natural Bridges National Monument where we had planned on camping. It was starting to get dark as we road over to Natural Bridges and when we got there the campground was full. It is a very small campsite. I found a flat area for tents near the rest room, so we said, “what the heck!” We threw down some tents and decided it was good enough for us. We paid for it and threw in a few extra bucks, not knowing if a ranger would show up and try to throw us out!
We woke up to a beautiful morning and the warmest day of the trip. We made our way along the 9 mile loop exploring each stop, seeing each bridge and the ruins. I got some decent pictures, you would have had to really hike in to get the best shots. I’ll have to come back here as well!
After spending half the day on the loop, we geared up and headed for highway 95. Glen Canyon and all of highway 95 has to be some of the most awe inspiring sections of road in the state. Red rock for miles!
After getting off highway 95, we jumped on highway 24 in Hanskville and the red rock continued throw Capitol Reef. It was an amazing ride! I think I could put an incredible tour together covering this part of Utah.