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2010/03/21 - The Arches Fiasco - Mountain View RV Park, Monticello, UT

Posted 03-24-2010 at 02:51 PM by Phantom

Day 126, Camp 45 (1 night @ $25 per night)
2010/03/21
Mountain View RV Park
Monticello, UT
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We left Zion and headed up I-15, then east on I-70, starting at mile zero! Didn't realize I-70 ends (or begins) here in Utah. I was already dispirited because we decided to skip Bryce Canyon National Park, which I had
really wanted to see. It is 8,000 feet elevation... still snowy with nights in the low teens. We drove past and through the Dixie and Fremont National Forests. The road climbed and climbed. Snow on the ground anywhere over 5.000'. We got to 6,000' then 6,500'... then 6,600' I figured we were about at the highest point in the days travels. Then we topped a pass at 7.180'. I was not very comfortable driving in the mountains. Speed limit 75 mph. Lots of long downhill runs of 6% grades. I don't think I went over 55 or 60 all day long. Everybody on the road passed me today. Then we topped a pass at 7,800'! We skipped by Capitol Reef... too far out of the way. Got down to Arches around 4:30 pm after 7 1/2 hours of driving... to find the campground full! Apparently they have been taking reservations since January! My bad for not checking or calling ahead. There were people everywhere! I hadn't counted on 'spring Break' either! Gobs of people! Many of the little BLM campgrounds were full as well! Didn't feel like driving up into the mountains on gravel roads in hopes of finding a site. Headed south through Moab. Completely crazy, mobbed tourist mecca. The sleepy little desert town I'd remembered from 35 years ago is gone! We headed south looking for a BLM camp close to the road. Missed a couple possibilities. Bad planning on my part. Ended up 25 miles south with no desire to go back. Kept going on south, got to the town of Monticello at 6:30 pm.... 9 hours on the road! It was getting dark. Took the first RV park we found. The Mountain View RV Park was barely open, not yet plowed out, no water, just electric if you could reach a post around 3 feet of snow! They did have a toilet & shower building operational. We 'camped' in the driveway without even unhitching. $25. What a fiasco! So bummed out at missing 4 great parks in Utah. Will try to see them another year in the fall... hopefully without the masses of people.
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