Dan is a very friendly guy. When we first arrived at our site at the Blanding RV Park, he struck up a conversation with another camper who stays there for a month at a time and loves it. The guy told Dan about a place to visit in Blanding that wasn’t particularly well known.
It was just 3 miles or so to the Five Kiva Ruin according to his directions, although Google tried to take us on a different road to the west side of the ruin. If we had trusted Google we would have traveled many more miles and still wouldn’t have been able to easily see the ruin.
Five Kiva Ruin hasn’t been protected. There are no rangers present to control access at the ruin. There is a trail going down the cliff side and up the other side to enter the ruin. It has been vandalized over the years, but from our viewpoint on the east side of the canyon it looked wonderful.
The drive north to Moab was only 75 miles and we enjoyed the early morning time to visit the ruin before departing for our next camp. Dan hiked down the trail a bit but toward the bottom it got lost in rocks and brush so he decided against attempting to get closer to the ruin.
Along the road to the ruin is a view of a natural bridge on the opposite side of the small, narrow canyon. The bridge is parallel to the canyon and doesn’t cross it so it a bit difficult to see in the morning light. Look closely at the photo above in the upper right, the bridge is the lighter colored rock toward the top of the photo and the opening behind it was eroded by water to create the bridge.
Returning to our camp, we were packed up and on the road by 11. The highway is decent between Blanding and Moab, passing through the tiny town of Monticello. When traveling in Utah if one is interested in beer or wine it is important to know that neither of those items can be purchased in a grocery store, or on a Sunday anywhere. We stopped in Monticello at the state liquor store on the way back from the Needles on Saturday and found the wine and beer selection to be sadly limited. If you want good wine or dark craft beer, bring it with you to Utah.
Before long we passed the turn to the Needles and the beautiful La Sal mountains dominated the sky to the northeast. The highest peak in the La Sals is more than 12,000 feet high and is the highest point on the Colorado Plateau.
The salmon pink slickrock formed in Navajo and Entrada sandstone forms lovely domes and soft eroded shapes that dominate the landscape as the highway approaches Moab.
We saw a scenic turnout at Wilson Arch, a dramatic window right next to the highway. The parking area was filled, and there were quite a few people crawling up to the arch on the short trail. It was a pretty introduction to our next few days which would be dominated by many arches.
We arrived at the Moab KOA RV Park just after the official 1PM check in time. Our sites were in the upper newer section of the park, with some young trees, sites that were well spaced, and a random occurrence of cement patios. We happened to get a site with a cement patio. Because of this piece of luck, the four of us ate most of our meals at our patio.
Our experience at the park was quite pleasant, with the highway noise only slightly tiresome in the early evening. The people in the part of the park where we camped were considerate and quiet. Most had some form of ATV with them, or a high clearance vehicle of some kind. Others had both, in addition to their electric bikes. I never heard any noise or partying during the entire three nights we camped at the park.
A moment of serendipity happened while we were in Moab. I received a text message from an old friend from my life in Coeur d Alene almost 20 years ago. Joan and her husband, Gordon, had just arrived in Moab and knew from my blog that we were there. In addition, another friend had also arrived in Moab at the same time. Patty and Les and Joan and Gordon were camped in the same park and planned on spending a few days together in the area.
We set up a time to meet and I drove to their park for a short visit. It was great seeing them. None of this was planned, and it seemed amazing to me that all of us ended up in the same place at the same time. Small world for sure.