Sunday, July 5, 2020
I spent the morning driving south through the park. It was reasonably cool and the light was good. A gentleman who had recently moved to Fruita, just below us, started talking photography. He said the night skies are amazing. “See that road down there? You can get between those two monuments and shoot the milky way as it rises through the canyon to our right. You might also want to go to Glade Canyon (?). It’s a rough, gravel/dirt road, but your truck will do great. It has almost as many arches as Arches, and you will have it all to yourself.” We talked a while longer, but those two things were etched in my mind.
By 10:00 every stop was filled with cars. However, I had one spot to myself – the bat cave. It’s a beautiful spot. Several of those white-throated swifts came right in front of me. It’s almost like they fly by just to check you out. I quickly switched settings on the camera to get some action shots, but I never saw them again. I guess there are bat caves here. The sign said they navigate by echo. “Try it”, the sign said. Since there was no one there, I shouted “Hello!” It took 3-4 seconds for a perfect “Hello” to return.
Visitor’s Center opened at 9:00, but only the shop was open. Business was frantic, so there was a waiting line. I took a quick look and went on. I passed up a few crowded spots, but visited a few. Then I made the turn to Glade Canyon, not knowing if I was in the right spot or not. It was now 92 degrees and hot, and I was not really prepared. I had nothing to eat, but had plenty to drink. I am carrying a giant cooler that now has three bags of melted water in it and some bottled water and few Cokes. The further I went up the road, the more I thought I wasn’t prepared for this, especially in this heat, so I turned around, a bit disappointed.
I thought I was getting relaxed about driving this winding road with vertical drop-offs, but I wasn’t. I’m OK when I am on the inside, but when on the outside, I begin creeping along, borrowing more than my share of the yellow line. You wouldn’t want to be drinking and driving this road. I looked it up. One article said 2 or three people die each year, some by accident and some suicidal.
I went back for lunch and then to the laundry. It was wonderful to have air conditioning and WIFI! A nice oriental lady greeted me and changed a $10 for me. I loaded two washers and quickly began uploading pictures. No time to think about it. Just upload! I have taken a bunch of videos, but only managed to load a few. I have one going through the tunnels, which I hope to upload later. A few people came in to pick up laundry. She will do your wash, folding them immaculately and have them ready for you. As soon as I moved my clothes from the washers to the dryers, she was there disinfecting them. She kept the folding disinfected as well. A Clean and Simple Laundry in Grand Junction is the name. I was luck to have found it and lucky it was opened on Sunday, July 5th.
I fixed a small bourbon, trout fillet, corn on the cob and a nice salad. It was hot though, and hot to cook. I took a cold shower, well as cold as the water was in the tank. Then I wrapped ice in a wash cloth, applying it to my head, neck and chest. It was 9:00 before the intense sun finally went down. I explored other options for getting out of this heat. It is 8.5 hours to Stanley, but I didn’t really see anything else that would get me out of the heat.