Arches National Park, then on to Colorado
June 17, 2013 | When I gased up at the only open gas station in Torrey, Utah, the pumps were playing GSTV — Gas Station Television. It's bad enough we have to pump our own gas, and we don't need to have commercials playing at us while we do it.
The Red Sand Hotel in Torrey, Utah, is to be congratulated: it is the first hotel I have stayed at with a toaster in the breakfast room that actually works well enough to make the wires get red. I mean, little things mean a lot.
I continued on the Scenic Byway up to Interstate 70. The terrain was more of the same: down into the bottom of a canyon then climb back up to the rim of the plateau. Even along the I-70 the scenery is quite spectacular. I stopped at a rest area that promised a view. It did fulfill that promise.
Unfortunately, there were two new things at this rest area. (1) Flies, the first bugs I have encountered on this trip. (2) Indian women whose cars took up most of the parking spaces and whose trinket-laden blankets blocked most access to the viewing area. Sheesh!
Sunday evening I had made a service appointment on the web with a Toyota dealer in Grand Junction, Colorado, to have Sophie's brakes checked out, since she has been squawking every time I press the brake pedal. When I finally came back into cell phone range, I had a voicemail from the dealer saying that they were "having trouble" with the website and they didn't get all of my information. If I would call, they would be happy to help me.
So I called, and instead of the indicated availability for 10am tomorrow (Tuesday), the smug young "service representative" who answered the phone informed me that the earliest they could fit me in would be Thursday afternoon. "But your website...." "That's not accurate." Well, gee, thanks for nothing. Great service you provide there!
When I got to Grand Junction I found another Toyota dealer in the phone book who said the earliest they could fit me in would be Wednesday. I shed figurative crocodile tears, being on a road trip, not feeling safe, etc, until this representative finally agreed to fit me in at 1pm tomorrow (Tuesday). And wouldn't you know?! When I went out to dinner tonight, Sophie had stopped squawking. Don't you just hate when cars do that? I'll take her in anyway and have her checked out. Maybe even give her a vaginal ultrasound as punishment! As they say, better safe...
But before proceeding to Grand Junction, I hopped on down to Arches National Park. More rocks, of course, but quite different. At the beginning of the park, there are absolutely mammoth red sandstone monoliths. The eponymous arches are way down yonder towards the end of the scenic drive.
I stopped to check out the famous Delicate Arch that, frankly, didn't look all that delicate to me. But then, I was half a mile away from the arch, so what do I know? I had followed the signs to a "viewpoint" (which turns out to be different that going to the arch itself) since the hike to the actual arch was more than I wished to tackle. As it turned out, there were two viewpoints, a "lower" one and an "upper" one. I, of course, took the trail to the upper one. They forgot to mention how many twists and turns there were in that very short distance if one were a flying crow, and they certainly forgot to mention how steep was the trail. But you know the saying, "In for a penny, in for a pound," and I persevered until I got to the damned upper viewpoint. I'm here to assure one and all that it would have been highly disappointing if I'd not had a good telephoto lens, because without it, that ol' arch looked terribly puny, indeed.
I went on to the end of the road, as a matter of course, and stopped to hike in to the Sand Dune Arch. Well, it was an arch. And it was in the middle of a sand dune that had been carved into slices. My weary old bod judged it probably not worth the effort.
So here I am in Grand Junction, which seems to be a fairly large town. I went out to eat at a place down the street from the hotel called the Village Inn. I was disappointed that they did not serve any alcohol, but I was surprised that my "smothered chicken breasts" (buried under mushrooms, peppers, and melted cheese) came with two big slabs of garlic toast, a Caesar salad, and two side dishes — all for the ridiculously low price of $11.60. That included a bottomless glass of iced tea as well. My server was, I think, even older than I am and dispensed Hons and Dears liberally.
The unexpected delay will give me a chance to do the laundry and buy a new belt. All this trudging hither and yon has been good for the waistline. I know, most of you won't even think it shows, but as a practical matter my pants keep falling down!
Last updated on May 12, 2016