A seemingly long, long time ago before social distancing requires so much room I join Leyman, Jane and a few others from the campground for Monday Jeep jaunts. We re-visit the Mexican Poppies along the Gamez trail. Another day we head north of town for a nice loop along sandy washes over an old stone dam and through the desert. On our last trip, we spend a day making the 30 minute trip out to Empire Ranch.
Now, complying with this state’s stay at home orders has curtailed our off road adventuring. If you are like me tired of being imprisoned behind invisible bars, this post finds you ready for some distraction. I long for the freedom of travel and the feel of a good hug!
Can I Offer You a Virtual Escape?
Since I can’t share a hug with you, I will share a little tour (see video at the end of this post) of the Historic Empire Ranch. This amazing ranch located on BLM land is open for self tours at all times. Under normal circumstances, the onsite gift shop and visitor center is also open a few days each week. We spend a lovely and challenging 4 hours working our way out to the ranch. I test my driving skills on steep, rocky inclines through cattle created obstacles consisting of both actual cattle and inconveniently located steaming cow pies.
On each trip, I expand my tests of the whistles and ring all the bells on the Rubicon. After I read the actual Jeep book (a last resort, but I have nothing but time now), I should be ready for the scenic trails in Moab. Of course, that is if Moab ever re-opens to visitors. Right now, non-residents are not allowed to stay in Moab. To paint a picture of what traveling RVers are up against, here is an excerpt from a recent post on the Grand County Facebook (Moab, Utah) page.:
1. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has set-up locations near popular visitor and camping areas and increased patrol efforts countywide for the entire weekend. The public educational period has come to a close and enforcement should be expected for any non-residents who are found to be camping in the county. Radio public service announcements (PSA) with Sheriff White will air this weekend, stating that non-resident camping is not allowed.
3. A statewide effort will begin on Friday, April 10th to survey all out of state visitors who enter Utah. In our area, this will occur near the Utah/Colorado state line via the wireless alerting system. When a traveler enters the region, the nearby cell phone tower will automatically send a message to their cell phones instructing them to pull over and fill out a survey for information and tracking purposes. It should be noted there will be no physical “checkpoints” or roadblocks.
I am sure you understand why I am reluctant to move the motor home until I am sure I won’t find myself stranded with no where to legally park. Staying in a safe place with little Covaid-19 presence like Benson is still the best bet for me I think. Although I am concerned about extending my stay here into the blazing hot summer and monsoon season. If you are in a similar situation and have a suggestion I could use to get to a cooler place for the summer without going through Utah, I am all ears!