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day Nine :: September 27, 2004: 10:43 PM

Sunday, September 26th 2004
Day Nine

We started the day with the odometer at 3210 miles.

After breakfast at the tent, we went into Moab, stopped by the café to upload two days of blog, looked around an awesome mineral shop ( a nest of dinosaur eggs and another of turtles.) and then we set off on our adventures.

We decided to head to Colorado (new state for me! Mike was there in June for a conference), first to Grand Junction and then the Colorado National Monument nearby. There were other ideas if the early part of the day did not go to plan and we had more time…

We decided to try a small road, rather than the main road via which we had first arrived in Moab. Route 128 turned out to be a scenic road but it was never mentioned to us in guide books or locally. There were signs once you were on it. Indeed when we stopped about halfway along at the Dewey historic bridge – a single, actually almost pedestrian, lane suspension bridge that was for decades the only way across the Colorado for Moab inhabitants to get to Grand Junction, they sign mentioned that 128 was considered one of the most scenic routes in America. We believe it - it was fabulous! Towering red cliffs, the somber-looking meandering Colorado river and the usual strangely eroded shapes in the rocks. Huge chunks of rock had fallen out of the cliff wall and stood beside the roadway.

After the bridge the scenery changed to become huge plains and in the middle of this flat, farming landscape there was Cisco. We think it Cisco but it could have been Cisco Landing only. We were welcomed to Cisco by a very beaten up and misspelled hand-painted board leaning outside a derelict, abandoned building. Most of the few buildings were in similar shapes but there were a few RVs and decent trucks and SUVs around and at least one inhabited home: sort of scary. (Coming home Mike wanted to come this way in the dark and I objected somewhat but said he was driving, he could choose…but we came the fast way, still not a light to be seen on either side, but a real, road at least!)

The Grand Junction part was to go shopping…first for a new airbed it did not stay inflated last night, well it was only leaking a bit but we are old dudes now) and secondly Mike has been considering getting one of those plastic cargo carriers for the top of the car. We did not want to get it before we came as the mileage is better without it, but we thought if we were to get it this would be the most convenient. Having something in which to throw camping stuff : the tent, airbed, sleeping bags, pillows …er… armchairs….would make camp break down and set up so much quicker than having to carefully roll and fold to get it all in. But to make it useful enough for the college run four times a year with Joanne, it had to be a full size one. Sears in Grand Junction had one at a better price than we had seen and with free installation. It took the guy ages to do it but eventually we set of in later afternoon for the monument, which was awesome as everything has been and then back to the campsite to eat dinner and make a campfire and me to do this and Mike to do crosswords and us both to drink wine and enjoy the cool, clear desert air.

Two interesting signs on the highway:
One a speed limit sign at the top the regular one (75) and below the one for dust storm driving (30) and instructions – do not stop, keep your distance, slow down. The other to take care because of… EAGLES ON THE ROAD! No….not one….though there was something big flying over the monument (where we saw lizards, rabbits, chipmunks, and deer).

The end of day odometer reading was 3476.

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