Saturday, June 26, 2010


Some days start so innocently and then turn into an adventure. Since the forecast temperature for Moab was 98 degrees for today, we hit the road at 6:00, figuring that we would be there and gone before it really heated up. On Interstate 70, we passed a music festival at Mack, CO which looked like a western Woodstock, must have been a thousand cars there.

We made really good time to the Cisco turnoff for the back way into Moab, which is designated as a scenic byway called the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, we call it the Guzzetta Cutoff. And Scenic it was, If you are ever in this part of the world, be sure and take Utah state route 128 between Moab and Cisco, UT. This is an incredible drive down a sandstone canyon with the Colorado River on its way to the Grand Canyon. Towering sandstone buttes and canyon walls at every turn.
The Guzzetta Cutoff, we were a little worried at first.

Especially when we saw this.

But then it turned into this.
and this

and this

After brunch in Moab, we took a drive up into Arches National Park, wow, the arches, the buttes and the sandstone pinnacles are so spectacular. These puny little pictures cannot begin to portray them. If you look real close, you can see people standing in the bottom of these arches. 

We came out of the Arches shortly after noon, and decided that we could easily make Salina, Ut for our overnight stop. We refueled one more time in Moab and made a beeline for Salina, a distance of (we now know) 159 miles. (Do the math) John asked if we wanted to stop in Green River and we said Naaaa. Now this is where the day became very interesting. Heading west, we encountered some endless climbs in second over and a blasted headwind that reduced my speed on the flats to 40 mph at full throttle and gobbled gas at an ungodly rate. Plus, we started smelling gasoline. We stopped at a rest stop just before exit 116 and John and I discussed the situation. Both of us were wondering if we could make Salina. While I changed the float valve in the carburetor, Patti and Judy bought some Indian jewelry from a little native American boy. His father materialized from somewhere and they had a discussion about the nearest gasoline station. He gave them some directions that sounded like we ended up on a gravel road somewhere, sounded like the twilight zone. They also tried to buy some gasoline while John and I worked. First truck that came in was a working pickup that looked like he should be carrying gasoline. Turned out it was a diesel pickup, and he normally did carry some gas but none today. Next a truck pulling a boat came in, looked like a sure thing, no luck, but they did offer Patti an empty 5 gallon can. Meanwhile, carburetor was back together, seemed okay, so away we went. On the first upgrade, we discovered that it was bucking and starving for fuel so we pulled over at the next exit #116.

John and I continued to work on the carbuetor, while Patti and Judy flagged down another pickup truck. He had about an inch of gasoline in a can. He did say however that if we continued down 803 and turned left onto 10, we would find gasoline in the town of Emery, and if the gas station was closed, just go knocking on doors and they would come and open it. We noted that the map said that was a dirt road, but he assured us that it was paved all the way. After more tinkering on the carburetor, looked like it was solved again, so off we went. This time the engine was a little raggedy, backfiring every time I lifted my foot off the gas, and the gas gauge was going down rapidly as we watched. After about 25 nervous miles heading to the NW off the freeway, we did finally come to the little town of Emery. And it did have gas pumps, even though the first one we saw was out of order (gulp), but the second one was okay. We filled both cars and I drove off to find a shade tree. Incidentally, they had tee shirts for sale that said, I ran out of gas in Emery which was very appropriate. More work on the carburetor, mixing and matching parts from my two units. Where is Chris Pelikan when you need him? Anyway, I finally got a combination that didn't leak and which ran smoothly, no more backfiring or missing. And that's how we finished into Salina, collapsed and had a beer.

We spent 12 hours on the road today, not necessarily moving all the time. and with all the zigging and zagging that we did, it turned out that we covered 395 miles. Whew!! Thanks to John and Judy for sticking with us.

This evening, we did receive an email from Beamans, who also had a little gasoline experience.
"Almost ran out of gas today. When we got to Wells, NV Bob put 10.2 gallons in the car, so we must have an 11 gal tank. It was close to spitting out in the middle of no where! We came down a small road (hwy 93) from Twin Falls to Jackpot, NV and thought it was mostly down hill. Wrong. We went up and up and up and then there was road work and we had to stop twice! Bob turned the car off a couple times and we coasted when there was a small downhill between the ups! Quite interesting. Won't let the tank get below 1/2 again! "


M3 said...

Oh my word, another day packed with adventure!!! Wow. Safe travels tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a busy LONG day. Beautiful pics once again.We had a busy day too. The picnic was really nice,the park was real pretty. There was a big turnout too.Than we went to the Wilkinsons anniversary party. It was really nice .Her kids did a beautiful job...Tell you more later. Be safe.

Anonymous said...

That was one for the record books can't buy memories like that. But then, why would you buy that, anyway? Oy...
John & Judy

TubaDad said...

That's a crazy day! I wound up on a dirt road in the middle of Utah or Arizona or Nevada about 20 years ago. I just remember it being in the middle of a desert-like area. I didn't think I'd ever see civilization again, and I had one DIRTY car when I finally made it back to pavement. Glad you found gas!

Anonymous said...

One-Half tank is Norene's rule!