Tuesday, November 1, 2011 (Travel to Canyon de Chelly National Monument Park, Chinle, Arizona)

First of all, I would like to send great big birthday wishes to our dear friend, Nancy (Cawsey)...we both hope you have a wonderful day!
It was 9:30 as we pulled out of Goosenecks State Park...and another beautiful day for travel.  We retraced our route here for about 17 miles to highway 191 where we headed south.  Our destination today is Canyon de Chelly, a National Monument Park that looks quite interesting.
We made one stop along the way at a small town to use their restrooms and to see if the small store had any mousetraps...amazingly enough, they did.  Look out Mickey...you’re not welcome in our 5th wheel!
As we entered the town of Chinle, Arizona, we turned east on Main Street...Canyon de Chelly National Monument Park was just a couple more miles.  After stopping at the Visitors Centre, we learned that one loop of the campground was closed for the season and she also thought that the water had been turned off as well.  She said that the sites would probably not be big enough for us but since it wasn’t busy, it wouldn’t be an issue if we parked our truck in another site.  She said that the road was narrow and windy and that we might have problems.  Well, we’ll go try...we wanted to see the canyon and there were no other camping options in the area.
As it turned out, we had no problem...the site we chose would have been long enough for both the truck and trailer had we backed the 5th wheel so that the wheels were at the end of the pavement but then we wouldn’t be able to use our rear stabilizers. Since the campground is not busy (and it’s free) we decided to just park the truck in the site across the road.  Yes, the campground is free...bonus!
Steve was outside getting things set up when a fellow and his wife and young daughter walked by..."long time no see" he yelled...they had been camped at Goosenecks last night.  They are also from BC and run Skihist and Gold Pan  provincial campgrounds there in the summer and go south in the winter.  Apparently they are full time RVer’s as well...that’s a different lifestyle for a young family.
After we got all set up we thought we would go for a walk over to the lodge next door.  As we were walking through the campground, we noticed a truck and 5th wheel entering...gee, that looks like the rig that had camped at Goosenecks too.  Well, it was...when we got back from our walk, they were setting up camp across the road from us and yelled over.  We hadn’t talked with them when we were at Goosenecks but now we had quite a chat with them.  They were from Sacramento, California and had just retired and started full-timing at the end of June.  After talking with them for about 10 minutes, we invited them over to join us for happy hour and left them to go back and finish getting set up.
While we had been talking to Dave and Jan, our neighbours on the other side of us had returned.  They were also from BC...Prince George...and were on their way to Apache Junction, AZ for the winter.  We have met a lot of BC’ers in the past couple of days...all heading south for the winter.
Although very windy out this afternoon, the sun was shining so we set up chairs outside...Dave and Jan joined us as did Tom and his wife from next door.  We all sat chatting for over an hour until the sun had gone down behind the mountain and the wind was just getting too chilly.  It was 6:00...time to go in and get dinner going anyway.  We all said our goodbyes.  Tom and his wife are leaving in the morning but Dave and Jan, like us, will be staying for another day to see the canyon.
We had our usual evening and when we went to bed, Steve set up the mousetraps...I listened to him curse as the traps kept snapping as he tried to set them...touchy little things!

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