With the rain fly replacement situation squared away we left South Fork albeit a little later than usual. We had no traffic for the first part into Pagosa Springs which made the winding road through the mountain pass even more enjoyable and was deemed “Diane’s favorite road, so far”. We stayed on US160 all the way to Cortez, CO, winding our way through the river valley and gentle hills (by Colorado standards).
After camping in RV dominated commercial campgrounds we were ready for a little more remote and, hopefully, quiet camping. Hovenweep National Monument is just such an ‘out-of-the-way’ location. Like Black Canyon of the Gunnison, it was one of the places we drove by in the past that I wanted to visit. As it turns out, they have 31 smallish sites (thereby eliminating the mega RVs), flush toilets but no showers. The hope was that the small sites as well as the remote location wouldn’t attract too many people. Our logic worked out — less than ten sites were occupied with the occupants well dispersed giving us great privacy and quiet.
I brought the left over seam sealer with us from Albuquerque so we applied it to the seams on the rain fly once we arrived at the campground. Unfortunately, drying time is between 8-12 hours with the sealer coming ‘tack free’ after about an hour. The manufacturer recommends to use talcum powder after the sealer dries to make it stick less. Well, the closest thing we had to talcum powder was sand so we applied it generously to the seams, shaking the extra sand off. Still, a lot of the sand managed to come off the seams into the tent since it turned out to be a windy night. Oh well, a little grit is better than leakage.
All was well, except for the approaching storm. We ate dinner early, got everything squared away and stayed outside as long as we could before it started storming around 18:30. And boy, did it storm. The tent was bending and shaking all over the place. I had to go out and attach the guy lines to the fly to make sure it didn’t blow away. Once the initial storm passed, it rained off and on throughout the night but our patch job earlier minimized most of the leakage and we survived the night mostly dry.