Oct 11 2008

Dust Storm!

Published by at 12:39 pm under Utah,Western U.S.

We stayed overnight at Monument Valley.  There’s only one place to stay right now – it’s like a small town, with a lodge, a restaurant, a gas station, a grocery and general store, and a campground.

It was quite breezy and dusty while we were touring Monument Valley, and we got to our camp site before sunset in order to set up our tent while it was still light out.  The wind made it difficult to set our tent up, but we managed it with the help of a nice man staying in an RV in a site nearby (thanks Irv from Salt Lake City!).

We went to dinner at the restaurant, and when we left, the wind had become even more intense.  We were worried about whether we would still have a tent upon returning to our camp site.  Fortunately, our tent was still there.  The wind was pounding on it, but it was holding relatively steady.  However, when I unzipped the tent fly and looked into the tent, I found it filled with sand.

I should probably tell you that we have a three-season tent.  That means the tent itself has open mesh windows, and you keep the elements out with the fly that goes over the tent.  This system works just fine when the elements are coming at the tent from above.  But we learned that when the elements are coming from the side, our tent can’t handle it.  Stupid tent.

We made the decision after looking at the tent that we would sleep in the car.  While we wouldn’t get a comfortable night’s sleep, at least we wouldn’t have sand swirling all around us (at least not as much as in the tent.  The inside of our car was covered in dust by the next morning!).  The wind was howling all night, shaking the car, and we could hear sand and little stones hitting the car with each big gust.  I woke up each time, expecting to see that our tent had blown away.  Actually, I was kind of *hoping* it had blown away.  You have to understand, I was really upset at the tent for not being able to shelter us that night.  Sleeping in the car was really uncomfortable!

At some point in the night, the people who were staying in a tent near us just packed up and left.  And the other tent people near us left before sunrise.  The wind was still gusting when we packed up to leave at about 8:00 am.  We couldn’t even see the monuments in the valley when the sun came up because the dust storm was clouding the view.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  We couldn’t wait to get out of that hellhole.

Here is a picture of the dust cloud surrounding Monument Valley as we were driving away:


Now we need to find a new tent with sealed windows.

– Meredith

One response so far

One Response to “Dust Storm!”

  1. Mom and Dad says:

    Tent with sealed windows?

    Sounds like an RV to me.

    A lot of good deals now on used and new ones I bet.