I spend the night in the country outside Monument Valley. Not long after I had set up the camper, an old Indian guy rumbles up in a truly massive truck. He has come from a small er farm a mile or so down the track.
At first he says I can not stay there but once I explain that I am old like him and want to be warm, he says “Ha, no problem brother, you stay here. I just don’t like the drunks who drive around the water tower.” I know what he means. The camper is very snug and warm, the scenery is very big and at this time of the year, very cold.
Next morning I go to Monument Valley. It is thronged, even though I must be one of the first to get there.
Busloads of Chinese and Russian tourists take pictures in the sub zero temperature.
I become claustrophobic, too many people, so I leave Monument Valley and head off to Goosenecks Bends. I set up at the campsite very early as I am determined to cook something, being heartily sick of the gas station sandwich. It is very cold.
The furnace, camper talk for heater, will not start. This is terrible news. I change propane bottles, check all connections, pray, but it is no good, there will be no heat.
I cook up steak and courgettes in the dutch oven, bring the food into the camper but by the time I start to eat, it is already cold. The beer starts to freeze by the end of the meal. It is well below freezing inside the camper and at 6:00 I heap all warm stuff onto the bed and attempt to sleep.
It is a cold night and I wake up to icicles of condensation inside the camper. It has snowed.
I drive off to The Valley of the Gods which is essentially next door. It is no good: it is snowing, very grey and the road is becoming increasingly slippery.
I finally capitulate and head into Blanding, famous for the Super 8 Motel.