Monday, October 15, 2018

Ballard RV Park, Thompson, Utah


Tuesday turned out to be a good weather day for travel but we weren’t sure where we were going from Provo. More rain was in the forecast and we didn’t want to boondock in the mud in Moab so I called around and found that Ballard RV Park, about 35 miles north in Thompson, had a vacancy for two nights. I swear I remember taking photos of our site there but they don’t seem to be on either camera card so not sure what happened. It’s just a gravel lot and the sites are fairly close but we were happy to have a place to wait out the rain. Plus they have two very nice washers and two dryers that are free to use, and we were in need of doing some laundry.

It did rain most of the night and was supposed to again on Wednesday, but it turned out to be a fairly nice day. After laundry we took a drive a few miles up Thompson Canyon Rd, just behind the RV park, to check out some rock art and a ghost town in beautiful Sego Canyon.


Three types of rock art are found here. This is a Ute panel which has unfortunately been vandalized.



Fremont style, also vandalized.



And our favorite, and most unusual, Barrier Canyon style.



From the pictographs it’s about a half mile to a fork in the road, with a right turn leading to an old cemetery.

Thompson, Sego Canyon, Arches NP

Another mile farther takes you to the ghost town of Sego, a coal mining town established in the 1890s and in operation of some sort or another until 1947. The only building still standing is the former American Fuel Company Store.





More decay. This wooden boarding house did not hold up as well as the company store. I read that it collapsed in 2011.


Bridge over a wash.


Jim tried to find something on this old car to identify its make but had no luck.



This is just a beautiful area, and we wished it hadn’t been so wet and muddy in the canyons, as you could hike for miles. Instead we walked on the dirt road and found some higher ground that was dry. I think we only saw three or four cars all afternoon.






It definitely lifted our spirits being back in one of our favorite parts of the country. Jim was especially happy to be out of the trees.


Our plan was to move on to Moab on Thursday but it began raining during the night and was a steady rain all morning. Not to mention that it was cold. Jim called the office and they said we could stay another night, so by noon when the rain was still pouring down, we decided to drive down to Moab for lunch and a visit to the recreation center. By the time we got there the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing.

We had a fantastic meal at Arches Thai, a belated celebration of our wedding anniversary which was actually on Tuesday. After our workout, as we were driving back to the RV park, I noticed there were only a couple cars in line at the entrance booth to Arches National Park so we decided to drive in since we had not been there in many years.

We drove to the Windows section and walked the mile loop trail. We forgot that Arches is so spectacular, and were really glad we decided to make a brief stop there.









On our way home we drove down the three roads north of Moab where we have camped previously to scope things out. With all the rain they were rutted and muddy, so we decided to skip Moab this time around and go directly to Virgin, where it was predicted to be much warmer and dry. But that’s for the next post…


  1. I am with Jim on the trees. I like to be able to see good distances around me. The thick trees drive me nuts when I am in Alabama.

    1. We're both happy to be back in the land of wide open skies.

  2. Isn't it wonderful when you can "stop by" some place like Arches on your way from lunch? Stunning pics - I'm sure missing the desert.

    1. Funny, I never thought about it like that!
      All those years living in the east we never realized we would like the desert so much.

  3. The art work in Sego Canyon is so beautiful. It's interesting that there are three different periods of writing. We enjoyed wandering the area and discovering various items and structures left. The rain should is making a mess in the areas we love. Water and red dirt/clay don't match. It is too bad we couldn't find a reservation in Page for the weekend. We would have been in the Hurricane area when you arrived. Hope the weather improves!! It was so nice looking at Moab/Arches in your beautiful photos. Arches is such a lovely place. Sweet you were able to make a uncrowded visit.

    1. We always seem to miss you two, but will probably take you up on stopping by your place after we leave Virgin next week. Will keep you posted!

  4. That is a beautiful area. We haven't been there in years. Great pictures!

    1. We hadn't been in the main part of Arches since 2010. It was more beautiful than we remembered.

  5. Thompson looks like a neat find. How cool to catch Arches on a rare slow day! I was beginning to think there were NO slow days at some national parks any more!

    1. It rained buckets a good part of the day, so there were not many people around until we got to the parking lot of the Windows. The trails were pretty muddy, which probably kept folks away.

  6. Your excellent blog post on Thompson could not be better timed. We extended our stay another week to explore the Sego Canyon area plus more of Moab. We made a full day trip to Capitol Reef over the weekend..Wow! So much to see and do in this area, I know we will be back to explore more.

    1. We love Capitol Reef. You could spend months in that area and not see it all. Enjoy!

  7. The pictographs in Thompson Canyon are wonderful! I think this is the first time I've heard about that area, but then again, who knows. Anyway, it's now on our list. Your photos of Arches are gorgeous. We love Arches, but have been avoiding it the past few years because of the crowds. How great that you happened to be in the area and could stop by on an uncrowded day. Sounds like a pretty sweet way to celebrate your anniversary!

  8. Ah yes, Jim and Bill have forestphobia. Nice to be able to roll away from lousy weather, and get time to hike at least a little.

  9. What a wonderful wing it post. I only wish. I hate having to have everything so tightly planned. Free laundry is something I always look for if I have to pay for a private park. Love the rock art. Really beautiful. To deface them is a sin in my book. You saw some beautiful scenery on your "rainy days". Great pictures of Arches. Happy Anniversary. Super way to celebrate!

  10. What beautiful images, even with the dark skies. Such a lovely place to place to celebrate an anniversary. Happy, belated special day!