2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Cortez, CO - Sundance RV Park -Site 46

Cortez, CO - Sundance RV Park -Site 46, another view

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 0 - our route - 143...

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 1

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 2

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 3

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 4 - The wind was a...

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 5

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 6

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 7

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 8

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 9

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 10 - I bet these fence...

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 11

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 12

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 13

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 14

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 15

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 16 - you can see that...

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 17

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 18 - the strip in Cortez...

Monument Valley, UT to Cortez, CO 19 - also the first Wally...

Mesa Verde 1 - The San Juan Mountains

Mesa Verde 2

Mesa Verde 3 - wouldn't seem worthwhile without a tunnel

Mesa Verde 4 - from Park Point, the highest point in the...

Mesa Verde 5

Mesa Verde 6 - the Far View House - A.D. 1100-1300

Mesa Verde 7

Mesa Verde 8 - the kiva

Mesa Verde 9

Mesa Verde 10

Mesa Verde 11 - the current resident A.D. 2011

Mesa Verde 12 - one of the five kivas at Far View...

Mesa Verde 13 - the Pipe Shrine House about 20 yards from...

Mesa Verde 14 - Megalithic House A.D. 1300s - about a quarter-mile...

Mesa Verde 15 - Mummy Lake - really a resevoir the ancients...

Mesa Verde 16 - the spillway portion that filled the resevoir

Mesa Verde 17 - a busy bee

Mesa Verde 18

Mesa Verde 19 - Coyote Village A.D. 800-1000 about a tenth-mile from...

Mesa Verde 20 - this kiva shows some of the ladders used...

Mesa Verde 21 - another of the six kivas at Coyote Village

Mesa Verde 22 - Pit House A.D. 600

Mesa Verde 23 - the Yuccas are in bloom here

Mesa Verde 24 - the canyon where all the cliff dwellings are...

Mesa Verde 25 - more of the canyon

Mesa Verde 26 - Square Tower A.D. 1200-1300

Mesa Verde 27

Mesa Verde 28

Mesa Verde 29 - another pithouse A.D. 700-950

Mesa Verde 30

Mesa Verde 31

Mesa Verde 32 - a pitroom

Mesa Verde 33

Mesa Verde 34 - an Anasazi kiva

Mesa Verde 35

Mesa Verde 36 - Sun Point Pueblos A.D. 1200s

Mesa Verde 37

Mesa Verde 38

Mesa Verde 39 - Fire Temple

Mesa Verde 40 - Sun Temple

Mesa Verde 41 - Cliff Palace

Mesa Verde 42

Mesa Verde 43 - Oak Tree House

Mesa Verde 44

Hovenweep Trip 1 - Lowry Pueblo

Hovenweep Trip 2

Hovenweep Trip 3

Hovenweep Trip 4

Hovenweep Trip 5

Hovenweep Trip 6

Hovenweep Trip 7

Hovenweep Trip 8

Hovenweep Trip 9-this herd of mule deer crossed the road in front...

Hovenweep Trip 10

Hovenweep Trip 11 - Stronghold House along the Little Ruin Canyon Trail

Hovenweep Trip 12 - Twin Towers

Hovenweep Trip 13 - Rim Rock House

Hovenweep Trip 14 - Round Tower

Hovenweep Trip 15 - Boulder House - this one is at the...

Hovenweep Trip 16 - Unit Type House

Hovenweep Trip 17 - a local citizen - the biggest one we...

Hovenweep Trip 18 - Hovenweep Castle

Hovenweep Trip 19 - side view

Hovenweep Trip 20 - can you see the Ute laying on his...

Hovenweep Trip 21 - Square Tower, also in the bottom of the...

Hovenweep Trip 22 - Hovenweep House

Hovenweep Trip 23 - part of the Little Ruin Canyon Trail

Hovenweep Trip 24 - Holly Unit, at the end of a pretty...

Hovenweep Trip 25 - Horseshoe Unit

Hovenweep Trip 26 - Hackleberry Unit

Hovenweep Trip 27 - part of the road down to Holly, Hackleberry...

Hovenweep Trip 28 - more of the road

Hovenweep Trip 29 - sagebrush as far as you can see on...

Hovenweep Trip 30 - we did find a prairie dog town

Hovenweep Trip 31 - an oil well on the Ute Reservation on...

Hovenweep Trip 32 - nice adobe house on the edge of a...

San Juan Skyway 0 - our route - 248 miles

San Juan Skyway 1 - The Rio Grand railway engine in Dolores,...

San Juan Skyway 2 - the Dolores River - pretty full with...

San Juan Skyway 3

San Juan Skyway 4

San Juan Skyway 5

San Juan Skyway 6 - Ridgeway, CO

San Juan Skyway 7 - an old mining rig

San Juan Skyway 8

San Juan Skyway 9

San Juan Skyway 10

San Juan Skyway 11

San Juan Skyway 12

San Juan Skyway 13

San Juan Skyway 14

San Juan Skyway 15

San Juan Skyway 16 - Telluride,CO

San Juan Skyway 17

San Juan Skyway 18

San Juan Skyway 19

San Juan Skyway 20

San Juan Skyway 21

San Juan Skyway 22

San Juan Skyway 23

San Juan Skyway 24 - Ouray, CO

San Juan Skyway 25

San Juan Skyway 26

San Juan Skyway 27

San Juan Skyway 28

San Juan Skyway 29

San Juan Skyway 30

San Juan Skyway 31

San Juan Skyway 32 - a road awning just to keep the...

San Juan Skyway 33

San Juan Skyway 34

San Juan Skyway 35

San Juan Skyway 36

San Juan Skyway 37

San Juan Skyway 38 - Doris has had this death grip since...

San Juan Skyway 39 - Silverton, CO

San Juan Skyway 40

San Juan Skyway 41

San Juan Skyway 42

San Juan Skyway 43 - now that's colorful

San Juan Skyway 44

San Juan Skyway 45

San Juan Skyway 46

San Juan Skyway 47

San Juan Skyway 48 - Durango, CO

San Juan Skyway 49

San Juan Skyway 50

San Juan Skyway 51


The 143 mile trip from Monument Valley to Cortez Monday was an arduous one. Just as we were packing up to leave the wind really kicked it up a notch. As we were crossing the valley floor into Kayenta, AZ and then turning North, the sand was blowing so hard you only had about a quarter mile visibility at times as well as it trying to move the Mothership all over the place. We did make it to Cortez though and encountered our first taste of civilization since leaving Verde Valley, AZ.

We are staying at the Sundance RV Park with 50 amp full hookups and great WiFi as well as a good cable hookup. That is good since the site is so shaded there is no way to get through to the satellite for DirecTV. Shortly after arriving we took advantage of having a Walmart for a change and stocked up on some supplies that were running low.

Tuesday we spent at Mesa Verde National Park taking in all of the ruins left by the Anasazi and Ancient Pueblo Indians. The ruins cover the dates A.D. 600-1300 and there are many of them, some very large and intricate. We were able to get our hiking in getting to some of them as they are sometimes a little remote.

Wednesday we headed for Hovenweep National Monument. We stopped off at the Lowry Pueblo National Historic Site for a visit to that old, remarkably well maintained pueblo. After getting to Hovenweep, we hiked the Little Canyon Ruin Trail which goes around a small canyon where most of the ruins of Hovenweep are situated. We then jumped in Libby and headed for one of the outlying ruin areas that holds the Holly, Hackleberry and Horseshoe Units. This was a very degraded road which Libby enjoyed very much. Four wheel drive wasn't as necessary as much as the high clearance to get over some very rough areas.

Thursday was time for the San Juan Skyway trip. This is an about 250 mile trip through the San Juan Mountains through the old mining towns of Telluride, Ouray, Silverton and Durango. Spectacular scenery awaited us as we went over three different 10,000+ feet passes up and down through these mountains. The mining towns are now turned into tourist resorts but still maintain much of their earlier character. We stopped in Silverton for a late lunch and the cafe was also a saloon and its wide open design and huge wooden bar allowed you to imagine earlier days when life was much rougher.

Friday we stayed around the Mothership and got caught up on a few things we needed to take care of there as well as relax a little after three hard days of touring.

Tomorrow we head for Monticello, UT for a two night visit to see the lower Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.

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