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.