stillhowlyn's travels 2010 travel blog

Low water levels at Lake Powell!

Colorado River at Glen Canyon!

Cochiti Lake & Dam, fed by the Rio Grande!

We have a beautiful mountain view!

The Rio Grande!

Cochiti Pueblo, known for its drum making skills, but no pictures allowed!

Out for a hike with Rodger & Sharon!

Rodg...almost ready for down-hill skiing!

Afternoon in Santa Fe!

A celebration with Caitlin & Jordan!

The drive from St. George was beautiful and took us on backroads and byways through Colorado City and Kanab to Page, AZ. Here we stopped briefly at the Glen Canyon Dam and were shocked at the water levels of Lake Powell and the Colorado River, as it flows into the Grand Canyon and Lake Mead. Hopefully this is mainly due to the time of year, but recent news articles indicate Lake Mead is in dire trouble and will depend largely on water flow from Glen Canyon. Don't see that happening unless there is major rain and snow-fall!

From Page to US 160, the Naat' tsis' aan - Navajo Mountain Scenic Road, Highway 98, offers inspiring rock formations and culture of the Navajo people, and the myth-shrouded Navajo Mountain. Next we connect with the Kayenta-Monument Valley Scenic Route and pull into Gouldings Park for the night. It was late afternoon, the sun exposure was perfect, the jeep was quickly unhooked and off we went on 17 miles of bad road but beautiful scenery through the Navajo Tribal Monument Valley Park.

We arrived at Cochiti Lake, about mid-way between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, in the Cochiti Pueblo Indian Reservation, for a 10 day stay. We found this beautiful Army Corps of Engineers campground two years ago when we attended the Balloon Festival. Good friends Rodger & Sharon and new friends Jim and Kate, are here to welcome us. Rodger has been recuperating from major back surgery and he and Sharon just bought a place in Tucson Estates, though they will normally travel by RV and summer in MN. Jim & Kate divide their time between Ajo, AZ and MN. Kate is a gourd carver and they told us about good BLM parking and jeep trails to petroglyphs near Ajo.

Over get-togethers, happy hours, and dinner we caught up on all our family news, new home buyers' anxiety, travel plans and enjoyed getting to know Kate and Jim. Rodger felt he was up for a hike so we took off on the back road to Bandelier Nat'l Monument and found a trail that was both beautiful and challenging.

Step-daughter Caitlin and 14 year old son Jordan live in nearby Santa Fe. Caitlin and I share birthdays a day apart and planned a celebration for Saturday, Oct. 16th. Howard and Jordan barbecued some good tri-tip and bison steak, accompanied by lots of snacks, my mac and cheese made from scratch with broccoli, carrots and zucchini. Caitlin brought the best chocolate and raspberry cake, and a beautiful tri-colored chili ristra from the Santa Fe Farmers' Market.

On my actual birthday, the 14th, Howard and I enjoyed a great afternoon in Santa Fe with a fabulous New Mexican-style lunch at the Inn of the Anasazi, just off the main plaza. I treated myself to a new pair of shoes and later did some shopping at the Sunflower Farmers Market...kind of a cross between Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Albertson's!

I had hoped to spend my birthday hauling this 67 year old body up through 650 feet of steep, scenic Tent Rocks Slot Canyon. Unfortunately Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Nat'l Monument has been closed all summer but, lucky for us, re-opened just 2 days before our scheduled departure. We were there bright and early and enjoyed a beautiful, uncrowded, end-of-season day doing what for us is a pretty strenuous hike. Stopping numerous times for photos allowed us to rest and catch our breath...The surroundings are truly breathtaking!

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