Cathy and Don RV America travel blog

Sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park

Sunset November 5th.

Double Arch.

Delicate Arch.

Pine Tree Arch.

Landscape Arch.

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands NP

Canyonlands view

Sunset in Canyonlands

Cliff House at Mesa Verde NP

Kiva at Far View

Marker at 4 corners.

Standing in 4 states.

Writing tonight from Zion River RV Resort. Today was our first day at Zion and we will share all about Zion in our next post. Last week we stayed at Dead Horse Point State Park. Dead Horse Point State Park was on a mesa overlooking canyons for a hundred miles. We hiked twice in the park while we were there and I would definitely not hike at night. I was nervous about sleep walking and going over the cliff. It's called Dead Horse Point State Park because the mesa comes to a 40 foot point. Cowboys would fence in wild horses. They would select a few choice horses and leave the others fenced in without water to die. By the way many films have been filmed at Dead Horse. Most notably, this is where Thelma and Louise met their demise. We will definitely return to Dead Horse State Park. It was just beautiful.

First stop Arches National Park. This is the first National Park we have visited on a cloudy day. Yes we are spoiled.(For my Floridian friends temps were in the 20's at night. ) We quickly discovered why this National Park is called Arches. There are stone arches everywhere. We saw Double Arch first. I've actually seen this arch in pictures before. It reminded me of the shape of a heart. Next we hiked to Delicate Arch. The hike was amazing and I was glad it was cloudy. The hike was entirely exposed. I was so proud of my new found ability to hike on the side of cliffs. However, when we got to Delicate Arch with it's on a cone rock that descends into a cliff, I freaked out. Don went closer to the arch. I figured I wouldn't move until he returned. Well someone asked me to take a picture. So I had to reposition myself. I thanked them for helping me overcome my paralyzing fear. Then we hiked to Landscape Arch which is only 6 feet thick in the center. This is predicted to be the next arch that collapses. In 1991 a large piece of rock fell from the arch. We also saw Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch. Sunset was almost impossible to see through the clouds.

Canyonlands National Park was our next destination on Monday. We started with another Arch called Mesa Arch. Believe it or not we had a great conversation with Sabrina from Audubon Park and her mom, Marcia from Portsmouth, NH. They were camp hosting in a tent. Pretty brave when it's 20 degrees at night. Next we got a great view of the canyons at Grand View Point Overlook. We drove home for coffee and lunch. You know you are getting used to driving when a 30 minute drive for coffee seems completely reasonably. We drove back to hike Murphy's Point which overlooked a different part of the canyon. It's so neat to see the different layers of the earth. We ended the day with sunset, which comes entirely too early these days. I love the light and shadows on the canyon.

Tuesday we ventured really far to Cortez, Colorado. After a three hour ride we stopped at the visitor center only to learn that their were no Ranger guided tours at Mesa Verde National Park this time of year. Stephen Rudolph recommended we go to Mesa Verde National Park and take their guided tours through the Ancestral Pueblo dwellings. So we saw the cliff dwellings from overlooks. It still was amazing. Cliff Palace was built on a ledge with rock cliffs above it. There was over 150 rooms in the complex. Next we saw Balcony House, another cliff dwelling. There were 38 rooms in this cliff dwelling and two kivas. Kivas are round rooms that are underground for temperature regulation and serve as common area. We also went to Far View dwellings predating the cliff houses. We saw underground rooms and kivas. We could walk through these rooms.

The park museum highlighted life for the Ancestral Pueblos in the community. Interesting artifacts are on display there. Mesa Verde NP was initially designated a national monument in 1908 to protect its artifacts from thieves. Archeologists have located over 600 cliff dwellings in the area.

Next stop was Four Corners, a 40 mile drive away. Pretty anticlimactic for 10 dollars, 40 miles and 15 minute visit. Stephen informed us that the marker was in the wrong place. I think we walked around enough so that we did indeed go to Arizona, Colorado and Utah from New Mexico. We stayed Tuesday night in Cortez. We went to dinner and shared a Yak burger. Our waitress actually showed us a picture of Whiskey the Yak stud. I had to google what a Yak was. My guess was completely wrong. Not sure how I feel about knowing my Yak burgers dad. The burger was really tasty. If you have the pleasure to be in Cortez, go to the Farm Bistro and stay at the Retro Inn. It's very Retro. We ended our night with a beer at Main Street Brewery Cortez. The beer was ok, chatting with the three guys at the bar was a blast. They were house framers. One was from Jacksonville, Florida. We had a 20 minute conversation with him about how much he missed Publix.

Thursday we headed to shop before leaving Cortez. We went to Bealls, mostly because we didn't know they existed outside of Florida. We also went to the Colorado liquor store. This is where people from Utah go to get real liquor. Liquor sold in stores and in restaurants in Utah are only 4% alcohol. You can go to a Utah state liquor store but prices are really expensive.

We came home and walked the rim trail at Dead Horse Point to see the sunset. So happy to be back in my own bed for the night. I actually was concerned about leaving her for the night. Funny how much she has become home. Nothing like curling up on the coach when it's cold outside with a cup of herbal tea. Reminiscent of cold days in New England. Dark at five and ready for bed by eight.

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