I think the Moab are is one of my favourite areas in the west... amazing and can't wait to return! Thanks for the memories :)
I think the Moab are is one of my favourite areas in the west... amazing and can't wait to return! Thanks for the memories :)
Thanks Mark, one day I would really like to be in a position where I could take my time and place myself in the right spot at the right time and get the camera set up properly, but with so much to see and do it's a case of capturing what you can while on the go.
Craig, Moab is indeed in a great location with so many cool places within easy reach. After I have seen more of the Country, I really want to return for a longer stay one day and get me a Jeep for some serious off-road fun !
Jeep, camera, tripod, Sounds like a plan !
We wake to another fine morning in this lovely setting, but it's time to move on and head towards Four corners and our pre booked 'home for the night' is in Morefield campground in Mesa Verde NP.
We have plenty to look forward to, but even so it's hard to leave this place.
Complete with a view of 'Skyline Arch'
Some of us really don't want to leave ! [sorry Louise Lol!]
We still have a few stops to make as we make our the way out of the park. The campground is set at the far end of the park so we get to drive through it once more
A wonderful drive to the "Window's section"
And those dark clouds start to bubble up in the background again.
As we make our way to the "North and South windows" the winds start to pick up a bit and there are a few light drops of rain, but nothing to drastic.
Which ever way you look there is a great view, it's like a "Fairy tale grotto".
And last but by no means least Double Arch. [One of my favorites].
We continue the drive out of the park, past "Balanced rock" and "Courthouse towers" to 191 and head South to Moab.
I had really been looking forward to Arches and Canyonlands and had high expectations, they didn't disappoint, not one little bit !
To be Cont.
You captured some beauts and so we thank you for letting us share in your bounty!
Cont... Back to Colorado
We arrived in Moab, a busy, bustley type of town with a good atmosphere, and we were surprised to find a large enough parking spot for the RV in the middle of town. With a lot of traffic about and the camber of the road leaning the top of the RV dangerously close to the trees and lamp posts by the edge of the kerb, it took all my attention to park safely and in a position where you could open the back door without hitting anything. There were a lot of people shuffling around each other as well near to the door, it was very busy.
I didn't feel comfortable, something was bothering me, we are not used to free parking in the UK, where are the restrictions, the parking fee ? I looked up at the signs on the posts for any restrictions, I couldn't see any and everyone else was parked along the Street and there was another RV about 4 cars back parked up, so we headed off down the street to the Pancake Haus. [we had promised Louis one, it was the only way we could get her off that rock ;-) He He ! ]
We waited to be seated and then had a look at the menu, but something was still bugging me about the RV, but what ? I convinced myself it was OK, but replayed it in my head one more time and suddenly it hit me,
"I will be back in a minute, order my pancake for me", I said and I was off ! I had just pictured the people walking around a number of obstacles near to the RV while trying to avoid walking into each other, Tree, Bench, Lamp post, Flower pots, but the one that hadn't 'clicked' in my head before was a Fire hydrant [something we don't have the need to think about in the UK]. I walked quickly back to the RV with Lezli following and sure enough, at the rear end was a hydrant that we were blocking. The faded red paint on the kerbside to indicate "No parking" [ something else alien to us] was mostly hidden by the overhang of the RV and the shadow it was creating. PHEW ! At least we hadn't been ticketed or towed so we moved the RV and it was back to the pancake house.
Orange flavoured Mustang and a Pancake, Yummy !
After getting fed and watered we looked around some stores and then headed South on 191.
Hole in the Rock Trading post.
Wilson Arch right by the road.
Across these plains the winds really started to pick up and was buffeting the RV and at times I needed a fair amount of lock on the wheel to stay in a straight line, at least the sky's were clear.
Did I say "The sky's are clear", Dam ! By the time we got to Bluff and the "Twin rocks Trading post" the sun was blocked out by dust, and it didn't taste to good either !
As we left things didn't improve, they actually got worse and we had to shut all the air vents in the RV.
We were travelling along the 162 through Montezuma creek and Aneth which is part of the "Trail of the Ancients". A wide open expanse of land that felt very desolate, an almost forgotten land as we drove through the small dusty towns, avoiding the packs of dogs as they appeared to head for the RV to try and scavenge some food as we slowed at a junction. Along the route, Just away from the roadside there was a large number of small Wells working away, perhaps the "life blood" for the locals.
As we joined the 160 we decided to take a short detour to the "Tacky tourist trap" that is Four corners, well we are in the area !
As you can see things haven't improved at all outside.
It was time to go our separate way's, each to their chosen State.
Re-united we head back to the RV, spitting dust as we go [ well run actually, there is only one type of "True grit" here, and it's blowing in the wind!].
Heading back into Colorado, the wind eases and things slowly improve as we head through Towoac, a Ute Indian reservation town with Casino. In the distance we can just make out the "Sleeping Ute mountain range" through the dust, but not enough to get a good shot of it. The Sleeping Ute resembles a Ute Chief lying on his back with arms folded across his chest, and is still used by the Ute's for ceremony's.
Sure is, that colour is Red at the mo !
We continue to Cortez in search of an evening meal, a town I had read differing opinions about. TBH our first impressions were not great, and getting "The look" from kids cruising in their cars with their beat boxes thumping away didn't help. We moved to the other end of town and things changed as we discovered "Blondies" a biker orientated bar with great food and a real friendly atmosphere. The walls were covered in biker memorabilia and we had a great time, one of our most memorable evenings in fact.
We drove the last few miles in the dark and settled into our campground at Mesa Verde for the night.
Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-14-2009 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Tidy up.
Mesa verde to Ouray.
It was a pleasant start to the day with blue skies above and the campground was in a nice setting amongst trees and shrubs with Deer feeding close by. We got ourselves ready and headed further into the park towards the visitor centre to pick up our Ranger guided Tour tickets for 'Cliff palace'. The decision as to what Tour to take was made easier by the fact that the RV was over sized for the road to Wetherill Mesa and other Dwellings.
The visitor centre.
and the view.
We booked our tickets, but unfortunately [yet understandably] you have to state the time of the tour you are going on. The time to the next available tour was to tight to risk missing it, keeping in mind it was still quite a drive in the RV, so we took the next available after that. We then arrived just as the first tour was leaving but we had to wait for the next one, they won't let you join a different group even if there is room.
We wandered around and admired the view of Cliff Palace and the canyon from the rim and then it was our turn. It was very enjoyable as we walked down to the dwelling via some steep steps and narrow rock cuts. The Ranger was very knowledgeable and answered all questions thrown at her, which were coming from all directions.
It was quite amazing how they had managed to construct the dwellings considering the location and lack of modern day equipment.
And one of the Kiva's. The 4 pillars you see used to support the roof, the wall next to fire ring is to stop the draught of the vent behind blowing ashes around as people work.
Clever stuff !
We then headed back to the Mesa top via steps and ladders.
I enjoyed the guided tour, [which is the only way to visit Cliff palace] it was very informative and would definitely recommend it, I just wish we had more time and was able to do a self guided tour as well. I must admit, I like to wander a little, find a quiet spot to ponder and soak things up around me, but with the tour and a large group of people, I didn't feel I connected with the place as well as others we had visited, but all in all very enjoyable.
We drove around the rim to Spruce tree house, stopping for views of Balcony and Spruce tree houses before having lunch at Spruce tree cafe and making our way from the park.
We made our way back to the park entrance and headed towards Cortez, enjoying the splendid scenery on the way. Since leaving Four corners the scenery hasn't been typical of Colorado and more in keeping with one of the other three 'Four corner states,' [no bad thing ! ] but it wasn't long before all that was about to change as we headed through Dolores. I had been really looking forward to this part of the trip, having heard so much about it, the San Juan skyway to Telluride, Ouray, Silverton and Durango.
This is what is so amazing about the US, the diversity and how quickly things change.
From Desert and Mesa tops to mountains and Alpine scenery in no time at all.
The contrasting colors really come alive in the sunlight and the Yellows and Orange leaf of the Aspens dance in the breeze like a flame.
As we gain elevation up the mountains through the San Juan forest things begin to change once again, and snow begins to fall. The higher we went the worse it got, and being unfamiliar with this slow winding mountain road had me a little worried for a while.
It was turning into a blizzard.
After a while we were heading back down the other side into Telluride and things were already settling back down.
Telluride is in an idyllic setting among the mountain peaks and has a great feel to the place.
We had decided to try and make it to Ouray by this evening so we were soon back on the road to Ridgway after wandering around town and South on 550, the well known "Million dollar highway".
The sun kept appearing and it made for some great views of the snow covered peaks.
Finally we arrived in Ouray at sunset and found a very nice campground by the river where we settled in for the night. The girls started on dinner while me and Simon headed to the Liquor store [I love saying that, we get "Off licences" in the UK, Lol !] for vital supplies ;-)
It's been a couple of wonderful days, with so much diversity in both landscape and weather it seems untrue. With Red, White and Blue sky's, we have witnessed the colours of our Nations flags ! [How's that for patriotism] A little testing at times but I wouldn't change a single thing, brilliant.
Tomorrow we head for Pagosa Springs.
Well it took an absolute age for the photos to load but it was worth the wait! Excellent report - really enjoying it. Especially interested in Mesa Verde which is one place that has escaped my attentions so far... must change that
Since it's possible to lose a page when editing at this length --I always recommend that no one put more than 10 images on a Forum post, just break up the day into more sections. And for those of our readers who are not logging in at high-speed bandwith rates -- this page must be incredible slow to load.
Great photos though!
I had only considered the bandwidth before starting the thread, hence the PM about my concern of being "Picture heavy" and hadn't considered the speed of connection. I will put them them into posts of 10 or less and try to be more selective.
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