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  1. #51


    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Kline View Post
    Wow! You have me completely hooked. I have spent the entire afternoon reading your trip journal. You really get a lot done in a day, and the junior ranger and letterbox activities seem like great ways to enhance your trips.

    My wife and I visited six national parks in eight days back in June, and I thought we did good until I read your journal. You really 'get around' in your travels. You have certainly given us some new destinations to see, and your photography is superb!

    Thanks for sharing this trip. I look forward to the rest of it.
    Thanks so much for your kind words! It makes my day to know that others share my love of travel and especially to the National Parks! Get ready for 2016 #FindYourPark. And today, park unit #409 is open for business - Manhattan Project National Historical Park with sites in Hanford, WA, Los Alamos, NM and right in your backyard, Oak Ridge, TN.
    Thanks, Pat
    Last edited by Pmount; 11-11-2015 at 03:26 PM.

  2. #52

    Default The End - Heading Home

    Saturday, September 26
    Start: Hovenweep NM, UT
    End: Show Low, AZ

    After breakfast in camp I hiked the 1-1/2 mile Ruins trail, starting in the campground and finishing at the visitor center. The morning air was comfortable. Besides enjoying the many views along the trail I walked right up to, about 3 feet away, a pair of Long-earred Owls. They flew off before any pictures could be taken. Once back at the visitor center I turned in my completed Junior Ranger booklet and received my badge. As I mentioned in yesterday's post I think this is a special site - I'll let the pictures show how special.

    Hovenweep Ruins

    One final note about Hovenweep NM, there are several other ruins within this unit, now open to the public. The staff at the visitor center can provide driving directions. It appeared most are reachable in a 2-wheel drive car, weather permitting. We'll be back to check them all out!

    Basically this was the end of our trip, time to head home! On our way through Northern Arizona we made a quick stop in Chinle for lunch, another Navajo Taco, and passport stamps at Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The photographs on display in the visitor center were beautiful.

    Canyon de Chelly National Monument photography gallery

    One final national park stop - and a pleasant surprise. While at Canyon de Chelly we saw a poster that the Annual Navajo Rug Auction was at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, just down the road. We have heard about this auction over the years, but never been to the auction. When we arrived we were directed to overflow parking. Once in the auction tent it was interesting to watch, both the items up for auction and the many Navajo weavers in the audience. As each rug was held up by the auctioneer he highlighted the weaver, including introducing them if they were there, as many were. I asked before taking pictures and was told it was OK.

    Hubbell Trading Post - Navajo Rug Auction

    Inside the Visitor Center - Kid's area

    Besides the auction there were vendors inside and outside of the tent selling their items. I finished the trip with two purchases; a Zuni fetish carving and Navajo- crafted turquoise earrings. I collect lizard fetishes and am very picky about picking one to buy, it has to be carved and signed by a Zuni carver and it has to 'speak' to me!

    We left here and drove further south to Show Low and almost had a problem getting a campsite. It was the area's big Fall Festival, we got one of the last campsites at the town's campground.

    Sunday, September 27

    And this ends this trip, as we got up Sunday morning and drove back to Tucson through Salt River Canyon. We stopped at an overlook and found two guys setting up a very high-tech drone. We got talking to them, hanging around hoping they would launch the drone. Turns out they were just setting up a marketing photo for their MidWest company. They were out in Arizona on a job and said they wanted this photo, overlooking the Salt River Canyon, as they didn't see these views back at home.
    In summary - an excellent trip! Weather, crowds and sights along the way all met our expectations. Statistics to follow. . .

    Drone at Salt River Canyon

    Passport Stamps
    Canyon de Chelly NM - Chinle, AZ
    Hubbell Trading Post Nat'l Historic Site - Ganado, AZ

    Bonus stamps
    Canyon de Chelly National Monument -Chinle, Arizona - beautiful pictorial
    Canyon de Chelly National Monument - April 1, 1931-2011 - beautiful pictorial
    Ashdlahn Naahai - J.L. Hubbell Trading Post - 50 years National Historic Site, August 28, 1965-2015 - rug pictorial

    Wildlife Sightings
    Scrub Jay
    Northern Flicker
    Rock Pigeon
    Turkey Vulture
    Common Raven
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-12-2015 at 09:54 AM. Reason: corrected URL

  3. #53

    Default Passport & Bonus stamps along the way

    Along the way I recorded passport and bonus stamps I collected. My husband has scanned those stamps. A great way to record our travels.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Thanks for sharing.

    Quite an adventure Pat so thanks for letting us 'ride along'. I have enjoyed your report that also brought back some good memories from our own trip[s].


  5. #55


    Thanks for the great journey and journal of it, Pat. We've been to many of those places, but it is always nice to see them again and get a fresh perspective on them.

    I have my own Hovenweep story. We went there in 2013, and the ranger at the Visitor Center warned that there were stinging gnats in the canyon. I had left the bug spray out in the car and opted not to get it or to change into long pants from my shorts. Did I ever pay for that!
    The next day I had welts all over my legs that itched and were painful to the touch. We had to cancel the remainder of our trip and headed for home, a three-day drive. Luckily, we came back and completed the trip last year, but Hovenweep wasn't on the itinerary for that one.


  6. #56

    Default Trip statistics & expenses

    August 23 to September 27, 2015
    36 days
    6,607 miles, 183.5/day
    States: AZ, UT, WY, MT, ND, SD, CO
    License Plates: all, but Rhode Island

    National Park sites:30
    National Historic Trails: 7
    Non-NPS (federal): 4
    National Wildlife Refuges: 2

    Letterboxes found: 85

    Expenses: 2 people
    $2421.89, $484.38/wk, $67.27/day

    Lodging: 22%, 3 nights motel, mostly federal campsites at 50%
    Meals: 43%
    Gas: 33%
    Misc: 2%; showers, ice

    First day back in Tucson I met my sister, nieces and their kids for a fun morning at Tucson Botanical Gardens for the national Lego in the Garden exhibit. Great way to return from a wonderful trip.

    Thanks to all who have, and will, view this report. Next big trip planned for March when we explore Texas. Right now getting ready to head down to Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of Grand Canyon, for several nights. Heading out for a training hike!

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