Find us on Google+ Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels: October 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Saturday - Sunday - Monday, October 4 - 6, 2008

Rick Morgan

Saturday and Sunday
Rain on the Plain...and We're Going Home

For a part of the country, which is “basically desert”, it sure can rain! The first "winter" storm brought a constant and at times hard rain for two days. Higher up in the mountains snow fell.

We had toured Mesa Verde and took these "rainy day" opportunities to catch up on reading, play Gin (JoAnne is the acknowledged all time Champion), and Rick started a watercolor of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde. Oh, and of course we listened to the Bronco game we were able to pick up on a KOA affiliate FM station.

It was also fun watching the many deer that wondered through our campsite, and slept right outside our window. All in All - we had a very relaxing and enjoyable two days.

Tomorrow we will head home with an overnight stop in Alamosa.

Today's photos

Monday
Colorado – Indeed Our Home!

Today we got an early start and headed home. What do we see going over Wolf Creek Pass – yep, snow, and beautiful mountains, and what fantastic color. We are indeed coming home!
Parting Shots

Wow! Was it really almost 6 weeks ago that we started our adventure and were camped by Steamboat Lake?

There are so many great memories to savor. We continue to relive all the amazing sites, incredible fall colors, and rich cultural history that have been a part of this trek. In addition to the six National Parks we visited, we have also enjoyed the many State Parks, National Monuments, and National Recreation Areas that became stops along the way.

While it is always good to come home, both JoAnne and I agreed that we could have continued our trip. As beautiful, as the sights in Wyoming and Utah have been our travel today from Mesa Verde to Alamosa over Wolf Creek pass confirmed that Colorado does not take a back seat to anyone when it comes to spectacular scenery.

For those who have followed along on our Blog - we hope you enjoyed "traveling" with us - Until next time, JoAnne & Rick

Today's photos

Slide show of entire trip

Friday, October 3, 2008

Rick Morgan

Trail of the Ancients - Part II

We decided to stay the weekend here at Mesa Verde and changed our campsite to a full hookup site. We then went to the park visitor center and signed up for a 1/2 day ranger led tour of Mesa Verde. We have been in the park twice before and wanted to get a more "in-depth" understanding of the Puebloan culture. Our 4 1/2 hour tour of the park, which included a hike down to Cliff House, gave us a good history lesson. We were able to experience the transition of the Puebloans from the Mesa top Pithouses to the famous Cliff Houses. Our ranger and bus guide were a wealth of information and we came away with a much better understanding and appreciation of the people who had lived here 800+ years ago.

JoAnne and I found the "updates" on the culture interesting. At our last visit the term “Anasazi” was still used. In addition, the updated information they have on the forces that led to migration away from not only Mesa Verde but the entire four corners area. It was also fascinating to learn that they, the archeologists, intentionally leave sites "unexplored" and saved for future generations to uncover knowing that the technology in the future will be better than it is today.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rick Morgan

Trail of the Ancients - Part I

Decision time - Do we head north to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks or go east and head to Hovenweep National Monument. We have been to Canyonlands and Arches so we decide to head east. First, we decided to visit Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding. Who knew? - Another gem of a find. This is a wonderful little museum and ancestral Puebloan ruin site. (Anasazi is no longer used or is it "politically" correct. Anasazi is a Navajo word and the Ute, Hopi, and Zuni among others claim the tribes formally called Anasazi as their ancestors and object to the Navajo term to describe them.) The Museum covers the history with exhibits and ruin site of the ancient Native American Culture of the Four Corners region.


We then headed to Hovenweep another fascinating ruin site. We, including Sandy, walked around the 2-mile canyon, and it goes without saying, took lots and lots of pictures. Hovenweep built and inhabited around the same time as Mesa Verde - A.D. 1230 - 1280. The difference here is that most of the structures were built on the mesa above the canyon.

From Hovenweep we took a back road to Cortez and Mesa Verde National Park. We found a private little (no hookup) campsite in the Park.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rick Morgan

Petroglyphs and Natural Bridges

The planed destination for today was Blanding, UT, but before leaving Capitol Reef, we stopped to view the Petroglyphs and admire, bathed in the early morning light, more massive cliffs. We then headed down Route 95 through the White Canyon. We decided to stop for breakfast at Hog Springs - a quick look at the visitor log reconfirmed our contention that Southern Utah has been “invaded by foreign travelers”. At the old town site of Hite, UT, we crossed the Colorado River and the Eastern end of Lake Powell. The highlight of the day was our stop at Natural Bridges National Monument. This location features three spectacular natural bridges the largest being 220 feet high and spanning 268 feet.



We arrived in Blanding around 2:00 PM and are at a commercial campground, and using the remainder of the day to do laundry, shop for some groceries, and catch up on email and blogging. Tomorrow we will head for Hovenweep National Monument in Utah and then back into Southwestern Colorado.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rick Morgan

More Photo Ops

After having a wonderful early morning hike through Calf Creek Canyon, we departed our little secluded spot and headed toward Capital Reef National Park. What we expected to be a short, quick drive ended up being much longer, and oh my gosh…astonishing! The elevation, the dramatic vertical drop-offs, and then unbelievable color! Whew!!! Never, ever had either Rick or I seen such intensity and depth of color in Aspen trees.


Many, many photos later, we arrived at Capital Reef and again a big WHEW! More photo ops of the dramatic cliffs, rock formations, and bold color. Capital Reef is unique as it encompasses a giant wrinkle in the earths crust known as the Waterpocket Fold that stretches for a 100 miles. We are camped at the historic apple, peach, cherry, pear, and apricot tree orchard in the Fruita historic district – Shade trees, Fremont River, and mule deer all around us.



We made a quick stop at the historic Gifford Homestead for some coffee and homemade strawberry-rhubarb, and apple pies. A perfect way to top off the day!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rick Morgan

A Few More Hoodoos…and a Kodachrome Journey

We decided to leave Bryce earlier than planned since we had explored the park yesterday…but…Rick wanted to hike the Navajo Trail down to the bottom of the Canyon - a very different perspective, one if given the opportunity, is well worth the effort. These remarkable photos are in “Today’s photos” section.


Continuing our journey, driving another scenic by-way - #12 – that borders and crosses Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM), the drive was literally a “journey!” 14% grades in some places, narrow roadways, marvelous colors through the Kodachrome Basin, and Escalante Canyon. What? A coffee stop in the middle of nowhere? Kiva Koffee House – yep, we had to make the stop. A lovely and charming little place right along the step grades, and literally – in the middle of nowhere. It also is a B&B with no phones or TV – a great place!

Onward to Capital Reef National Park…but wait!!!! A sign to Calf Creek Recreation Area caught our attention. Feeling “free as the breeze” and believe me…there is NONE – we drove down the step drive to another extraordinary find. Again, we lucked out with only 14 campsites, we were most fortunate to find the last one in this primitive area – REALLY primitive- not even a landline phone, or cell…a true “pack it in-pack it out” environment.

Capital Reef will have to wait for another day!