Monday, October 19, 2009

Exploring the Cliff Dwellings

The drive from Moab Utah to Cortez Colorado is very scenic. We left the red rock cliffs behind and drove through flat prairie. The trees were golden in the sunshine and it was a beautiful fall day. After getting set up in the campground we drove to Mesa Verde National Park. The road to the top is full of switchbacks and deep ravines. We watched a short video about the Puebloans and then toured the museum. The viewpoint from the museum overlooks Spruce Tree House, the park's best-preserved cliff dwelling. We chose to tour the Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in the park. Our tour took us down uneven stone steps, paths around rocks and into the Cliff Palace. (Should I mention at this time that I am not fond of heights or edges???) It was amazing to see what these ancient peoples had designed and built with none of the modern technology available to us today. The climb back up involved more uneven stone steps and climbing ladders for a 100 ft vertical climb. It was not a climb I would care to repeat anytime too soon, but very much worth it!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Hike to Landscape Arch

This morning Senor Ping and I drove up to the Devil's Garden in the the Arches National Park. The hike was marked as an easy trail so we were confident that "flatlanders" would be able to successfully make the hike without needing CPR.
The trail led us through red rocks and sand, up, down and between crevices formed by nature. At the end of the trail we were amazed by the huge arch before us. What a spectacular sight!!!

We Saw Utah!!

Senor Ping and I headed south earlier this week, leaving behind a skiff of snow and below average temperatures. Our first night was spent in Butte and we were very pleased with the furnace in our new rig. It kept us nice and toasty warm! Our second night was south of Salt Lake City and then we had a short drive to Moab on our third day. We settled in at an RV park on the edge of town, did some grocery shopping and then spent the day relaxing in the sun.
The next morning we drove to Arches National Park. We decided to follow the auto tour, stopping at various roadside turnouts to take pictures and marvel at the beauty of the landscape. Some of our favorite stops included the Three Gossips, Balanced Rock, Delicate Arch and the Double Arch. We did a short hike up to the North and south Arches and then had lunch at the base of the trail. There were bikers and hikers of all ages enjoying the trails.
Here are a few of our favorite stops on the trip.