Four National Parks:
Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Colorado)
Chaco (New Mexico)
Mesa Verde (Colorado)
Canyon de Chelly (Arizona)
Eleven National Monuments/Sites:
Craters of the Moon NM(Idaho)
Flaming Gorge National Rec. Area (Wyoming/Utah)
Fossil Butte NM (Wyoming)
Canyons of the Ancients NM (Colorado)
Hovenweep NM (Colorado)
Anasazi Heritage Center (Colorado)
Aztec Ruins NM (New Mexico)
Hubble Trading Post (Arizona)
Tuzigoot NM (Arizona)
Unfortunately it took me awhile to get back into picture taking
mode so I don’t have many photos of the first week.
We started out taking I-5 to Portland where we
stopped to have lunch with our neice, Amy. We then headed
south on the back roads of Oregon to visit another neice, Katie
and her family, in Salem and then on to Eugene to visit
Chrissy's sister, Gretchen.
From Eugene we drove the McKenzie highway to Bend
to visit Doug and Linda - cruising friends
|Historic covered bridge|
|Lava fields with two of the Three Sisters in the background|
|The new River Play Park had just opened a few days before|
we arrived - it was getting a LOT of use
Next stop was Sun Valley, where we had reserved a
condo for three nights.
It has certainly changed since spending college
spring breaks there. After forty five years the only things
I recognized were the mountain and The Ram resaurant!
We drove the highway over Galena Pass up to Stanley.
It was gorgeous.
|From Sun Valley we headed southeast |
toward Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
Along the way we stopped at Craters of the Moon
National Monumet, Arco ID, and Fossil Butte
|Craters of the Moon National Monument|
|Arco, ID, where we ate at..............|
|Bridge over the Flaming Gorge Reservoir|
|Our Campsite at Cedar Springs Campground|
with a view of the reservoir
|Leaving Flaming Gorge|
Flaming Gorge is on the Wyoming/Utah border.
From there we drove to Dinosaur National Monument
which is on the Utah/Colorado Border.
We had read about some impressive petroglyphs
on the way to Rainbow CG in Dinosaur NM on the
north side of the Green River, but to get there
you have to drive about 18 miles on a rough dirt road.
Since our car has four wheel drive we decided
to give it a go.......and we are soooo glad we did!
We stopped at some of the petroglyphs on the way
into the the campground..........
|We took a short hike over the hill from the CG|
|Sunset view from our campsite|
It was a fairly primitive CG with only three campsites - not
many people want to do the drive.
During the night we could hear owls, coyotes, and
|We climbed up to see some more petroglyphs the next day|
An amazing display!
|Driving out and around to the south side of the river|
|To the quarry|
|Dinosaur Bones still embedded in the wall|
|A real skull|
After the quarry we stopped and hiked up to see
more petroglyphs on our way to the Green River CG
on the Colorado side of the river
From our new campsite we saw a beautiful sunset
and the super moon lunar eclipse!
Next stop: a motel in Grand Junction and then
we drove through Colorado National Monument
on our way to Black Canyon of The Gunnison NP
|Colorado National Monument|
|A brunch stop in Delta, CO|
|A "to scale" replica of the Visitor's Center|
would barley fit between the canyon walls at the bottom
of the narrowest part of the canyon
|Can you spot the two rock climbers?|
We headed south from here, with a quick look at Telluride,
and a very informative stop at the Anasazi Heritage Center.
The drive was incredibly beautiful.
We hit the fall colors perfectly!
We stayed in Bloomfield, N.M. for the night and
got up early so we would arrive at Chaco Canyon
in the morning. It was well worth the effort
to drive the 21 mile dirt road to get there.
|The road started out OK........|
|but the grooves got deeper and deeper|
We saw evidence of recent flash floods and wash outs.
If it rains the road closes.
Chaco Canyon is an amazing place.
It touched us.
This is a quote from Wikepedia:
Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century. Evidence of archaeoastronomy at Chaco has been proposed, with the "Sun Dagger" petroglyph at Fajada Butte a popular example. Many Chacoan buildings may have been aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of skillfully coordinated construction.
|The ruins in Chaco Canyon have been stabilized, but not|
Mesa Verde NP was our next stop.
There is a huge nice campground with wifi,
hot showeres (free), laundromat, coffee shop,
and restaurant. Luxuries!!!!
We stayed a few days until the weather made a sudden change.
The cliff dwellings are everywhere you look.
The few that are available for tours have been
When we left Mesa Verde the weather looked pretty
threatening, but we stopped at Hovenweep NM for
a quick look and then Canyon de Chelly.
|On the way from Hovenweep to Canyon de Chelly we had|
several downpours and we crossed many of these usually dry
|We also came across this fresh rock fall.........|
|....and had a emergency flash flood alert on the phone!|
|We decided to make Canyon de Chelly a day stop and head|
for Winslow, AZ and the safety and comfort of a motel room.
|Canyon de Chelly was beautiful. We wished we could have|
taken a canyon tour, but it was too wet and the weather was still
We made one more stop at Hubbell Trading Post.
It's really worth the stop just to see the collection
of baskets and rugs.
On our way to Winslow we had a hail storm and
another emergency alert on the phone - this time
it was a tornado warning!
We were very glad to get to a motel room.
The next morning the sun was shining and
we started the day by
"standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona"!
We drove through Sedona and camped at
Dead Horse Canyon State Park just south of Sedona.
The next day we had breakfast in Cottonwood, stopped
at the Tuzigoot NM, and then drove to the White
Spur CG near Prescott, AZ
|Our campsite at White Spur Campground|
After a couple of days exploring Prescott we drove to
Wickenburg for the annual Fly-in and Classic Car Show
|There's a wonderful Western Museum in Wickenburg|
|and a great little restaurant|
|Driving from Wickenburg to Drew's house in Gold Canyon|
We stayed at Drew's for a few days re-grouping
and doing our last USA shop before heading to San Carlos.
|Brad, Drew, Winifred, Fiona and Jane|
Marcos and Nikita (cats) stayed home
One day Brad and Drew took us for a drive part way up
Aztec Peak (great views)
and to lunch at a yummy Mexican restaurant in Globe - a fun day!