Monday May 27th 2019
Day 45 Memorial Day
Right this one down in the books we left plenty early for a change having time to explore but not before making the sketchy drive out which seemed a bit smoother for some unknown reason.
Once in Mesa Verde National Park the crazy curvy roads give you no choice other than to slow down and enjoy the views. We stopped at a couple viewpoints along the way but really was on a mission to get to the southern portion of the park and start the “real exploration” among the wonders of the ancestral Puebloans.
Doing the Mesa Top Loop road before our cliff dwelling tour was a fantastic way to dive into the history. We stopped at every viewpoint and overlook on this route. Discovering remnants of villages, pit houses, canyon views and cliff dwellings from afar. The last viewpoint near Sun Temple is where we first saw the parks largest cliff dwelling which was fantastic to get other than a tours perspective on it. Can you spot in the photo?
I could not believe the magnitude of this dwelling. How remarkable? Low and behold these are some of the best preserved dwellings in North America, dating all the way back to the 1190’s. This grew our excitement for the tour immensely which started soon so we made our way out of the Mesa Top loop and headed for Cliff Palace Loop.
We met with the park ranger tour guide at 11 am and started the descent even further into history. This tour was outstanding!! The hike was adventurous with uneven stone steps and 4 ladders keeping Phoenix’s attention, information in depth and everything was just stunning. A wonderful time to reflect on what people truly need to survive and what counts as a true luxury.
Tour done and thank you’s said we headed out encountouring a brief snow storm making the ride out on this crazy road just a bit more scary.
We were so close to the infamous four corners of states to not go. The roads are desolate so make sure your tank is topped off because the gas stations around there are at least an hour apart. You pay $5 per person to get in and only have 3 chances to get the perfect shot of you and your family standing in 4 states at once. Yes they have signs up everywhere saying 3 pic limit. Surrounding the monument are various Native American vendors selling there goods. It was extremely windy and a lot were slowly packing up when we arrived. The video down below shows just how desolate the area is. No buildings, houses or civilization for miles and miles. Reminded me of Texas.
After the monument we were cruising through Red Rock Country in northern Arizona on Navajo Nation land. We made a stop at Teec Nos Pos Trading post hoping to replenish our propane but no one with the proper knowledge was around to do so. The guy there tried to convince us to go in the north direction but the one reservation we had was in the opposite direction. I feel we started to understand his reasoning as some stretches were a bit eerie with signs posted saying roads are not patrolled at night essentially leaving a person to the mercy of others. That thought did not sit well with us. Paying for a campsite instead of boondocking along the way became the new plan.
If we would of went north we would never have been blessed with the sight of the double rainbow! Or the beauty of Red Rock Country.
We chose Canyon De Chelly National Monument area to be our final destination. Cottonwood Campground right next to it was a wonderful comfort to us and gladly paid the $14 to be among people even though they were a bit scarce. We settled in, made some food and chilled the night away.
Remember Life begins outside your comfort zone!
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