On Friday, May 13th we left Mesa Verde and drove in the RV to Dolores, CO, not very far away. We are staying at the Priest Gulch RV Park located on the Dolores River, a beautiful site nestled in the pine trees listening to the roaring river go by. In the afternoon we drove in the jeep over Lizard Head Pass to Telluride where we ate lunch at the Brown Dog Pizza Restaurant. There is still a lot of snow on the pass and the mountains, so we won’t be able to do any backpacking while we are here. The next day we drove to Dunton Hot Springs, a private town turned into a private resort set in a picturesque wooded area off the beaten path. There is a gate across the road so no one can trespass unless guests, we took photos from afar. Near by we hiked the Geyser Spring Trail, 2.5 miles R/T, the trail ends up at a small warm pool fed by the only true geyser in the state of Colorado. We started the trail by crossing a foot bridge over the West Dolores River and climbed 500 feet to 9,100 ft in elevation. The sulphur smell is very strong and there is a sign warning people not to bathe in the pool due the sulphur dioxide eruptions that occur every thirty to forty minutes emitting strong sulphur gases. We had been here in 2009 and there was no sign, so we did bathe in the pool with no side effects. The water was not very warm this time, so we did not attempt to bathe. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
We packed up all our camping gear in the back of the jeep and left to drive the 3 hours to Canyon De Chelly in Arizona and camp there one night. On the way we stopped at the Four Corners Monument in Arizona, which marks the quadripoint where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. The Navajo Nation maintains the monument as a tourist attraction, and it cost $10 to enter, there is nothing to do there except wait in line to get your picture taken on all four states, or buy from the Navajo vendors set up around the monument. It wasn’t very busy so we were able to get in and out fairly quickly.
We arrived at the small town of Chinle, AZ, and went to the Visitor Center first to find out where to go and what to see here. Canyon De Chelly National Monument, established in 1931, includes two large canyons, Canyon de Chelly, (pronounced “d’shay”) to the south and Canyon Del Muerto to the north. Canyon de Chelly got its name from the Navajo word Tseyi, which means canyon or “in the rock.” Canyon Del Muerto, Spanish for “canyon of the dead,” was named when remains of mummies were discovered on an archeological expedition in the 1880s. Canyon de Chelly is entirely owned by the Navajo Tribal Trust of the Navajo Nation, and approximately 40 Navajo families live in the park. We decided to do the North Rim Drive first and walked to the overlook of the Antelope House Ruins. We were in awe as we viewed the canyon from the overlook and its 1000 feet walls of red, black and orange. The Antelope House ruins were nestled on the canyon floor under an alcove. We used our binoculars to see the ruins up close. Continue reading
After visiting the Anasazi Heritage Museum yesterday and seeing all the artifacts that were excavated from the Canyons of the Ancients and learning about the Ancestral Puebloan life on the Great Sage Plains, we wanted to visit the area in person. The Canyon of the Ancients encompasses more than 170,000 acres of high desert in the southwest corner of Colorado. Thousands of archaeological sites have been recorded in this incredibly ancient culture rich area. The first we stopped at was Lowry Pueblo, a 1,000-year-old Ancestral Pueblo village, and most of the area is protected under a modern roof. Off to the side we saw the Lowry Great Kiva, 47 feet in diameter, it is one of the largest kivas found is this area, very impressive, definitely the largest kiva we have seen so far. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Today we drove to Cortez, and then north to the Anasazi Heritage Center, located in Dolores, which is a museum of the Ancestral Pueblo culture and other Native cultures in the Four Corners region. The Heritage Center, in operation since 1988, is a fabulous museum of millions of artifacts and displays showing the life of the native pueblo people, who resided in permanent communities called pueblos and grew their own crops. We saw many artifacts of tools for hunting and cooking, pottery, basketry in many colors, and a loom where one could try their skill at weaving. There were two pueblo ruins outside the Heritage Center, the Dominguez Pueblo, an example of an independent family homes outside the main pueblo, and the Escalante Pueblo constructed in 1120 to 1130 AD and made of groupings of stone walled family and common rooms, and a kiva. There was more to see at this pueblo, and it had great views of the Great Sage Plains and the McFee Reservoir. It was well worth the walk up the hill to view this ruin and see the views, but we had to leave and continue on our quest for more ruins at Mesa Verde. Click on thumbnail to view Continue reading
We finally arrived in Santa Fe a day later than we had planned because of RV repairs in Tucson. We are staying at the Trailer Ranch RV Resort only 4 miles from downtown Santa Fe. After settling into our site we drove into Santa Fe and went for dinner at the Blue Corn Café. We walked the streets and gazed at all the beautiful art pieces in the windows and on the sidewalks. The next day we drove to Canyon Road which is an entire street dedicated to galleries and art shops. We had breakfast at The Teahouse, sitting outside under the trees, enjoying the best oatmeal I have ever eaten, (and I’ve eaten a lot of oatmeal). We walked up and down Canyon Street exploring all the unique shops with different art sculptures and paintings, and Décor for homes. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
We finally left San Diego and heading east to Tucson to have service done on R SHRPA. We are staying at the Voyager RV Resort until everything is finished. We dropped off the coach at Freedom RV Service center early Thursday, April 21st, and drove out to the Mission San Xavier, to explore this National Historic Landmark, founded by Fr. Kino, the Jesuit pioneer and explorer, in 1692. This Franciscan church is still a working church, built between 1783 to 1797. The church is so well preserved that when you enter the church it is like walking into the 18th century. Statues dating to the 1750’s, vivid late baroque altars, and original paintings adorn the interior. In 1783, the Franciscans borrowed 7,000 pesos to begin the church, and from 1790 to 1815, artists from central New Spain worked to complete the interior, earning double pay because of the threat of Apaches in the area, but in 1797 funds ran out. The church was left incomplete to this day, the east tower was left with no dome or lantern, the choir loft and baptistery paintings were left unfinished. We took a very interesting tour throughout the church and discovered all the things that were left undone when the money ran out. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
Today we left Chula Vista to drive to Borrego Springs, only a two hour drive from San Diego. We took longer because we didn’t want to drive the RV along the narrow back roads through Julian, so we stayed on the highway and headed to El Centro and arrived at Borrego Springs three hours later. We are staying in the beautiful Springs at Borrego RV Resort. Borrego Springs is an interesting town without a single stop light, and night time lighting is kept to a minimum to protect the views of the night sky, because Borrego Springs was designated as California’s first International Dark-Sky Community. One evening we enjoyed the dark night sky gazing at the stars through the large telescopes set up in the Park. We took a trip back to Julian, not far from here, to enjoy the wonderful and delicious apple pies. Continue reading
Once again we are hitting the slopes at Sun Valley with roomies, Karen Moyer and Bruce Kahn, along with a ski group from Ohio. We are staying at the Christophe Condominiums in Ketchum, within walking distance to the River Run lifts. After we arrived and settled in, we had a meet-and-greet party at Al Feronti’s condo, he’s the trip leader, and got the schedule for the week. Saturday was our first day on the slopes and the weather was perfect, sun shining brightly, and lots of groomed runs to warm up our legs. We ate lunch with the group at the Lookout Restaurant on the top of Bald Mountain. Great views but the food was not the best. At the end of the day we gathered once again at the bottom of River Run drinking beer and sharing stories of the beautiful day on the mountain. Continue reading
In February our friends, Pat and Harry from Calgary, came to visit San Diego for two weeks and we spent time exploring all the wonderful sightseeing places around San Diego with them. We visited the Midway Museum, La Jolla, the Air and Space Museum at Balboa Park, Old Town, the Gaslamp district and an unforgetable breakfast at the Coronado Hotel. We drove to Laguna Beach for the day visiting the many Galleries, including the famous Wyland Gallery, and enjoyed a great lunch looking out over the ocean.
The highlight for me was going to Disneyland for the first time, and celebrating the 60th anniversary of Disney. Security was searching for weapons coming into the Park and poor Harry got busted for carrying his pocket knife on him. We went on several rides, the Ironman Exhibition and the Riverboat that was docked until further notice. We loved the parade of all the Disney characters as they marched through the Park waving and singing to all the crowds of tourists. Lastly we went to the Disneyland Adventure Park and then hurried to meet Jackie, Pat and Harry’ daughter, who works for Disney as an animator drawer, for dinner outside the Park. All in all we had a wonderful time sightseeing, eating, drinking and laughing together for two weeks. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading
On Tuesday, Dec 15th, we left Casa Grande and drove all the way to San Diego, to see Kevin, Ericka and Harper, and we are staying at the Chula Vista RV Resort. It is a beautiful Resort right on the water and we have a view looking west across the bay to the Silver Strand. The amenities include a nice pool and hot tub as well a a small gym where Bob can workout. The sunsets from the marina were spectacular, and the December full moon was so clear in the sky over San Diego. One of the benefits staying at this Park is that there is a bike trail from here to the Del Coronado Hotel to downtown San Diego and back to the Park, for a wonderful 24 mile round trip bike ride. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading