Our home-base, Sleeping Ute Mountain RV Park in Towaoc, is centrally located near the places we want to explore. We are close to Mesa Verde National Park, but have decided not to visit this trip. We saw this outstanding Park in 2005, so we'll save it to "redo" another time.
We made a short visit to Hovenweep National Monument. Their visitor center is very informative and the paved trail to some of the ruins was easy. It was hotter than expected and we were not prepared for the full 4 mile hike that skirts the canyon. That hike exhibits better views of the ruins, maybe next time.
"Hovenweep" means "deserted valley". These archaeological sites represent the ancestors of today's Pueblo Indian tribes. These remaining walls are ruins from the Square Tower area, circa 1200.
The ancestral Pueblo stone masons had remarkable skill.
A view from across the canyon of another set of ruins.
We wanted to make another visit to the Four Corners Monument. The drive along Highway 160 was such a contrast from our time in Durango and Pagosa Springs. I have always loved the desert landscape!
The Navajo operate the Four Corners Monument. When we visited in 1984 and 2005, there was no charge to stand where the 4 states' borders meet. (Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico) On this visit, we paid 5.00 each to enter the Monument. We did notice newly built concrete and stone stalls where the Navajo sell their art. They are out there selling year-round. We're sure they are more comfortable now, shielded from harsh weather, while they share their culture with visitors.
We were even fortunate to see Navajo Artist/Potter Bob Lansing.
His well crafted art pottery was unlike any we have ever seen and his friendliness made us feel even more appreciative to have met him. Unfortunately the prices for his work were well beyond our budget.
Chimney Rock, just south of Ute Mountain Tribal Park.
We struck Autumn gold as we traveled north on Highway 142 to Telluride. We suspected the Aspen might be showing their fall colors.
|The Atlantic Cable Mine in Rico.|
The further north we drove, reaching higher elevations, we saw the Aspen trees display more golden color.
Further up Forest Road 627, along Trout Lake, we discovered this old railroad trestle. Built around 1891, it's part of the train and railroad track for the Galloping Goose, rail cars used on the track around 1936.
We traveled on northward to Telluride. The landscape appeared more colorful and majestic.
One Telluride experience we did not want to miss this trip was a ride on the free Telluride Gondola.
We rode all three Gondola segments: Telluride, Mountain Village and the Gondola Plaza. We really enjoyed the ride and the view of the surrounding mountains.
Great views at the top!
The town of Telluride as seen from 10,500 feet.
Yep, we were thirsty again. We happened upon Smugglers Brew Pub, off main street, on Pine Street, in Telluride.
|An Excellent Happy Hour: Shred Betty Raspberry Wheat and Debauchery|
Our drive back to our home-base in Towaoc was bright with golden-edged roads.