Thursday, October 8, 2015

Newspaper Rock, Canyonlands, Garden of the Gods and Snow

We enjoyed three day trips this week that provided more scenic vistas that were absolutely breath-taking.  I took way too many photographs and had a difficult time selecting these few to share on the blog.
We leave Towoac, Colorado tomorrow, moving our home base to Flagstaff, Arizona.

Some of these petroglyphs date to over 1500 years ago.
Close up views

Our drive through the Canyonlands National Park consisted of only one road.  This park is huge and requires a few days of exploring to get an appreciation of the unique rock and land formations.  One day we would like to come back here and enjoy the quietness of this uncrowded National Park.

Notice Ronnie on that flat rock near the center-left of the picture.

From every curve of the road, it seemed there was a new unusual rock formation or distance land formation.

This landscape is best compared to Monument Valley except with way fewer crowds.  In fact, you can see in the distance, some of Monument Valley's rock formations.  We really enjoyed this quiet, scenic drive.
Many of the rock formations have unusual names.

The dirt road through Valley of the Goads is about 17 miles long.  We saw regular cars traveling the road, however for this rocky road, we were glad we were in a high clearance vehicle.
Storm clouds were gathering, we did not tarry as we had to cross many washes.  There are warnings about being in the area if heavy rain is predicted.  Thankfully, no rain fell while we were exploring the area.

Once you leave The Valley of the Gods, turn right into Hwy 261 and you're headed up the Moki Dugway.  It's listed on the website of The World's Most Spectacular Roads.  This road was built in the 1950's to transport uranium ore from a mine in Cedar Masa to the town of Mexican Hat for processing.  We thought about how scary it must have been for the drivers of trucks of that time period to haul the heavy loads down this steep, curvy road.

There are lookout points where you can pull off the see the fantastic views of the road and the valley below.

What a drive this was, filled with thrills and thankfully, no spills.
There are no guard rails here.

Amazing views at the top of Cedar Mesa.  The land formation seen here is called the 
A view of Valley of the Gods.

Once at the top of Cedar Mesa, we took the first road to the left.  That five mile dirt road went to Muley Point Lookout.  Here we saw more incredible vistas of Monument Valley and the Goosenecks of the San Juan River.
That's Monument Valley in the far distance.
Don't get close to the edge of the cliffs here either!
Goosenecks of the San Juan River

Today's weather was crystal clear after the rain from the last 3 days.  We hoped there would be snow on the Mountains of San Juan National Forest.  
We drove Hwy 145 back to Telluride once more.

We were happily surprised that the aspen were still so colorful.

The past 3 weeks we have spent in the southwestern area of Colorado have made us keenly aware of why the Colorado Border Welcome Signs say
 "Welcome to Colorful Colorado"
More later...


  1. Love all your pictures. Looks as if you two have really enjoyed your travels out west. We are getting ready to depart our Iowa location and slowly make are way south.
    Safe Travels......

  2. The pics are wonderful, no wonder you could'nt pick from so many. Hope you are keeping warm. Our ac runs day and night here. Last month my electric bill was $213, I shudder to think what this months will be. Today was Joels 69th birthday. We celebrated by going bowling(we hadn't gone in 3 years) and he had two exceptional games, a 189 and a 196, I had a 106, and a 138, not too bad. Joel had 8 strikes in a row. Then we went to a very beautiful and intimate restaurant for lunch. We walked around main street leesburg, which is a historic town with lots of boutiques and antique shops. Then of course we went to Walmart for a few things. Oh, I started going to bingo in this park, I won a game on Wed Night. Nothing new on our house yet, it has rained so much they could not pour our huge driveway, but now the rain is gone. Trying not to think about it. So glad that you and Ronnie are having so much fun. Little boy won't be lonely while you guys are gone, if he is like Peanut he sleeps the day away. Have great travels, good friends.