Day 3- Up early for a ranger led tour at Mesa Verde. We bought tickets to tour the Square Tower House way back in May, so we were gambling hard on weather and our ability to make it to Mesa Verde on the right day and time. The tour ended up being impressively staffed- 2 rangers and 1 volunteer. The Square Tower House is a well preserved and unique in design. According to the ranger, only one person modern person has been inside the upper tower. She was able to slide in on a plank, suspended by scaffolding (so touching nothing) and take photos and sketch what she saw.

 

After the tower hike, we walked 6 miles round trip to the petroglyphs.  After the hike, we cruised on to Farmington, NM to visit friends.

 

 

Sunrise in camp
Thunder Moon…when meteorologists get to name every event.
Free campsite
Square Tower House from above
Ranger tours!
Wooden Ladders?
The natives didn’t have ladders. They cut hand/foot holds into the walls
Square Tower House at ground level
Note the Crow’s Nest way up there! The windows look out at neighboring dwellings
Cliff city
Petroglyph Point Hike
Time to climb.

 

16/7/2019- On to the Southwest corner of CO! We made it over Wolf Creek Pass without any problems and through Durango. We stopped in Delores, CO to get information about the ruins nearby. We went on to The Great Hiva. The hiva was neat as one could walk and enter the ancient structure. 

Hovenweep National Monument was really interesting.It had free water (good to hikers and  picnicking). I wish we had cooler weather and/or more time to spend here. There are 10 or so structures hidden throughout the small valley. After Hoverweep we went to a hike a park volunteer suggested. Between the two locations, we saw 9 wild horses. Some were wandering across the road. 

We camped at a free campsite near Mesa Verde’s entrance and got to enjoy the “Thunder Moon” (meteorologists really need to take a break on these names). Pictures tomorrow.

 

A hike in the heat…104 F reminds us of our (bad) hikes in Phoenix. 
A place in the shade. Ancient Pueblans built these little rock shelters. These were about a mile down the trail.
This tiny building may have been used to store food or water. Water drips down the wall of the cliff.
The same structure as above.
A third look at the small rock shelter. 
Clouds appear to come out of the rock chimney.

These two structures appear to be built to withstand a siege.  These are at Hovenweep National Monument. 
How many homes can you find? Another in the small valley at Hovenweep.
Like many of the buildings at Hovenweep, the building in the background needs a long jump , ladder, or a plank to get from the trail to the building.
More buildings at Hovenweep.
Hovenweep. A slightly different perspective.

 

15/7/2019- Day 1 of our road trip adventure.

We got a late start and drove the scenic way (because why the hell not?) to the Great Sand Dunes National park. Weather was good and the mule deer were out. The Sand Dunes were interesting, but not something we needed to spend any real time seeing. Interestingly, the river (small stream for you Easterners) was flowing and many people were playing in the water. More folks were stomping up hundreds of feet of elevation to slide/surf/sandboard down the dunes. We chose to drive 30 minutes down the road to La Blanca’s trailhead to find a campsite for the night. Sleep and a high quality Melvin 2×4 was enjoyed by all. If Melvin Brewing would like to sponsor us, we would love to be ambassadors!!

 

If anyone is interested in the Honda Fit camper conversion, check here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Ultimate-Road-Trip-Car-Conversion-Honda-Fit/

 

If you want information on how I did our conversion for the 2009 Honda, let me know.

The Ultimate (on-road) Road Trip Vehicle
Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
La Blanca campsite
Sunset means bedtime at the first camp