More of our Dessert SW trip

Date: 15 May 2011

Snow flurries accompanied us as we departed Bridges National Monument. The snow seems to be following us on our journey from Laramie, WY. This has kept us out of our tent and in motel rooms.

Mesa Verda , CO was our next destination. Indian ruins nestled into cliff alcoves is the theme of this park. Accompanied by a ranger, we set off to see the largest ruin in the park; Cliff Palace. Made of clay and sandstone, most of the buildings still remain. Some use to be three stores high, but are now only two. Where did these people get the idea of building in this manner? Well, we soon found out when we went to Chaco Canyon.

Chaco Canyon, NM. The masonry at these ruins is exceptional!! The time and effort they put into building their homes is amazing. They didn’t have the wheel. Yet they managed to bring in lumber from 43 miles away to use as supports in their houses. We visited a Kiva that was 52 wide and 15 feet deep. Kiva’s were ceremonial buildings. The buildings are made out of cut stone that are fitted together. The ruins at Mesa Verda seemed crude after visiting here. From here we started our trek through the Indian Reservation to Phoenix. On our way we stopped at…

Four Corners. Only in the West. Since the states are square out here there is a point where the states of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado all meet at one spot. This spot is located on the Navajaho Indian reservation. In years past people just drove up to the site. No longer! Now they charge $12 for the privilege. The site is also surrounded by stalls for vendors. Upon leaving the Indian Reservation our next stop was …

Petrified Forest, AZ is filled with, well petrified, trees. Entire trees turned to rock. We enjoyed hiking through this dessert landscape surrounded by huge trees turned to stone. What was at one time a lush place is now a beautiful dessert. The light on the sandstone leads to why they named it the Painted Dessert.

Currently we are in Phoenix, AZ visiting my best friend from High School, Nan and her family. We’ve really enjoyed spending time with them in their lovely home. We were blessed to see their daughters preform in a dance recital. It has been nice to have some down time from all the driving we have been doing.

Stay tuned more of our trip is to come. Philip is working on pictures – they will be along later today or in a few days.