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Moab, Utah Via Monticello & Cortez to Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado - 9,295kms

Jun 09, 2015

We headed off early so we could get to do the things in Mesa Verde we wanted to do this afternoon given we have a tour time to meet around lunchtime tomorrow in Monument Valley. The countryside changed from red cliffs and canyons to wide open spaces with some agriculture with grain and cattle and what looked like at times pretty basic native grass and pines. There was also some irrigation but the settlements were sparse and small and as we started to see small and large protrusions of rocks on the plains and green speckled sand drifts the colour had changed to sand colour and as we got to Mesa Verde the stone is not surprisingly sandstone. We headed for the park, found our hotel and unloaded our cases then headed to the Chapin Mesa Archeological area to grab a bite for lunch and then toured the Spruce Tree House on a self guided walking tour and loved it. Glad I had the warm up climb yesterday so the walking wasn't such a shock to the system. From here we headed to the Cliff Palace for a guided tour and loved that also. Ranger Reagan was passionate about his work (Ranger / Tour guide 6 months and Archeologist 6 months). He was entertaining and informative and it felt a privelage to tour the remains. Pictures tell the story of our day below:


Not far out of Moab we came across this Hole in the Rock sign. Eeek! even worse around the corner was more painting on the rock and some crappy commercial establishment. Couldn't believe it!


Wilson's Arch.


Mesa Verde Visitor Centre, a beautiful building and incredibly helpful staff.


One of the first sights as we entered Mesa Verde National Park, literally visible from the ticket window.


And we start to seriously climb and the views are awesome.


Our first glimpse of the SpruceĀ  Tree House, an interesting name since it isn't actually in a tree. The inhabitants left around 1,300 years ago.


The Spruce Tree House.


And a couple of old fossils at the Spruce Tree House.


Our first glimpse of the Cliff Palace before the descent.


Within the Cliff Palace.


And again.


On our way back to our hotel this was an overlook over the House of Many Windows.


And here are the windows just to prove they are there though we think the title may have more to do with all the many holes in the rocks but who knows, not us.


Still in site of the snow as we return to our hotel and a shower and dinner.

Bits and Bobs:


More coffee wisdom above and below.



A lizard Norm almost stepped on yesterday coming down from the Delicate Arch.


And one on the footpath pretending to be a stick today.

Last Two Night's Accommodation:

Sorry, forgot to take a photo of the hotel (Norm usually does that and I didn't think to, oops).

Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn, 16 S Main Street, Moab, UT 84532-2503
Large comfortable room with plenty of room to spread cases out and still have room to sit. Included breakfast, free wifi and parking. Staff helpful and facilities clean and comfortable.