Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Off the Wagon West, Call It Plan B

Road fatigue left me unwilling to spend time staring into the eyes of a computer to record the last 600 miles of my day during the final week of my trip. Let's just say that it was an awesome experience. By now everyone knows that Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons never materialized before my eyes, yet they remain in my mind. "One day I will make it out there" is the saying that remains. As a result of a winter storm that closed roads to these places of grandeur, after spending a teeth chattering night at Rocky Mountain National Park, Adrienne and I decided to head south like the snow birds and camp out at Mesa Verde National Park. Luckily it was just opening that weekend and we had a place to camp with showers. If we still did not have any heat to warm our camper, we would at least have the sun. Mesa Verde as it turns out is a very beautiful place. The "ancestral puebloan" ruins were amazing. The Rangers make you want to become one, there are lizards, petroglyphs (carved images into the sandstone), pictographs (painted images in the sandstone), a lot of fire damage, and tons of canyons. I had the chance to climb a three story ladder out of some ruins, and also got to learn a really cool word, "sipapu."The only canyons that we have here in New York are gorges and places that they like to call "the Grand Canyon of the East" which at this point, I have discovered that there must be approximately a dozen places in this area that are dubbed that. From the taste of the southwest that I did experience, I am assured that these dubbed places can't compare and have no business being referred to the Grand Canyon in any shape or form. Isn't Letchworth State Park beautiful enough to stand on its own without comparison to that giant gorge system in Arizona? I think it is. And as far as I am concerned it makes far more sense to compare the Chimney Bluffs in Sodus, NY to the Badlands. Again, that is just me, but I have been there so I am an expert. ha. As we would have it our plans to visit the Four Corners National Monument led to yet another Plan B. Within 18 miles of the place there was a sign along the road that informed us that the monument was closed due to reconstruction. They have to close down a concrete slab in the middle of a Navajo Reservation? Huh? Oh well, so much for visiting Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado all in one sitting. Ahck, I was close enough. Seeing the Sleeping Ute Mountain was good enough for me. That I found to be quite impressive. As Adrienne's father might have said, "That Sleeping Ute is surreally real!" Unfortunately I could not get a decent picture of due to the phone lines that they probably could have put on the opposite side of the road, but that's what I get for taking pictures from moving vehicles. I had to do a lot of that along the way, and ending up capturing far more bug guts on my windshield than anything else.

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