Monday, April 6, 2015



4-6 Apr
We are camping at Ancient Cedars Mesa Verde RV Resort in Mancos, CO across the highway from Mesa Verde NP. There is a great view of the Mesa to the South  and off to the East is snow cover mountain tops. The view alone is worth stopping here for the night. While here we will be making trips that included Four Corners, Mesa Verde NP and an unexpected stop a Hovenweep NM. Anytime when we can add another National Park to our trip it just icing on the cake.

4 Apr
Buckled up and strapped in for what I thought was going to be  a 4 ½ hour drive, but really almost 7 hours. My navigator and Google map was off by 2 ½ hours. We took 98 to 160 and after 3 hours of driving and no sign of a rest stop we pulled over on a pullout to take a break to eat lunch. Mountains surrounded us on both sides, we had a prefect view to eat lunch (sorry no pics… what wrong with me!).

The downside to planning a trip with paying in advance for reservation is if you find something you did not expect to find there is no time to stop, we had to pass on stopping at Monument Valley. However, we did see some of it from the road. These are the times I want to kick myself in the a$$.

Finally, we got to our first stop of the day at Four Corners Monument. This is the only place in the US where four states meet at one point. Located on Navajo land and a fee is $5.00 a person to enter.

 ½ hour out from our RV Park, I saw a sign boards for $.99 strawberry shortcake at Ute Mountain Casino and just had to stop. Strawberries were sweet and my taste buds were thanking me. I only had a few bits so I could save the rest after we ate dinner. Hiromi thought I stopped for her… let's keep that our little secret.

We arrived at Ancient Cedars Mesa Verde RV Resort just across the highway to the entrance of Mesa Verde NP. The RV park just changed owners and a new name (A & A Mesa Verde was the old name). Weather is in the mid 60’s during the day and low 30’s at night. Worst part is our electric space heater died so we are using our central heater.  

Having some fun playing with Mesa Verde

5 Apr
Easter Sunday and no sign of the Easter Bunny…. Where are my black jelly beans? As we were driving in yesterday, we drove pass the sign board to Hovenweep NM. It is within our 2 hour drive requirement for a day trip, so we made the 1 ½ hour drive on back country roads. Like any back country roads you see thing that you will never see on the main highways. 

We had to stop for cow crossing.
A group of Elk was staring at us 

Hovenweep translated as deserted valley. There is no fee to enter this National Monument. We ate our packed lunch before hiking the 2 mile trail that had 11 ruins covered throughout the mountain rim. All the ruins were blocked off, but we could still get close to them. We were so busy looking around at the view while walking; we almost walked in front of a Midget Faded Rattlesnake. If not for it giving us its warning rattle, who knows what would have happened to us.   

Midget Faded Rattlesnake
The snake was longer than this, but I had to edit 2 pics to make this.

On our way back to the RV Park we stopped at Wal Mart to picked up a new space heater that was on sale for $16.  The one we had was a cheap flea mark find and lasted 3 years and did it's job. The new heater is smaller and puts out just as much heat. I think Hiromi will want to keep the old heater as she used its flat top for the rice cooker and toaster oven.

6 Apr

Our Last day here, we only had to drive across the street to arrive at Mesa Verde NP. I believe this will be the shortest drive we ever take to get somewhere. There is a  $10 fee, but our national Park Pass cover the fee. We had to drive 20 miles into the park before arriving at the museum located just above Spruce Tree House. Like always, we ate our packed lunch before heading out on the trail.

 We were now ready for the ½ mile hike to Spruce Tree House. All the other site of cliff dwellers were closed for the season and open in May. Spruce Tree House is the most preserved cliff dwellers with most of its structure still standing. There was even a Kiva open that we could climb down into. Of all the cliff dwellers we have visited, this is hands down the best.

 Open Kiva off limits
 Inside the covered Kiva

Ancient Cedars has a pizza cooker in their community room which is a log cabin. We picked up a pizza yesterday and tonight was pizza night.

What next?
Albuquerque, NM

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