Entry: May 10 9am: What a
day yesterday turned out to be! After Durango I went to see
Mesa Verde National Park. Went on their 3 hour tour, hiking
through the woods and climbing around inside the "cliff
dwellings". I've seen so many things on this trip!
headed to Four Corners (quite a long drive through the
desert). Had a "not so flattering" picture of myself taken
with each hand and each foot in a different state. Won't
include it here. Might even take it out of my photo
album. But, what the heck, it was fun doing it, and I'll never
be back in Four Corners again.
instead of sticking to my quasi-preplanned route, I decided to go
north. Why? Who knows. Guess I figured I'd find a
short cut. Thought I could start at the "beginning" of the
Grand Canyon, and work my way down to Page, Arizona. Big
mistake. Utah was one of the few states that I didn't have a
map for. So I thought I'd just "wing it". It couldn't be
far. Plus, I'd probably see some neat stuff along the way.
Road to Mesa Verde, Colorado
En route to Mesa Verde
Mountain View in Mesa Verde National Park
little "short cut" started out alright. Ran into a road
construction right off the bat. Stop and go traffic in the
desert. Then it cleared and it was free sailing after
that. Clear, calm skys. But by the time I reached a
place called, "Blanding, Utah" the wind was severe! I had
never seen such a relentless wind!
I saw my
first tumbleweed--it had to be the size of a voltswagon!
Huge! The clerk in the Blanding gas station saw it
first. She said, "Wow, look at that monster! We talked
for awhile. She told me that there was a campgroud up the road
where I could stay. I should have listened. It had
already been a long, long day. But no, I had to push on.
I had no
idea what was in store for me! I was about to enter "THE
Cliff dwellings believed to have been built by the Anasazi,
ancesters of the pueblo people, between 600AD and 1300AD
The road to Four Corners
Four Corners: The only place in the US where four states
meet. New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona.
here's the story...after visiting Mesa Verde and Four Corners, I
decided to drive north. Should have called it quits, and
stayed at the campground in Blanding. But it was hot, and
windy--very windy, and I didn't feel like setting up camp when I
knew I had at least a couple more hours of daylight left. I
thought I could make it to some nice campground on Lake
Powell. But it didn't work out that way.
leaving Blanding I came across the Natural Bridges National
Monument. Stopped in there, got some pictures. All the
campsites were taken so I had to move on. It was about 5
pm. Still windy as hell.
To make a
long story short, once inside Glen Canyon the terrain got
progressively more alien (for someone who never been in a
canyon). It was breathtaking alright but I didn't realize that
I'd be driving along the bottom of a canyon.
canyon on both sides of the road. It's wall towered way, way
above the road. I wanted to stop and take some photos, but
there were many road signs warning: "Do Not Stop, Falling
Rocks" and "Danger, Falling Rocks". So I didn't stop.
Plus, it was so windy, I thought maybe that might increase the
possibility of falling rocks. Probably not, guess I was just
being super cautious because I was getting kind of tired.
were no rest areas (the road was too narrow anyway), no people
(might have seen 2 or 3 cars drive by), it felt like it was just me
and the canyon, and the wind. And it was starting to get
dark. I had no idea how long it would be before I would find a
place to sleep.
Entrance to Glen Canyon (Scenic Route 95, but at the time, I
had no idea where this road would lead me.)
that I have a map in front of me I can see that I should have taken
Rt. 276 off Rt. 95 to get to Lake Powell. Ohhh.
finally came to a place called Hite's Marina right off Rt. 95.
It was early evening, just starting to get dark. I thought I'd
pull in here andsee if I could find a place t set up my tent.
But it was so windy that when I opened my car trunk--some things
blew out and I had to chase them over the rocks. Nope, no way
the tent would stay up. And even if it did, the noise of the
wind would keep me awake all night.
weren't any people around. I noticed the concrete rest rooms
and considered putting my cot up in there. Nope.
marina is very small. There's a gas station/small convenience
store. The owner was closing the store for the night. I
went in and talked to him. He told me that he'd never seen it
so windy before in the canyon. I asked for some
directions. He told me that I would have to drive all the way
back the way I came to find a place to stay. Then he said that
he had a camper out back that he could rent to me for the
night. It had no water, no electricity, and no toilet--but
he'd let me sleep in it for $85.00. Yeah, right! He told
me I wouldn't find anyplacecheaper
of sleeping in some old, unused camper wasn't very appealing.
Especially without a light to check it out. Who knows what
creeper crawlers might have taken up residence in there. The
guy must have thought that there was no way that anyone would go
back out there on that winding canyon road at night. I told
him, "No thanks, I'll just keep on driving." And I did.
that point in the trip I had never slept in my car before, so the
thought still hadn't occured to me.
then I was so exhausted, I wasn't thinking straight anyway. So
back out on the road I went, not knowing how far I would have to
drive to find someplace where I could rest. Sure wished I had
slowly ascended from the canyon to a windy plateau where I had to
slow down , and sometimes stop, because the blowing sand was so
heavy that I couldn't see anything in front of me. Saw an
"Open Range" sign. A cow was standing on the side of the
road. I was so glad to get out of that canyon!
miles from Hite's Marina was Hanksville, Utah. Hurray!
Had never heard of the place before, but it sure was heaven to me
windy for a tent, so I had to get a motel room--$45.00. Sleep
at last! And a shower, cable, and a huge bed. Slept like
You can tell by the volumn of writing I did on this day that the
experience made quite an impression on me. But
that's what a "road trip" is all about: expecting the
unexpected, taking a few little chances, cramming in all the sights
& experiences that you can--while you can!
ever worry about getting lost. The way I look at it is, I've
never been lost--I just didn't know exactly where I was at the
moment. All ya' have to do is keep going and eventually you'll
come through to the other side.