Welcome to the

Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

About Me

My photo
Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Giving Mesa Verde a Pass

March 19,2003 4:48 pm Room 119 Comfort Inn Grants, New Mexico

As you all know by now, I am terrified of height and hate deep drop offs or the apparent disappearance of a road that seems to fall off the face of the Earth.  Having looked up at the access road from the Visitors' Center yesterday and assessing the switchbacks visible from there, I decided that there was no way I wanted to go 22 miles up and worse 22 miles down before ever seeing any of the ruins on the ledges of this Mesa. Told Bill this morning that I just couldn't put myself through that torture but that I'd happily make myself comfortable with a book in the lovely VC and wait for him to explore this National Park. He said, no, he'd skip it.  Then I was wracked with guilt until he assured me that he'd seen plenty of Anasazi ruins, Sky City and Canyon de Chelley and wasn't feeling cheated. I probably should have gone up but don't think I'll miss it, especially since I bought a CD-Rom on which I'll see things that we would not have seen since one of the mesas was still winter off-limits.

So off we went back toward the Four Corners and into New Mexico once more. We continued on 491 rather than 160 and headed to Shiprock. The day was so overcast--cold--40 degrees and looked and felt like snow--that the rock looked like a ship in rough and foggy seas. Kind of neat. Then we turned East on 64 to Farmington. We had planned on going to Cuba and past Chaco Canyon, however, there is no easy way to Grants from there--all dirt roads--and we did not want to go as far as Bernalillo, near Albuquerque--too many miles. So, at Farmington we took 351 straight South to Thoreau and then I 40 to Grants. We've explored this area so much that it was hard to find a new route to travel but 351 is one. Rough, rough,rough--bounced all the way to Crown Point--hard to focus the camera and rough on shocks that are already a bit old, automotive as well as human.

Before getting on 351 we could see that we had high pressure today--when the plumes of smoke stacks flatten out and travel horizontally across the sky you know that it is. The downside is that you can also see how far the pollution from these stacks travel. Also, since breakfast at the EconoLodge was almost non-existent--coffee with powdered creamer--yuck!--we stopped at a local diner. Vernon was our cute Navajo waiter--the meal was huge and the coffee terrific. There was no way I could eat that short stack of two pancakes but I gave it the old college try. Wish I'd known how huge the serving was--I'd have asked for only one. I hate wasting food.

On 351, the first thing we saw were beautiful emerald green fields and others just starting to green up and others being prepared for planting. Just wonderful--Spring really is on its way, though not at home, apparently--you've gotten battered with yet another foot, I hear!

Once more, forms and topography unique to this area. and 106 miles of almost no habitation. Incredible how much open land there is in this country. Oh, yes, that reminds me--as I look at the fenced in cows--in Utah/Arizona there is, as you know, all open range. Richard says the cows are free so there are no mad cows in Arizona!  LOL

About 30 miles outside Crown Point we came to Lake Valley--the ground was like tan beach sand and it is obvious that there has been ,and maybe still is at times, a lake here.  Laughed as I saw the mileage sign 8 miles from Crown Point to see that the name had changed to Crow Point!! But I guess I am wrong to make it two words in either case.

Before too long, there it was--on the horizon--Mt Taylor. Full circle once more. Down and round through a Mesa pass, over the Continental Divide and into Thoreau we sailed. On to I 40 and arrived at Grants as my sister called to tell me that our cousin, Harry, has passed away. I'd gotten an email several days ago from his daughter saying he was in the hospital. I sent him and his wife a note just two days ago. I was afraid Annabelle would receive it and Harry would have died. So sad. Late 70's--too close in age--makes one nervous.

Mount Taylor looks a bit different than 10 or so days ago--less snowy. Decided to use the Comfort Inn instead of the Quality Inn this time--a bit of variety in a place that is almost as familiar as home. The laundry is done--so now, if I want to get back in time for NCIS, I'd better dress and head out for dinner. Hopefully, I'll have good wi fi tomorrow so I can tell you about the Turquoise Trail and up Santa Fe way. 'Til then take care and be safe those in the snow belt. KandB

No comments:

Post a Comment