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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Travelling In and Around Four States in One Day!

March 19 ( notes on Mar 18 ),2013 4:05 pm Comfort Inn Room 119 Grants, New Mexico

Got up early yesterday morning and went to check out and make sure that the Tour Company charge was billed to our room. May I say that though the Hampton Inn was nice enough and the meals at the Restaurant were delicious and plentiful and extra, I would not rave about them. The room was fairly small, over-heated and the A/C worked poorly. There was no refrigerator or microwave or a channel guide for a very limited selection of channels and the wi-fi was quite poor. On top of this the coordination of tour arrangement and billing was totally lacking and then I found that I was unable to obtain a receipt for my stay. Let us begin with the receipt--the desk clerk claims that Expedia has phished, is that the term?, the HI's website and logo so that when you hit the link for reservations you are taken to Expedia though nowhere is there any evidence of this. She claims that my reservation was made by Expedia and that she is unable to get into the system for a receipt. She further claims that this is a hacking situation and that the HI does not have an agreement with Expedia and that they charge less than Expedia does for the room. She says the whole hotel industry is up in arms that Expedia is allowed to do this and that there have been overbookings and problems with customers who arrive with a " reservation" only to find they have no room.Strange-when I checked in my reservation was in the system and I never used Expedia--certainly not knowingly. So, I'll have to wait and see what my credit card gets charged and hope I don't have to have a battle about it--with whom I don't know!  Bernie Sanders may hear from me soon!

In the meantime, though I made the reservation for the tour with Richard and we went on it, there was no evidence that my room had been charged for it. I insisted that they charge me since Richard said that is how it is done. I did get a receipt for that and hope I don't get billed twice. Never have I had such a horrible experience with a lack of communication among the desk clerks and the system with tour providers. But that is a worry for home.

Having gotten that straightened out, sort of, we had breakfast and finally hit the road at 11. We continued on rte 160 north toward the Four Corners. Almost immediately outside Kayenta we came across the Church Rock formation and a bit farther along the Baby Rocks, which do look like rank and file of infant upon infant. The road was, as all of them out here seem to be, filled with an ever changing vista. Turn a corner, the world has changed into another universe totally unlike what went before. At one point, we looked down into the Chinle Wash, filled with trees and green though the wash itself was not visibly moist.

I remember my parents mentioning Mexican Water and Mexican Hat--we didn't see Mexican Hat but I bet it wasn't much more than the two buildings that comprise Mexican Water!!

Eventually we reached the creatively named town of Red Mesa where the name of the school's teams are the Redskins--we found that very funny and ironic. Good-bye Dartmouth Indians--LOL

Arrived at the crossroads--Four Corners Monument--to be visited immediately--Cortez, our night's stop and Shiprock, on the route out tomorrow.  The Four Corners Monument is a hoot--Richard called us real tourists when I said we were going there. LOL  There was no way I was going down on all fours--either back or stomach up--I'd still be there!  So I aligned my heels and toes to cover all four States--my right toes are in Arizona, the heels in Utah--my left toes are in New Mexico, the heels in Colorado. Fun. Bill said his ass was big enough to cover four States so he sat on the cross hairs. Another guy jogged around the disc about five times and said he broke the record for covering four States in 60 seconds. The disc is surrounded by two arms of masonry in which small cubicles are located for Natives to sell souvenirs of all types. We stopped at the one right on the pathway--bought Bets two simple bracelets for $3 each and a silver charm for my bracelet for $10. Did NOT walk around browsing.

Continued on to Colorado and snow covered mountains. Entered the Mountain Ute Reservation, watched jet races across the sky as well as jets racing in opposite directions. Even entered into a race with a jet ourselves but he left us in his dust or contrail. Passed through monuments of different composition until we came to Ute Mountain--very interesting shape and covered with snow. At its base, a Casino, of course.  Very impressed by the talus littering every crevice in the mesas and wondered how many homes and people get hit by falling rock. At the Eye, Richard pointed out a rock that had not been there the day before. It was right next to my foot and was a good sized rock--would have done a job if it hit someone on the head.

Here at the outskirts of Cortez we began to see the first real signs of Spring--leaves and catkins breaking out on the trees and the ground a bit greener. Checked into the EconoLodge--not a favorite in the Choice chain but a bit better than their Rodeway. That being said, there was a fridge, microwave, a zillion channels, good wifi and a channel guide. For half the price of the Hampton Inn. A bigger room, too, though not as tastefully appointed. AND, the A/C and heat worked perfectly!  One never knows what you're going to get for the price--there is no consistency.

Drove up to Mesa Verde's new visitors' center--it opened last Fall. Very nice and very helpful ranger on duty. Picked up some info and other things--headed back to the motel and ordered in Pizza Hut and washed it down with Shock Top. Watched The Following, though I don't know why--it is sick,sick,sick. Then I watched a CSI--haven't watched that in a long, long while. Not too bad. Then to sleep for the exploration of Mesa Verde tomorrow, though the 22 mile entrance road has me a bit leery and scared.

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