Monday morning we made the leisurely 140-mile trip to Mancos, Colorado, located about halfway between Cortez and Durango in the southwest corner of Colorado. It's the gateway to Mesa Verde National Park.
(We are on our way to Verde Valley, Arizona, near the Cottonwood/Sedona area. This is one of the stops on the way.)
We are staying at the Mesa Verde RV Park,
a very nice park under new and eager-to-please ownership. Once we set up, we drove the 25 miles to the top of the mesa. It's such a winding road they forbid taking trailers up the hill. The last time we were here (10 years ago) we drove our rented motor home up and down the hill. It was so harrowing that we cancelled our planned second-day visit to the mesa. Since we've been here before, this visit was mainly to get Becky's National Park Passport stamped, and to take a quick look at the scenery. The park itself is pretty amazing---filled with hundreds of Anasazi (now called Ancestral Puebloans by the politically correct folks) ruins of hillside dwellings,
which are really tiny villages. One can access some of the dwellings by climbing ladders and squeezing through small canyon slots. The people generally farmed the flat areas at the top of the mesa and lived on the hillsides below the top. Very interesting.
We had arranged to have our weekly mail delivered to the RV park. In its cleverness, the post office delivered it instead to the office of Aramark, the concessionaire at the national park. Oops! Fortunately, the Aramark office is only a half-mile away, so it was no big deal for me to go get it.
Late Tuesday morning we took a side trip to Durango (40 miles, one-way) and took a little tour of the city (population 17,000). It's grown a lot since we were there 23 years ago on a ski trip. Seems to be a nice place. We had a very nice lunch at Ken & Sue's,
a local restaurant on Main Avenue in the historic district. We had an interesting conversation with the guy next to us who was an environmental consultant from Boulder who was in Durango on business. After lunch, we stopped in across the street at The Strater Hotel, an old place with a magnificent lobby, still in full operation. That pretty much ended the exciting activities during our stay near Mesa Verde. Next it's on to Gallup, New Mexico.
After waking up for the second day in a row to a temperature of 25 degrees, it will be nice to get to a warmer climate---in Gallup and beyond.
The 140-mile trip to Gallup on Wednesday was a no-brainer.
We are staying at the USA RV Park, a very nice place we have stopped at on at least three occasions. It's on "historic" Route 66 and the park and Gallup have a lot of references to the history of Route 66. Otherwise, there's not a lot to recommend this city. That's why we're spending only two days here.
Mostly, we rested here, and got in a little shopping. Thursday night we had dinner at Virgie's Mexican Restaurant & Lounge, about a half-mile from our RV park. The food was very tasty and the service was fine, but we got interrupted several times by Indians walking through and hawking their wares.