Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day 8- May 31- Canyonlands

We loved the Devil's Canyon Campground.  It was dry camping which means no electric or water, but it had the most amazing facilities and surprisingly clean pit toilets.  The picnic benches were awesome, they had amazing fire pits that were elevated.  In addition, you were able to gather firewood to burn which is not the case at every national park or forest.   

The boys loved riding their bikes here on the manmade ramp.  We then went into the Needles section of Canyonlands which is the southern part of Canyonlands.  The beauty here is so vast and there is so much land that God clearly took his time developing.  
One thing that you can count on with a 7 year old and a 9 year old boy is that rocks are always awesome.  They either need to be small enough to throw into the water or big enough that you can climb all over and Canyonlands is just about perfect for that for my two little ones.

They can climb up, over, around and through all kinds of rocks.  Canyonlands is heaven for them!  The longer we are out here, the more brave they get in their climbs.  They get more brave with the heights that they will climb and the speed with which they ascend and descend.

Look at the little monkeys go-  up they climb.

I am a lucky girl to have a guy who is willing to join me on

From there, we drove to Dead Horse Point State Park.  It is very difficult to get reservations here.  When we got reservations, we tried as soon as they opened on 12 different devices.  We were able to get one site, but when we saw the views from the campground, we were able to understand the popularity of it all-  not to mention the convenience of Arches and Canyonlands.  Mom and Dad were planning on meeting us at the campground.  Below is the boy's faces when they saw them for the first time.  

After a crazy couple of days, we were thankful to have mom and dad have dinner fixed shortly after we arrived, so that we could have a little bit of wind down time.  After dinner, we headed down to Dead Horse Point.  This was named because years ago, the cowboys rounded up all of the horses at the point.  They kept the good horses and left the bad horses corralled up on the point with no water, where they later starved.  The view from here were to die for.  

It was a fun day and we have had an awesome trip.  That being said, we are ready to stay put for 4 days, which is a nice change of pace :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Day 7- May 30- Heading to Utah

We woke up to no heat in the camper and a dead battery.  The battery was so dead that we were unable to get the slides in.  David was creative enough to put together some extension cords and reach the bathroom that was close to us, so we could get the slides in.  We saw four of these guys right next to the camper before we left the park. 

We did find a mobile camper repair guy who would be able to squeeze us in if we dropped the camper at his house and started our day.  It ended up adding more time to our drive, but we were still able to see everything we wanted to-  starting with Four Corners.  For those of you that don't know, this is the only place in the U.S. where four states touch-  New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.  

This is the point where all states actually meet.  Other than this, the area is not much to speak of.  There are some Native American stands set up in each of the states, but it is pretty much just a tourist trap.

If you saw the entrance to Four Corners, you would laugh, because it literally is in the middle of nowhere on an Indian Reservation.  Right outside, we were welcomed back to New Mexico where we stayed for about 10 minutes before- 
We came back into Utah.  
As we were driving, there is a lot of free range farm animals.  We would often see cows, goats, and sheep next to the road or crossing the road.  Here are some of the sheep that we passed.
From there, we drove on a road that went up the mountains on a gravel road.  It was a crazy beautiful drive, but we were thankful that the camper was at the repair shop.
David was able to get his drone out and fly it around these beautiful rock formations.  He had it out over 1 mile away and 600 feet up.  
We were planning on having the camper with us when we made this trek, so it is a good thing that we needed to leave the camper at the shop.  In the picture below, you can see how windy the road is and imagine how difficult it would be to pull a 35 foot camper up that mountain.  
 The view were totally worth the drive though-  

We drove to Natural Bridges National Park which has 3 natural bridges. The first bridge that we saw was Sipapu Bridge which was the youngest of the bridges.

The second bridge was Kachina bridge, which was the one that we were the least impressed with.  It was the "middle child" of the bridges.  
The third and final bridge was the oldest and the most magnificent in our opinion.  Owachomo Bridge was flat and delicate looking.

From there, we headed to Hovenweep, which was also cool.

It was a short walk around to see the beautiful ruins, but it was very hot and we were there at the end of the day.  

We saw this very cool lizard at Hovenweep- 

When finished, we headed back to Cortez and ate dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.  It was too late to get back to the camper and make dinner. It was really good food.

We headed back to the camper guy's house to pick up the camper.  We were grateful to find someone whose specialty was electrical work. Everything was working great and we headed to Devil's Canyon National Forest Campsite.  We were grateful that we were able to do everything that we had originally planned, even if it meant more driving.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Day 6- May 29- Mesa Verde

This was going to be our first full day of hiking.  We started by driving to the Mesa Top and checking out Spruce Tree House.  You used to be able to tour this, but you no longer can because of some damage that is being done.  They have to bring in an engineer to assess the damage before people will be allowed back in to tour this on their own.
Therefore, we decided to hike Petroglyph Point which has the largest collection of petroglyphs in the park. 
 This is a perfect hike for my boys-  lots of rock climbing and narrow navigation.  When they are climbing over rocks, they don't even realize they are hiking.

 These were all of the petroglyphs.  We enjoyed looking at them, but knew not to touch them because it can damage them for future generations.

 This was the view from the top of the hill.  Once we got up there, the hike was less exciting, but the view was amazing.  We were done with this hike 2.5 miles later.

After that, we drove the mesa top loop and looked at several of the viewpoints before heading to the Balcony House Tour.  
 As we were driving the mesa top loop, we saw this guy cross the road and were able to get a good picture.  He stood still long enough for us to determine that he was super healthy.

Our first tour was the Balcony House Tour which was only 1/4 mile, but took us back to an original cliff dwelling.  
The coolest part of this cliff dwelling is that to enter the dwelling, you had to climb a 32 foot ladder.  The ladder made Logan a little bit nervous because he kept looking back down and the ladder kept climbing higher.  

After that, we scooted over to Cliff Palace which has over 150 rooms and 25 kivas.  This was a very impressive cliff dwelling.

On our way back to the campsite, we saw this guy...  the boys were super excited to see the first one of the trip.

After our day hiking the cliff dwellings, we hiked out to knife point from the campground to watch the sunset.  It was a beautiful view, but the kids were done in after hiking multiple trips during the day.  

My love and I enjoying the sunset with two very wound up little monkeys.