The photos below are what we saw.
We left the RV park
in the morning and headed toward Mesa Verde to see about
getting a tour to the ruins. We discovered that since we
were very early in the season, most of the ruin tours were
closed. So, we checked out the visitor's center instead
where we spotted this 1950's vintage GMC pickup. Thor
can be seen in the background.
were in a pretty remote area, we did have cell service and
noticed that Barbara Bush had died, thus explaining the flag at
half mast. Note the size of the mesa in the background.
by the lack of tours at the ruins, we headed east toward
Durango. Just north of Durango on our way to Hermosa, we
spotted a huge landslide on the eastern lip of the Animas
We had a
great night with our friends and in the morning we heard the
whistle of the Durango and Silverton steam train on its way up
the Animas Canyon. I sprinted outside to try and get in
front of the train but was too slow and had to get this photo on
the shadow side of the train.
portion of Hermosa has some really nice homes.
Laura have a great place with an awesome view of red rock cliffs
near their house.
attempted to get a Milky Way photo but the moon was way too
bright. But, I did get a happenstance shot of a meteor at
the upper right of the photo above.
following morning Brad drove us up Missionary Ridge near
Hermosa. The road was closed since it was still early in
the season, but from the closure point we got a great view of
the San Juan Mountains to the north. The large peak in the
photo above is Engineer Peak.
From the access gate, we could see large burned areas that resulted from the Missionary Ridge fire a few years past.
west we could see a portion of the La Plata range, still covered
back to the house we passed over the Animas River which was a
funky color of green. The Animas, it seems, is a
technicolor river as it turns various colors as mining wastes
get washed downriver. Several years ago, the EPA caused
a huge spill when they, for whatever reason, unplugged a mine
tunnel allowing millions of gallons of toxic wastes to flow into
the Animas watershed. The river was orange for weeks, much
to the dismay of the citizens of the Animas valley.
Durango after a great 3-day weekend and headed back to Mesa
Verde. The road is steep as it winds its way up huge
mesas. From a pull-out I spotted this dead tree framing
the Mancos valley.
largest ruin at Mesa Verde is Cliff Palace. There were no
tours of this ruin, so we had to be content with views from the
overlook point. This is a big, big ruin.
The circular structures are kivas, pits used for religious ceremonies.
a very complex pueblo with many, many rooms.
every alcove had some kind of ruin. The ruin above was in
the wall of a canyon to our south.
east across a wide canyon, we spotted another ruin. Note
that this pueblo had a water source from a seep at the upper
left of the alcove.
ruin was not accessible.
ruin, named Square Tower, was literally underneath the roadway,
but to see it you had to hike to get to a viewpoint.
upper dwellings in this ruin must have been difficult to access
in the best of times.
rooms in this ruin would have been difficult to access as well.
building panels on the left of the photo above. This ruin
is undergoing restoration.
alcove had some kind of dwelling.
large pueblo. It was getting late and we wanted to visit
Hovenweap, so we headed onward.
return trip back to the main highway, we got a nice view of the
La Plata range. Once we were back in the valley, we headed
west through Cortez, CO to Hovenweap.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2018, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.