Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Triple Play Day

Tuesday was a jam-packed day starting with our ultimate trip objective, Four Corners Monument, which determined our route this week. We are visiting the states counterclockwise: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and today Utah at the Monument. Jackson told us a couple years ago that he would love to go to Four Corners where you could stand on four states at the same time. Rich and I had never been there either so thought it would be a great destination some day, and yesterday was that day.

If this doesn't look familiar to any of you who have been here, it was closed for the past several months while they rebuilt the entire Four Corners Monument and about half of the vendor booths. It's a great design and the four ramps allow you to take photos from slightly above the medallions. Here are the kids standing on four states at once.

On a day with very few other visitors, the new design of the walkways, railings, broad steps, and ramps all around the four state monuments and the large area around the center medallion allows plenty of space for racing and letting off steam too...
It was a fabulous morning to visit the Four Corners Monument. We drove back to the RV for lunch and to check on the girls before driving east to Mesa Verde National Park, our second play of the day. You gain several thousand feet in elevation driving up to the top of the mesa and the views are amazing. Having shown y'all many amazing scenery views, the kids are the focus of this post.

We had stopped at a scenic overlook because we had to wait for a pilot car to lead us through a construction zone. While I shoot scenery, the kids always find ways to have fun!

This park is the home of several pueblos that were occupied many hundreds of years ago. The kids were interested in the lifestyle of those civilizations and we saw many interesting displays in the park museum.

We all learned that the past reference to Anasazi as those who built and inhabited the pueblos has been revised. Those peoples are now referred to as Ancestral Puebloans.

Here the kids are looking down at the Cliff Palace. Even the kids were relieved that we had not bought tour tickets when they saw how far down you have to go on steep, narrow stone steps and that you have to climb several ladders to get out...seriously.

Yes, that is a tour group of foolish hardy souls you see way down there in the pueblo. And here is a shot of some of that same group trying to get out. Notice the woman nearing the top of her climb on the last of the three long ladders to exit. She and the ladder are clearly visible near the center and at the top of the cliffs (remember you can click to enlarge).
As though that wasn't enough exploring for one day, to complete our triple play we drove nearly 50 miles to Durango...just to see what the town was like. It's a lovely little tourist stop but not as historic as we had expected. It was getting late by then so, since we have eaten all our meals in the RV, we splurged and had dinner at McDonald's! Like I've said many times to many folks, our grands have a blast wherever they are...

Even looking at these lively, wide awake faces, I told them that I was certain they would be asleep within five minutes after we got back on the road. They chatted all the way home and then joyfully pointed out how wrong I was.
Lovin' Life ~~ and These Precious Days

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