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by Lloyd Treichel
Dateline: May 31, 2005 -- Montrose, CO
Future Travel... Continued exploring in southwestern Colorado before arriving in Denver about mid June.
The last Wandrin column was posted in Tempe. The next stop was...
Sedona, AZ... This was the place to test the new Lowa hiking boots to replace the stolen Merrells. After several four to five mile hikes, everything seemed okay. Since much of that was relatively flat hiking, more miles are needed before I will be satisfied. It was much needed exercise; the pants don't fit after a winter of sitting around far too much.
Because of Sedona's beautiful natural setting amidst red rocks, the area is being "loved to death". The loving continues as more homes are being built. However, new home construction seems to be the rule no matter where I have traveled.
Some attempt to capture Sedona's natural beauty is in these photos:
Navajo National Monument ... sits high on a mesa overlooking a canyon. The campgrounds were limited to 28 foot RVs. My 24 foot fit in easily, but there was something about the low hanging branches that allowed me to harvest some pine limbs. Fortunately, no damage was incurred. Slide outs would be a problem for some of the sites.
Located here are the Betatakin cliff dwellings. Although within an alcove in the cliff face, the ruins are easily accessible by hiking in from the valley. Due to my self imposed schedule, I didn't take the guided hike to visit the ruins. I satisfied myself with these photos from a viewpoint across the canyon. Perhaps another time, I will plan for a hike to the ruins.
Monument Valley... is less than 50 miles down the road. This is a most strikingly beautiful stop. Drive your car throughout the Monument for great pictures and scenery. This scenery was used frequently in John Ford's western films.
Chaco Culture National Historic Park... is about an hour and a half drive from the Farmington, NM Elks lodge. This National Park preserves and interprets Indian history and the ruins which appear to have been abandoned about 1200. With my fascination for natural stone construction, these ruins are all the more intriguing. Note the dressing of the stones and banding layers in the walls and doorways. More remarkable is that this work was done with rock tools.
The Pueblo Bonito is only one of many of the "villages" within the park. Each one of these would have been at least three stories high making them the first apartment complexes in North America.
Durango, CO... was a good place to put more miles on those hiking boots. One of those hikes was a short distance at the Durango end of the Colorado Trail. I had already hiked the Denver end when I lived in there. That leaves close to 400 miles that I have not hiked. This three dimensional rock art was located at the trail head. Could this be a memorial to completion of the journey?
While in Durango, I visited with Lisa and Steve Mackey. I met them when they were nomads like myself. They settled in Durango after a couple of years on the road. We exchanged road stories and they described life in Durango.
Durango was put on my list of places for a future extended visit. With cool weather, beautiful scenery and lots of hiking, this would be a great summer stop.
Mesa Verde, CO... has Indian ruin cliff dwellings. These structures date to the same period as the Chaco Culture. However, in addition to building villages on the mesa top, they built many of their structures on cliff faces under overhanging rock ledges. Considering that the structures are built into the cliffs with difficult access, all the building materials had to be carried in on ladders or steps chipped in the rock face. With my acrophobia (fear of heights) I would have built my home on the mesa top.
Visit Mesa Verde in 2006 when they celebrate their 100 year anniversary. Tours are planned for ruins that are not open to the public and accessible only by foot or horseback.
Where's the freeway... that connects North America to Europe. While driving in Arizona, I was passed by a Mercedes bus with German license plates and emblazoned on the side of the bus was, "World Wide Express".
Cinnamon Rolls... The search continues, but with less enthusiasm as I lose weight so the pants fit.
Quote... "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it The Present." - Babatunde Olatunji
Bumper sticker... "I'm not lost; I am exploring."
WUUFS --- A van with a large fuzzy dog in the back seat.
XZYLED -- Phoenix resident who wasn't there willingly?
... and a few more: WORXX KATSRUS FICKSIT --
In "The Good Rain", Timothy Egan retraces Theodore Winthrop's journey of 1853 across the northwest US. In the Northwest, Winthrop sees a future of what America is to become. As author Egan explores British Columbia, Washington and Oregon he notes the changes since 1853 of the exploiting of the natural resources including the deprivation of the less resourceful native Americans that lived there. What Winthrop saw 150 years ago is what Egan sees today. He sees promise of a great future for the Northwest. However, he does essay that this future may be not be American, but from the Pacific rim and more focused on Japan, China and its southeast Asian neighbors. (The book is copyright 1990).
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