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Trip Report Return to the beautiful Southwest US

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DH and I needed a southwest fix as it has been over a year since we were there. When I found a decent price for tickets on Southwest, I snapped them up before they flew away. We mentioned our plans to friends who thought it would be fun to see the area too so they headed out to Albuquerque a couple of days before we went to get adjusted to the altitude a bit. I'll post pictures when I get my act together.

Sept. 21 We flew to Albuquerque and met our friends at the airport then drove to Bloomfield and checked into the Best Western Territorial as that was about as far as we could go before falling asleep. We had supper at the diner next door, then to bet as our body clock thought it was late.

Sept. 22. We were up for the free breakfast as soon as it was ready and it was quite good, eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt, cereal, pastries, fruit, juice, coffee, tea etc. Then it was off on the scenic drove to Mesa Verde. We signed up for the 11:30 ranger tour of Cliff palace, got to the gathering spot in time to find the 11 tour people waiting. They were waiting to see if the tour would go because of impending lightning/thunder/rain/hail and were told to wait in the car for a signal from the ranger. The ranger cancelled the 11 and told us to wait in the car for info on our tour. It rained, hailed , thundered, lightninged, until 11: 25 then the sun shone and we went on the tour, down lots of stone stairs, up a wooden ladder and through cliff Palace then up three wooden ladders and back to the car for more rain. It seemed like a different route down than I took 10 years ago, but the tour through the ruins was about the same and very interesting, although the hike up the three ladders was tough on a sea level dweller, talk about sucking wind.

We ate lunch near the museum until the rain stopped. We talked about what to do next and the ladies thought it would be smart to go down to Spruce Tree House while it was not raining, so we went down to Spruce Tree house and back while the guys went to the museum. We met them on the way down while we were going up and they got caught in the rain/hail and had to stay in Spruce tree house until it stopped while we were in the museum.

We checked into Far View Lodge and the rain/wind/hail came so we sat in the lounge until time for supper at the Metate room and then went to our rooms and to bed.

Sept. 23. We were in line for breakfast at Far View Terrace cafeteria as soon as it opened (still on eastern time body clocks) then drove the Mesa top loop, stopped at all the stops along the way. This loop is very nice and for anyone who isn't up to doing the tours of the cliff dwellings would give a nice overview of the area.

The next trip was down through Cortez to Monticello to Needles District of Canyonlands with a stop at Cave Spring for a look at Cowboy Camp and the pictographs at the spring.

Our next drive was up to Moab with a check in at Cali Cochita's and walk to town and supper of all you can eat soup/salad/pizza buffet. Back to bed for the night.

Sept. 24. Breakfast at Cali Cochita's: French Toast, fruit, OJ, Coffee while chatting with other guests, yummy and very pleasant conversation.

Off to Arches with our friends who were blown away by the beauty of the area. We hiked around Balanced Rock, hiked to the Windows and Turret Arch, and hiked to Landscape Arch. We snacked on crackers, cheese, granola bars and drank lots of water as no one was very hungry after the big breakfast.

With a few hours of daylight left we rove out route 128 to Fisher's Towers beautiful scenery along Colorado River. Lunch/supper at Sorrel River Inn. Route 128 is a bit of a mess as some of the north lane washed into the Colorado River so there are a couple of places where traffic alternates use of the one intact lane while the other direction waits.

In the last few minutes of light we drove out Kane Creek road to petroglyphs then b ack to Calli for reading and bed.


Sept. 25. Breakfast at Calli, yummy fritata, Green River melon, berries, biscuits, coffee, tea, chat with other guests. Off to Canyonlands Island in the Sky, with a stop for sandwiches as there are no eating facilities in Canyonlands. We hiked to Mesa Arch, then drove to end of road, hiked along rim, and enjoyed the amazing vistas.

We couldn't get a third night at Cali Cochita's so I booked a night in Blanding at the Quality Inn. Our friends loved the area so far, but since I wasn't sure before we went what they would want to do next I hadn't made reservations yet for the next few days, so we decided to head back towards New Mexico and called ahead for the next lodging.

More to come, if you're still reading.

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