Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Out West day Sixteen

 This day we visited Arches, Canyonlands and Mesa Verde. We traveled down to Arches first and were amazed at the double line of about 30 cars waiting at the entrance gate.  We guessed that after the heavy rains of the previous 2 days, people were anxious to visit the park while the weather cooperated. For the next 1.5 days, are photos from hubby's library which he kindly sent over and now later, after finding mine, some extras.

Travelling down to Arches.

Behind all the traffic at the entrance to Arches

After we got through, the line was still long.

Arches Nt'l Park

I think this is approaching the park
In the park now

The 3 gossips

The sheep

Early in the morning we came across this mist in the higher elevations so dropped down to the end of the road and came back to this area later. Really, though, the mist gives a lovely mysterious quality to the rock formations.

Across the valley

Skyline arch

C climbed into her own little arch

Do you see how a rock fell out of the arch many years ago in 1940?

This was an amazing little arch in a sandy canyon!
Going up into the canyon

Just documenting presence -  "Here!"

Leaving the canyon

Looking out of the narrow canyon
Making sure not to go exactly the same way out as in.
Don't those look like mushrooms?

A balancing rock

Several arches in this area - more arches than available parking spots, I'm afraid.

It was nice to follow this old fellow

You can see why this is called the parade of elephants.

Balancing rock

In the parking lot of the visitor's center we felt like we'd gone back 100 years.
We then headed north again to the north entrance of Canyonlands.  We found out that the very next day they would be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the park becoming a National Park.


Looking out over the Canyonlands, about to celebrate its 50th Anniversary

Do you see this little track? S thought how nice it would be to drive it!  Let me tell you right now - I will not be in any vehicle that drives along this track.  I'm not even going to call it a road.

Coming back out of the park we saw these interesting potholes.
The reflection of the blue sky in the potholes

These 3D maps fascinate me

These photos are from the recovered ones so doubles

Three types of rock
Leaving Canyonlands

Something dirty has been dripping here...

Thank you, whoever, for making this a park and preserving it for generations!  And I say that for ALL the national parks!

Not even in the park system, this is Wilson Arch

We all climbed up to it.

A trail up from the road
"What's taking you so long?"
Dwarfed by the arch
Getting the photos
Photo of photographer
Another photo of a photographer

"Hi, I was here"
A pretty yellow bush - Scotch broom?  Not sure.

S's photo and the next few following

These are always bigger than they seem from the road

Then it was the drive down to Mesa Verde, trying to get there before too late.  Most of the sites closed at 6:30 or sunset and thankfully we made it to all of them in time.

We saw this green dinosaur a lot

He even let us ride him.

Mesa Verde

On the way south

Ah, Mesa Verde!

Late afternoon sun made for big contrasts and a lot of shadow but not too bad.

In one of the "holes" - pantries/meeting houses etc

Maybe a Christmas card?

...the brief flowering of a culture?  That's nice.

S's photo and next few

Sun not so good as we left

At the largest dwellings.  Unfortunately the shadow covered half of it already.

Far view house - down/up the road from the others

This intimidating contraption fascinated me - look how huge it is.

In all my long life I hadn't seen one of these port-o-potties for the handicapped.  Isn't this great?

We had some gorgeous sunset views driving back to camp.  Next 2 are S's and after that mine.

Saturation overload?  

But I like it...

Looking slightly right, i.e. north (with some "enhancement" to brighten it.)

Campsite at Mesa Verde.  Not too many people in the campground.  In fact, some of it was closed off.

3D map of the area

A metal representation of one of the dwellings

Thank you hubby for all the magnificent photos to fill out the trip.

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