Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks

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UncleVic
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 23:21:39 (permalink)
Al, the food pics are awesome... The tour pics are priceless...
#31
cornfed
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/11 23:41:54 (permalink)
I know you're a big train buff. I was wondering if you passed through Chama, NM. It's quite close to Durango. Really interesting historical railroad town. The roads in this awe-inspiring area can be quite a twisty nightmare, though.
#32
roossy90
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 03:39:03 (permalink)
Thanks, Mr Mayor, I wonder if that is where I was.
I guess 13 years later, there are many more places to stay and eat in Montrose.
But I am not so sure about the KINKY governor photo in your last batch of photos..
But it is so great to read about you and your loved ones travel's.
BTW.. I was on vacation while in Colorado last August when I "found" roadfood.
#33
Dipstick
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 07:52:49 (permalink)
Al,

I can't thank you enough for your pics and descriptions of your trip. Makes me excited to get to work and log in to the computer each morning. Well....almost! Keep up the great work!

Don
#34
Sundancer7
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 07:55:58 (permalink)
Al: You should have been a photo journalist. As usual, great pics and dialogue.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#35
LindaW
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 08:19:43 (permalink)
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful trip with us...making me hungry with all the food pics...and can anyone question that we live in "America the Beautiful"????

Hope your trip only gets better and better.
#36
mayor al
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 08:25:11 (permalink)

Cornfed,
We didn't head over to Charma this trip. We have enjoyed the ride on the Durango and Silverton RR a couple of times in the past , so this time we stayed with the truck. Our main target yesterday was Mesa Verde and it was worth the time! It is so hard to believe that those people built the pueblos right into the cliffs so many years ago.

OK another adventure begins today as we follow the tracks of the Old Spanish Trail Northwest from here. Photo and journal will be added this evening in Blanding Utah.
#37
garryd451
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 09:50:24 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


Cornfed,
We didn't head over to Charma this trip. We have enjoyed the ride on the Durango and Silverton RR a couple of times in the past , so this time we stayed with the truck. Our main target yesterday was Mesa Verde and it was worth the time! It is so hard to believe that those people built the pueblos right into the cliffs so many years ago.

OK another adventure begins today as we follow the tracks of the Old Spanish Trail Northwest from here. Photo and journal will be added this evening in Blanding Utah.


Great Job!!!! You should of been a professional travel editor!

I hope You don't mind the question, I gonna ask.

Do You eat breakfast? I havent seen You mention breakfast on this trip.
#38
pcdiva
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 10:47:09 (permalink)
Hi Al and Janet!

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I'm so jealous! The pictures are so great, and you provide a wonderful narrative.

Wishing I was out West!
Alice
#39
Pwingsx
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 16:15:25 (permalink)
Great report, and fantastic pics. I'm lucky to live in such a beautiful state. Unfortunately I don't get to see as much of it as I'd like to, so I love seeing current pics.

More dog pics! (Yeah,like you didn't see THAT coming!)
#40
Greyghost
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 17:32:20 (permalink)
Outstanding report and I also like the Scotty dog pics as well.

Allow me to go off topic for a moment: I have a virtual Scotty dog on my computer, which is actually a free security program called WinPatrol that will detect any changes to your computer. There is a low cost paid version as well but the only difference is the paid version gives you access to a data base that will tell you what exactly Scotty has found. Either free or paid I find the program highly effective with a lovable interface. http://www.winpatrol.com/

Mr. Mayor, you seem to cover a lot of ground in a day, are you sure you are going the speed limit?
#41
wanderingjew
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 18:49:18 (permalink)
Excellent Scenery- and I'm not only talking about the Topography. It feels like I'm there with you!
#42
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 18:59:45 (permalink)
Ah, Al, I once spent a very pleasant night in the Cortez jail. The police were very nice and allowed me to crash overnight after the Power Wagon I was driving broke down right outside of town.
#43
Sundancer7
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 19:07:48 (permalink)
I personally would like to acknowledge Al as our best by far photo journalist. He truly does an excellent job. He missed his calling.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#44
mayor al
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 19:33:38 (permalink)
Garry- The breakfast question is a valid one. We don't normally do a breakfast stop. We will take a couple of pastries or bagels and some O J in my travel mug...Janet does a couple of cups of coffee instead of the juice (from the motel breakfast ). That will keep us going quite well til lunch.That's a life-long habit for both of us..not just a trip thing.

Pwing... Colorado is beautiful. We will stretch our time by a day on the return in a couple of weeks.


GreyGhost- I stay within 5-10 MPH of the limit on the open road, much closer to the limit in these towns where speed traps are a way of life. While my big Ford Supercrew will still deliver 17-18 mpg at 75mph (Legal speed in some western states)we tend to stay a bit slower...especially on these twisty-turny 2 lane roads.

Thanks to all for the applause! We are having a great time and will post tonight's adventure once I get the photos selected and uploaded. Thats not as easy as it sounds, we shot 95 photos today in this area.

Check here in a couple of hours for Canyonlands Part 1!
#45
Sundancer7
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 19:36:28 (permalink)
I cannot wait until we see the pics Al.

Thanks for your update. I wish I were there with you.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#46
mayor al
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/12 22:17:45 (permalink)
Canyonlands National Park Part ONE

Day 6

Cortez CO to Blanding Utah, 300 miles due to several extra side trips .

Another warm Sunny Spring day. Hi hit 85 degrees and it felt great. We started the day with a truck-wash in Cortez to get the bugs and grime off the truck! Then it was up US 491 (used to be US 666 but they changed the number to prevent the constant theft of roadsigns with the 666 symbol. Gassed up for $3.09 a gallon, a new high for us.

We headed north from Montecello Utah on US 191 to the road that runs into the southern part of Canyonlands National Park. On the long drive up the entrance road (35 miles each way) we sighted some Mule Deer and a group of Pronghorn Antelope. The Pronghorn were quite a distance from the road, but the photo caught them pretty well.



About 12 miles in from US 191 is Newspaper Rock a Petroglyph site where Utah has a Historical marker. There are hundreds of the etched figures on the rock telling stories of the ancient as well as the more modern Native Americans.


After reading all the news that’s fit to etch, we rested by a small creek to allow the dogs a bit of recreation. They thought the water was too cold and demanded a warm bath when we got to our motel this evening. Now they are squeekie clean and sleeping soundly for the night.


We continued into the Needles area of Canyonlands N. P. where odd rock formations are the order of the day. Colors and shapes make these rocks appear like a Martian Landscape.


We had a reunion of sorts with a Park Ranger at the Visitors Center. He saw my shirt and Janets hat (both cisplay Moonlite BBQ logos and symbols and started telling us about how much he enjoyed the Moonlite BBQ on his trips "home". The BBQ World really is a community of its own !!

On our way out of the Park we came across Wilson’s Arch on US 191. We will see many more of these in the next few days, but this is the first one for this trip


Before checking into our motel we took another side trip down to Bluff Utah to see the Navejo Twins, another rock formation that overlooks the town.. Then it was back to Blanding. We will be here tomorrow night also, allowing us to do a circle drive thru Natural Bridges N.P. and up to see the Goosenecks on the San Juan River and Mexican Hat.

I am not posting any food photos today because we ate lunch at the Homestead Steak House here in Blanding. The food was OK. Janet had Navejo Fry Bread (w/honey) and a bowl of Chili. I had what was called Salmon Fritters, but was turned out to be a Salmon Version of Catfish Fingers. There were three on the lunch plate with ‘Tater Tots’. I had locked my camera away when we stopped so no photos this time. We may try it again tomorrow. The name sounds like a ‘real’ restaurant, but it is a converted fast food ‘sit-down’ stand. We were kind of under-whelmed by the appearance, but the food passed our muster.

Now to upload the photos Enjoy.

#47
Pwingsx
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 00:59:21 (permalink)
Wow, Al, those photos are amazing. Just amazing. Your landscapes are just beautiful, and the picture with Janet and the dogs -- the contrast of colors, the red of her shirt and the black of the dogs -- that is one fabulous camera you've got there. Of course, it's only as good as the user -- and in this case, it's DAMNED good.

How I envy you! Hope you guys are having the time of your life.

Hit any bad weather yet? You seem to have been quite lucky thus far.
#48
Jimeats
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 04:06:26 (permalink)
Al, it must have been a bitch to pack for this trip, in the snow a couple of days ago now on the desert. Photos are great, what are you useing for equipment? Happy Trails, Chow Jim
#49
tarragon
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 08:44:18 (permalink)
Mayor & Janet, I am enjoying reading your trip reports, especially the photos - beautiful scenery (and love seeing the two scotties! glad to know they're having a grand time as well!). Thanks for sharing with us all, and looking forward to more reports and especially more photos. Enjoy!!
#50
mayor al
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 09:12:44 (permalink)

I am using my Canon 20D Digital SLR. So Far the only lens I have used this trip is the standard 18-55mm lens that came with it. I have a 28-300mm long lens with me, but haven't had it on the camera so far this trip. I wish I had it on yesterday for the antelope shot, but the normal lens is much better for the panoramas, so I work with it most of the time. I shoot in the 'Large JPEG Format' which means that the size of the photo would be 32x48 inches if printed 'whole'. That allows me to crop and 'shrink' the photo to a useable size while saving as much detail as possible. I use Photoshop 7 to process the photos and get them ready to post. A typical photo file comes out of the camera at about 4 megs in size. I shrink them to about 3-400 kb to make them emailable.
So far we have created about 350 photos in the 'hold file', to be dumped or processed when I get home. I have done the full job on the few posted here and on a few sent to family (about 25 total so far) but won't delete anything til I have the time to examine them in detail at home.

About packing...Janet is the organizer for this part of the journey! We have two storage bags with clothing-that stay in the truck, and one bag that comes into the motel each evening. We have enough 'essentials' with us to cover 8 days without doing a laundry. It will be a task in Page,AZ(Lake Powell) to use a coin-op laundry to put us back to 'go' for another week or so. We have winter coats and gloves etc in a small bag that hasn't been touched..and probably won't be considering the weather we are enjoying. We did use sweatshirts in the Rockies for awhile each morning,but it warmed up enough to peel them off by mid-morning. As you can see in the photo that shows the truck, we have a lockable cap on the truckbed, That makes for a very large 'trunk'! We have a kennel cage for the dogs back there too, Haven't had a need for it yet as the motels we stay at all have welcomed dogs. At the north rim of the Grand Canyon we will use the kennel cage as we don't have a reservation there and will be 'camping out' for a nite. A large cooler and 'library' box are part of the outfit too. The dogs use the back seat and we are up front. All in All It is a pretty comfortable ride. The computer and camera equipment stay in the cab to prevent any hot-weather damage.
Thats the update this morning. Except for a brief foggy rain-snow mix on the eastern slope of the Rockies and some rain in Kansas we have enjoyed beautiful weather all the way.
In Blanding it is now 60, headed for a high of 85 again. I better get out the sunscreen!
#51
Davydd
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 11:23:48 (permalink)
Great pictures. I take it if you are heading to Page, AZ that you will be threading your way through Monument Valley? If so, more great opportunities.
#52
EdSails
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 13:59:38 (permalink)
Great photos, Al. And Janet's meal of fry bread and chili sounds like the stuff dreams are made of. Yum!
#53
lleechef
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 16:52:51 (permalink)
Al, fabulous pictures as always and great reporting. What a cool trip. I agree with Sundancer, you should be a professional photographer. We hope to take the same trip one day when we retire.

Happy trails and happy eating. Keep those doggies happy, too!
#54
Donna Douglass
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 17:15:11 (permalink)
Al, I join with everyone else in complimenting you on your photography, and your daily journal. It is great traveling vicariously thru your descriptions. And the doggies are great travelers also. I know how that is appreciated as we have a 16-1/2 year old Mini Dachsie who loved to travel and who is a fine traveler. She has been cross country many times in her life and enjoyed every minute of it.

Continue to enjoy, being safe and being happy. We're all with you in spirit.

Donna
#55
mr chips
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 19:30:00 (permalink)
Great photos,Mr. Mayor. Mesa Verde was on of the most memorable places I visited 30 years ago. I envy you this trip.
#56
CasperImproved
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 20:07:47 (permalink)
Mr. Mayor... as a new person to this site, I wanted to thank you for reminding me of some of my happier memories. I stayed at Mesa Verde with my two sons (6 & 8 at the time). The history lession they gained, I like to think as the reason why they are both in colledge now, and want to be grade school teachers. Both are sons to be proud of...

But I also wanted to thank you for reminding me of the beauty of that area, and the history. I love hostory and nature, so a place like Mesa Verde is a perfect place to spend some time. My son's and I were lucky enough to do the "tent" thing, make puggie pies (pie iron pies over the open fire), feed the deer that brazenly walked into our campsite fresh peaches, and which they consumed within the time it took to streach out your arm... had a hard time explaining to my 6 yr old why feeding them potato chils was a bad thing :-)

Many of the mountain passes, and vistas's beauty can not be captured with a camera, however nice a camera it mught be. I envy you for that. I have a vivid memory, but the views you have seen, and are seeing are worthy of mention in anyone's book.

BTW, I don't think I read of you mentioning tasting one of the best items in that area (green chili). Before you leave the upper southwest... please give it a try as I have not had it's like since leaving the area, and am jealious you can.....

Thanks,

Casper.
#57
ConeyIslandLou
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 21:03:39 (permalink)
Mayor, may I add to the chorus of compliments here! I spent several summers with my grandparents in Salina, Ks. The highlights of these stays were the trips they would take with us to the Rocky Mountains, including stops at various relatives in various Colorado towns. In 1969, however her sister was living in Chama, so we stayed there about a week - the week of Apollo 11! We got to make 'side trips' to Mesa Verde and Santa Fe,plus a visit to a friend of theirs on the Jicarilla Apache reservation, where we saw an Indian rodeo....

These pictures bring back many fond memories!

BTW...the night Armstrong set foot on the moon, we were in a motel in Salida, Co....

One nice thing about traveling with them also (to bring this back to food),was that they almost always ate (when possible) at 'nice' small town cafes..so at 7-8-9-10, I was being spoonfed loads of RF,and didnt even know it! And the odd thing about that also is that it happened to be on one of these trips that I experienced my very first Mickey D's at a unit on E Colfax in Aurora.....
#58
ConeyIslandLou
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 21:10:16 (permalink)
Oh yes...one more thing Mayor..you DO know that the UP Kansas Main is a very busy line these days too..Salina seems to have some decent action there....One fairly neat thing in Salina is the Salina-McPherson branch, which literally splits 4th st in Salina into two separate sections. The line itself has one up-and-down train which runs sb in the morning, then returns in the late afternoon/early evening. You could see this from my grandma's front yard - which gave a VERY bored kid somehing to do!
#59
mayor al
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RE: Trip Report- May 2006 AZ,Utah,CO Natl Parks 2006/05/13 21:46:29 (permalink)

Day 7 - The Blanding Circle Tour 150 miles- Slight Overcast and 85 degrees.

This day was a bit different from the rest of the trip (so far.) This was our first two day stop in one place. Blanding is a remote little town in S E Utah. We picked this place as it is central to many of the places we wanted to visit in this area. Today we headed N W to Natural Bridges National Monument. As we headed out of town on Utah Rt. 95 we came across a sign of the times… This is OPEN RANGE country. Cattle were frequently beside or in the road. We held our speed down on hills not knowing what would be in the road around the next curve.


We also took care not to let the dogs (or us) make any contact with the little ‘critters’ in the area after reading a posted warning about rodents carrying plague. YUCK!!


We visited the National Monument, but the overcast prevented any quality photos. Luckily later in the morning the clouds dissolved and the sun gave us a pleasant day. We shot our first view of Monument Valley from the Mulie Point Overlook . Since both Janet and I are ‘Nervous Nellies’ near the edge of any cliff you won’t see any straight down the cliff photos here.


The dogs wanted to run around and chase lizards, but they stayed on the leashes like good little dogs.


We found more range cattle on the cliffs. Some were a bit aggressive and the dogs had to tell them to move on…The Scotties were quite brave(as long as they were in the truck!!).


Then we continued down RT 261 to Mexican Hat. The road drops down the edge of the Mesa in a series of steep drops and Hairpin turns. It is a gravel road, adding to the excitement!


At the bottom of the Mesa and a few miles west of Hiway 261 is a Utah St Park (Goosenecks) You have probably seen this photo before. I think it is in every Junior High Science Book I have ever seen. This is where the San Juan River has eroded the rocks into a series of sharp bends. It takes the river several miles to go a few hundred yards in a straight line.


The little town of Mexican Hat is named for this rock formation just outside of town. It was a good place to enjoy an ice cream and run the pooches a bit.


We returned to Blanding on US 191 late in the afternoon. It was dinner time, so since we picnicked for lunch out in the Boonies, we selected the ‘other restaurant’ in town for dinner. The Old Tymer was ‘OK’. Clean and the kids working the near empty dining room were definitely Mormon Polite and helpful. Janet had a large salad with a side of Fry bread and honey (the Hush-Puppies of S W Utah). I settled for some good Chicken Gumbo soup and some homemade Blackberry cobbler. (and a few spare ribs that escaped the camera !!)






We rated the food as average. Blanding apparently lives up to its name in the culinary department.

We looked around the town and spraywashed the bugs off the truck before returning to the motel for a quiet evening. Tomorrow we hit the Trading Posts in Monument Valley to satisfy Janet’s shopping urge, then up to Page Arizona for a two night stay and a little play time and boat tour on Lake Powell, before our first ever visit to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. P S The dogs are eating better than we are at this point in the trip!

I am trying to respond to the many questions that I am receiving from all of you. Please be patient, I will answer as soon as I sort out the info. Lou, We enjoyed southern Kansas coming west, and will stop in Wilson and Abilene on the return later this month.

Enjoy today's journal entry!


#60
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