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Southwest Road Tour, 2.0

Jeff Matthews

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Hey, everyone.  This was today's path.  Just stopped in South Fork, CO and had dinner at Ramon's Mexican Restaurant.  It was pretty good.  The most amazing part was actually the soup.  With fajitas, you get rice and beans and your choice of a soup or salad.  The waiter said the soup was Meatball and Vegetables.  I decided, "What the heck..."  That soup was chunky and full.  It was delicious!  It was a sizable bowl for a side order.  I could have had two of those and skipped the fajitas, rice and beans.  


We are are staying the night here.  Unfortunately, we can't make Silverton.  We went there last year.  That is a great drive down to Durango from Ouray.  I have done it 3 times, now.  This time, it just doesn't fit the itinerary because we are trying to see as much new stuff as we can.


We are expecting to be back home, not this Thursday (obviously), but next Thursday.


It looks like Colorado must have had a fair amount of snow very recently.  


We've seen a lot of pretty scenery so far.  I'll leave you with today's highlight, taken at Great Sand Dunes National Monument.


Here are the people ahead of us, trekking across the shallow, cold stream barefoot to get to the dunes on the other side:





Here are my travel companions after we took off our shoes and walked across.  It was really cool to contrast the desert-like dunes right in front of the snow-capped mountains,




Tomorrow, we head along the path which takes us from South Fork, CO to Monticello, UT.

Edited by Jeff Matthews
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Three Rivers it is, if everyone else is in the mood for it once we get there and if we get there early enough.


Yesterday was a picturesque drive through Colorado.


An abandoned mining operation at Creede:




Clear Creek Falls:




As recommended by Larry, The Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Painted Wall Overlook):



Edited by Jeff Matthews
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My family used to have a cabin outside of Creede on the headwaters of the Rio Grande.  Lots of good memories.  Beautiful area - wrapped around by 14ers along the continental divide.  Haven't been there for ages.

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Make sure you do a tour of Canyon de Chelly in Chinley, AZ. You can also go on the south side of the canyon and hike down. One of the most memorable places I've ever been.


While I'm at it, Page, AZ is the hottest place I've ever been. It was 114 in the shade the two days I was there.  B)


Lastly, there is a restaurant overlooking monument valley with breathtaking views. It's right next to the John Wayne museum. There is also a motel right there.

Edited by mustang guy
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Last night, we stayed in Bicknell, UT.  Because we haven't been taking the interstates, it is almost as if we own the roads.  We see a few people pass every now and again, but it is pretty much a desolate and beautiful drive.


We literally have 100's of photos taken with some very good cameras.  There is simply no way to recreate the feeling of being there.  Deer out on the road.  Elk.  Wild turkey.  Open range cattle.  There was also one extremely lucky little rabbit!


Here are some petroglyphs along 211, headed from Monticello to Canyonlands NP.  They are named, "Newspaper Rock."




Natural Bridges National Park.  It was a nice hike down to this vantage point:




The Moki Dugway.  This is a narrow, gravel road with a steep incline and no guard rails.  My friends were a little nervous.  The picture doesn't do justice.  You go up fast.  I'd have been nervous myself if we were going down it, rather than up.




The mighty Colorado River:




We actually drove through a little snow just before sunset.  I was driving and don't have a picture of it on my phone camera.  My friend, Jim, got one.  When we process all his photos, I will be adding selected ones later.


Mapquest has a limit on points (A-Z, i.e. 26).  I hit the limit, and so I am going to have to look at something else to continue tracking the roads.  Time to get some nourishment and hit the road for the next segment...





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Less driving today.  


There was still a lot of nice scenery along the way.  I drove it all, and most photos were taken on my friends' cameras.  I passed my phone to Jim for some quick pics of the drive through Dixie National Forest on Highway 14.


We certainly weren't expecting this in the middle of May:




All of this was along a 30-mile mountain pass through the forest.  We saw some guy in a Landrover who slid off the roadway and was trying hard to get back on. He was spinning his wheels quite a bit.  There was tire-track evidence of others who went off the road as well.  We took it slow and easy and had no problems. There was a lot of slush on the road, and on a few parts, people going in the opposite direction couldn't use their own lane and had to use ours.  My car's thermometer showed the temperature to be 26 degrees at its lowest.


Here is a rockier version as we descended and the snowfall began to subside:




Zion is tomorrow.  The forecast was revised from a 40% chance of rain/snow to 10% and a little warmer, so we are feeling better about that.

Edited by Jeff Matthews
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I agree, Wow, Florence just got knocked off the list, so did Paris, back to Colorado. Do NOT bring any edibles back into Texas, not that yiu would, but I have two new cases, two seperate kids, seperate towns, pulled over for speeding. Starts out like this, "where you coming from?"

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