American Southwest Adventure Pt. 5

After getting in so late the previous night, we took it pretty easy on Day 6 of our trip. We slept in until 9:00 AM, and then found some coffee and food, unloaded and reloaded film in a few cameras, then headed off for Mesa Verde National Park. I’ve to Mesa Verde three times now, and every time I found it a fascinating place. You leave the valley floor, and drive up and up, higher and higher, and you’re transported into this almost magical place. Down on the valley floor, it’s hot and desert like, up on the mesa, it’s a cool mountain meadow like place. There were wild flowers everywhere, and even wild horses grazing in the meadows. The views from up there are amazing too. You can see nearly 40 miles to the southwest into New Mexico and Arizona, the San Juan Mountains to the east, and up into Utah to the northwest. Unfortunately, the one semi accessible cliff dwelling area was closed indefinitely for repairs, and you need to schedule a tour to see the others up close (none of which are even remotely wheelchair accessible), but we had fun seeing them from a distance and checking out the pit houses up top. I can only imagine difficult it was to live there 1000 years ago, but somehow I imagine it was a very peaceful life.

We needed to be in Moab, Utah by the evening, so we left Mesa Verde around 2:30 PM, went back into Cortez, found some iced coffee, and then started north into southeastern Utah. Moab is only about 2.5 hrs drive from Cortez, so we had a pretty leisurely drive, stopping at Church Rock for a quick photo, and then at the Wilson Arch (just south of Moab) where Tiffany, Etta, and Jason hiked up into the arch, then onward to Moab where we checked into our hotel, and then went and found Tacos and Margaritas

Day 7 of our trip was spent mostly in Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. We got up fairly early, found some coffee and breakfast, and headed towards Arches. Before going to Arches though we followed the Colorado River east a few miles to a place called Big Bend, where Tiffany and Jason did some rock climbing. After that we went to Arches. It was really hot, and surprisingly crowded in the park, and there really isn’t a lot of wheelchair accessibility there, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. We did lots of driving, took a few photos, and Tiffany, Etta, and Jason did a few short hikes while I waited in the shade.  Around 2:00 PM we decided to head back to Moab for lunch and a short (air conditioned) rest.

After our short break, we had planned to go back to Arches, but we decided to go check out Canyonlands instead. I had never been there before, and I’m really glad we went. As crowded as Arches was, Canyonlands felt nearly deserted. I doubt we saw more 40 people total in the entire park (we were at the northern part of the park). We drove through the park, stopping at all the viewpoints until we reached the end of the road at Grand View Point, and then we back tracked bit to a place called Orange Cliffs Overlook where we ate a picnic dinner as we watched the sun go down.

Here are my photos from Day 6 and Day 7,

 

The San Juan Mountains from Mesa Verde
Zenza Bronica ETRSi w 135W back
Zenzanon MC 150/4
Kodak Ektar 100

Mesa Verde Path
Rolleiflex 2.8C
Carl Zeiss Planar 80/2.8
Kodak Ektachrome 64X

Church Rock
Zenza Bronica ETRSi w 135W back
Zenzanon EII 75/2.8
Kodak Ektar 100

Pine Tree near Wilson Arch
Zenza Bronica ETRSi
Zenzanon MC 150/4
Kodak Ektar 100

Moab Entrada
Contax G2
Carl Zeiss Planar T* 35/2
Kodak Ektar 100

At Big Bend
Contax G2
Carl Zeiss Planar T* 35/2
Kodak Ektar 100

Moon Over The Three Gossips
Zenza Bronica ETRSi w 135W back
Zenzanon MC 150/4
B
+W Circular Polarizer
Kodak Ektar 100

In Arches National Park
Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4×5
Kodak Ektar 127/4.7
Kodak Ektar 100

Canyonlands Cliffs #1
 Zenza Bronica ETRSi w 135W back
Zenzanon EII 75/2.8
Kodak Ektar 100

Canyonlands Cliffs #2
 Zenza Bronica ETRSi w 135W back
Zenzanon EII 75/2.8
Kodak Ektar 100

Canyonlands and The Green River
Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4×5
Kodak Ektar 127/4.7
Kodak Ektar 100

Sunset at Canyonlands
Zenza Bronica ETRSi w 135W back
Zenzanon MC 40/4
Kodak Ektar 100

 

 

One Comment

  1. Peter Van Fleet August 19, 2016

    Moon over three gossips so beautiful!

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