Friday, May 23, 2014


The small town of Monticello in eastern Utah is so close to Colorado that if you stood on a chair you could see it.  It is also within spitting distance of Hovenweep National Monument and Canyons of the Ancients. two places that we have never been to.  Cathie wasn't too keen on visiting more Anasazi ruins, but I agreed to limit the number and include a lunch in nearby Cortez.

The P.C. police are alive and well in the National Park Service and the BLM.  For as long as I can remember the people who inhabited the 4-Corner region  a thousand years ago were referred to as Anasazi. The word Anasazi is Navajo for Ancient Enemy most likely because the Navajo considered them their ancient enemy.  But today's Pueblo inhabitants are thought to be descendants of the Anasazi and we wouldn't want to offend them. So now we will refer to them as Ancestral Puebloans.  Today's publications handed out to the public at various sites in the area make no use of the word, "Anasazi". BUT, the BLM still operates the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colorado.

So first up was Lowry Pueblo in the Canyons of the Ancients.  This is just one of the over 6000 archaeological sites in the Monument.  With 6000 sites I could spend a lot of time here, but a deal's a deal.

The ruin contains 40 rooms, some of which have been protected from the elements with a huge steel roof. Only a few of the rooms are open for exploration.

This is the Great Kiva, 47 feet in diameter, was once covered with a roof structure.  The kiva and the pueblo were built around 1160 and was occupied for about 165 years.  The main building was 3 stories high and included 8 kivas.

We made a quick stop at nearby Hovenweep National Monument and checked out a couple of the ruins.  Most of the ruins in Hovenweep sit on the canyon rims with a few ruins in canyon bottoms.

Interesting how some of the buildings are situated on the top of boulders.  The location of some of these structures suggest that they were for defensive purposes.

In keeping my part of the bargain we headed towards Cortez for lunch.  The area around Cortez is dotted with farms growing alfalfa, potatoes and wheat.

As we drove along this lonely road, just about every car that passed us going the opposite direction, the driver waved.  So too did farmers working in the fields and folks we saw in their yards.  You don't get much of that in Southern California.  You also don't get a reasonably priced lunch like we did at Jack and Janelle's Country Kitchen in Cortez.  We had breakfast at this spot several years ago so we figured to give lunch a try.  For less than $20 we and a great lunch which included the salad bar.

With the trip almost over we headed for our last stop in Flagstaff.  We stayed at one of our favorite B&B's, the Conifer House located in a nice residential area of town.  Large rooms with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs it was a great way to end our trip.


                                                                                NOW THIS IS MY KIND OF CAMPING!

For the most part we had a great trip with only a couple of downers.  The toe incident kept us from hiking and exploring more areas.  The insect bites in the tent made camping an unpleasant experience, but the upside was that Cathie got to sleep between sheets on most nights.

Till the next adventure............


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