Saturday, April 25, 2009

Back In Boulder

We spent a week in Boulder visiting Bill's father and son as well as other family. Bill did a 13 mile mountain bike ride in the cold and rain with his old friend Steve. It was wet and muddy, but a lot of fun. Tomorrow we are off for Dinosaur National Monument and then other points south and west.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back to Civilization

We left Chaco in another snowstorm and took the rutted dirt road north to Colorado. After a day in Cortez and a tour of the Anasazi Museum in Delores, we drove to Fruita Colorado via Moab Utah. Since Boulder was being dumped on with about two feet of snow, we decided to spend an extra few days on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. Bill spent a full day riding the famous Fruita mountain bike trails. Finally last Sunday, we headed to Boulder, where Bill's father, several brothers and our son live. We went from snow in New Mexico to heat in Utah to snow as we crossed Vail Pass in Colorado back to warm sunny days in Boulder.

Ancient Messages

After awakening to a light snow fall and twenty degree temperatures, we took the eight-mile round trip hike out to Peublo Blanco and saw the incredibly well preserved petroglyphs along the way. Near the end of the hike is the famous "Super Nova" pictograph, which, along with the crescent moon, is the ancients' record of the great super nova star burst that occurred in 1054 AD.

More Chaco Culture

After exploring several of the ancient pueblo ruins, we climbed up through a rock chimney that was a hidden passageway used by the early native Americans to access the mesa top from the valley below. From the top we had an excellent view of the large ruins set among the gorgeous natural scenery.

The road to Chaco...

From Clovis we blew through Albuquerque and entered the remote Chaco Culture National Historical Park. This hidden canyon was the center of pre-Pueblo civilization around 800 to 1100 AD.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Mexico

We hit Oasis State Park just inside the New Mexico line last night. This is truly an "oasis" with a beautiful spring fed lake in the middle of the desert. Of course, we were almost alone in the small campground. Today we got to Albuquergue where we visited Pictograph National Monument. Tomorrow we are off to the remote area of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. We loaded up on water and food and will be off-grid for several days.

Copper Breaks and Caprock

These are two beautiful little parks in the panhandle of Texas. We did some serious hiking and Bill hit the mountain bike trails and learned the hard way about flat tires from cactus thorns. After using up all of his spare tire patches and his spare inner tube, he gave up until we can find a bike shop and by some thorn proof liners. He did manage to ride almost all of the trails in both parks.
We hiked on a trail in Caprock to a natural bridge. You can see the one picture of Bill standing in front of the tunnel through carved solid rock by water. We did not go into the tunnel because of the abundance of rattlesnakes in the area.

Into Texas!

We continued westward and landed in the LBJ National Grasslands, somewhere northwest of Dallas. It cost $ 2.00 per night to camp on this beautiful wilderness lake - once again, we were the only ones there. This turned out to also be a "lovers lane" for turkey buzzards...


We landed in Roosevelt State Park and enjoyed the cypress swamp and near empty campground.

Underground in the Deep South

We continued to Rickwood Caverns State Park in Alabama and toured the caves.

2009's Adventure Begins!

We are off again to the West! We left Raleigh and went all the way to Murphy in extreme western North Carolina. We then dipped down into Georgia where we stayed at Cloud Canyon State Park and toured the Chicamauga battlefield. It was almost like being in the west, on a smaller scale. There was a small canyon with some spectacular water falls. This is the only place east of the Mississippi that I have ever heard called a canyon!