Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mesa Verde National Monument

So amazing and cool - to see some of the hundreds of ancient cliff dwellings in this area and to learn about the ongoing history of the Pueblo people whose ancestors lived here.  And to be able to get so close; what a priviledge!


I remember getting to use these when I toured here in 1980!


This is always the view I love the most.

Monument Valley Family Photos

Got these from Charles' phone, since I can't seem to download my own.  Our amazing morning in Monument Valley.

K is the photographer (and a good one!)


Four Corners

Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Check! We didn't pay to enter... it isn't the actual location where the states come together anyway and they charge $5 per person, which seemed too much.

Off to breakfast in Cortez, then Mesa Verde...

Monument Valley Sunrise

Stunning.  Silent, gorgeous, unforgettable.  I've been fortunate in my life to seek beauty in many places and have been blessed beyond belief with the natural sights I've encountered.  This morning stood out even amongst a deep repertoire of amazing experiences, a morning that made my life richer because I got to watch this sunrise from this spectacular location with these three people who bless my life so much.




Monday, July 20, 2015

Monument Valley Evening Arrival

We arrived at the town near Monument Valley just as it was getting dark.  I hadn't been able to get advance reservations because the two hotels online showed no vacancy, but I assumed that there would be other places to stay.  Turns out that there was only other place in town and while it did have one vacancy, it was expensive and not dog friendly.  So, over the objections of the girls, we drove right to the Utah/Arizona border to Monument Valley itself.  What a stroke of luck!  We got a walk in campsite and an evening we will remember forever - incredible sunset, picnic dinner, staring at a brilliantly visible Milky Way (the brightest sky I've seen since South Africa), and then a happy cuddle for five (including Puck) in the tent.  They had advised us to put the tent fly up as weather can change unexpectedly, but we decided not to and were glad that we did not, as we watched the brilliance of the night sky from our cozy sleeping bags.  Amazing and unforgettable evening.



Northern Arizona

This was such a spectacular drive - Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, broad spaces, the Colorado river... spectacular views, great isolation.  Much of the drive was within the Navajo nation.

Puck and K; Vermillion Cliffs Nat'l Mmt. behind
That gap in the earth is the Colorado river.  It looked so odd from a distance and then became more visible as we drove closer and closer.

The Colorado river (before it descends into the Grand Canyon)

Charles wanted me to take lots of road pictures - long flat expanses with spectacular rock formations.
Just... wow!

Grand Canyon!

On one trip to Nepal, I climbed Kala Pattar, which is over 18,000' and the place to get an excellent view of Everest from the Gokyo area. The weather was uncertain and I was concerned that we might not have a view. I stopped a hiker who was coming down and asked about the view; he responded in a thick German accent that I will never forget, "ah, zee mountains, when there are no clouds, it is like zey are naked. But when there are clouds, it is like zey have on zee most beautiful clothes."

 Our drive to the Grand Canyon was similar - raining the whole way and when we first arrived, we saw... white clouds and not much more. But then they started to clear and the vista became a dynamic, changing landscape of beauty, reminding me of my first good look at Everest. Stunning. We felt very blessed to get these views.

Puck was excited, too.

Gorgeous meadows full of wildflowers.  As K said, "this doesn't look like the Grand Canyon!"  And yet we were almost there....


G looking out in awe.