Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mesa Verde, CO to Monument Valley, UT

Hi all, Dianne here.  On our last day at Mesa Verde we took the Spruce Canyon trail, as suggested to us by a helpful ranger.  We were not disappointed!  I won't give a play-by-play as I did with the Petroglyph Trail, but here are just a couple highlights:

From the trail head we hiked on switchbacks down, down, into the canyon.

We saw some unusual rock formations...

A layer of Coal

We have seen this white flower growing wild along the roadways, and passed one on the trail.  I don't know what it is, but the blooms are very large (about 3") and the plant grows low to the ground.

Well, what switchbacks down must switchback up, so the second half of the trail was up, up, up.  Once again, altitude is not my friend, and I was huffing and puffing all the way up.  

Once we reached the top of the mesa, the trail ended at a picnic area, perfect for a lunch stop. 

 As we made our way back to the ranger station to sign back in, we saw a group of deer.  They were just starting to molt their winter coats.  We saw hoof prints at times along the trail, even though it was not a horse trail.  As we drove out of the area, we passed some horses roaming free.  I wonder if they left the prints?

This trail was also listed as a 2 - 3 hour hike, but for us it seemed much easier (except for the long slog uphill in high altitude) and we made it in 1 3/4 hours.  If you'd like to see the slide show of the entire hike, here's a link.  This link has fewer photos than the one two days ago, so it's fairly short.  

Spruce Canyon Hike

On Tuesday we packed up and headed out for our next stop, Monument Valley, Utah.  

  As soon as we got set up, we took Bandido and Tequila on a short hike near the campground.  

I love red rock country, so here are a few more shots.  I think it's impossible to take a bad photo here!

Tomorrow we plan to take the dogs on another hike, then Roger and I have signed up for a sunset guided tour of Monument Valley.  Each night here at Goulding's, over in the hotel area, they show a John Wayne western filmed here.  We'll probably check that out one evening while we're here.  

The pet photo of the day is my "pet" black-chinned hummingbird that visited my feeder each day while we were at Mesa Verde.  The second pet photo of the day shows Charlie, as he waits for the hummingbird's next visit.  Charlie spent four days stalking this bird, twitching his tail and making chattery cat sounds.  


Nancy and Bill said...

The first photo put this place on our TODOS list. Just loving all the wonderful walks!!!

Margie and Roger said...

Monument Valley is one of my all-time favorite places. So peaceful and beautiful. Guess you know Canyon de Chelly is in the upper right corner of Arizona - free campground. Another great place. Wish we had taken the jeep ride down into the canyon instead of hiking down. That deer sure liked scruffy.