402.3 RV miles today, 8,059.1 total
Drove to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to visit where we had taken our kids ~17 years ago. Then traveled up through Wyoming with Toby riding “shotgun” over to South Dakota to our Rafter J Bar Ranch RV campsite. After dinner, drove the short distance to Mt. Rushmore for the amazing light show of the 4 Presidents carved in the granite: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln & Teddy Roosevelt. About 90% of the carving at the mountain was done by dynamite. Those blasts removed about 450,000 tons of fine-grained granite from the mountain. From the Black Hills of South Dakota, m, b & t
“A monument’s dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated…Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.” –Gutzon Borglum (Mt. Rushmore sculptor who labored from 1927 through 1941)
98 RV miles today, 7,656.3 total
Camped in Rocky Mountain National Park. Took the high road just opened up to the Alpine Center at 12,150 feet elevation. Amazing driving through 15 foot snow drifts. Temperature dropped from 74 degrees at campsite to 44 degrees at Alpine Center!?!? Ended up at another local favorite restaurant/tavern for dinner.
“Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains.” –Jeffrey Rasley, Bringing Progress to Paradise: What I Got from Giving to a Mountain Village in Nepal
“Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.” –Anatoli Boukreev (1958-1997, Russian mountaineer)
“A snowdrift is a beautiful thing – if it doesn’t lie across the path you have to shovel or block the road that leads to your destination.”–Hal Borland
“Long, blue, spiky-edged shadows crept out across the snow-fields, while a rosy glow, at first scarce discernible, gradually deepened and suffused every mountain-top, flushing the glaciers and the harsh crags above them. This was the alpenglow, to me the most impressive of all the terrestrial manifestations of God. At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.” ― John Muir, The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures
295 RV miles today, 7,853 total
Spent a glorious day in Boulder hiking up to Royal Arch at Flat Irons. Lunch & dinner in downtown Boulder. Cam is cycling competitively. Lindley is climbing/skiing. Toby joined Oliver, the cat, Daisy, the dog & seldom seen Emma, the cat, in the household. Here’s a pic of Oliver chillin in the fridge! From the Republic of Boulder, m, b & t
“Please, sir, I want some more.” –Charles Dickens, ‘Oliver Twist’
295 RV miles today, 7,853 total
Overnight in Cimarron. We left New Mexico & headed up through Denver 4 & 1/2 hours to visit our friends, Christin, Ken, Lindley & Cam Bellian in Boulder, Colorado. They had lived in Fayetteville 13 years & have been here almost 2 years. They are the outdoor family biking, hiking, skiing, climbing, etc. Here’s a picture of their garage…15 bicycles!!! Ken did a cross-country biking trip ~ 6 years ago. Wonderful fellowship, food & fun this evening. Rocky Mountain high, m, b & t
“Colorado Rocky Mountain high, I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky. The shadow from the starlight Is softer than a lullaby, Rocky Mountain high, Rocky Mountain high…”–John Denver
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” ~ Albert Einstein
200 RV miles today, 7,147.4 total
We spent the day at Mesa Verde National Park. We took the Cliff Palace & Balcony guided tours & the Spruce Tree House hike. The park was created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world. The Spanish term Mesa Verde translates into English as “green table.” Scattered nomads began roaming about the Southwest about 7,000 B.C. Projectile points dating 5,000 years have been found on Mesa Verde.The Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde between 600 to 1300. In the late 1190s, they began to build the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is famous. We went down into a Kiva, the spiritual place of these ruinsthat celebrates Father Sky & Mother Earth. We headed south traversing an intense sandstorm & witnessing a small tornado enroute to visit Ana & Jonathan Newman & Ana’s brother, Tim. Ana prepared a feast & we stayed at the mission compound RV campground.
“Far above me, a thousand feet or so, set in a great cavern in the face of the cliff, I saw a little city of stone asleep. It was as still as sculpture — and sometimes like that. It all hung together, seemed to have a kind of composition: pale little houses of stone nestling close to one another, perched on top of each other, with flat roofs, narrow windows, straight walls, and in the middle of the group, a round tower. . . . I had come upon the city of some extinct civilization, hidden away in this inaccessible mesa for centuries, preserved in the dry air and almost perpetual sunlight like a fly an amber, guarded by the cliffs and the river and the desert.—From “The Professor’s House,’’ by Willa Cather on the Anasazi civilization at Mesa Verde.
“Never stop being a kid. Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited with great things like air and engines and sounds of sunlight within you. Wear your little mask if you must to protect you from the world but if you let that kid disappear you are grown up and you are dead.”— Richard Bach, ‘Nothing by Chance,’ 1963
373.4 RV miles today, 6,947.4 total
Beth & I had breakfast at the Grand Canyon Lodge with magnificent canyon views. We left the north rim and traveled over 300 miles to the Mesa Verde RV Campground ~ 1 mile from the Mesa Verde National Park entrance. We stopped at Four Corners in Navajo land along the way where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah all come together in one point. It is the only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together & was first surveyed by the government in 1868. Below is a picture of Four Corners from 1956. We had dinner at Shiloh’s Steakhouse in Cortez, Colorado. From just outside Mesa Verde National Park, m, b, s & t
“It is not down in any map: true places never are.” – Herman Melville(1819-1891, novelist, poet, author of ‘Moby Dick’)