Friday, September 9, 2011

Bluff, UT to Cortez, CO

Last night I dined at a steakhouse that was about the only option in Bluff.   A pistol in a case in the front counter with a sign "I ain't gonna be calling 911."  You get the idea.  Food - not Zagat rated.  So, stopped at a coffee/ice cream shop that seemed out of place and was for sale.  Had a chocolate shake for my real dinner.  Back to the hotel, fairly modern, just in time for the power to go out.

All this encouraged an early departure.  Had a chance to watch a nice sunrise on a cloudy morning.

Once the sun was up, I found myself in the most desolate surroundings in Navaho country.  The landscape was dotted with oil wells, which, judging from the number of pickups on the road very early, provides some substantial employment.  The landscape was both barren and lovely.

On to Mesa Verde National Park.  The cliff dwellings are at about 8000 feet, and one must wonder what the heck people were doing there.  There is a lot unknown, which makes it all the more fascinating.

I hiked a trail out to Petroglyph Point, where, guess what, the dwelling inhabitants left petroglyphs.   The hiking was fairly strenuous, moving along the cliff face, lots of up and down.  Some tight squeezes, which had me thankful that I have remained fairly slim.

Of course, no one really knows what the petroglyphs mean, but they are thought to represent the journey of the inhabitants from the point they emerged from the earth to their arrival on the mesas.  This is a sample.

So, it was a day with more time spent hiking than driving - which was a nice change.

Tomorrow, a short drive to Durango.

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