Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Just one more thing.. then we'll head home

Oct 8th - Monday

Even though the Grand Canyon was going to be our last on our list of things to see and we were going to head directly home (which would still take on average of 5-6  hrs of driving a day), we have decided to take a slight detour to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado (south-western corner) where there are cliff dwellings from the ancient Pueblaon peoples. A last spark of travel spirit.   Sean was really excited too. Throughout our visitor centre stops at the national parks or parks in Canada, the native peoples sections have always grabbed Sean's attention.. especially the native stories with their creation stories that involved animals -  so we had Sean on board for the detour.. Liam was sceptical, but we assured him there where ladders to climb and there would be no hikes.      Mesa Verde National Park

The drive out of the the Grand Canyon was beautiful! We explored a bit more of the Grand Canyon NP, visitor centre (just love the movies the National Parks offer - we really didn't need to spend the $ on the IMax), desert view look out - watchtower.. more amazing views and I think the eastern view of the Canyon where you could see the Colorado River was my favourite. Then out onto the plateau and into Navajo and Hopi Indian reserve zones where mainly the land is left uninterrupted. The drive was really interesting and we probably should have called it a night when the sun was setting but we were keen to get really close to Mesa Verde as you have to get tickets to get a tour of the cliff dwellings and they can sell out . So we drove several hours in the dark (not typically what we would do) and I kept wondering what amazing scenery we were missing) and pulled in to Tomahawk Motel in Cortez, Colorado. 

Visitor Centre look out.. a rare moment where Sean actually wanted his picture taken...
...the rock climbing improves his mood on these things.

They were gazing out into the Grand Canyon Abyss
and I thought how perfect for a picture... but that gazing didn't last that long,
so I had to ask them to pose for this shot!

looking eastward from the south rim

Colorado River... way, way down there

Liam is getting to become a great little photographer

"Desert View" - that is the direction we're heading

not part of the Grand Canyon but the rips in the flat plateau were pretty cool!

open road

sandstone formations

Limestone formations

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