Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm Baaack!!

Bob and I had a wonderful road trip from San Diego up to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado returning via Laughlin, Nevada. Our driving days were 6 to 8 hours long, so I got lots of knitting done. I finished the leaf lace sock sample for the class I'm teaching in July and made great progress on the two shawls. I'll finish at least one, if not both within the next week, depending on sewing adventures.

We started our trip by stopping overnight in Camp Verde, Arizona where we ducked into Montezuma's Castle National Monument. It was an appetizer for the way more extensive cliff dwellings up in Colorado. For dinner we ventured into a small restaurant, The Salt Cellar. Once inside, it looked like someone's basement rec room, including pool table. Amazingly, the pizza and burgers were outstanding. As a New Yorker, I must say I'm a pizza snob. I like it plain cheese and am often disappointed because the sauce and cheese blend has to be just right or it's quite noticeable. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

We stayed 3 nights in Cortez, Colorado where the temps were moderate, between 50 and 80 degrees. The hotel had a nice indoor jacuzzi and there were several restaurants within walking distance in its Old Town area. Our favorite was the Main Street Brewery with its yummy microbrews.

Mesa Verde with all its cliff dwellings was mind boggling. Estimates are that in the area's heyday, there were over 30,000 inhabitants, more than in present day. Since the Pueblo indians had no written language, no one knows why they abruptly left in the late 1200's over 200 years before Columbus 'discovered' America. As I climbed around Cliff Palace, I marveled how they scampered around the rocks in such high altitudes. I wouldn't even attempt Balcony House since access was through a 12 foot tunnel that was 18 inches wide. The visitor's center had a wooden replica like they do at airports for carry on luggage. Basically, if your butt doesn't fit here, don't even think about it. Even if it had, I couldn't handle the confined space.

The next day we drove to Durango where Bob had planned we ride an old train up to Silverton. He thought we'd take a bus for one way, so I luckily grabbed my knitting. Since he loves planning our trips, I literally ask what's on the agenda for any given day. We opted to take the train both ways, but I was mightedly surprised to learn it was a 3 1/2 hour trip EACH WAY. The scenery was stupendous, but without my knitting, I would have gone crazy!

Silverton is an old mining town with barely 500 inhabitants. Its current livelihood is totally dependent on the tourists who mostly arrive on the 3 daily trains. It's at about 9300 feet, so there was still snow on the mountains. I had packed my white sweater for the mountain chill, but then learned the train ride was sooty, so I wore 3 shirts instead.

Here's Bob taking a photo of a wooden statue wearing pretty much the same outfit he is. Notice the snow at the top of the picture.

There were rain showers on our last night in Cortez. Since it rained less than 4 inches in the past year in San Diego, I went outside to watch and was gifted with rainbows.

The last 3 days of our trip were spent in Laughlin, Nevada. With temps hitting 112 degrees, we spent most of the time indoors except for early morning jacuzzis in the outdoor pool area. The slots were not too cooperative, so I have no big winnings to report. It's good to be home, but we're looking forward to our next trip, Vegas, baby, next month.

1 comment:

Tea Time and Roses said...

Hi Tania...

It is me Beverly your sock student! I am so glad to hear your vacation went fantastic... Lots of knitting and loads of fun. Your site is so sweet. I have a fairly new one, please visit and tell me what you think.. Tania, you are a sweetheart. Hope to see you soon...