Mesa Verde to Flagstaff

It’s been weeks since I last posted a travel blog. It hasn’t seemed possible to post anything but I have been writing all along. Truth be told, it’s gotten away from me. It’s gotten too big. Somethings have contributed to it getting too big. First, we were moving around so much and, second, I didn’t have internet access. A LOT of no internet access.

Here’s another admission: I’m getting a little bored with life on the road but I think that’s because we’ve been forced to stay in one place because the slide-out broke. We’ve been in a Forest Service campground at Pine Grove south of Flagstaff for over 2 weeks now and I’m really, really bored with it. Relief will come when our appointment to have the broken slide looked at – and notice I say “looked at,” not fixed – happens today. The moment of truth arrives!

But who knows what they will find? It will be fixable, and that’s for certain, but will they have parts on site or will they have to order them which will require us to stay in this area longer? (Please, God, no!) And, if so, how much longer? I can’t do anything about it. It is what it is. One of those things of trailer life that one must get used to. Upon reflection I’d say we’ve been having pretty good luck with everything else and the weather has been very, very nice. So, count my blessings.

One more thing. I can see that I’m ready to find a nice, permanent place to stay. I’m ready for bigger rooms and for my creature comforts some of which I’ve had to forego. There is much that is up in the air and yet to be determined but I’m ready for my new home. Anytime, Universe!

In the meantime, here are some highlights from a few weeks back.


After we left Moab and the stunning Arches N.P. and Canyonlands N. P we drove to Mesa Verde, CO. We decided to camp there which turned out to be a good decision.

Cliff Dwellings! Deer! Mind-blowing Vistas!

There were seven completely unperturbed young bucks. One was shedding his antler velvet by thrashing the vegetation.
Now that’s real estate top of Mesa Verde! Room with a view! Cortez, Colorado far, far below.
You can see my shadow on the cliff wall. I’m the shadow on the far left on the right. Think of my shadow as a ghost image of the people who lived here.

After Mesa Verde we met my sister Toni to camp with her in the San Isabel National Forest by Rye, CO. She lives in Thornton, CO which is NE of Denver. This was a must-do. I don’t get to see my sister enough, you see. We talk all the time on the phone but seeing her is better. We share so much and always understand each other plus she’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys! We bummed around the area and checked out Bishop Castle which was up the road from where we camped. Read the sign in the picture and you’ll see why we felt leery of going in.

This is the work of industrious Steven Bishop who clashed with the local authorities because he wanted to use the stone he found on his land and they didn’t want him to. I think he won. What do you think?
He lets you come in to look around but gives you ample warning about what might happen if you do.

It’s been a life-long goal of mine to see the area Georgia O’Keefe lived in. So, after we left CO we went to New Mexico. The first thing we noticed about NM was that it has more single wide trailers than Carter has pills! Unfortunately, too many residents junk up their yards. I think of what Frank Lloyd Wright said about San Francisco (“San Francisco is the only city I know that could survive what you people are doing to it”). I feel the same way about beautiful NM. Marty doesn’t want to get out of the truck in Taos because he feels people there aren’t respecting Covid guidelines. Actually, Covid has more than hampered our enjoyment of our trip. In the “old days” we would have availed ourselves of what would have certainly been outstanding food in the Taos restaurants but he is even leery of getting take out. He thinks I take too many chances. Taos Pueblo was closed to the public. Only residents can go there. This is a major disappointment.

A stone house on the main highway through Taos. Neat-o.
What I would have seen in Taos Pueblo if I could have seen it. Open only to NM residents. And you have to prove it.

So, as a consolation prize we drive over to Abiquiu and it is neat. Unfortunately, Georgia’s home and museum are closed because of Covid. Bummmeeerrr!

Parking lot. Big whoop. Georgia’s home and Museum is closed.
I can see Georgia’s back yard over the wall. Another Big Whoop.

In Chimayo, which feels like we’ve been teleported to Mexico herself, the Santuario de Chimayo is crowded so we sit in the shade, eat our lunch and wonder about the tiny crosses stuck in the fences. We discover later that during Holy Pilgrimage penitents carry crosses to the El Santuario, which are then left as a sign of respect.

Looking down from the parking lot to the Santuario de Chimayo.
These tiny crosses are every where at first they seem very, very odd. Eerie in fact. But there’s a good mundane reason for them as it turns out.

After Taos we had a couple days of marathon driving. One day from Taos to Gallup and then one day from Gallup to Flagstaff. We need to get close to CA, and soon, because we need to finalize Marty’s CA driver’s license renewal. Because of Covid we were never able to finish the process before we hit the road. Because of Covid we would have had to stay in Madera for a couple extra months because appointments were being made that far out. We found out that cops are not allowed to cite you or if they pull you over they have to let you go. But it’s time, Marty feels. He is not comfortable driving for months with an expired license. I could drive. My license is good but I don’t feel comfy driving the big rig. He’s the one with Big Long Trailer experience and the strength in case something happens.

After NM comes AZ. Arizona is nice.

Arizona greets us with beautiful cliffs

But the roads are absolutely terrible. Bad like WY. No, worse. AZ is also emp-tee! Miles and miles of open land. No trees. No critters. No fences. No nuthin’. We stop at the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. When I was a 10 year old kid our family came through here on Route 66 to Los Angeles and we picked up little chunks of petrified wood right off the ground like nobody’s business. Today the park states they have a vehicle check but there’s nobody manning the station. In Holbrook just outside the park there’s petrified wood everywhere either being sold or used as decoration. So there ya go.

What colors do you see?
I love the Tourist Center at Painted Desert.
The Jasper Forest section of the Petrified Forest National Monument.
The Agate Bridge. This is a long petrified tree trunk supported by concrete so it won’t collapse.

By now all of you know about the slide disaster that we suffered when we arrived in Flagstaff so I won’t go into any more detail on that. We have our repair appointment and we hope it goes smoothly. At least we can visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona. If nothing else, AZ has spectacular scenery and great weather at altitude.

Elk mama and baby with family group are so kind as to stand right next to the road so I can get a great picture sitting in the safety of the passenger seat! No zoom used.
The Grand Canyon in a word: astounding.
Jamais disappointmente.
Sedona has too many tourists and an abundance of these great red rock monoliths.

Late breaking news: the slide seems to be fix-able. The day is still young so I’m not going to say any more on that subject. We are waiting in the relative luxury of Quinta Inn to hear further. If it’s fixed we’re off to North Rum of the Grand Cyn and then on to Lake Powell and Glen Cyn. After that Zion N.P. I am cautiously optimistic.

8 thoughts on “Mesa Verde to Flagstaff”

  1. Geez, I hope good news by now with the slide! Enjoy your AZ comments as we”ve been in that neck of the woods (figure of speech obviously). Susan to an educational workshop in Sedona and brought me a ‘dirt shirt’ from there. Touristy, indeed. G/Canyon can’t be described, I know. Just have to soak it in. And the deer there, so cute. Fingers crossed in the days ahead.

    1. The slide is useable for the time being. (yay!) But the track on it needs to be replaced. (boo!) So we’re going to have to be (relatively) near Flagstaff until the part comes in. Could be 5 days or 2 months. So we’re going to go sightseeing and be careful and pray it’s 5 days. Lake Powell today and visit the North Rim Grand Cyn. If part doesn’t come in we’ll go to Zion but that’s as far as we can go away from Flagstaff.

      1. Good to hear especially getting out and about and seeing things. Texted my brother in Estes about Bishop. Still crazy and still butting heads with the locals. Got an O’keefe @ our St. Pete Museum of Fine Arts. Always special to see it. Enjoy the journey as always. –Tom

  2. Hi Renee, glad to see your blog. I have missed seeing it for awhile.
    A lot going on in my life right now. I will text you tomorrow or the next day.
    Stay safe and enjoy your adventures.

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