Thursday, May 7, 2009

Way Behind & Lots of Pictures

I know I'm way behind & I've taken so many pictures since my last post & I was having a hard time finding the time to go through them & sort them out. I'm even having a hard time remembering which day we went where! We have been doing some major sightseeing & visiting with friends, so I'm sorry I'm behind.

Thursday, April 30th we arrived in Holbrook, AZ. Friday, May 1st we toured the Painted Desert & Petrified Forest. The following are from there:

Beautiful colors, no wonder it was named the Painted Desert. Distinct white layers are sandstone. The caps of some are clay. Dark layers are caused by high carbon content. Darker reds are iron-stained siltstone. Reddish bases are stained by iron oxide, which is also called hematite.

Us at Painted Desert

Bill at Painted Desert Inn
Flowers are rare in this land. Take a picture whenever you can!
Newspaper Rock sign depicting the Petroglyphs that are etched into stone. There are hundreds.

Petrified Forest National Park
This looks like a field where loggers left their work unfinished. These trees, now rock, just lay as they were unearthed on the floor of this once sea covered land.
Over the 225 million years since the trees lived, the continent moved to their present positions, & this region was uplifted. As a result the climate changed, & the tropical environment became today's grassland. Over time, wind & water wore away the rock layers & exposed fossilized ancient plants & animals. The hills will yield more fossils as weathering sculpts the Painted Desert's soft
sedimentary rock.

The trees lay right where they have been exposed over millions of years, embedded in the rocky surface.
The lay of the land!

Don't even think about lifting it!!!! Petrified wood is surprisingly heavy, weighing nearly 200 pounds per cubic foot, and its hardness is seven on a 10-point scale.
The picture does not do the colors in this piece of petrified wood justice. The colors are beautiful.

A cement support was built under the Agate Bridge to help in its preservation.
Along the Crystal Forest Trail. They said it was an easy 0.8 mile paved trail through a landscape of exquisitely colorful petrified logs that once held glassy amethyst & quartz crystals. Well, it was paved but at mid to high 80's it was HOT & half way out there I really wanted a drink of water!
Inside the museum. Archeologist's findings. Partially uncovered fossil so you can see how it's done.
Some of the small dinosaurs found & studied by paleontologists in the park since the 1920's.
After leaving the park & arriving back in Holbrook, AZ there is a large gift shop named Jim Gray's. With a coupon you can receive 1/2 lb. of petrified wood for free. I did really good. Got one for each of the grand kids & it came to 0.48 lbs.! He shows you what 1/2 lb. generally looks like, then you go outside to a big pile & pick out what you want. When we first arrived there, this is the sight in the parking lot. It just goes to show you that you can travel & sight see in whatever conveyance you want! The only thing missing was a 5th wheel!
Inside the shop was this amethyst coffee table. The color was a beautiful purple though. Sorry the picture just didn't do anything for it! Price: just $6,400.00. Can you imagine moving it around in your living room? How about hitting your toe on it????
Friday, May 4th on to Red Rock Park, Gallup, NM
We had to set up in this beautiful dust storm. The wind was horrible & by the next morning all my windows & the door had sand in them. Time to sweep! Oh the sound of that grit when you opened those windows - makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it!
The next evening the sight was beautiful.
The name Red Rock Park gets its name from the obvious red rock on three sides of the park.
From Gallup, NM to Canyon de Chelly, AZ on Sunday, May 3rd.
Homes are so far away from the roadway. Miles & Miles of nothing but sage & juniper.
Ancient cliff dwellings. Cliffs marked with varnish from water markings.
First look "down" into the canyon.
Tall formation is called Spider Rock named for the woman who lived near the base that taught the Navajo women to weave. She wore a dress that looked like spider webs thereby getting the name of Spider Rock.
That's a L-O-N-G way down!
More flowers - a catch them when you can picture
A juniper tree full of berries. The native Indians use these berries to make gin, among medicinal uses.

Horses in the bottom of the canyon.
More cliff dwellings
Farming at the bottom of the canyon
Peg with artist/jeweler Andy Henry. Bought a braclet from him that tells the story of Canyon de Chelly.
Waiting for cows to cross the road in town of Chinle, AZ

Our jeep tour guide, Oscar (on left) & Bill after obtaining permit to go into the canyon.
Here we go - our jeep tour of the canyon. Through the water & the dirt. What a ride!!!
Petroglyphs described by Indian tour guide at several places throughout the canyon.
No matter how many times you've driven up the canyon, you'd better know where to go. The truck on the right did get her out.
Beautiful view from the bottom. The light green trees are Russian Olive & the darker green are cottonwoods.
A little rough trying to take a picture!
More cliff dwellings
This is the height above the cliff dwelling
White House Ruins
Our jeep (white). Indian jewelry & crafts for sale along the canyon river at the end of each turn around on the south & north end of our trip.
Bill wondered how much longer this rock would sit here. Already been here millions of years.
Beauty at it's best!
Another jeep tour - this is what we looked like.
A Navajo's summer home in the canyon.
Navajo boys riding their horses in the canyon
Trying to show heighth again
Antelope Petroglyphs
Antlope House Ruin
Colt & his mommy on the way out of canyon
Ship Rock, Four Corners & Mesa Verde, NM, Tuesday, May 5th with Roger & Camilla
On Monday the 4th, we headed north from Gallup to Bloomfield, NM to visit with friends whom were our neighbors at SuperSun. They were gracious hosts to us on Mon. night for supper (Good Cook Camilla!) Then we asked if they wanted to go with us to Four Corners on Tues. We thought they could tell us about the area better than we could figure it out on our own. Besides, it so much fun to travel with friends. We had a great time, but I'm sure Roger was tired of driving by the time we got home. It was a long day. He was super in that he would stop anywhere for me to take pictures! What a pain I can be when you are trying to capture what you may never see again!
Ship Rock Four Corners - A Common Bond between Utah, Colorado, Arizona & New Mexico
Have you ever been kissed in 4 states all at the same time???
Peg, Bill, Roger & Camilla
The neat part of Four Corners was watching the Navajo's making their crafts. Here a young man is chipping a piece of obsidian for an arrow head that he will make into an arrow & then paint.
Painting the finishing touches.
Beautiful sight on the way to Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Looking toward the beautiful snow covered Rockies
A beautiful sight with a dead tree for Lavon!
Ancient Pueblo dwellings. They certainly were short people. Doorways where very tiny. Here Camilla is trying to push Roger through an opening.
Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling. Roger, Camilla & I walked down & back. Bill sat up top & watched.
It was neat being able to walk around parts of the dwelling. It reaches 87 ft. back in under the cliff. That's 2 RV's! Roger & I went down into a Kiva that had been partially reconstructed. You had to crawl down a ladder. Kivas were gathering places & sometimes also places to weave. Pilasters supported a beam & mud roof. Entry was by ladder through a hole in the center of the roof. There was also a small hole in the bottom that is referred to as a sipapu, or symbolic entrance to the underworld. The Kiva is a Hopi word for ceremonial room & was later comparable to churches. Ancestral Puebloans may have used kivas for healing rites or to pray for rain, luck in hunting, or a good crop.
Someone standing across the canyon from Spruce Tree House in the mid-1200s could have witnessed many activities. This was one of the largest villages in Mesa Verde. It had 129 rooms & eight kivas. Some 60 to 90 perons lived here at any time.
Looking down into a kiva
Another beautiful sight

A herd of elk
Roger & Camilla after we got back home
San Juan Winery Visit & Tour Blanco, NM, Wed., May 6th
We gave Roger & Camilla a day away from us so they wouldn't get sick of our company & Bill & I went to visit the San Juan Winery & then on to Navajo Resevoir & Lake. It was a nice day & a nice ride. Not far, but pretty. The winery was very unique. The son of the owner is building a home attached to one end of the winery. It is very unique in that he is using logs & wood from the surrounding areas that is from areas that have burned yet still have usable wood. There are no nails used, all pegged together. It is big enough to house his family, his wife's mother & her mother; three generations. He has used as much materials from nature that can be recyled as he could. Even the shower is made of his own cement, stones, etc. A very creative person.
The business is run by all members of the family. There are a lot of turkey, peacocks, whatever running around & in pens. They have several events during the summer there on the premises for fun & charities.
These were the elk across the road that goes to the winery. Camilla told us later that the guy that raises these elk also raises Clydesdale horses. We didn't see them though.

This end is the house being built

The stream going down from the Navajo Resevoir - Looks like it must be a great fishing spot

Looking down from 1/2 way down the dam. It is an earthen dam & you switch back up to the top. You can drive across it, but we just drove on across the spillway & toward the marina.
Looks like a great place to fish & just relax & read a book!
Can you believe it???? I finally made it to the end! I think I've learned my lesson about waiting so many days to catch up, especially when you have so many pictures.
So, since I have pictures from today to download from our day trip to Santa Fe, I'll get them downloaded & tomorrow night I will bring the rest up to date.
Tomorrow is a travel day. We will be leaving Santa Fe in the morning to head south in New Mexico. Our trip home this year is including a lot of north/south travel. It seems when we just go east/west, we never get far off the beaten path. So this time, we want to experience the trip, not just travel.
So until next time.................The Traveling Cardinal's

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