Sunday, October 10, 2021


 We're home!   Better I'll try to remember where I left off in Dolores, Colorado and show you more pictures of the beautiful and fascinating area.

We did manage to outrun the rain but the sky continued to threaten all the way home.

We actually wished those clouds would open and pour, the area is so parched.    We stopped along side the huge McPhee Reservoir and saw that it, too, was very low.

this rock formation is usually well under water

Pam and John were going to be in the area (Cortez, just 11 miles down (up?) the road) so they joined us for happy hour later that afternoon.    It was wonderful to see them again, it's been way too long, and we talked and talked and talked.    Lewis, of course, was over the moon to see you know who again and wouldn't leave her alone.    She hates it when he's clingy.

she tries to take a selfie but all he wants to do is kiss....

Since the opportunity to spend more time with them presented itself, we packed up and moved those 11 miles to a site right next to them at West View RV Park, for the next 3 days.    Again, Lewis was pleased.   Just like a little kid, he loves to "go over to gramma's house, all by himself" and doesn't miss an opportunity to do so.    I think he even has his own toys and treats there, but I wouldn't know.

he waits on their stairs, when is she coming back?

Later that afternoon Pam and John took us to one of the hundreds of ancient Puebloan sites in the area, Lowry Pueblo.   It has been partially reconstructed for us to be able to better visualize how these people might have lived.    The Native Americans do not consider these sites "ruins" as they believe their ancestors still live there.     It's important to respect those feelings and tread lightly on all sites.

The next day John and Pam took us on a beautiful ride to Telluride.   The previous night's heavy rains produced some snow on the mountain peaks and we wanted to admire it (snow) from afar.    The four of us lived most of our lives the snowy north east and can now only appreciate the white stuff if it is in the distance.    John had drive their motorhome on this very road a few days before and wanted to be able to enjoy it's beauty in a more relaxed manner.

The drive did not disappoint, aspens, lightly dusted mountain tops, beautiful lakes and the pretty town of Telluride made for a wonderful day with friends.

We had lunch at Steamies Burger Bar in Telluride (strangely, one of the few places open on the main drag) and then headed back home to enjoy the views from the other direction.    No, we did not ride the Gondola (my bad) and no, we did not attempt the Black Bear Pass drive!

On our last day in Cortez, Dave and I drove up to the Mesa Verde National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This haunting place protects the spectacular cliff dwellings, mesa top sites of pit houses, pueblos, masonary towers and farming structures of the ancestral Pueblo peoples who lived there for more than 700 years.   More than 4000 sites dating back to A.D. 550 have been found, some left for us to see and some cataloged and then reburied for eternity.     It was so impactful to see the progression in building and farming techniques over those many years, to almost follow along in their footsteps.

  The drive into the Park is a long one, winding and climbing up and down the canyons with a few viewpoints along the way to the archeological sites.

The heavy cloud cover only contributed to the moody feeling of walking through these hallowed spaces.
We felt strongly the need to speak quietly, walk carefully, think about what we were seeing, who was there before us and perhaps still were?   

Until, at the very first site - a mini van pulled up and out belched a group of 5 or 6 (seemed like 100) people lead by HER.... 

Loudly -  "what are we supposed to be seeing?    Do you see anything?   I don't see anything, maybe it's further down there....Harold, Harold, bring my jacket, Harold, it's on the front seat, don't you see it?   These rocks are impossible to walk on....why don't they smooth it out for us, someone can fall down!   Harold, come up here and take my that your phone ringing?   Harold, answer the phone, it could be Marsha......What are we looking at now?   Let's get back in the van, it's chilly out here?" 

Luckily we were able to out run that van and managed to visit the other sites with only a few other, quiet and interested people. 

sun temple

the fabulous Cliff Palace

There are ranger led tours of some of these cliff dwellings but we were on a first time, lay of the land visit so we satisfied ourselves with seeing what we saw - this time.

We topped off our fantastic day with a wonderful dinner at The Farm Bistro with Pam and John.   We all broke camp and moved on the next morning.   We were heading to our new home in Arizona, Pam and John to Boulder City via Farmington.

We drove through the northern end of the Navajo Reservation, past Shiprock and down into Arizona.

Our last stop on this trip was at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Arizona.   We've stayed there many times before but this time our reason was to meet MonaLiza and Steve to do a bit of wine tasting!    Arizona wines, who knew?     

We got there a day before they were scheduled to come up from Wickenburg, so we used the time to drive over to one of our old favorites, Sedona.     We first started visiting there in the early 70's and are sad to see how much it has changed.     Actually, the growth is a double edged sword.   Lots more services and good restaurants.    In those days, children had to go to school in Flagstaff, up the windy canyon roads.    Now beautiful schools, a good health center, a Whole Foods  and a performing arts center mark Sedona's progress.     The bad side is the horrendous traffic jams.    

 We drove up onto Airport Hill to check out the little restaurant on the runway there.  It used to have delicious diner type food, full length windows to watch the planes take off and land and piped in live air traffic control for us to know what was coming and going.    Now is is a very upscale restaurant with an official hostess and a waiting list.        It probably took us a half an hour to get through one of the roundabouts in "uptown" Sedona, trying to get down to see L'Auberge du Sedona along the creek.   It is still as beautiful and quiet as ever.    Great restaurant and sweet cottages along the water, interesting and unexpected sculptures here and there along the paths.      We left our Jeep with the Valet and walked around a bit, reminiscing about old times.  


Mona Liza and Steve arrived around 11 a.m. so we chose two wineries to visit that day.    We started with a lite lunch with our tastings at Page Springs Cellars.     We sat outside on a covered patio and enjoyed our flight choices and food.   We hadn't seen them since last June so we had lots to catch up on.
We enjoyed their red wines and came home with a few bottles, of course!

     Just a few miles up the road was our second choice,  Javalina Leap.   We each ordered our flights of wine and took them out onto the beautiful shady lawn to enjoy.   MonaLiza thought we needed just a bit more to eat so we ordered one of the nicest charcuterie trays we've had in a long time, complete with salami roses, fig jam and lots of other goodies.      I was sure I took a picture of it, but then....I had already finished one flight and was well into the second, so perhaps I didn't, and if I did, I can't find it.    MonaLiza did, I know she did.

The atmosphere was very pleasant, warm breezes,  blue sky and shade, lots of birds and bird song overhead.   Dave even had a very unusual visitor.....

do you see it?

a three legged green bean?

After a little snooze back at Beluga, we met Steve and MonaLiza for dinner in Old Town Cottonwood.   Again, we managed to sit outdoors and enjoyed another good meal.   burp.

The predicted storms came that evening.   Poor Lewis is getting old and thunder storms really frighten him these days.    He had a rough few hours, but we do what we can to help him through.   Not that we really have a choice.    As soon as the rumbling starts he's up - on one of our laps, or on the bed with us.   No asking, no politness - up he comes, fast,   too bad if you have a cup of tea in your hand or are soundly sleeping.

Luckily the nasty weather didn't stay too long and we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow.    It didn't help Lewis, but a little ball playing session helped him forget all about it!   

sometimes the ball just gets lost in his stalky legs.....

The next morning we went in search of a tiny French bakery we'd read about in nearby Clarkdale -   Violette's.     It didn't disappoint, we were SO glad we looked it up.

The food is ordered at the caboose and Violette, herself, brings it out to your table and chats for a few minutes.    Delightful!     We were the only ones out on the little patio at that time and the weather was beautiful again.      Dave had a Croque Madame and I had one of her "famous" waffles.   It was one the best waffles I've ever had.....almost like it was made of croisant dough....groan.   

We took a few back roads to explore the area along the muddy and swollen Verde River before heading back and packing up for home.

Next post - we're home!



  1. We too felt the need to be quiet in Mesa Verde--such an amazing place and like you guys we were there for only a few hours--next time! Lovely photos of the Telluride area! We are experiencing that white stuff first hand this morning. Lewis is a big lap puppy! I love reading about all your dining experiences, makes my mouth water!

    1. Do you enjoy the snow? If so, I'm glad it's there for you, if not - get out of town!
      Eating good food is part of the joy of life, especially if someone else makes it and cleans up afterward!

  2. So much good stuff! Friends, food, great scenery. I'm sad to see Sedona has only gotten busier since we were there. I guess it's inevitable in beautiful places. I'd be happy to hold poor Lew in a thunderstorm. Our Lab was the same way -- 60 lbs. in your lap at the first rumble. Hope you are enjoying your new place -- stay put and we'll see if we can find you soon! 🙂

    1. We'd love that....we're staying right here until Spring, with perhaps an exception for a few weeks away end of January/beginning of Feb. Stay in touch!

  3. We still have a signed bottle from Javalina Leap, from when we visited on their grand opening. I'm sure it's past it's best-by-date now. Alcantara Winery was a favorite.
    Always nice to meet up with good friends on your travels.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Jeff. We'll look Alcantara up the next time we're up in that area. Lots to do there, so I'm sure it won't be too long!

  4. We did the ranger tour and it was well worth it. It was summer when we visited, and very crowded, but the rangers did a good job of crowd control and explaining what we were seeing. Sedona should have been made a national park from the beginning, what has happened to the area is just sad and really makes the case for national park designations. Too late.

  5. Luckily Mesa Verde wasn't very crowded and the weather was perfect. I'm famous for visiting places and learning about them afterward, so I guess the tour will be next time! Visitor Centers always seem to be visited on the way out of a new place....I guess I like to soak up a place on my own first before being told what I'm looking at. weirdo

  6. Those first pics with the threatening weather are awesome, and love all the ones from Telluride. So pretty! Sounds like you guys had a fantastic couple weeks. The terrible tourist problems and overcrowding issues seem to be happening everywhere these days. Where did all these people come from and how are they everywhere at once? It's crazy. Anyway, we recently ordered some CBD biscuits for Thor for thunderstorms and related scary puppy stuff. We haven't had any big storms since we got them, but we have some friends who swear by them, so we're gonna give it a shot. Here's hoping...

  7. Thor for thunderstorms....say that three times! I'd like to hear if it helps him, I hate to have Lewis feel so frightened. He doesn't really snuggle down on our laps, he just sort of perches and shakes and his bony legs make things mighty uncomfortable! We wonder where all the people come from and why they have to choose the exact spot we want to be! (spoken like a true curmudgeon)

  8. Cortez is so on my list as we have never been there. Everytime we planned a trip, the weather did not cooperate. Sedona is a favorite too! Poor Lewis. At least there aren’t that many storms in AZ! You always find the best places to eat! And who nice to end your summer trip with fun days with good friends…Pam & John and MonaLiza & Steve. We had stick bugs in GA. They are pretty cool. As always, your photos are fun, informative , and beautiful! Welcome home!

    1. The Cortez/Dolores area has a lot to see and do - we'll be back! A big line of thunderstorms passed by us to the north and Lew found our big walk in closet to hide in last night! Our poor stick bug visitor had only three legs perhaps that's why he clung to Dave's! Thanks for the welcome home....

  9. Glorious colors on your Telluride trip. How fun to share it with P&J! Mesa Verde remains on our long list, I love your pics and the feeling of sacred space they provoke. LOL at HER! I was unfortunate to share some time with a similar group in Bandelier National Monument and it still makes me cringe at the invasion. And more fun times with ML&S with yummies. That bakery looks like it should be on everyone's route!

    1. I think we all have met HER somewhere that should be a quiet place! (OK, perhaps we've met a HIM there once or twice too) I hope little Violette's manages to stay in business in tiny Clarkdale, she sure knows how to make us happy!

  10. It was SO nice to finally catch up after too long. It's nice to see we just moved right to where we left off, including Lew! He didn't miss a beat with our routine. I love that photo of Lew sitting inside our door waiting patiently for me to return. Glad you had wonderful weather for the wine tasting with Steve and ML. Fun times with friends. Good wine, food, and friends...perfect!

    1. Fun times with good friends, you're absolutely right! Now that we're living closer to each other we can't let such a long time go between visits....Lew seconds that motion!

  11. We have lots of reason to meet up there again, the Bakery, the Brewery and 3KingsKasbar but not be there on a Monday or a Tuesday. I think you will like Alcantara too, it is out of the way and you will be in the midst of their vineyards.
    Poor Lew, we did not know there was a storm that night we slept through it.
    Welcome back home... now let's open that AZ wine. Cheers! - ML

    1. Yay! More fun ahead. Lew is finding his places here, making it his new house.
      I'm ready for wine, Arizona, Washington, California, France, Spain, Germany, etc.!

  12. Look how much I missed by being out range for a few days! I'm glad to catch up with you and vicariously enjoy your fun times with Pam and John and ML and Steve.

    It has been many years since we were in Mesa Verde—the last time, we met my folks there, and we all went on one of the tours into the ruins. So many memories...I would love to return. Like you, we are quiet in those sacred places. I never understand why people visit these special places and spend all of their time talking and distracting themselves and everyone around them. :-(

    Lew as a lap dog always cracks me up. But I know those storms are stressful for him. Poor baby.