Thursday, October 15, 2015

Roadtrip Day 091

Roadtrip Day 091

10/7 Wednesday

Woke and broke camp in the sunshine. Apparently the rain was (mostly) done. Spent a fascinating morning cruising the park and hiking the “Long Logs” trail, being amazed by such huge petrified logs and so many stumps and chunks scattered for miles. Stopped at several other viewpoints along the road for fascinating views. One spot features a 180’ long “bridge” of a petrified log over a small ravine. Amazing. That’s 60 yards of intact petrified tree. Imagine.

From P.F., we drove right into Painted Desert National Park/Monument and a couple of those viewpoints were simply beautiful vistas stretching for miles of plateaus and ravines. Magnificent colors. From there, we grabbed the I-40 East and headed to Gallup, NM where we grabbed lunch at Wendy’s (spicy chicken for me, of course) then turned up U.S. 666, which has been renamed something lame (maybe 491?) because the US is a hotbed of 13th century fundamentalist thought and 666 is just too scary to have as a highway number. Gimme a fuckin’ break.

On the way up, we were thinking about an interim camp before going to Gail’s in case things there were too muddy after the recent torrential rains. We decided to jog back just a bit West to Hovenweep National Monument in the Southeast corner of Utah, going into the Southwest corner of Colorado. It’s one of our favorites. Same types of ruins as Mesa Verde. Not nearly as grand (huge!) as M.V. but a more human scale. We’d been there twice before with the kids and decided it’d be a swell place to spend a few days.

After grocery shopping at Shiprock (that and driving up the 666 were so evocative of Tony Hillerman’s Navajo novels), we found our way over to Hovernweep after dark. Set up camp in full dark with unspoken apologies to our neighbors whose camps were already set up and (probably) sleeping.

Brief snack, too tired to cook a big meal, and crawled into our warm bedding for a good night’s sleep. So dark here, with essentially no light pollution. The sky is incredible. Almost as good as a couple hundred miles offshore in a sailboat. Coyote tribes serenaded us a couple of times during the night. Lotta voices. Seemed like they were right across the small canyon from the campground.

Goodnight, Hovenweep. Ruins hiking coming up.


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