On the Road

Back and forth, back and forth, we have been driving to California for thirty-seven years. As you can imagine, this route is as comfortable as your favorite chair. We know when to leave, where we will be at mealtimes, what restaurants are available, and where to stay. Sometimes routine is just what one needs, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit. That’s exactly what we did this year.

Our goal was not our final destination, but we created a plan to visit places we had never visited before. First on the list, Mesa Verde National Park in CO. However to get there we would pass through some interesting land.

Most of our trip was not on interstate highways, but rather two or four lane state roads. Even Kansas provided interesting scenery. We stopped in Greensburgh, KS at a coffee shop for lunch. This town was nearly wiped off the map in 2007 by a tornado. They have done an amazing job rebuilding with a focus on “green” buildings. It is the world’s leading community in LEED-certified buildings per capita. We drove around town marveling at the new buildings.

First night we made it to Pueblo, CO. The second day we enjoyed the scenery of the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado as we drove south of Montrose to Durango. At times I would have to hold my breath because the drop off was so close and there were no guardrails.

A sunflower with an interesting bug, cool clouds, views along the Million Dollar Highway

A sunflower with an interesting bug, cool clouds, views along the Million Dollar Highway

In Durango, we were able to spend an evening visiting family that we see rarely. It was an enjoyable evening chatting and sipping on the porch of their mountain log cabin.

Off we were the next morning to discover the wonders of Mesa Verde. We bought tickets for two different tours and headed into the park. I marvel at the ingenuity of the people who were able to survive. I barely survived the one hour tour. There was no way I would be able to do the second tour which included climbing a thirty foot ladder. We had seen enough, so we made our way out of the park. That is when my husband revealed he didn’t really have a route planned for the rest of our trip.

Cliff palace at Mesa Verde

Cliff palace at Mesa Verde

We looked at the map and determined there were two routes we could take. Once we checked hotel availability, we knew which route to go.

Vistas that intrigued

Vistas that intrigued

I always pack a tote bag full of books to read when we drive across country. So far, I had not taken one book out. I did not want to miss any of the new scenery.

We made it to Phoenix where we stayed a few days visiting my brother-in-law. He was happy to welcome us because we brought a box of tomatoes from our yard. It was great to be able to step away from eating out for a few days (I can’t believe I said that! I love to eat out!)

Soon we left for Orange County in California. If only we had known what was in store for us (beyond the change of birthday plans, which I wrote about last week). You will have to wait until next week for that episode.


12 thoughts on “On the Road

  1. Thanks for sharing those great photos. I don’t think I’d have done the 30 foot ladder either. Maybe 20 years ago, but not now. I usually drive with the route planned out too. I can hardly wait to read next week’s installment.

  2. I had two great aunts (my grandmother’s sisters) who lived in Pueblo. I never went there, but they came to visit in us in OK. I love the pics – we spent time in Durango and Mesa Verde when we lived in TX. My husband did that 30 foot ladder climb when we visited 30 years ago. I was pregnant, so I read while he did that tour. Can’t wait for next week’s “the rest of the story” slice!

  3. Oh, we were so close, Elsie. Happy you had a lovely trip through Colorado, & like Bonnie said, hope you missed the flooding in Phoenix! I love those back roads, so much of interest when one takes the time. Thanks for sharing your adventures, but it’s not quite fair to leave us hanging!

  4. Did you miss the flooding in Phoenix? Hope so… sounds like a wonderful journey. I remember our trip to the four corners was amazing. Just driving on the highways was a good as anything we saw in a park. We missed Mesa Verde because of it was on fire then and closest to tourists. Thanks for your travel photos and words…

  5. Joyce says:

    I think you two would make wonderful tour guides! Loved the pictures…you really showed what a beautiful country we live in.That looks like a very interesting trip.

  6. There is so much to see when we deviate from the normal route. Kathy and i both love exploring new ways to get from here to there. I admit you got me hooked wondering what happened. Looking forward to next week’s post.

  7. Judy C. says:

    Beautiful sites on your travels. It is so amazing to see so many different terrains and sites as we cross from one state to another. Glad you were adventurous and tried a different route.

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