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  • J.F. Rowan

Saddled up and heading west!

Out of the house-sit at Durango, we hit the road late. The homeowner's flight was delayed so we were not able to get on the road until about 1030 PM. Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to be on the road at night in this part of Colorado. The Elk and Mule Deer party in the middle of the road like a bunch of drunken quadrupeds.

Once again, we were able to find some good quality meats. This time in the town of Durango. Before leaving town, we stuffed the freezer with all kinds of goodies from Sunnyside Market.

But, we made it to our overnight stop in one piece. Mesa Verde, again. It was just for the night and it was a great place to push off from as we made our way into a new state to restart our exploring, the great state of Utah! Never been, we heard all kinds of great things about Utah and we were anxious to get exploring. Our first real stop would be Hovenweep National Monument which is actually located in both Utah and Colorado. Lots of firsts here. First camping experience in Utah. Different liquor laws, lots of different and new stuff to learn. We arrived at Hovenweep and found one spot that we liked and it just happened to be open.

A later than expected departure from our house sit, and the fact that we were heading west resulted in us staying at Mesa Verde for a night. We were more than good with that.

Some things take on a whole new meaning especially when you've recently visited a town like Roswell. This was near the front gate to our new destination, Hovenweep National Monument. (Look closely and you might see some tiny footprints.)

Exploring the structures in Hovenweep National Monument. Unlike Mesa Verde, we could walk from our camp to all of the structures here.

Somewhat like Mesa Verde, this is a park that highlights ancient people and their dwellings. The difference here, you basically camp right in the middle of it all! All you had to do, was walk 30 feet behind the campsite and some of the dwellings were in plain view, not 200 yards away. We even walked a loop trail from our own site that could take in 90% of the park and all of the archeological sites.

(Click on the photos)

I also delved into night sky photography a bit and took several photos of the starlit sky. A big thank you go out to Todd Mazer who I was able to text and get some guidance to help bring my camera skills into an area that I’ve been a bit reluctant to explore. Not any more! @toddmazer

Click to enlarge

Though this park was pretty quiet, and the night sky was amazing, as it would turn out, our “1%” showed up. "Ahh…the 1 %." The folks that feel they should share everything with you. Their lights, their music, their dogs, their kids and all of the conversation they have with each other. They’re even considerate enough to say it loud enough so you can hear every single word. 15 sites were available, and they picked the one right next to us. We were friendly. We waved as we drove out of the park the next morning. Let’s go to Moab!

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