Cortez, from where we visited Mesa Verde, is a lovely town and we really loved it there. We even extended our stay for another week and took a much needed break from seeing things. Though we had learned from last year’s information overload and planned our trip differently this summer, we still had reached the point where we just wanted to spend some time doing and seeing nothing. Cortez is just the place to do that. We had a great RV park, nice people all around us, a great farmers market, perfect weather and to top it all off, André had found the perfect doggy daycare for Princess. Located behind the animal clinic it offers a whole day of playing with other dogs, learning new things and all the running around a dog can wish for every Wednesday and Friday. Though we didn’t need to give Princess to a daycare because we didn’t have the time to look after her, we decided that she would love to be there and get a lot of exercise at the same time. Sure, we walk her in the morning and at night. But unless there is an off-leash dog run close by she never really gets to run free or play with other dogs until she drops. So we brought her there every Wednesday and Friday during our stay. When we picked her up around 5 p.m. she was done. She would eat her food and go to the bathroom but other than that the only thing she was interested in for the rest of the day was laying down and sleeping. The way she woofed and her paws were running while she was sleeping, she must have been dreaming of her adventures for the next couple of nights each time. She also brought home a Doggy Gram each time, telling us what she’d done, what her favorite thing and the special activity of the day (e.g. playing soccer, agility training, splash dance etc.) had been. Real cute! Anna is doing a great job with the dogs. She is also a trainer and gave us some valuable tips about Princess. If we’re ever going to be in Cortez again, we’ll bring Princess to the daycare again.
From Cortez we drove to Moab for a couple of weeks. If you look at our map you will notice that we are going forth and back between Utah and Colorado. You guessed right if you thought that from Moab we would go visit more national parks. Arches, Canyonlands and Death Horse Point to be exact. And yes, we’ve been to all of them before.
Death Horse Point has its name from a rather cruel and inhuman practice. Some time ago cowboys would drive herds of wild horses to that point and then block their way back by piling brush at the narrowest part of the rocks to trap them. They would then choose and take away the horses they wanted, leaving the reminder of the herd trapped on the point. With no water and the sun beating down on them those horses would soon die an agonizing death from thirst. It’s a beautiful place with a very sad history.
Arches National Park is always worth the trip. The sandstone formations are breathtaking and one can take countless pictures of them as well as the rock spears with huge rocks precariously balancing on top. The best pictures of course can be made early or late in the day when the interaction between sunlight and shadows really makes the place come alive. With our annual pass ($ 80 for access to all national parks for one year) we went back to the park several times. We also went to Canyonlands twice. Once we saw the stunning landscape from the top and the other time we drove into the canyons at the bottom. Last time we had been here, we went off-roading in a rented Jeep and had a blast. This time we went to see and photograph Indian writings. Though nobody has yet been able to decipher them, they have been dated and thus are authentic. Experts cannot tell if the scenes carved into the sandstone cliffs are actually story telling, hunting stories or simply doodling and unfortunately some people thought it funny to go and ad some symbols and writing of their own before the sites were protected. But when you look at one of the writings and read a name and date beside it, you can pretty much assume that the later has been added by someone in recent times. A shame really. Why can’t some people respect ancient sites and leave them alone?
To be continued.