A little bit about ourselfs:

Two crazy Swiss Immigrants living in Canada since 1996 traveling the Country in a 5th wheel together with their two cats ....
Let's introduce ourselves:

There is the lovely and multi-talented Sue: A Sagittarius that likes travel, cats & dogs, reading good books and rather swings a hammer then using a sawing-needle. She dislikes rude people and getting up early

The other part of the team is André: Born in the sign of Aquarius always looking for something new and exciting to explore. Let's go around this corner - there may be something we haven't seen yet! Likes traveling, cooking and making new friends. Dislikes are changing - they may become acceptable

Please follow us on our journey - and don't be shy, we'll love to hear from you!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monument Valley to Moab (Catching you up Part II)

Now we were very exciting to go see Mesa Verde for the first time. We knew that one can find the ruins of dwellings built by the Mesa People between about 900 and 1350 there. Built into the sandstone cliffs the houses were actually very sophisticated. They had indoors fireplaces and used big, flat rocks to channel air to feed the fires and vent the smoke. The dwellings were also extremely protected and accessible only by first climbing rocks and then entering them using ladders. The Mesa People lived in clans and built houses with as many as 150 rooms, temples and community buildings. One of those community buildings shows just how advanced the People was. It actually has rain gutters and spouts. Visiting sites like this one or the Viking dwelling in Newfoundland last summer gives a whole new perspective on how knowledgeable people were over a thousand years ago. Getting an idea from books in history class is so difficult. We speak of the stone age, the iron age etc., but never really get a grasp of those times. Even after seeing those sites with our own eyes we can not comprehend 1000 plus years. You see some of the most amazing accomplishments of those Peoples but what was life like then? What were some of the challenges they had to cope with? Wildlife, vegetation, climate, other, maybe hostile Peoples, the landscape in general, how far up did they have to climb to reach their dwellings (how much ground has been washed away since then?)? Maybe their dwellings were only 10 feet above the canyon floor and now that floor is 100 or more feet lower due to erosion. Was there water close by or did they have to go get it from some place hours away on foot? Where did they get their food from and how did they cope with the heat in the summer (how hot was it?) and the cold in the winter (again, how cold was it?)? So many questions, it’s impossible for us to even try and imagine what their lifes must have been like. It makes me look at some things in a different light and I have the outmost respect for those people. They were all but “primitives”.

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.

André and Sue
@ home on the road

PS: Don't forget to read our other blogs (listed on the side) and to follow us on facebook and our Google Map. You can also check our web site for new pictures.

No comments:

Post a Comment