Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mesa Verde, Silverton, 4 Corners, Hovenweep, Newspaper Rock, etc.

We just returned from another FABULOUS vacation! Matt's younger sister planned a great trip for all of us to the beautiful state of Colorado.

First stop: Moab UT. Since we needed to drive through Moab we decided to stop at HOLE IN WALL. It is the side of a rock mountain that was blasted out and converted into a home. You can pay $4.75 per person and take the grand tour. It really is remarkable, I could never live in it. The tour guide acted as if he were high on something. Throughout the tour he kept telling all of us to keep up and move along. He spoke a million miles a minute. Matt was bugged. KEEP UP!
Kade & Matt at Hole In The Rock (obviously)
Kade & Aunt Karlene
Ted, Marc, Matt & Kade checking out the license plate jeep at Hole In The Rock

Second stop: Cortez/Mesa Verde. I have to admit that I was extremely apprehensive about going to Mesa Verde because I had never been and I was afraid it would involve a lot of hiking in the heat. I am hear to announce that it is not a lot of hiking (less than Timp. Cave) and the weather was WONDERFUL!

We checked into the Holiday Inn Express (super nice rooms... all redone with granite, down comforters, clean, clean, clean). I am a brat when it comes to hotels. They have to be updated and CLEAN or I will throw a fit. Don't believe me... ask Matt! I am the one wearing flip flops the whole time (including the shower), I won't let my clothes touch the floor/bedding, I won't re-use a towel. BRAT, I know.

Cortez is a tiny city with a whole lot of nothing. Matt really wanted to eat at a Steak House, we found the only one, and it was literally a house (from the 70's). I thought is was hilarious that when being seated we walked past the original kitchen, linen closet, and bathroom (sicked me out). We were seated in a huge 'family room' restored dining area. The food was over priced and not good. We learned, stick with McDonalds (ICK).

We woke up bright and early to head up the canyon to good ol' Mesa Verde. I recommend it to everyone! There are 3 tours and we bought all. 1st tour, the guy was the type that has read the manual and sticks only to it. He opened for questions and when he was 'stooped' he would reply, 'we aren't here to talk about that'. This didn't go off with Matt's family, the history buffs. We had great laughs the rest of the week telling each other, 'we aren't here to talk about that'. Each tour brought with it some sort of freaks, where do these people come from? There was a girl and her father with our tour. He farted (LOUD) the whole time, she scratched herself. When the tour guide was telling us that the Ancestrial Puebloians were much smaller than we are (women 5ft tall, men 5ft3" tall), she stood up and told all of us, 'I am 5'4 so if you take 4" off me that is how tall the women were and 1" that is how tall the men were.' You should have seen the looks on everyones faces. Jerid, NO, we did not get pictures of them. Yes, you are correct we should have for your collection.
Kade & Marc

Climbing the ladders through the 'city'
Kade, Mom & Kalysta climbing the ladder
Hand print on the wall

Tour #2, there were a lot of people, the 'rock city' was huge, we learned about the sacred worshipping rooms, pictographs, climbed log ladders, etc. Kim, the tour guide, was well informed, great to answer questions and extremely polite. The weirdo's you ask... well they weren't weird, just stunk like a skunk. They were a little french family: no shaving, no shampooing, no DEODORANT. We tried to stay as far away as possible. It was so bad it would make your eyes water. Isn't this incredible!!!
Kade & Matt
Isn't this amazing!
This was found in one of the structures. It is the most vibrant we've seen.
Kade & tour quide Kim

Tour #3, the one I hated!!! The tour guide made it perfectly clear that it you have a fear of heights this is not the one for you, should have listened! He wasn't kidding, and I am so afraid of heights. I felt bad, it was everyone else's favorite tour. 30 foot descent (no big deal), cliff dwellings built on the edge of a 100ft drop, no railings. Matt knows of my fear and thought it would be funny to walk along the edge. I was physically sick, Kade kept telling me, 'just think happy thoughts'. Our guide was from Arkansas and had great stories about good old Bill Clinton. He was all pro Clinton which we are NOT. He told of a time he was in a restruant, Bill came in, our tour guide accidentally trip a server and she poured a pitcher of beer on Clinton. It was a great story. As for the crazy's in this group....aaagh a sweet little family from Maryland. They camped by Matt's sisters family. When they recognized us they thought we were instantly fast BFF's. They told us about their summer long trip through the states. Next stop, Vegas. The mom was so excited because they were going to do a drive thru wedding. She really wanted her kids to see them re-marry... GAG! They have 2 boys and 1 daughter. The youngest was out of control: he kept trying to take our hats off and when the guide asked if there were any questions he started moaning that he wanted to leave.
Hiking the 3 story ladder
Karlene, Ted & Jordan climbing the ladder
Carvings that Kade found
Klint sqeeeeeeezing thru
Grinding stones
Watching our steps up the platform (Karlene, Jordan, Me & Kade)
Kade climging the nasty ladder
See why I hated this 'city'

Next stop, Silverton CO. You drive thru Durango, thru the canyon, (which again I didn't really care for as there are not too many guard-rails and it is a drop off. But it was an amazing drive, nothing like our canyons) and into the tiny, tiny, tiny town of SilveAdd Imagerton, population 100 if they are lucky. We did a mine tour. The guide was an alcoholic. On our way out of town for our horseback riding trip, we spotted him at one of the local bars.

Ted, Me, Kade, Matt, Klint, Kalysta & Taylor
Kade in the mine
Matt & Klint in the mine

Clara (from Germany) & Kade
Me & Kade on D.K & Falina
Ted, Weston, Karlene, Me & Kade
Back Row: Weston, Taylor, Marc, Jen, Klint, Karlene, Ted, Me & Matt
Front Row: Kade, Kalysta & Jordan

Last leg of the vacation: 4 corners, Hovenweep, Newspaper Rock
Kade at 4 Corners
Matt, Me & Kade at 4 corners
4 Corners is so over-rated. You pay $3 per person, wait in line (out in the middle of nowhere), stand in the 4 states and call it good. The only part I enjoyed was visiting all of the Navajo people there selling their goods. They make amazing jewelry and dolls.
Me & Kade at Hovenweep
Me, Matt & Kade

Kade at Hovenweep
This lizard was about 8-10" long. The colors were so vibrant. Maybe if I had a better camera you could see it better.
Kade & Matt at Newspaper Rock


Kami said...

How fun and what an adventure! My mom lives in Manassa, CO which is by Cortez and Durango. Love the pics! Where's the next vaction?

Sandy said...

Seriously, you are like a vacation fool!!!! Lucky girl!!!! This looks like a ton of fun. Maybe we will have to plan on doing this as a family. I think old ruins would be right up my boys alley. So can I just say that vacationing with your family would be a hoot. I can just imagine you all stirring up tales for every person that you met. I can only imagine the laughs. We went to that hole in the rock place. It is crazy. And yes, the people there have been in the rock for toooooo long.

Pritchard Family - Megan said...

What a great trip! I have always wanted to go to Hovenweep, it is in our future plans. Your trip pictures just makes want to do that much more.

Colett (*-*) said...

All of your trips (and there are many) are so exhausting, when are you gonna just go and lay on the beach? I cannot picture you doing all these dusty, dirty and scary adventures. Good for you. Kade will remember this "summer of travel" forever.

marcihite said...

Wow! Those were amazing pics--all of them. You are an adventerous women! I am totally like you with the hotel stuff though--very picky about that too. Looks like you had tonz of fun & your stories of the wierdos were hilarious! Thanks for the pics!

Danielle said...

You all do so many fun things! Kade is a lucky kid. You've had such a fun summer so far...

andrea said...

Do you ever stay home? :) how fun! that place looks awesome. i am making a plan to go there.

andrea said...

Do you ever stay home? :) how fun! that place looks awesome. i am making a plan to go there.

andrea said...

Is this all you do Jessica...vacation, vacation, vacation??? :) Looks like a fun trip and YES, 4 corners is a bit over-rated, unlike our In-N'Out Burger, my friend!!!

Robbins said...

Wow what a fun looking vacation! I just found your blog and it is way cute!

Danielle Christiansen said...

Oh my gosh! What a fun adventure. I miss COlorado. I gree up there and always swore I would move back someday. All your pictures were wonderful and it looks like you did so many fun things.

Fowler family said...

Wow, what a cool vacation. And what great pics!

Tiffani said...

You know that is where I grew up right? I go to Cortez (Mancos) every other year for a family reunion. My Dad grew up in Cortez. My cousins own the snake pit if you go about 1/2 mile past the turn off to Mesa Verde and my family owns the land across the freeway from the exit. WOW!!! About 4 corners...when I was littel you didn't have to pay and the Navajos sold jewelry from the tailgates of their trucks and it was SUPER cheap. Those were the days. But the frybread...YUMMY!!!1

Lana said...

The kids and I did a quick stop in Mesa Verde a year ago, and since then I have been wanting to go back and do the other tours.(We saw Cliff Palace) I am a bit nervous now about trying out Balcony House after your pictures- as I also have a fear of heights. I laughed when I read about your stop in Four Corners, it was exactly what we thought! Looks like a great trip!

Natalie said...

Looks like fun. I remember going there when I was younger. It's a cool place. By the way, I like your new white background. I may have to copy you.