John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

July 2007 Journal

July
31 
This morning we headed over to Mesa Verde NP.  We wanted to sign up to go to Cliff Palace.  The first opening was for 3pm.  So we got our tickets and off we went to the Spruce Tree Petroglyph Trail which was 3 miles.  We had about ¾ of a mile left when the sky got dark and the thunder started.  I didn’t want a repeat of our other hike.  We made it back right before the rain started.  We watched a short movie about Mesa Verde and then headed over to Cliff Palace.  When we got there it was really thundering and lighting and pouring rain.  We decided the trip was canceled so we went and got a refund on the tickets.

30 
Today was a little rainy so we hung around the cow and I worked on scanning photos

29
      We need a time out today.  So we are just hanging out and then later were heading to Terri’s for dinner.

28  Today is John’s Birthday.  This morning we had presents and cheesecake.  Today is also Buffett Day.  Our Parrothead friends are going to the Alpine Valley Concert tonight.  Since we won’t be there we still have to represent the family by wearing Buffett attire.  We headed off to Durango for the Rodeo.  We picked up Terri and got there about 1230pm.  There were all sorts of competitions.  Barrel riding, bull roping, bareback broncos, even mutton riding for the 5 year olds.  It lasted until around 4pm.  Then we headed back to Terri’s for Margaritas.  Ed also stopped by for cocktails.  On our way back to the cow, we listened to the concert on Radio Margaritaville.

27 
Today we stayed around in the morning.  We decided to head over to Mesa Verde NP for a hike.  There was thunder and lighting all around us.  We saw the rain but John wanted to go on.  All of a sudden the sky opened up and the rain came.  We had hiked about 2 ½ miles and we were up on a plateau.  We made it back but we were chilled and full of mud.

26 
Today was a time out day.  We hung around the cow and then went into Cortez for a car wash and groceries.  We got back and went to the pool.

25 
Got up and on the road by 830am.  We headed over to Hovenweep National Monument.  It was a drive, around 40 miles to the visitors center.  We watched a short film on the area and then did the 2.2 mile hike around the canyon to see some of the structures.  John was ready for more.  So he started off on the 4 mile hike to Holly.  I took the truck and met him.  We still hiked at Horseshoe and Hackleberry.  After that we were done.  John did about 8 miles today and I did 4 miles.  We still had a 40 mile drive back to Cortez.  We stopped at the Cortez Brewery for dinner and then went to the Cultural Center.  Every day they have Native American performances.  Today was the Roach Family Dancers.  It’s from 730pm – 830pm outside.  Then we headed back to the cow.

24 
Today we just stayed around the cow.  I worked on TCI stuff.  There was a thunderstorm with lots of rain

23 
This morning we just hung around the cow and relaxed.  We headed out to Durango around 1pm to pick up Terri and Katelyn for golfing.  We golfed 9 holes at Hillcrest in Durango.  It’s surrounded by mountains.  It was a perfect afternoon.  Afterwards, we went back to Terri’s for a cocktail and then our for pizza.

22 
     This morning we got up and were ready to be off the gravel.  However, considering we did get some rain overnight, everything was pretty dry.  We walked to get the truck and then packed up.  It didn’t take long because we didn’t have a lot to pack.  Then we left Town Park and drove the couple blocks to town.  We parked and headed towards the free Gondola.  We stopped at a little bakery for coffee and bagels.
We took the gondola up the mountain and got off.  We walked around and it was beautiful.  There is a nature center and in the summer the ski runs double as hiking and mountain biking trails.  Telluride is a rough ski area.  Instead of 3 ski classifications there are 7.  Easy, easy advanced, intermediate, intermediate advanced, difficult, difficult advanced and difficult extreme.  Some of the easy advanced look pretty snarky.  We hopped on the gondola and headed down the other side of the mountain to Mountain Village.  We were thinking of lunch but were a little early.  So after moseying around, we took the gondola back up and over the mountain and down to Telluride.  As we were driving home, we saw a beaver near the road.  We stopped in Cortez for a late lunch and then back to the cow.  We started getting some rain so we just took it easy in the evening.

    21       Well, we set our alarm today.  Up and on the road by 630am.  From the campground to Telluride it’s about 100 miles.  It’s mountain driving and very scenic so we are planning on a couple hours.  We stopped in Dolores for coffees.  We hugged the Dolores River for miles and miles and it was wonderful.  We made a few photo stops, but pictures just don’t do justice for the magnificent scenery.  Even though your going through the mountains and get up to 10,000 feet, the roads are easy to drive.  We saw a mama deer and her 2 fawns right on the side of the road.
We got into Telluride around 815am and things were already buzzing for the concert. We checked in with Denise at the Town Park Campground.  She advised us to just set up our TENT, (yes we bought a little tent), wherever we could find a space.  They are expecting about 400 people in the campground and 6,000 at the concert.  We found a space but on rocks so if/when it rained we had good drainage.  We weren’t so sure about sleeping on the rocks though.  We have a blanket as a pad.  We got our tent up and then had to park the truck a few blocks away.
We walked into town which was about 2 blocks away and found a little Mexican place for breakfast.  It was kind of weird.  It was a Mexican menu but they played Indian music.  After breakfast we headed back to the tent.  We got our backpack with our sweaters and raingear and our chairs.  Radio station KOTO is promoting the Bob Dylan Concert.  We could have just purchased tickets, but they needed volunteers (free tickets).  So we spoke to Liz and volunteered for setup from 1pm – 5pm.  Gates open at 530pm, the first band, My Morning Jacket plays at 6pm and Dylan starts at 730pm.
We checked in for our assignment early around noon.  At the gate the line was already long.  People started getting in line at 7am.  Since it’s a park, if your first you get the best place.  We got our backstage badges and off we went.  We found our contacts, Mike, Dave and Steve, they gave us projects to work on.  Backstage there are trucks, RV’s, catering tents, kitchen, and storage areas.  Band members are working on getting their equipment in order and people are going all which ways.   Our first project was to lay some carpet in a couple trailers that are going to be used by the band members.  Some other project were to set up and secured fencing, set up lighting behind stage, hang Christmas lights along the walkway concert goers will enter and put glow sticks in all the VIP, staff and backstage porta potties.
When Dave suggested lunch in band tent we were right on that.  They had a Spanish buffet set up.  After lunch we kept working on projects.  When we were hanging the Christmas lights, security came by and told us he had to take our backstage laminated passes.  I guess Dylan didn’t authorize his photo, so all the laminated passes had to be collected and destroyed.  Since everyone knew us by now, it was no big deal.  We did get our picture with our passes before they confiscated them.
It was about 430pm and Mike told us we were pretty much done.  We went over to the VIP tent behind stage to take a break and met Debra.  She was in charge of the VIP tent.  We helped with the tables, chairs, tablecloths and getting it all set up.  Now we had just a couple minutes before the gates opened.  John got our chairs and I headed to the beer tent.  I talked to the KOTO man and got us two beers for our services.  Dave waved John up to bring our chairs front and center.  The gates opened and people were running through the park.  John already had our chairs set up right in front and at center stage.  There are no seats in Town Park, you just bring your chairs, blankets, whatever and lay them out.  The park filled in fast.  During My Morning Jacket the rain came.  We were prepared with our ponchos so no big deal.  Around Dylan’s second song, we had to fold up our chairs.  Now the only space you had was where you were standing.  Luckily, we brought a bottle of wine, because we would not be able to leave and get back to our spots.  It was a great concert.  It was especially cool since when we looked around, there was so much that we helped with.  After the concert we went back to the campground, had a beer and then went to bed.

20 
We got our stuff ready for Telluride and the Bob Dylan concert tomorrow.  Then we went to the hot tub to relax.

    19  Today is domestic day and then cousin Terri and her daughter Katelyn are coming over.  We looked at old pictures then went to the pool, hot tub and had dinner.

18 
This morning John is cleaning the outside of the cow and I’m working on TCI stuff and returning emails.  This afternoon we went into Cortez and stopped at the RV supply for a few items.  Then we made a stop at the UTE Casino.  Some Grocery shopping then back to the cow.  We went to the pool around 7pm and met some people from St. Louis area.  They have a lance camper.  Lisa, Robbie, Parker and Jasmine the parrott.  We had cocktails and watched a lighting storm in the distance.

17 
     This morning we got going early about 830am.  We went to the visitors center at Mesa Verde NP to get tickets for the ranger guided tour for Long House.  We got on the 12noon tour.  The cost is very reasonable.  It’s 3.00 per person and the tour is 90 minutes long.  We took our time and drove down to Wetherill parking area where the tour meets.  It takes about 45 minutes to get there, but we stopped at all the overlooks and small trails.  We got to the meeting place about 1130am.  So we had time to relax and think about what trails we were going to do after the tour.
At 12 noon we took a tram with the ranger to Long House.  It was quite a long walk in.  It was larger than Balcony House.  After the tour, we took the tram to the Badger Community area.  It’s a 2 mile hike and you visit 4 ancient dwellings.  We caught the tram again and stopped at the Kodak Overlook and then at the Long House Overlook.  It’s always cool to go to the overlook after visiting the site.  Then we came back to the Wetherill parking area on the tram.   We also took one more hike.  This was about 2 miles round trip down to Step House.  Now we were done and had a coupon for ice cream.  So we stopped at the Farview Café and got ice cream cones.  Now were really done.

16 
Today is a time out and domestic day. John needed a hike, so he went off to explore what was behind our campground.

15 
We headed over to Mesa Verde NP for hiking.  We did the Knife Trail.  We saw a Doe and fawn in the park.  It was about 2 miles round trip.  We got back and cooled off in the pool and then headed out to Durango to meet up with my cousin Terri for pizza and beers.  We stopped at a brewery for one beer and then headed on to another.  We didn’t end up with pizza but got Cajun Fish Boils at the Brewery.  Excellent!! 

14  
This morning we hung around the cow and relaxed.  We headed out to Cortez at about 1230pm.  Cortez was having the First Annual Zetroc Music Fest.  So we brought our chairs and off we went to the town park.  It didn’t seem like there were lots of people.  There were a couple food vendors and a beer vendor.  We thought it would be packed because of the music lineup.  They were having 5 bands though out the day starting at 1230pm and running until 10pm.  The line up is Katya Chorover, Cosmic Accident, Beautiful Losers, Jack Bone and Big Pete Pearson.  All the bands were great.

13 
This afternoon we headed to Durango.  We walked around and investigated to town.  We stopped at the Durango Silverton Train and checked it out.  We were heading over to my cousin Terri’s house for dinner.  She lives only a few blocks from the Durango Historic District.  It was a nice evening and great to see Terri again. 

12 
    This morning we got up early and there was still a little cool welcome rain coming down.  We worked on our photos, movies, website and a few other projects until about 130pm.  We had planned to take a walk through Mancos and then go to the Farmers Market.  But when we got to Mancos, we found it to be a much smaller town.  So we headed down the road and ended up in the San Juan National Forest at the Transfer Campground.
This is a primitive campground.  It’s called Transfer because this it where multiple hiking trails meet.  We took the Big Al Trail.  It’s an easy 1 mile round trip trail through the woods to a beautiful overlook of the Durango area.  We saw multiple birds and a snake.  However, John needed more.   He had found a hike, the Transfer Trail to Box Canyon and then back to the Rim Trail.  It was listed as a 3 mile hike, but with a 700 foot elevation change each way.  I did not want to do that.  It sounded nice, you hike down to the creek, then hike along the creek and back up.  John took the walkie talkie and off he went.  I investigated the area and moved the truck down to the Rim Trail where John would come out.  I hiked down the Rim Trail and met up with the Box Canyon Trail.  I started my decent to meet John and found a nice big rock with a wonderful view.  I relaxed and waited for John to meet me.  We hiked back to the truck.  John had a good workout.  He was tired.  We headed home.

    11     After our morning coffee on the verandah overlooking the mountains, we are heading off to Mesa Verde NP.  On our way to the visitors center we made a few stops to check out different hiking trails and overlooks.  We drove through the park campground and came across some wild turkeys.  Then one overlook that we stopped at was the Park Point Overlook.  It’s the highest point in the park at 8572 feet.  It has a fire station to monitor lightening strikes for wildfires.
When we got to the visitors center we didn’t even have a chance to look around.  We got tickets, 3.00 per person, for the Balcony House ranger led program at 130pm.  On our way out of the visitors center we saw a wild stallion in the valley.  We had to drive about 5 miles to Balcony House to meet our tour.  On the way we saw more wild horse near the road.  Balcony House is about an hour long ranger guided hike.  We had to start by climbing up a 32 foot wooden ladder and then we have to climb smaller ladders and crawl 12 feet through a small tunnel.  On our exit we have to climb another ladder and then take a steep toe and foot hold and chain to get back to the top.  It was a very interesting tour and we would highly recommend it.
After our hike we stopped at the Soda Canyon Overlook.  From there you can see Balcony House built inside the rock.  We started our way out of the park and kept an eye open for more horses.  We saw 4 more including one baby horse.  We had a coyote run in front of our truck and also saw deer’s.  We got back to the cow and were going to go to the pool but it started to thunder and lighting, so we just hung around and watched the storm and welcomed the rain.

10 
    Today we got up and out on the road around 830am.  It was a nice drive, about 3 hours.  There was some road construction, but no big deal.  We went past Wilson Arch on the way.  We got checked in and were on site #8 on the hill.  The park is ½ mile from Mesa Verde NP.  Other than that there isn’t much around.  We’re 7 miles from Cortez in one direction and 7 miles from Mancos in the other.
Once we got all set up, we headed back to Cortez.  We stopped at the Visitors center and got a lot of good information.  Then we went to Walmart for supplies and groceries.  When we got back, we took a walk around the park down by the ponds and watched the sunset. 


Today is departure preparation day.  Laundry, vacuuming and dusting.  Cleaning and stowing all outside items.  Get gas.

Today is a time out day.  We had coffee on the verandah and were just hanging out. We’re working on the website and going to the pool.

  This morning coffee on the verandah.  Then at 1030am we headed out for a hike.  We never learn.  We always go in the heat of the day.  We went down RT 128 River Road to Negro Bill Canyon.  It’s a 6 mile round trip hike following a creek up the canyon.  At the end there is Morning Glory Bridge/Arch.  It’s a huge natural bridge.  What was very nice is there was a small pond and shade.  There was a natural stream of water running from the rocks.  We relaxed for a while and then headed back.  It ended up being a 4 hour hike.
Then we headed down RT 128 towards Sandy Beach.  Eva and Angie and friends and family are swimming in the Colorado River on a secluded beach.  We met them and cooled off in the river.  About 4pm we headed back to their house for a cookout.  We watched the video on both raft trips.  We also watched a documentary about a local pilot that for years flew through the arches and canyons in the area.  Eva has flown with him before.  Angie’s father flew throw Wilson Arch.  Then we headed home.

Today we stayed at the campsite and worked on photos.  We also put together a movie “Rafting on the River” with photos from both of our raft trips.  We added the music, Talking Heads – Take me to the River.  Seems appropriate. 

5
Another raft day.  Today we did “The Daily” again.  This time we had 1 oar raft and 1 duckie.  John and John went in the duckie.  Eva, Angie, Mary, Laura, Jason, Maschan, Madison, Theresa (our guide) and I went in the oar raft.  We put in at Onion Creek again and pulled out at Rocky Rapids (previously Ida Gulch).  We stopped for lunch on a nice bank along the river.  Then we stopped along this one stretch where we could hike back up the river a block or so and then run the rapids in our life jackets (no raft).  Once you grab the current it’s pretty cool.  You really fly.  Then you start swimming towards shore and an Eddy catches you and you get in no problem.  Afterwards, we went back to Red River Canoe Co. (Theresa place), to unload all the stuff.  We stopped at Eva and Angies for a few beers and then we were done. 

Happy 4th of July!!  We’re headed out to the Power Dam this afternoon to meet up with Eva and Angie and their friends and families.  The river that comes down from the La Sal Mountains specifically from Oowah Lake runs into Moab.  The dam is a small concrete block that creates a waterfall.  After relaxing in the water, we went back to Eva’s and Angies for a while and then to the park for dinner.  The festival only had one food vendor so John and I ended up at Denny’s for dinner.  We didn’t stay to watch the fireworks.  We were done.

     3  This morning we got up and had coffee on the veranda.  We’re not sure what were going to do today, but that’s ok.  We ended up hanging around the campground.  We went to the pool.  Later in the evening we had a few cocktails with Terri and Steve.

We got up early today and was on the road by 7am.  We were headed for Delicate Arch Trail before it got to hot.  It’s expected to get to 108 today.  It worked out perfect.  Delicate Arch Trail is 3 miles round trip but it’s an uphill climb on the way there.  It took us about 3 hours round trip.  We stopped at the UPS store to send back our computer wireless card and then I got a haircut.  We went to Denny’s for breakfast and then grocery shopping.  By now, it was hot!  We got home and napped in the AC cow.  We headed over to the pool around 4pm.  We stayed until around 530pm and came back and had dinner.  We decided to walk over to the office to get a couple movies.  On our way back we stopped to talk to Terri and Steve from Detroit.  We ended up having a few beers and chatting until 1030pm.  Since we were up early we were ready for bed.

Today we worked on computer stuff.  I updated our website and uploaded our photos to Webshots.  Then we made a rafting movie for Angie and Eva.  We watched a couple John Wayne short movies in the evening.