Sunday, April 20, 2014

Santa Fe, New Mexico - April 18-21, 2014

We left Albuquerque and drove about an hour to Santa Fe...What a difference an hour can make.  While Albuquerque is a typical metropolitan city...not unlike Las Vegas, NV...Santa Fe is more of a tourist oriented town in the high desert.  Both cities are nice, but we preferred visiting Santa Fe.  Santa Fe has three distinct tourist areas.  They are the Downtown Plaza Area, the Railyard District, and Canyon Road Area.  We stayed at the Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground.  Santa Fe is a very interesting place to see!

Downtown Plaza area Shopping

Canyon Road - One of the many Art Galleries
Canyon Road Art Galleries

This is a sample of some of the typical architecture

More of the Santa Fe architecture...They sure use a lot of brown paint in this city!!

The Miraculous Staircase at the Loretto Chapel
It makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands over 20' tall and has no center support.  It rests solely on it's base and against the choir loft.  Constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails!  It still confounds engineers today!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Albuquerque - April 15-18, 2014

After our last stop in Durango, CO...we decided to head south to Albuquerque, NM for a few days.  So, we found a very nice RV Park (American RV Park) which has all the normal RV park free breakfast! So, you know I'm all in!  While in Albuquerque, we visited Old Town one day.  On another day, we took our bicycles on a 17 mile round trip along the Paseo Del Bosque Trail.  It's a great paved trail that follows the Rio Grande.  At the turnaround point, we stopped and visited the Botanic Garden and the Aquarium located in the Albuquerque Biopark

Paseo del Bosque Bicycle Trail

This is part of a G-Scale model train layout at the Botanic Garden

Fish pond and waterfall in the Japanese Garden exhibit

Look, It's Nemo!

These look like Magic Mushrooms

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Alpen Rose RV Park - Durango, CO April 12-15, 2014

After riding the Durango-Silverton Railroad, we decided to stay in Durango for a few nights.  It's a really cool little town located at about 6200 ft elevation.  There are plenty of shops and restaurants to visit, and plenty of beautiful scenery.  I wish we could have stayed longer.  We stayed at the Alpen Rose RV Park on Hwy 550 just north of Durango.  It's located just inside the San Juan National Forest.

Beautiful Mountain backdrop at the RV Park

I bet it would be real pretty during Fall when the leaves are changing colors.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad - April 11, 2014

After staying in Cortez, CO for a few days, we took a trip to Durango, CO.  It's about an hour away from Cortez.  We took a ride on the Durango-Silverton Railroad.  We left Durango at about 10am, and arrived at Cascade Canyon at noon, where we enjoyed a picnic lunch by the Animas River.  The train turned around at the Wye, and we arrived back in Durango by 3pm.  It was really a picturesque ride through the mountains and the San Juan Forest.  The train took us through several sections of mountain walls where we had less than 18 inches of clearance on either side of the rail cars.  The engine is a coal fired steam engine - top speed of only 18 mph.  This railroad has been in continuous operation since the late 1800's.  

Notice the coal heaped on the rail car. 
Just blowing off a little steam...

This is the rail car that we rode in...Linda is in the far back corner on the right.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pulled in to Cortez, Colorado Today - Apr 9, 2014

After a great week in Moab, Utah we headed for Colorado and arrived in Cortez this morning.  After we got the RV set up at La Mesa RV Park, we headed for Mesa Verde National Park.  It's only about 10 miles from Cortez.  After stopping by the Visitor Center, we drove up to the Mesa to see the ancient Cliff Dwellings of the Anasazi Indian people.  These dwellings were built around 1200 AD.  Who knew that we had buildings dated back that far.  I thought only other countries had this kind of history.  It really is amazing that some of these structures are still standing.  They were a quite advanced culture for the time period.  Here are a few photos of some of the structures.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Canyon Lands and Arches National Park

We've been enjoying ourselves here in the Moab, Utah area.  The weather has been great!  I wouldn't suggest visiting this area in the middle of summer.  It would be brutally hot.  Linda and I did some biking, hiking, shopping, and relaxing.  The two National Parks near here are Canyonlands and Arches.  They both have their unique beauty, but my favorite is Arches National Park.  We only have one day left here.  After that, we're planning on visiting Mesa Verde National Park in SW Colorado

Bicycle ride along the Colorado River into Negro Bill Canyon

The deep canyon walls around the Colorado and Green Rivers 
Taking a little rest before we continue up the hill to Upheaval Dome

Landscape Arch...The longest natural arch span in the world.  It's over 290 feet long, and only 11 feet thick at it's center.

Another steep climb through the Devils Garden

Sunrise at Pine Tree Arch

Another glimpse of the sunrise at Pine Tree Arch

Tunnel Arch

This looks kinda like the Stonehenge of Utah...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Arches National Park - April 3, 2014

We spent the afternoon at Arches National Park.  It's only about 3 miles from Moab, Utah.  The many shapes and shades of red rock are amazing!  Here are a few photos.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zion National Park - March 29 - April 1, 2014

Our first stop on our trip to Colorado was at Zion National Park.  We have been to Zion many times, and never get tired of it.  We stayed in Watchman Campground.  This is a real value at only $18/night...That includes Electricity and a gorgeous view of the Zion Canyon Mountains.  We didn't do much hiking in the Park this time, but spent a lot of time walking through all the campgrounds and much of Springdale.
Site B30 - with a view of the Watchman Mountains

Even the view from this side was beautiful too! 
A hike along the Virgin River