Flexible Plans

Day two’s original destination was to be the Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park.  The drive is very scenic as we travel through a very pretty part of Colorado and cross the Continental Divide.  From the Great Sand Dunes to Mesa Verde should take about four hours.  After the day’s earlier excitement (written about in the previous post), we reassess our camping options and destination.RVing

The campground within Mesa Verde National Park as well as all private campgrounds in the surrounding area are closed for the season.  I locate a boondock spot for us just outside the National Park but all the information says the road is rough.  Rough road and impending cold front with snow are enough to keep us moving west.  As much as I am disappointed about not stopping at this highly anticipated location, I would be more disappointed getting unintentionally stuck in the backcountry.

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this rock formation looks familiar, but can’t place 😉

We forego stop number two (Mesa Verde NP) and proceed directly to planned stop number three, but not without a famous stop along the way; the Four Corners.  The Four Corners is a region of the United States consisting of the southwest corner of Colorado, the northwest corner of New Mexico, the northeast corner of Arizona, and the southeast corner of Utah.  It is named after the quadripoint where the boundaries of these four states meet.  It is the only location of its kind in the United States and is administered by the Navajo Nation.RVing

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each limb in a different state….anyone for a game of twister?

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Al’s one foot is in four different states

Although this is a popular tourist stop, it certainly is NOT worth a special trip.  It is located in the middle of nowhere and offers nothing but a ground marker and the right to say, “I was in four states at the same time”.  After fifteen minutes of photo ops, we’re back on the road heading toward the small town of Mexican Hat, Utah.

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Our spot high above the San Juan River – Gooseneck SP

Al and I have always wanted to see Monument Valley; the scenic backdrop to many Western Films.  After a little internet and map research, I find a place to park for the night; Gooseneck State Park, Utah.  And it’s free!  Our four-hour travel day turned into eight hours as we traveled from the Great Sand Dunes National Park to Mexican Hat, Utah.  Eight hours filled with plenty of beautiful scenery and more excitement than we would have liked.

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San Juan River

Gooseneck State Park, Utah, sits on a Mesa/Plateau high above the San Juan River.  The Monument Valley rock formations can be seen in the far distance.  The area consists of a parking lot, picnic tables, vault toilet, and amazing 360 degree views.  Great place to spend the night.RVing

In the morning we’ll drive SLOWLY through Monument Valley.

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24 thoughts on “Flexible Plans

  1. You’ll have so much fun. I love that area with the twisty rivers and the colorful rock formations everywhere. I liked the game of Twister you were playing. 4 states at once. That is cool.

    • Thanks. It is definitely unique country. The Four Corners was kind of fun especially because it’s the OFF season. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, allowing us to mess around and have some fun posing in different ways 🙂

  2. We love that little corner of the country. I laughed at your photo of being in 4 states at once, which got me to wondering where mine might be from so many years ago. Happy Thanksgiving Ingrid. 🙂

  3. We were in Mesa Verde many moons ago..a very amazing place and worth the stop,.. UNLESS you are being stalked by cold and snow..We need to get back West and Northwest sometime…but that trip requires a doing it in the summer…Have fun..( If you are like us, we start having fun the minute we leave the drive in the Hiker!!)

    • Totally the same….15 minutes outta town and we’re a couple of happy campers. Mesa Verde will still be there when the weather is more agreeable…lol. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂

  4. Oh our travels are really beginning to excite me… all of your photos are just beyond words… that hill or mountain with its needle top phenomenal… the fact you could stand in four states at the same time or divide yourself between them I just love… The San Juan River… OMG that is just too beautiful for words, and your last photo is picture perfect… I am so glad I’m along for the ride… I can’t wait for tomorrow… and of a Happy Thanksgiving to you both as well… thank you thank you thank you for such a wonderful blog…

    • Thank you, you are too kind. I was going to post something Thanksgiving – ey (like my new word?) but was too engrossed in remembering the details of our travel.
      This darn internet is going to drive me to drink. I’ve been having to run to a McDonald’s to upload photos so unfortunately I can’t post too frequently. 😦
      Trying to capture the San Juan River was quite the challenge. The view over the ledge was amazing.

  5. As you go about your travels, remember to not only see the land with your eyes but to listen to the spirits of history. They watch tourist go blindly past waiting to be recognized. Some people know only the most famous names from movies or books but with just a little extra searching, a gold mine of characters who lived and settled the land will appear to you. Don’t let Iktomi, the trickster, cover your eyes to all that’s around you by showing you mountains and valleys when it is the people that lived in the land that hold the most wonder. JW (Misituha, Big Oak)

  6. You’re in a section of the country I just love. My stepson used to work at Mesa Verde. Somehow the only time we made it there was at Christmas and, of course, it was snowed in and we couldn’t get to any of the cliff dwellings. Have to agree that Four Corners doesn’t offer much but bragging rights. Enjoy the tour of Monument Valley, another one of my favorites. I look forward to seeing your pictures of it. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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