Friday, October 7, 2016

Wandering South by Southwest

We've been slowly working our way toward the Southwest the last four weeks.  Western Washington, Eastern Oregon, Southern Idaho, Central Utah, Southeast corner of Colorado and finally into New Mexico.

This has been a new route South for us in the beginning of our fourth year.  We are at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta this week.  But there has been great things to see along the way.

Cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez, Colorado.
I'll give you a photo overview of our travels during September.  We stopped for a few days in Toutle, Washington at Terri's brothers place.  They were going to be traveling with us for a few weeks until they branched off to go to Dallas for the Good Guys Car Show.

Shan's street rod ready to go to it's first big car show in Dallas/Fort Worth.
Our first stop was in Pendleton, Oregon.  We had no idea that we would arrive on the first day of the Pendleton Round-Up.  We decided to spend the next few days being rodeo fans.  It was a great surprise in our schedule.

We did a tour of the Pendleton Woolen Mills.
We made a few stops along the route to the Great Salt Lake in Utah.  Catfish Junction along the Snake River and a stop in Hayburn were just overnights.

One of my bucket list items was to visit Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.  It's a 28,000 acre preserve with 750 bison, 100's of antelope, mountain goats and mule deer.

The Bison and Antelope play.

The view of Salt Lake from Antelope Island.
The next big stop along the way was Arches National Park.  Three days was a quick visit for that size park.  We only did limited hiking.

Shan and Beth under the arche.
Next up was a visit to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  They let you climb up and down ladders to visit the cliff dwellings. It's a definite adventure.

I barely fit through the 18 inch wide entrance tunnel.
Climbing the steps and ladders up the cliff face.
Don't look down!!!

Next we stopped in Aztec, New Mexico to see more ruins at Aztec National Monument.

My sister Sara flew into Santa Fe and before heading to the Balloon Fiesta we saw Taos and Santa Fe.  We took Sara on her first slot canyon hike in Tents National Park.

Sara was worried about rain and a flash flood.  No rain and therefore no flood.

It was a beautiful hike.
We enjoyed a few sights in Taos.  The oldest church in the country is beautiful.

On the suspension bridge over the Rio Grande River.  Love the shadow of the iron work.

We are now in Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta.  It will get it's own blog post.

Life is good.

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