After our exhilarating early morning trip down Antelope Canyon we hit the road heading towards our overnight stop in Cortez, Colorado. I must say I was very excited to get going as today we would visit the iconic Monument Valley, the back drop from many hundreds of movies.
I’m sure you have seen the roads leading to Monument Valley many times on your TV screen, very long and very straight. Flat land for miles with the odd large rock formation reaching to the sky. I was a little surprised to see many of these rock formations in the area, I had imagined that Monument Valley would be the only ones for miles. Not the case! We followed all the signs towards Monument Valley but somehow we managed to miss a turn! We ended pulling into a car park a little out but still with a great view.
I did as all tourists do – I pulled out my trusted (6 month old) phone to capture the amazing landscape. However, little did I know that my phone had come alive, it jumped right out of my hands, turned over a few times in slow motion as it headed to the very rocky ground.
Yes, you have guessed it, it landed face down on the largest stone in the car park smashing the screen! Lucky it was still usable and the camera was not affected.
After Monument Valley we headed towards Four Corners Monument, where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. Again this monument is right in the middle of nowhere but still gets plenty of visitors. Rumour has it that the monument isn’t actually where the states meet, that is apparently down the road a little.
It’s a pretty interesting place with lots of stalls selling local crafts and information on each of the four states.Following a night in Cortez we set off deeper into Colorado, heading towards our next stop at Alamosa. A few miles out of Cortez is Masa Verde National Park. This was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people for over 700 years, from AD600 to 1300. You can see the amazing cliff dwellings that they lived in or even visit the dwellings if you buy tickets. We just took in their beauty from a distance. It still amazes me how these people build these stunning buildings within the cliffs with hardly any tools or our modern day machinery.
One thing that I’ll never tire of are the surprises you find as you drive through this vast country. Today we came across a beautiful waterfall ‘Treasure Falls’. Just off Highway 160 is this 105ft drop waterfall which offers a well maintained trail gaining over 300ft, not something we chose to do.
Tonight our bed was a pretty noisy Best Western hotel in a little town called Alamosa. Not the prettiest place in the world but it had plenty of places to eat including a lovely Mexican restaurant called Calvillo’s.
The next day we decided to do the 2 ½ hour drive to Colorado Springs straight after breakfast, this way we would arrive there with plenty of time to explore. We were hoping for some time to relax as the next stop was for 2 nights.
NEXT TIME: Our encounter with US Military security!