Friday, July 24, 2015

Aztec Ruins National Monument

I was absolutely filled with glee while driving from Farmington to Durango and watching the temperature drop 6 degrees in the matter of a few miles.

More glee followed at my first peek of the mountains.


Not a great likeness, but for a solo traveler, the photo ops while driving are scarce. If you value your life, that is. The remarkable thing is that the mountains appeared right around the bend from this sign. 


Well played, Colorado!

Aztec Ruins NM


Before leaving NM, I stopped to visit the Aztec Ruins National Monument. 

Web Photo
The 900-year-old site was constructed by the Pueblo people in about 30 years - the span of a generation. Amazing when you consider that, without the help of pack animals, the timber and rock building materials came from sites up to 50 miles away.  


It's surprising how many structures still exist, well-preserved since excavations began in the late 1800s. Some 400 rooms were built, up to 3-stories high. An impressive achievement.

The restored Great Kiva is stunning and is used today for ceremonies by various Native peoples.

Web Photo

No one knows why the Pueblo people left some 200 years later. But the descendants of the ancestral people maintain that the ruins have never been abandoned. 

Because the spirits of the ancestors remain.



Durango




I'm spending the night in this mountainous former railroad town in order to stock up on provisions. This will be the last Wal-Mart run for a while. Also made time to get the GDB’s oil changed (she's been such a good girl). 


Wow, is Durango ever crowded! When I can see beyond and through the masses though, I imagine it's pretty idyllic. 


I suppose it's a result of the summer season, but it’s just mobs everywhere you go. (And yes, I know I am one of the mob). The town has some cute spots but it’s hard even to get a good photo of historic downtown Durango without a tourist shop in the foreground. (And yes, I know I am one of the tourists).


And, like many tourist towns, there are enforced no-overnight-RV-parking ordinances, and that makes me cranky. 

I'm looking forward to leaving the heat and the hordes behind tomorrow as I continue up, up, and away.

Also looking forward to joining the caravan!


9 comments:

  1. Everywhere seems far more crowded this year. More people? Cheaper gas? Desparate to get away before they can't anymore? More healthy baby boomers? Who knows, maybe just a combination of all of these factors. Look at your life. Who would have thought you could do what you are doing and still have a job and a husband! We are all so lucky, and I know you know it too. This is not a chide.

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    1. Oh yes, trust me, not a day goes by that I'm not grateful for my life.

      I asked a shop-keeper in Silverton today if it was my imagination; he responded that the numbers are up and he attributes the spike to lower fuel prices. He says, of course, he's delighted to see it!

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  2. Looking forward to following your trip as I was just out there last month. You may want to consider a dashcam for those pictures while driving. Easy to set on the windshield. You can set them up for video or pictures and its easy to just reach up and press a button to capture something while driving. Much safer than trying to one hand a camera. I wrote about mine in my blog. Here's the link. http://jdawgjourneys.com/2015/05/how-to-use-a-dashcam/

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    1. Thanks J Dawg! Yes, I got some good intel from your blog. Thanks for the link to the dash cam info!

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  3. The spousal unit and I often comment to each other that everywhere seems to be over run with people. Where did all of these people come from?

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    1. I agree - there are noticeably more people around than there were when we were kids. I read the other day that New York City expects a population growth by 2030 of 800,000 people! Not sure where they are going to put them.

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  4. I'm disheartened to read about the ever-increasing summer crowds, since my travels commence next May.
    I've been to Aztec ruins, but just vaguely remember it. Looks very interesting.

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    1. AZ Donna - Don't be discouraged. For one thing, this life is still so very worth any inconvenience caused by crowds and secondly, there are still plenty of quiet havens such as the one where I am now.

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  5. I just had to catch up with you. Oh how I want one of those vintage trailers. Hope you make it out of the heat soon. I have been in the White mountains for a little over a month but unfortunately I am heading back down to Tucson in a couple of days. :( Have a wonderful journey

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