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Published: June 14th 2018
Okay, so we are actually home from our month in Utah and Colorado. It is so nice to have a good Wi-Fi connection and lots of electricity to charge computers etc. Now, to complete the blogs I should have been able to do on the road.
Next up on our agenda was Natural Bridges National Monument. We discovered that the difference between a National Park and a National Monument is that only the U.S. Congress can set up a National Park but the President can establish a national Monument on his own. Anasazi State Park
Before we got to Natural Bridges we ran into Anasazi State Park in Boulder, Utah. In this area of Utah there were many groups of village dwelling farmers up to the end of the 12th
century. The museum discussed their life style with replicas of their buildings. Natural Bridges Park and Campground
The trip to Natural Bridges is a bit longer than our last move and the campground is pretty small. When we got there, there was no room in the inn. Bummer. Alternatives
The park rangers are pretty familiar with this situation and had a preprinted form showing
This is the view from inside the underground dwelling.
alternative camping locations near the park. The Bureau of Land Management manages the area surrounding the park and, usually, the BLM camp sites are a reasonable alternative to the park sites. They usually have outhouses which are acceptable as the sites are also usually free. Unfortunately, the areas around Natural Bridges didn’t and were pretty sandy. This means when the wind comes up (and it always does) the dust can be a problem, especially for contact wearers.
There was one site that was quite nice but, again, no outhouses. This is not a problem for RVers and there were quite a few in the nice site we looked at. We pressed on to Blanding. We hadn’t planned to spend any time there but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We pulled into the first commercial campground we came to and Dianne said “We’re staying here regardless of what it costs”. Turned out to be less than the National Monument campground and was quite nice. Spotty Wi-Fi but free showers and nice laundry. We booked in for one night but upped it to two even before we set up camp. Back to Natural Bridges
What I found interesting is that we saw the same type of housing in a museum when we lived in Kamloops.
next day we headed back to Natural Bridges to look at… the Natural Bridges! There are three main bridges in the park. You can take short trails to the overlooks or longer trails down into the canyons to look up at the bridges. We chose two overlooks and one trail down to the canyon floor. I think we made the right choice. The pictures say it way better than I can.
Dianne had planned a picnic lunch and we set up in the shade behind the visitor centre. There were three or four tables but no one was there. By the time we got our wraps put together, the tables were full. We were joined at our very large table by a group of about 8 people. They were a small “tour” group from New Mexico. They had a guide/driver who we think was with his wife and the rest were women in their 80s who travelled all over the place (including Vancouver Island) in a 15 passenger van with this ”younger” couple. It was pretty interesting to listen to them talk about their experiences. Butler Wash
We had passed the sign to Butler Wash Indian Ruins
We did find ourselves short of breath on occasion. This could explain why. The combination of elevation and dryness didn't do our sinuses any favour.
on our way to Blanding but after chatting with the rangers at the Visitor Centre decided to pay them a visit. The hike from the parking lot to the ruins wasn’t that long but it was over some interesting terrain. Much of the trail was over rock which doesn’t indicate the trail very well. This was our first experience with the use of cairns to mark the trail. Sometimes it was small piles of rock, other times it was rocks laid out in rows to show you where to go. We became very familiar with this technique in the coming days.
The ruins were fascinating. There are many overhangs in the canyons in Utah and the Puebloans made excellent use of these for shade as well as protection from the torrential rains (when they did get them). These were some of the best examples of Indian ruins. Edge of the Cedars State Park
If we hadn’t had to camp in Blanding we never would have found this state park which is actually inside the city. A very nice museum with a bunch of ruins outside that you can tour after the museum closed. Well worth the visit.
Between Natural Bridges and Blanding Off to Mesa Verde
As we drove we were quite taken by the rock structures.
After our two night stay in Blanding we headed to Colorado. We had rearranged our schedule because we didn’t want to be looking for a first-come, first served campsite on the American Memorial Day weekend. This change would put us at the National Park early on Thursday. The saga of our finding campsites is ToBeContinued.
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