CO Vacationmoon, Part One - Route 66 and Really Old Trees, 07.19
For our Vacation / Honeymoon - AKA “Vacationmoon” we packed a couple extra days into our trip to Colorado and took in some sights new to both of us, some new to me, and some new to Beth. This “Part One” post is the beginning and end segments from our trip to CO, when we were simply on our own exploring. The middle segment is about our participation in the 5th Annual 200 Series Land Cruiser Destination club gathering in Ouray, CO and is contained in its own post here.
We left reasonably early on Saturday, following a full work week and spent our first night at the Wigwam Village Motel No. 6 in Holcomb AZ, along the mother road, Route 66. Along the way there we stopped in at Williams, AZ and then stood on some corner in Winslow for the required ‘ussie’ photo.
The Tee Pees are cute, and larger than expected, plus the AC worked great which was a concern. Its definitely a place we’d recommend staying in a night for the nostalgia. I headed out a bit early to let Beth sleep in some and took some nice texture pics of the assorted old cars and wandered around the back streets some to capture some old facades and other textures.
A small sampling of textures from the cars there, check out a few more pics in this gallery.
And some architectural textures here.
Sunday we made our venture up towards Four-Corners, stopping along the way at Canyon De Chelly NM to see the ancient dwellings. We played tourists at Four-Corners, stood in line and took our 3 photos (THREE PHOTOS ONLY) and wandered the vendor’s markets picking up a unique magnet and a Christmas ornament.
From there we made our way towards Mesa Verde NP where we spent the next day and a half. Beth hadn’t been before and we both enjoyed the sights, driving up on the Mesa and wandering through many of the views and explored the informational displays around numerous pithouses, kivas and adobe structures. We enjoyed a nice dinner at the Metate Room, courtesy of our friends Frank and Shannon.
We enjoyed a leisurely drive onward to Durango, CO where we stayed at the Strater, an amazing restored victorian hotel and enjoyed cocktails, a walk through the rail museum and dinner in town there. By now we were mostly adjusted to the altitude and arrived in Ouray in the early afternoon. We checked in during a nice heavy thundershower and once it cleared we wandered Ouray for a bit, eventually catching up with friends who were in town for the same event we were attending, the 5th Annual 200 Series Land Cruiser Destination Club (#200LCDC) - Part Two (link). As this post is about Beth and I’s wanderings I’m going to skip ahead to after the 200LCDC event.
The details inside and outside the Strater are simply beautiful!
We headed South from Ouray down through New Mexico and had great clouds and skies all the way. We split the driving time and that let me take in sights that I normally don’t get to see (thanks babe). We took the Northern entrance into the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert and despite the heat really enjoyed taking in the sights. We were continually rewarded with great skies.
The New Mexico skies were amazing, all day long. For much of the day we moved parallel to a large storm system and watched it develop along the way (above). The Painted Desert rewarded us with similarly dramatic skies (below).
Some macro photos of the petrified wood located in the National Park.
Camera note - for this trip (and similar trips) I purchased a Lumix Micro 4/3 camera and a few lenses. The whole kit fits into a small pouch and was super easy to handle while we were in the truck and on the road. Given its smaller sensor size, it has some limitations compared to a full frame DSLR and professional glass, but the ease of use and overall image quality I’m soo happy with.
Once back into Holbrook, we did some souvenir shopping at Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. and came home with book ends and some other souvenirs including a piece of Dino Dung for our niece. We stayed at our favorite Hampton Inn in Flagstaff and then made a beeline home the next day. Was a great trip all around. Beth went back to work the next day while I edited photos and then went back to work the following day. We can’t wait to go back and see what we missed.