Arizona Trip 2004
      The wind and rain in the canyonlands has carved monuments, buttes, pinnicles, cliffs, canyons in an amazing variety of size, complexity, and color.
Grand Canyon Grandeur  

Grand Canyon Grandeur



     We awoke to cold and wind.  We drove east to Cameron, Tuba City, and Monument Valley.  The wind blew ferociously of the Southwest, sometimes up to 60 miles per hour.  I was glad it was on my back most of the time, because it made driving difficult.  Sand was drifting across the road in many places.  Still, Monument Valley looked just as it does in the movies.  We stayed the night in Blanding Utah.  
Colorado River deep in the canyon

Colorado River Deep in Canyon

Drifting sand at Tuba City

Drifting Sand at Tuba City


Desert Dust Shrouds Monuments
Classic Monument Valley Scene

Classic Monument Valley Scene


     It was again cold and windy.  We reached Mesa Verde by noon.  The long drive in surprised me with its steepness.  When we reached the tunnel I didn't have my lights on.  After we passed a bus in the middle of the tunnel I couldn't see very well.  Since it would be difficult to walk the trails in the wind and cold, I decided to cancel our stay there that night.  Our reservations were one day off anyway, because I accidently added a day at Lois and Clyde's to our itinerary. 
      After lunch, we saw snowflakes.  Starting down the Mesa, I saw what appeared to be a tornado tearing up the valley floor about 3,000 feet below.  Unfortunately, the video camera acted up and we didn't get it on tape.  I had put the van in a lower gear so going down was not as bad as I expected.  Steering was quite easy, and I only had to tap the brakes a few times.  We saw snow in the mountains all around, and snow by the road on a pass before we got to Durango. 
      We stopped and a small town looking for a motel, but didn't find one I could get into.  The next town, near Albuquerque had a Days Inn that was quite comfortable.  People there told us that Interstate 40 from Arizona had been closed because of poor visibility.  
The tunnel atmesa verdes

Tunnel at Mesa Verde   

Remnants of a tornado at Mesa Verdes
Storm clouds at Mesa Verde



Wild Downhill Curves

Durango Horse statue

Horse Statue Durango

Durango Snow

Snow Near Durango




     It was still cold and windy, so we bypassed Santa Fe and headed for home.  We stopped at Sweetwater Texas for the night. 

     We bypassed Abilene on our way to Austin.  Taking 71 from Austin we arrived home at 6:00 p.m. Beh was very glad to see us.  The grapefruit and lemons that Tom gave us survived the trip and we have been eating them.  I took the first three days of the week off to try to catch up with mail and everything else.  Switcheroo all express tracks that
Duranggo and Sivlerton Railway cars

Durango and Sivlerton Railway 

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