I think I know how Moses felt. You know the part of the story where he’s wandering in the desert for forty years? That’s exactly how I felt last week. And yeah, yeah, I know… it’s only been two months since we were in San Diego, but if you consider we spent the 2.5 months prior to San Diego in the desert environments of New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California, I think you’ll agree with me that I’m basically Moses.

Don’t get me wrong, we loved our time in the desert, but when the mercury starts pushing into the high 90’s, it can get pretty tough – especially when you’re living in a poorly insulated motorhome that has fourteen windows – one of which is about 8 feet wide. During the summer, when the desert sun is blazing all day, it’s basically a greenhouse, and when you can’t park under a shady tree, it’s nearly impossible to keep it cool – even with two big air conditioners. When traveling through extreme environments, we typically try to move on before the weather turns, but this time we stayed just a tad too long and it really started to get uncomfortable. Plus, I think Moses would agree that all the dust and grit and sand that comes with living in a desert environment can get a bit tiresome.

Anyway, fast forward to now and we are in glorious Colorado where we’ve been able to take advantage of some incredible hikes, drive through spectacular mountain scenery, and where we haven’t had to deal with any dust or grit in our house. We’ve so enjoyed having access to this totally different environment that I kinda want to jump right to it. Indeed, other things being equal, I might write two or three detailed posts about the end of our time roaming through the desert, but as Moses himself used to say “Let’s move this shit along already.”

So, get ready for a whirlwind desert wrap-up and next week will be all mountain towns, snow capped peaks, crystal clear alpine lakes, and trees, trees, trees!!!!

Monument Valley

After leaving Page, we made a quick two night stop in Monument Valley. This iconic spot was high on our travel bucket list, so we were excited to check it out. The monuments are all located on Navajo land, so there’s an entrance fee into the park for private cars. However, if you are in your own car, there are certain sections of the park you are not permitted to drive to. Therefore, visitors looking for a more in depth experience can take a guided tour with a licensed tour guide.

Monument Valley

Our tour was about three and a half hours long and took us by all the major viewing areas as well as to the harder to reach spots. One of the most popular overlooks is John Ford Point. Ford was a movie director in the 1940’s and 50’s who used Monument Valley as the backdrop for numerous films. This particular promontory was one of his favorites and was named in his honor (his films brought a lot of money and interest to the area). Today, for a couple bucks, tourists can get their picture taken on what I hope is a very difficult-to-spook horse.

Horse and rider at John Ford Point in Monument Valley

As we drove around, our guide pointed out many famous filming locations. Everything from National Lampoon’s Vacation to Forrest Gump to an ALPO dog food commercial was filmed in this area, and he was happy to show us all the famous spots. We also learned a bit about the culture, storytelling, music, and art of the Navajo people who have called the valley home for centuries.

Additionally, the tour took us inside a “hogan” – which is a traditional Navajo home made of wood beams and covered in mud. Inside, we met a Navajo woman who showed us how they spin yarn from sheep’s wool and how they make the colorful traditional rugs and blankets for which they are known. She also showed us how to spot a knock-off. Love me some good fraud detection!

Rug making demonstration in Navajo hogan in Monument Valley

The monuments were imposing from any angle, but they became even more striking as the sun began to set. As we made our way back toward the front entrance, we snapped some final photos and wondered how cool this place would look with a dusting of snow (which they do get during the winter…)

Monument Valley

Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods is 30 miles north of Monument Valley near the town of Mexican Hat and features similar rock formations to its larger, more famous cousin. There’s a 17 mile road that runs through the center which offers a fun drive and impressive views.

Valley of the Gods, Utah

With no entrance fee, no required tour guides, and very few people (it is BLM land), it’s a nice place to take a low key afternoon drive.

Valley of the Gods, Utah

We saw some smaller campers apparently set up to boondock, but no marked trailheads, so I don’t think there are a lot of hiking options.

When you get to the western end of the Valley of the Gods drive, you can easily jump on the Moki Dugway, which is a really fun switchback road.

Street sign for the Moki Dugway in Utah

The road, which is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the state, is not recommended for large vehicles and, given the very steep drop offs and lack of guardrails, if you’re not a fan of heights, I wouldn’t recommend it. Otherwise, it’s fun to hug the mountain as you drive up to the summit.

The Moki Dugway
A portion of the switchbacks built into the side of the mountain…

At the top of the climb, you can see all the way across the valley below and, on a clear day, you can see Monument Valley.

The view from the Moki DugwayKeep driving and you can take a gravel road to Muley Point, a spot that overlooks Goosenecks State Park. Here, the San Juan River meanders through in tight curves to create the canyons. While not quite as colorful as some of the other canyons in Arizona and Utah, it is no less dramatic.

Muley PointNatural Bridges National Monument

We’d seen pictures of Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, but it had not been particularly high on our must-see list. I think it’s just another place that’s hard to capture in a photograph because when we actually got there, we loved it.

Sipapu Bridge at Natural Bridges National Monument

The park, located about 60 miles from Bluff, Utah, is very small – featuring a 9 mile paved loop road with a couple overlooks and hikes to the three sandstone bridges found in the park. The bridges have been formed by water erosion, both from the continuous flow of the passing river and the massive flash floods that are common to the area.

Sipapu Bridge (also pictured above) is 220 feet high and 268 feet wide.

Sipapu Bridge at Natural Bridges National Monument

You can hike to the base of it on an adventurous trail which includes steep inclines requiring the use of bars and ladders to descend into the canyon.

Hiking trails at Natural Bridges National Monument
You can hold onto these railings (for dear life) as you descend into the canyon.

Owachomo Bridge, the oldest and most fragile in the park, stands 106 feet tall and 180 feet wide. The folks at the park have no idea how long it will survive. While it is no longer subject to erosion from passing streams, it continues to degrade each year as a result of frost erosion. Depending on the rate of erosion, the bridge could survive many decades, or it might collapse within a couple years.

Owachomo Bridge at Natural Bridges National Monument

Owachomo Bridge at Natural Bridges National Monument

Cortez and Four Corners

After spending nearly a week in Bluff, Utah (population: hardly anyone), we moved on to Cortez, Colorado. This little town is right near Four Corners and, quite unexpectedly, we really liked it. Because the town is a popular stopping point for road trips through the Four Corners area, the main street had a lot of your typical touristy commercial stuff – chain hotels, Walmarts, and fast food places, but if you look, you can find some real gems. We had dinner twice at Mirch Masala, a tiny family owned Indian restaurant that was just terrific.

Bhel Puri at Mirch Masala in Cortez, Colorado
A colorful dish of Bhel Puri at Mirch Masala

We checked out the local brewery and European butcher and loved both. The folks at the stores and restaurants could not have been friendlier or more helpful. There were lots of little independent shops and cool murals drawn on the sides of the buildings. It was just a nice convenient spot to land for a week.

Since we were reasonably close, we drove out to Four Corners to stand on the purported intersection of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah…

We definitely weren’t the only one who felt the need for this photo…

Line of visitors at Four Corners

Everyone was very good-natured and dutifully took the photo of the people standing in front of them.

Mesa Verde

The other huge draw near Cortez is Mesa Verde National Park. This park protects one of the largest archaeological areas in the country.

Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park
Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park

A couple miles north of the park is the town of Dolores which houses the Anasazi Heritage Center. We actually visited this museum before heading to Mesa Verde and felt it was beneficial for understanding much of what we saw in the park. The museum not only has a large, well organized exhibit about the people who called this region home for hundreds of years, but also offers interesting exhibits about the process of finding, recovering, dating, and preserving these priceless relics and archaeological sites. The museum is well worth your time if you’re visiting Mesa Verde.

Display of pottery at Anasazi Heritage Center Display about Archaeological Project at the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colorado

A highlight of visiting the park itself is taking a tour of one of the incredible cliff dwellings. For 600 years prior to the 1190’s, the Ancestral Puebloans lived in partially underground homes called pit houses, and farmed the tops of the mesas. In the late 1190’s, they progressed to building these sturdy dwellings in the alcoves beneath the cliffs of the mountains. The structures ranged from single rooms to ornate villages built to house 100 or more people. The cliff dwellings offered better protection from the extreme conditions common to the area and served as villages for entire communities. The fact that the structures are still standing, 700 years after they were abandoned in the late 1200’s, is testament to just how well they were constructed.

The tours of the various cliff dwellings are just $5.00 per person and are well worth the time. There are three cliff dwelling tours, Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House. We toured Long House because the max number of visitors was lower than the other tours. (Seriously. That was our only criteria. “Less people than the other tours? Perfect! Sign us up!”)

This is Long House from the front. The structure walls originally went all the way to the top of the cliff, so everyone living inside was completely protected from the elements.

Long House at Mesa Verde National Park

Inside the alcove we saw the fireplace used for warmth and cooking, areas where crops were dried, processed, and preserved, places where water from a seeping spring was collected, and spaces for individual living and community ceremonies.

Fireplace in Long House at Mesa Verde National Park
The wood in this fireplace has all been collected from the structure, so it is consistent in age with the rest of the ruins.

Our Ranger-led tour taught us not only about the history of the structures, but about the culture of the people who lived here and various theories about why they eventually left.

Ranger tour in Long House at Mesa Verde National Park
Another awesome NPS led tour

After our tour, we drove around to the overlooks for some of the other cliff dwellings. Here’s one that has been preserved but which cannot be visited by tourists…. The reason why might become obvious when you ask yourself how tourists would get into the structure:

Cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park

(The natives used to climb from the top of the mesa – where they farmed crops all day – down into the cliff dwellings….)

This dwelling boasted a five story apartment building still standing 700 years later….

Cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park

The one thing we didn’t get to do while visiting Mesa Verde was hike. It was so hot (and, more importantly, we are so unwilling to get out of bed early) that we did not take advantage of the many trails in the park. The unrelenting heat had a big impact on our visit and, more critically, the larger region.

Fire in Four Corners – Then and Now

So far, other than one very unexpected tornado in the middle of New Orleans, we’ve managed to avoid extreme weather. But, after almost two years on the road, we’ve suddenly found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a dangerous weather situation. While visiting Cortez, multiple wildfires started burning in the surrounding areas. This region has been bone dry for months and fires are not uncommon, but they are much earlier this year. The biggest one currently burning is the 416 fire which started near Durango – about 60 miles from Cortez. That fire has claimed over 35,000 acres so far. Closer to Cortez is the Burro Fire – currently listed at about 3700 acres. This was the view of the smoke from that fire during our visit to the Anasazi Heritage Center.

Smoke from the Burro Fire in Dolores, Colorado

Wildfires have been a common occurrence in this part of the west for years. Indeed, driving through Mesa Verde we saw numerous areas that have suffered massive fires. The fires’ starting points are marked with plaques going all the way back to the 1920s.

Burned trees on Weatherill Mesa at Mesa Verde National Park

The Long House ruins are located in an area that was absolutely devastated by a wildfire in 2000. As our Ranger explained, this is not the type of forest that needs fire to stay healthy, so, 18 years later, this section of the park is still terribly depressing. Fortunately, the firefighters were able to keep the fire away from the Long house ruins and the fire actually helped to uncover many more ruins which are now being studied.

Burned trees on Weatherill Mesa at Mesa Verde National Park

Either way, it was hard not to feel a little sad seeing these decimated forests and learning it will be many decades more before they come back.

Time for Change

And with that half-assed summary of the end of our time in the desert, I am now officially ready to move on to the magical mountains of Colorado.

I know you don’t care, but ask yourself: What would Moses think if he saw this out his car/horse window after wandering in the desert for forty years (or 4.5 months, whichever the case may be….)??


More soon….


Where we stayed:

Goulding’s RV Campground, Monument Valley

Cadillac Ranch RV Park, Bluff, Utah

Sundance RV Park, Cortez, Colorado



  1. Mesa looks so cool!! I find it amazing that cultures without modern machinery built such amazing structures that last far longer than things we build today. Glad you have some greenery and don’t have to feel like Moses anymore!! Safe travels!

    • Agreed. Not only have these structures lasted all this time, but when you think about what tools these folks had or didn’t have, and the amount of inventiveness and creativity they displayed in solving problems we would think nothing of today, it is truly something. I had seen pictures of the ruins before, but they were so much bigger and more impressive in person. Mesa Verde was really a highlight of our time in this area.

  2. I love those dusty, sandy stark desert landscapes, but we get out of town when the weather starts to climb. Some of it’s appeal is lost when the heat begins to throb. I have to admit, however, that having to take the bedding outside each morning for a good shake does wear thin after awhile. Keep Lewis off the bed you say? But he LIKES it there. Colorado is one of our favorite states. The fact that our only son lives there helps, but the spectacular, often breathtaking scenery is a balm to the soul after the dry landscapes of the southwest. Enjoy!
    I look forward to your next post.

    • Yeah, I think it really is just a function of the temperatures. None of it bothered us until we were suddenly struggling to get our house to a reasonable temperature. At that point, everything starts getting real old real quick. But during the winter, when our friends back east were dealing with old snow that had turned brown and slate gray skies, we were A-OK with the stark desert scenery. It is incredible what an impact the weather has on how we feel about our current location.

      And you are correct – If Lewis is happy, that’s all that matters. Period. 🙂

  3. I have to agree, sometimes it is time to leave the stark deserts and head to higher ground, we moved into the high plains then mountains, nice to get out of the dust.

    • I honestly wish we were at an even higher elevation at the moment. While it’s better here than it was in southern Utah, it’s still getting a bit too hot for our liking (while we’re still in Colorado, we’ve moved north of the big mountain ranges, so we’re back to the higher temperatures again.) In any case, all things being equal, at this point, I’d prefer to be up higher in elevation or much farther north. This summer heat has been ridiculous already, and we’re just getting started….

  4. Half-assed summary? I think not! This is an awesome wrap-up of your time wandering in the desert. You guys really covered a lot of territory and did a lot, despite the heat. We love Bluff (population “almost nobody,” haha!) and Cedar Mesa. Not sure how much hiking you were able to do around there, but it’s a fantastic place for exploring with very few people (if any) on the trails. We also loved hiking Natural Bridges, but yeah, that descent into the canyon is a bit scary.
    I want to do that tour in Monument Valley! (But no photos on the horse standing at the edge of the cliff, thank you very much.) And we’ve been wanting to return to Mesa Verde, but have kind of been waiting for the land to recover from the wildfires…guess that isn’t going to be happening anytime soon. 🙁 Enjoy those cool mountain forests!

    • When we first got to our campground in Bluff, we had a lengthy discussion with our campground owner about all the various hikes we could do right in Bluff. We were all excited about it, but after our first day, the temperatures ran up into the high 90’s and we started looking for other options. I agree though, there were some great sounding hikes there, and we really enjoyed the town (The Comb Ridge Cafe was a favorite.) It was just oddly quiet while we were there…. In any case, we’d love to go back and spend some more time exploring the area. We just need to do it in spring or fall. As for Monument Valley, I think it’s definitely worth the time to take a tour and see the areas most drive-through visitors don’t get to see. I would just encourage you to do your research on the tour companies. Some are definitely better than others which we, unfortunately, found out the hard way. And yeah, it’s going to be decades before those sections of Mesa Verde come back. I just hope they can get through this hot summer with no additional destruction. 🙁

  5. When I was in college at the University of Arizona from 1978-1981, I recall on one of my cross country drives from NYC to Tucson stopping at Four Corners. We were the only ones there and as I recall, there was virtually nothing else there but the marker of where the borders of the four states intersect. Spent maybe 10 minutes there as taking the picture while in all four states at once was the only thing to do.
    Pretty blown away by the crowds there in your picture.

    • Haha – Yup, it’s a whole “thing” now. The monument is actually located on Navajo property, so they operate it. It costs $5.00 to park your car in a dusty lot, but the actual plaza area is pretty nice. There are lots of sitting areas, local vendors selling art and jewelry, and some food concessionaires. But other than getting your picture taken and looking at the flags of each state, there’s not much to do. We did hear some folks saying that it was dead empty a couple weeks before. We were there during the height of summer driving season, so not surprisingly, there were lots of people stopping by.

  6. You did a great job of wrapping up your “40 days” in the desert! Haha! You visited some of our favorite places. We (I) LOVE Bluff, Utah!! I do think it is my favorite place to hike. We visit every year (five years now) for anywhere from a week to ten days. We still haven’t repeated a hike (unless we are showing new people around). My idea of ruins are those in their natural state where I can be one with all that went on back in the day. The hiking on Cedar Mesa is unique in that every canyon is full of ruins in various stages. You do need to return just to hike and sit among the pottery sherds, corn cobs, grinding stones, knife sharpenings, petroglyphs, and pictographs alone. It so eerie and easy to imagine what was going on so long ago.

    Colorado is a gorgeous state! We still have so much exploring to do there but really do need to go in the fall so trails aren’t snow covered like the spring. A return visit is on our short list. Can’t wait to see more photos of the beautiful alpine lakes!

    • A return visit to Bluff – in spring or fall – is most definitely on our agenda. We missed out on lots of great stuff because of the heat (I know, I know…”wake up early”… Maybe someday. Probably not, though. 🙂 In any case, we actually really did like the town. It was just so hot we didn’t take advantage of most of the outdoor options there. Hopefully we’ll have better weather luck next time we visit. And I think it would be awesome to find ruins that haven’t been disturbed or restored. I actually think both options are interesting and it’s cool that you can find both in this region.

      And yes, it feels like Colorado is a place worth spending several months. We’ve only see a teeny tiny portion of it and we are already north of the best stuff, but I am itchin to get back to those stunning mountains as soon as possible.

  7. I think Moses would be very happy to see that sight from his horse … and speaking of horses yup no way would you get me to sit on that horse at the edge of the cliff!

    • Yeah, putting random tourists on a horse on the edge of a very high cliff just seemed like a bad idea, but what do I know??? 🙂

    • If this heat doesn’t take a break soon, we really may show up in Oregon sooner rather than later. It IS a perk of this lifestyle, right?

  8. Beautiful wrap-up summary Laura! Definitely hard to pick a favorite place. We haven’t been to Cortez yet…it’s been on the list for several years! Colorful Colorado is an amazing state and I think you have picked the perfect time of year to visit. Can’t wait to see photos!

    • Yeah, we got a little screwed up in the mountains and ended up having to go to another hot town sooner than expected (I’ll explain it all in my next post), but we LOVED our time up there. It is interesting what a difference a couple hundred feet of elevation make both for the temperatures and the environment (are we surrounded by green or are we surrounded by brown?) We are learning a lot for future planning, that’s for sure. In any case, Cortez was definitely a good base camp to check out that area, but I would strongly suggest a spring or fall trip. Summer is hot, hot, hot!

  9. Now that’s how you do a wrap up of your 40 days in the desert, and for sure Moses is extending his rod up in agreement, and yells way to go Laura! Weather always dictates our feelings and affinity to a certain place that sometimes even rain makes us dislike a town or city. That is why by March we are already on our trek up north.
    We are keeping our eyes and ears of southern Colorado for that’s where we will be this fall. Hopefully, there will still be Aspen trees left behind from all the fires.
    I have a post titled Colorado’s natural gems in case you are nearby that area that may interest you. But it requires getting up early, however 🙂 And since you like green, where we are now could be on your list, gorgeous eastern Oregon 🙂

    • Yup, weather has a HUGE impact on us. Oddly enough, I would be SO happy to see some rain right about now. It is scary being in an area that is a tinder box with all these fires popping up around us. We are definitely learning (sometimes the hard way) all about elevation changes and climate. I would have expected it to be comfortable throughout Colorado in June. Little did we know that it could be SO hot in certain parts of the state while others (even south of where we were) were cooler. Sounds like heading north by March is the right way to avoid the worst of it (though, it’s still snowing in parts of Yellowstone, so you gotta be careful of that too.) I would typically say the trails you talked about in your Colorado Gems post are a bit far from where we’ll be, but given the expected heat, we may be putting some serious miles on the car in the next couple weeks as we try to escape into the mountains. Thanks for the reminder on those gorgeous places.

  10. Awesome post!! You two really explored that area, which is so great. It’s amazing how different that party of the country is. Next time Brad and I go back to Monument Valley we want to go on a tour!

    • I think the tours are definitely worthwhile because there’s a fair amount of stuff you can’t see on your own. Just research the companies before you sign up. It really can make a difference.

  11. You touched on one of the things I have found most surprising about living on the road — the influence of the weather on our experience. Coming from Florida, we thought we would be prepared for heat and that our challenge would be dealing with cold, but it has turned out to be the opposite. Putting on an extra layer (or baking bread to heat up the house!) is easy. Staying cool in really hot weather has been surprisingly difficult, and it definitely colored our experience across the northern Great Plains. Is it 75 with a breeze? This must be the greatest place on earth! Is it a stifling 90 degrees? Ugh, get us out of here!

    • Yes, yes, yes! I agree 1000%. I can think back to the places we loved and just about every one featured great weather while we were there. Had we visited New Orleans in July or Vermont in January, I expect our overall impressions might be quite different. For the most part, we’ve done pretty well staying in the 60 to 80 degree band, but this summer has been brutal. I think everything is amplified living in these RVs… Both because they are more difficult to keep comfortable and because when the weather is bad outside, you’re really stuck. The heat has really sapped our desire to go out and do stuff. We still go because we want to make the most of it, but it’s a lot easier to get excited about a hike when it’s 70 degrees than when it’s 97.

  12. What s great wrap up Moses! I totally get the desert fatigue, we felt like we stayed in AZ too long this year.
    Cool, rainy days aren’t all bad especially if there is a water or mountain vista included. We are loving be back on the boat and seeing green trees again!!!

    • I somehow missed this comment and am just seeing it now. Sorry for the late response…. Anyway, I am beginning to believe you can burn yourself out on anything… I hate being cold, but right now, I am super tired of being hot. And I never thought I’d say I’m sick of blue skies and sunny days, but I’m kinda sick of blue skies and sunny days. Give me some clouds, dammit! Thankfully we have the ability to seek out what we’re in the mood for. Sometimes it just takes some rearranging of plans and a bit of extra driving. But right now, we are more than a little motivated to find the right environment and the right temperature.

  13. A great wrap up to your time in the desert. Looks like you really got to see dang near everything there was to see in the area. I’d love the drive to the summit. Out Jeep is perfect for that kind of adventure. We drove through a wildfire on Key Largo earlier this year. Very scary when you have the top and doors off. As for weather, I can take the heat better than the cold. Our weather here in Alaska hasn’t been very summer like yet. Still in the 40’s at night and lots of cloudy drizzly days!

    • We actually drove right next to a controlled burn that was going on in Florida and it was definitely a bit nerve-wracking. We could feel the heat from the flames wash over the car and we were just hoping none of the trees suddenly fell in the road. We were amazed they didn’t stop traffic, but it’s apparently pretty common down there. Anyway, the Moki Dugway is basically tailor made for Jeeps. You all would love it!

  14. A great wrap up of a beautiful area. Crazy how there’s a drought in CO and here in IA they’re having too much water. After 9 days of the smoke from the 416 Fire we left, can’t be good for the lungs.

    • I noticed that too! Floods in some places, drought in others… 100 degrees Colorado, 40 degrees in Montana…. It would be nice if we could all just meet in the middle at 70 degrees and sunny, you know? 🙂

  15. I love every one of your blogs! We too are really sick of sweating it out just even attempting to sit outside. We are into our third week on the border of Mississippi & Alabama getting upgrades and renovations done to our home on wheels (it was manufactured here so lots of shops that do excellent work). It’s worth the time we are spending here before we start making our big trek out west but it’s over 90 everyday with humidity that is off the charts. We too now know to plan our adventures more in tune with the temps in a given area. Definately planning next summer up in Michigan or Wisconsin. Enjoy the mountains and cooler temps (hopefully)

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting! As hot as it is here in Colorado, I cannot even imagine what you are dealing with. Actually, we used to live on the east coast, so I have a pretty good idea and I am SO SORRY. It must be miserable. At least here, when the temperature is 95 degrees, it feels like 95 degrees, whereas with the humidity, it can be 95 degrees, but “feel like” 105. Ugh… humidity is just the worst. What we are learning too is it’s not just north or south that makes a difference, but also elevation and the type of land you’re on. We’re in northern Colorado, but back to a desert location, which means hot, hot, hot. We continue to find ourselves surprised by just how much of an impact weather can have on our overall feelings about the places we visit, so going forward, we will be laser focused on getting this stuff right. Anyway, hope you guys get out of there quick (sounds like you might be in Red Bay?) and can find cooler temps soon!

      • Yep – Red Bay. ????. We have a 2004 Allegro Bus. We bought it 5 yrs ago knowing we would go full time in it upon retiring at 50 and that we could come to Red Bay to update it. We decided to get the work done while killing time before a vacation with family in the Outer Banks at the end of July. That is our last family obligation before we can head west,or wherever else we want to go, without having to worry about anyone else’s plans. New carpet install tomorrow and renovations are done! No more sea foam green gaudy valences, worn roof paint or beige icky carpet. I think you have a Tiffin too – if you haven’t been to Red Bay before, it’s great for getting work done and the factory tour is so interesting. There isn’t much to do aside from that. There are some nice COE’s in the area. But don’t go in the summer!!! LOL.

  16. Love your humor and photography skills, as usual! Wherever we travel I enjoy visiting Native American museums. The one in DC is amazing, but I can’t wait to see Mesa Verde.

    • Thanks Julie! There are lots of options to learn about the various Native American cultures in this area. In addition to the Heritage Center in Dolores, we also visited the museum at Mesa Verde NP and it was really interesting as well. Plus, there are displays at the visitor’s center that we didn’t even see. Lots to see and learn and do out there, no questions about it. Just go when it’s cool!!!

  17. I don’t want to tell you that a cool rain was falling while I read this post, so I won’t, but it was. You really can get sick of anything, though, and believe it or not I have felt extreme annoyance on on some local hikes being really, really over drippy wet everything. Wishing you cooler days ahead!

    • I agree with you 100%. I am sure we will get tired of mountains, and beaches, and forests, and deserts, several more times. Actually, when I hear myself say that, I realize how ridiculous our lives are and conclude that I should probably stop complaining about these things…. 🙂

  18. Wow! I can only imagine how living in the desert for so long feels like, Laura. Monument Valley seems like an exceptional place to explore. I love this itinerary and I really hope to follow your steps one day. Thanks for inspiring. 😉


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