New Mexico & Colorado Vacation
Shiprock ~ Mesa Verde ~ Four Corners

September 26 - 28, 2016

Earlier this year Bonnie and I purchased a new car.  We plan to take frequent driving trips around the U.S. and Canada with the new toy, rather than taking the rare fly or cruise vacation.  This trip was actually our second trip to New Mexico during 2016.  Click here to see our first New Mexico vacation of the year.

New Mexico and Colorado are beautiful states with many tourist attractions.  For this trip we visited  Shiprock, Mesa Verde and Four Corners.  We drove our car from our Tucson home throughout all of these stops, then back to Tucson in three days for a total of 1,342 miles.  Note that the weather was perfect for the entire three days!

The first 44 photographs represent the best of the many pictures that were taken by Bonnie and I!  Note that Mesa Verde turned out to be HUGE, covering 52,074 acres.  On the Mesa, archaeologists have located more than 4,800 archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings, dating from about A.D. 550 to 1300.  Since we only spent a single day there, there wasn't nearly enough time to see everything.  As a result, the remaining 54 pictures are public domain photographs downloaded from the Internet to show many more of the archological wonders of Mesa Verde . . . enjoy!

(Click on small pictures to enlarge)

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We entered New Mexico up near the NW corner.
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We weren't exactly sure what Shiprock looked like, so we took pictures of other interesting formations as we drove north.

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This is Shiprock.
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We spent the night in Farmington, NM, and early the next morning drove across the Colorado border to Mesa Verde.

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This work of art was at the Mesa Verde Visitor's Center.
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  We didn't realize it at the time, but we'd need to drive another 22 miles of switchback roads from the Visitor's Center just to reach the archological sites!
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It's fall here on the Mesa, the leaves are changing.
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A great way to travel and see the sights.  Our car is the first car we've owned with a GPS navigator.  This is a vastly superior way to find one's way around unfamiliar roads compared to road maps!

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A large canyon up on the Mesa.
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Each summer, lightning strikes burn away large parts of the park shrubbary.
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At the Visitor's Center we purchased tickets for a tour of the Balcony House cliff dwelling.

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This is the Balcony House as seen from across a canyon.
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This is the first of a couple of ladders we had to climb both to reach the cliff dwelling and later to leave.
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If you looked over your shoulder as you climbed this ladder, you were looking down 1,000 feet into a canyon . . . very scary!

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This picture was taken as we climbed the ladder.
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We're now in the cliff dwelling and the park ranger is giving us the history of this site.
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Pictures taken inside Balcony House.
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We also walked up this short ladder, then up the rockface using the holes in the rock made centuries ago.

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This is a Kiva ~ a dwelling dug into the ground at Balcony House.
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A 2nd Kiva.  We were told there were hundreds of Kivas all over the park.
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Used to mill grian.
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The view from Balcony House.
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Both of us are seniors and both of us have slight acrophobia (height fright).  With this in mind, we don't regret our visit to Balcony House but we'll definitely never take another tour of this nature!

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We've left the park and were on our way to Four Corners when we saw this interesting formation beside the road.
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Here we are at UCAN (the intersecting borders of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico).

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Bonnie standing in 4 states at the same time.
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Bonnie and Bill.
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Although most of the wildlife in NW New Mexico and Arizona are friendly, not all are.
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You need to be careful where you're walking so as to not disturb any of the local "unfriendlies".
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Although these critters are not common on the Mesa, they are there and people need to be aware.

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Campers and hikers need to be particularly careful.


The remaining 54 photos are of sites we were not able to visit during the day we were in the park.  Sometime in the future we plan to go back to Mesa Verde and spend a week walking trails and driving around to see the sights we missed the first time!

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Badger House
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Cedar Tree House
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This is probably the most photographed site in Mesa Verde ~ the Cliff Palace.

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Coyote Village
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Far View House

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Fire Temple

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Haiku Deck
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Hemenway House
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House of Many Windows

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Kodak House
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Little Long House

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Long House
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Mug House

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New Fire House
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Nordenskiold Site 16

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Oak Tree House
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Painted House

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Pipe Shrine House

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Pit House
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Spring House
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Spruce Tree House
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Square Tower House

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Step House
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Sun Temple
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Wetherill Mesa

You may use any of the above pictures for any purpose and may do so without giving me credit.  Note that these pictures have been downsized for those with slow connection speeds.  If you'd like copies of the original JPG pictures, send me an E-mail telling me which pictures you want and I'll be happy to send the original pictures to you at no charge!

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