Our last 2 nights "out on the road" were spent at this great campground we found a few years ago. It is by far, the best place we've stayed in our travels. Level cement pads, spaced far enough from each other that you have privacy, and it's on a lake. Located in Show Low, in the White Mountains. We can slide on home from here.
Southwest of Albuquerque, we swung by this monument that we had never seen. It is a bluff in the middle of nowhere, and at its base is a large pool of water that's been here for a long time. It has been the only water source for 20 to 30 miles around, and became the natural stopping point for travelers, as well as a perch for an ancient pueblo, around 1200 a.d. From ancient petroglyphs to inscriptions written by weary travelers, people have left their mark to say "I was here". As we looked at the writing, it made us imagine those people standing where we were, up to 800 years ago, and then in 1605, when the first Spaniards came through looking for gold. There was an inscription by a young girl on a wagon train heading to California, who was later shot with an arrow, but survived.
We camped outisde of Santa Fe, on the old Route 66. It's always fun to visit the town, with its plaza, and Native American Jewelers lined up on the sidewalk. One day is not enough time to explore the town, with its exclusive art galleries on one street, art museums and kitchy shops and many places to eat. We had great fish tacos at the Burrito Co.
We finally made it, after about 6 years of saying we would "swing by" this place on our way back to Tucson. After leaving Durango, we headed to Bloomfield, NM, to park the trailer at an rv park. We knew there is camping at Chaco, but had heard the road was pretty bad going in. And it was....all washboard for 13 miles. The story of Chaco Canyon so fascinated us, because the historians still don't know for sure the real story of why this huge complex was built. Archaeologists don't feel that the buildings were lived in, so it's believed this was a huge trade center, with facilities for religious ceremonies. We drove out twice, the second day climbed to the top of the mesa behind Pueblo Bonito.
We had to stop and say hi to Doug, a friend we met in Tucson, and his dog, Diesel, who Luna loved to play with at the dog park at home. Doug and Diesel moved to Durango last May, so we dropped in for some fun.
Purgatory ski resort....like a small city up there! Doug is a ski instructor, and hopes to return this winter. We drove around the back of the runs, and it's a beautiful valley with primitive campsites, streams, and the road probably goes back to Silverton.
Just north of Ouray, in the Red Mountain mining district, we were in search of the townsite of Ironton, hoping to find the old train turntable used in the mining operation. First, we started up a road we thought would take us there, but only learned that the road went forever. We stopped hiking after about 2 miles (up), and being passed by several jeeps.
After much exploring, we finally found the townsite of Ironton. It was just off the highway, we just didn't have the special book that showed you where it was. Anyway, lots of buildings in varying stages of decay. It appears some work has been done to slow down the dilapidation.