Much of 2018 will be spent volunteering at Hovenweep National Monument and Canyonlands National Park and attending family weddings. In between, we will try to find a place to live.
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  • Day201

    Kane Gulch

    October 16, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    We capped off our two-day break from Canyonlands by hiking down Kane Gulch four miles to where it meets Grand Gulch. Grand Gulch contains one if the richest stretches of cliff dwellings in the Four Corners area. But we're saving that for another visit so stopped at the intersection to visit Junction Ruin.

    While Junction Ruin appears conventional in a ruined sort of way the real attraction is the midden spilling down the hill in front. BLM has it fenced off but you still get a keen sense of what these people threw out just by examining the edge of the pile. Potsherds, corn cobbs, charcoal and stuff we didn't even recognize. All of which we put carefully back on the pile if we picked it up.
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  • Day200

    Moon House

    October 15, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C

    Moon House is one of those iconic ruins that even has its own Wikipedia page. After getting our permit (only 30 hikers per day are allowed in) we drove a harrowing, rutted eight miles to the trailhead. From there it was an occasionally steep two miles in, some of the trail sorely in need of rope and pitons. After frequent butt-sliding we were amply rewarded by a spectacularly preserved "ruin."

    The most memorable feature of Moon House is a series of pictographs showing phases of the moon. The rooms are so well preserved that some contain ancient corn cobbs.
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  • Day193

    Canyonlands Groupies

    October 8, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Our friends Deborah and Bruce Burton are hooked on Canyonlands. Last year they tented during a one-week visit. This time they rented a small trailer. It was nice having them "co-hosting" as we did lots of hiking and cooking and escaped to Durango during a couple of rainy days.Read more

  • Day180

    Goblin and Friends

    September 25, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Our first day off from hosting began on a creepy note. We went to the restaurant next to our motel in Green River, Utah for breakfast. The place was deserted. Our hostess took us to the booth in front of the TV, which was playing Fox and Friends. We thought we were in a re-education camp.

    I asked her if she could mute it or change it to the Shopping Channel. She said it was their policy to always leave it on Fox during business hours. Wow! And you thought goblins only came out at night.

    Then it was on to Goblin Valley State Park where we hoped to find refuge with real goblins.
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  • Day179

    Nine Mile Canyon-- Avenue of Ancient Art

    September 24, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We spent the afternoon rock art hunting in Nine Mile Canyon east of Price, Utah. This remote canyon actually contains mile after mile of rock art dating back 1000 years to the Fremont culture and up to 18th century Utes. By some estimates there are 10,000 images on these canyon walls.

    At the upper reaches of the canyon we saw "The Great Hunt" panel. Archaeologists believe that with such detail this panel may depict an actual bighorn sheep hunt from centuries ago.

    The highlight of the canyon was a glyph of a pregnant bison; complete with a horned baby bison in utero. And women think they have tough deliveries.
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  • Day174

    Deja View

    September 19, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We returned to Canyonlands NP for the fall tour as campground hosts. Greeting us are multi-colored rocky spires and campers with fascinating life stories. The beauty also attracts friends as our ranger compatriot Paula from Hovenweep and long-time friends from Ft Collins, Linda and John Mahan, have also sync'd visits to the park with our tenure.Read more

  • Day159


    September 4, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Before heading back to Durango we visited the Texas haunts of LBJ. As children of the 60s we have pretty strong opinions about the man. They are correct but woefully unbalanced. The Vietnam debacle is only half of the story. He also accomplished many remarkable things, particularly for minorities, children and the elderly.

    Also visited the grave of Buddy Holly in Lubbock. Just imagine the music he would have created had he lived even as long as Mozart who died at 35.
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  • Day157

    Austin Hitchin'

    September 2, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    At a gathering of the extended Camarata-Bohrer and McCann-McCleary clans Robyn and Doug were hitched. The highlight of the wedding procession (besides Doug and Robyn) was to be their English bulldog. Alas, he was recovering from surgery and couldn't make it. So Brendan carried our grandson Elliot down the aisle. The other missing highlights were the wedding rings. They turned up an hour after the ceremony. Question is, are they still legally married?

    Anyway, it was great fun. We especially enjoyed meeting the new extended Bohrer family and getting together with all of our relatives and out-of-town friends for a weekend of revelry.
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  • Day155

    South by Southeast [NM & TX]

    August 31, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Hit the road yesterday, headed for Austin and Robyn and Doug's wedding. Of course, we couldn't resist detours to see anything with National Monument in it's name.

    First stop, Capulin NM in Northeast New Mexico. While it's not particularly striking in appearance it offers a nice lesson in volcanology. Great views, too.

    Also took a ranger-led hike at Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument near Amarillo, Texas. This highly desirable flint of dozens of colors, was traded by Native Americans as far away as Tierra del Fuego.
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  • Day140

    Coronado Historic Site [Albuquerque]

    August 16, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Francisco Coronado. Not exactly a patron saint of Native Americans. But the first park we visited today, an ancient Pueblo that predated the Spanish, was named after him. Despite the misnomer Coronado Historic Site is all about the ruins of Kuaua Pueblo. This site's claim to fame are the amazingly preserved murals from a 14th century kiva. Alas, photos are not allowed of the original walls but they were indeed remarkable images mostly dealing with various rain-making deities. One of them was even peeing rain.

    Then it was on to Jemez Historic Site, an unfortunate reminder of what the early Catholic church did to native American culture centuries ago. There was a restored kiva but most early Indian structures were, not surprisingly, buried by a nearby road. The church walls had been restored by the CCC in the 30s.
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