Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm tending grandsons in Valencia this weekend and have my laptop with my trip pix, so thought I'd share a few, since I feel really out of everything and my brain is not in blog mode. This is Canyon de Chelly in northeastern Arizona. We are on a 6-wheel safari jeep driving up the middle of the river at the bottom of the canyon with a Navajo guide, the only way you can enter the canyon. What a fun day! In the summer the Navajo's come to the canyon floor to farm, growing peaches, beans, squash, corn and other crops.

This is Deadhorse Point State Park across from Arches National park, one of the highest overlooks of the Colorado River. What an awesome view! Great place for a family picnic on a warm day. It wasn't warm that day - I was freezing!

Arches National Park was our next stop. This formation is
called The Gossips. We had incredible blue skies for the last part of our trip through
this park, along with a cold wind. We hadn't been here for 30 years, and a few of
the arches had fallen that were here before, but overall, it was unchanged. Some of the most beautiful rock formations anywhere!

The Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, is the largest cliff dwelling in the world, according to the ranger who took us down to explore it. We spent the day wandering through all the ruins and had a a delicious Navajo taco at the Sycamore Treehouse Restaurant. At least, I think that was the name of it. The last time I was here, I had 8 month old Shelley in a front pack, 3 year old Nikki in a back pack, and Greg was 7, Lorraine was 10. Lorraine is 46 this year and Shelley is 36 so it has been awhile!

We rode the narrow-gauge railroad from Durango, Colorado to Silverton, an old mining town about 10,000 feet altitude. It snowed on us on the way up, but was a little warmer on the way back down. Spent two hours wandering the old streets, in and out of boutiques that used to be brothels. :) Had the best fries and green chili cheeseburger I've ever had. At one point we were right along the river, then an hour later, we were 1000 feet above the river that was now raging below us. Travel is much easier today than 100 years ago, but I still love the old trains.

Santa Fe is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. One of my favorite
places is the Loretta Chapel with its "Miracle Staircase." The Sisters of Loretta built a chapel but didn't leave enough space for a staircase to the choir loft. They didn't know what to do. One day a stranger rode in and said he would build the staircase but they couldn't ask any questions. They fed him and he worked diligently until it was finished. It has no support - just free hanging. The hand rails were added later. The wood is not native to Santa Fe area. When it was finished, the builder simply disappeared.

I was going to show you a picture of the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery at Vicksburg and tell you about the siege, and let you see the Duff Green Mansion where I, by happy accident, booked us into a Civil War Mansion with four ghosts. (We didn't see any of them, even though we stayed in the room where the Civil War soldier is always seen, looking for his amputated leg.)

Then I was going to take you to Natchez, a wonderful old Civil War town with beautiful antebellum homes on the Mississippi River, and to St. Francisville where I found the most incredible cemetery full of old headstones and massive oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.
And to St. Martinville of Evangeline and Longfellow fame, but my expertise is at an end and I can't figure out how to incorporate any more pix. My computer just doesn't want to go to browse anymore. Maybe another day. I promise next time I'll do something more creative and meaningful like your posts, and try to be brilliant and articulate and wise. Or maybe I'll just be me. :)

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