We love venturing into Utah and the red rock canyons carved by the Green, Colorado, Virgin and other rivers of the Southwest. On March 14, we went southeasterly in Utah to Moab and Arches National Park. This requires going over 7500- foot Soldier Summit and down the narrow Price River Canyon. A delightful find was the Railroad and Mining Museum (#2) in Helper, Utah. The coal mines in this area shipped their coal out by rail and extra “helper” engines were needed to get trains over the pass, thus the name of the town. We have been in Arches National Park (#3- https://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm) before, but still enjoyed a short, sunny sojourn into the park to appreciate the wind- and rain-carved rock formations there.
We continued through the high southwest plateau on March 15 and attempted to visit a pueblo in the “Canyon of the Ancients” National Monument in Southwestern Colorado. However, the 16” of snow they had received in recent days (by the “bomb cyclone”) left large patches of slush on the narrow county road to the pueblo. We had our first adventure of turning around by backing the trailer into a ranch entrance. However, we were able to visit the Anasazi Visitor Center (#4- (https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/colorado/canyons-of-the-ancients) that provided an interesting overview of the Anasazi culture that flourished in the area for a several thousand years before the arrival of Europeans. We had our most challenging time finding a place to stay in Colorado as most RV parks and campgrounds were closed for the season, we ended up “camped” at a mostly closed RV park (the owners in Arizona) where some accommodating permanent residents told us where we could put our trailer and we could hook up to electrical power. Low temperature overnight was 22 F.
Wonderfully scenic driving continued on March 16, as we went south from Colorado into New Mexico on a sunny, blue sky day. After crossing the Continental Divide near Chama, Utah we had lunch in the trailer in the village of Abiquiu next to one of the homes of Georgia O’Keefe (#5). We also visited a gallery there (in an old, former trading post) of an art dealer who collected pieces from all over the world including a few from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
At Santa Fe we linked up with the historic Route 66 and stopped at the Pecos National Historic Park (#5-https://www.nps.gov/peco/index.htm) and spent the night at a KOA campground overlooking the hills near Las Vegas, New Mexico.