Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 10, Pagosa Springs

Here we are in Pagosa Springs, CO, after another day looking at rocks. After a real breakfast (bacon, eggs, toast & hashbrowns) at the Moab Diner, it was off to Arches NP. Did I say looking at rocks? Red rocks, yellowish rocks, rocks in spires, rocks with long crevices, rocks with holes in them (big holes, naturally). Last time we were here in 2002 our visit was cut short by a violent thunderstorm - felt sorry for the people out hiking who didn't watch the skies. This time it was dry, not even clouds for photographic background.

Then we took a two hour drive back to Monticello and on into Colorado to Dolores. Big surprise - lots of farming in a relatively flat area between mountain ranges; some wheat & alfalfa, but they were harvesting a cereal grain while green - maybe oats? The stop was Anasazi Cultural Center outside of Dolores, the BLM's only museum. A big dam was put on the Dolores River, and the ancient sites were excavated and/or documented first. It also had an art display by the Plein Air Artists of the Four Corners and a display on the Old Spanish Trail trade network from Santa Fe to California.

Next stop, Durango. Traffic was terrible and the train was not in the station. Skipped the tourist traps and went to Walmart to get some things for Madge & Larry Harrah, who we'll visit tomorrow. Then to Pagosa Springs, home of the Fred Harman Art Museum. He was a self-taught artist and illustrator, western subjects. He also did comic strips - ever hear of Red Ryder? I had a Daisy Red Ryder bb gun and broke my glasses just like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story." He was good!

Tomorrow it's on to Chama, through some 10,000 ft passes, and up a forest service road to the old mining town of Platoro (from the name, can you guess what they hoped to find?) & a visit with Madge & Larry Harrah. Madge wrote the award-winning children's book on Blind Boone, and many others. We'll end the day with a Mexican buffet at Alamosa.

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