Editor’s Note: This is part two of our most excellent trip to New Mexico, Colorado with a foot in Utah. For Part one, please see this article.
Upon leaving the little town in the mountains of Colorado where our daughter was married, we headed off to Farmington NM, supposedly 4 hours away to spend the night and visit the Aztec Ruins the next morning. We arrived after 5 pm, quite exhausted, ate a small picnic on the patio of our room, and went to bed. The little Silver River Adobe Inn is hidden behind a fire station, at the confluence of the La Plata and San Jan Rivers. It was quite pleasant, quaint and quiet, despite the proximity to the highway. We rang the bell to check in, Diana, the proprietor, showed us to our room and took off to feed her chickens and goats. She commented that in the 40 + years that she and her husband had been there, she had never seen the San Juan River so full of water, a small bit of good news for Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam. Just a dozen more years of this and we will be back to water aplenty.
The next morning before heading off to the Four Corners and Winslow Diana served organic waffles and fresh fruit in our room. We then packed up and headed off to the Aztec Ruins National Monument. “Aztec, you say? What are the Aztecs doing up here? ” Well, I will tell you. As it turns out this is a misnomer, mistake, and the name of the town it resides in. The Aztec Ruins are associated with the Pueblo Indians and Chaco Canyon and for some still largely unknown reasons abandoned around the 1300s. The great thing we like about visiting these ruins, as opposed to the Mesa Verde Ruins, is that they are largely ADA accessible. We will share more about this special place in subsequent articles.
After visiting the Aztec Ruins, Ms Karen, who had contracted a cold after letting down from the wedding, required a stop in Farmington which was again south of the ruins. Then off we went to Winslow. We took a sidetrip to the Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park. For some reason, Ms. Karen wanted to revisit this out-of-the-way place to relive her childhood memories. So off we went.
The Four Corners Monument was only a little out of the way distance-wise. More annoying was that it cost $16 for a 15-minute stop for a quick picture. There were picnic tables but no shade. Come to think of it, we did pay $40 for a picture of us two on the train to Silverton CO. I’m sure you know the routine. A photographer takes your picture and then sells you back the memory at the end of the trip. Who can resist?
Leaving the Four Corners we stopped in Del Norte at a bar that I’ll call the “Texaco” Bar given its preponderance of Texaco signs. Food was not remarkable in any way. What did I have anyway? Oh, yeah. We both had brats. They were uh, chewy.
We arrived in Winslow at the La Posada Inn right around 4:30 or so. Just enough time to check in, get our luggage to the room and make our dinner reservation. Ms. Karen was ever so grateful that this was the ONE hotel that offered to help with the luggage. New song: “Where have all the Bellhops gone. Long time passing.” The ADA room was perfect. The food to die for. We will be back for more. The resort is an old Fred Harvey hotel, recently renovated, and a perfect place to relax and read. We did not notice a pool. No matter. You can spend your time reading in the numerous cubby holes around the resort, checking out the Art, or just watching the trains go by every 15 minutes or so. If you need a respite, this might be the place. It is also an Amtrak Stop. More about La Posada, our new favorite hotel, later. Note: Plan well in advance to stay here.
We got up early the next day, visited the museum, bought a copy of the DVD on the Harvey Girls to watch at home and headed home to our three-legged dog Dozer to watch it. Heading out of town we stopped at the obligatory job of “Standing on the Corner”. You know the rest.
On the way, of course, lunchtime arrived. We stopped at the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to have lunch. Another $16 entrance fee for a restroom and our own lunch. It was still quite satisfactory, even having missed the site of the bridge entirely. Nice place for a picnic. I am sure Roger Naylor, who lives in these parts could fill you in.
We were able to get around Phoenix easily enough and make it home just in time for happy hour. Our little tripod, Dozer, was no worse for the wear, having been pampered all week by our housesitters. “Welcome home guys. Got any treats?”
In the following weeks, we will assuredly follow up with some individual stories about our adventures. Hope you enjoy. Stay tuned.