Thursday, August 12, 2010

Four Corners

Tonight we are KOA ing it here in Cortez, Colorado. 


We left River Bend RV about 9:30 in the morning.  The sun was shining and it appeared to be a great day.  Since we were retracing our steps back to Telluride during the first leg of our journey, I never started the GPS.  I was confident!

That didn’t turn out bad either, as I rolled right along making the right turn onto highway 62 at Ridgeway.  Once thru the town, you begin to climb and it is steep.  The town in correctly named, as you are following a ridge along the mountain wall.  But there were guard rails, and for me that makes it seem all better.  I know it is in my head, as the motorhome would jump that guard rail in a heartbeat, but I feel better anyway.

The road goes thru some really nice green lush fields and treed cliffs, which lull you as it climbs up over 9,000 feet.  This goes on for many miles until you reach the intersection of 145.  This is where you turn back East toward Telluride.  The bridge over the little river was narrow, and a flat bed semi with a wide load sign had most of the lane.  He was stopped and I crept by.  From there, it is up hill along the mountain wall.  Headed into town, you are along the outside drop off.  Sometimes there are guard rails, but as you approach the airport, it is several thousand feet down, on your outside side!  The motorhome is as wide as the road, so your attention is on high alert. 

You turn South and climb the South wall of the box canyon where Telluride is located, with a hard switchback on the outside mountain wall.  Just beyond that switchback is the turn in for the mountain top village.  This is the top of the ski lifts above town.

With the Phish concert completed these roads were jammed with younger folks cars like Scions, and of course the thousands of Jeeps.  They were all going the other way as I approached town, but once I turned South, I was in the traffic.

From Telluride South, you climb up, up over Lizard Head Pass.  It winds around and ascends slowly.  But then at the last minute you climb up over 10,200.  Lizard is the mountain on the West.  Its over 13K.  By now it was totally overcast and raining quite hard.  Temperatures had dropped to the mid 50s.  It felt like it was November outside.

We wound thru the forest, but the roads were never alarmingly scary like the Million Dollar Highway.  I drove around 50 for most of the trip down. I had bunches of cars following me that wanted around.  Perhaps my slower speed  made their trip just a tad safer!  The cliffs are blood red with rocks to match, and in the rain most of that mud was on us.

At 1 PM we rolled into Cortez and found highway 160.  The sun came out and you would have never known it was raining. Unless you looked at our muddy motorhome!  That’s when we pulled into the Safeway parking lot and fired up the laptop deciding on the KOA.  It was $36 with the discount card.

We are here in the four corners, where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico come together to spend a day in the Mesa Verde National Park.   And before you say it, we know that only one day is not nearly enough, but we are beginning to run up against the time limit before we need to return to KC. 

Tonight, the wind and all that heavy rain has built up here over Cortez, and the lightening has tripped the surge protector. Stopped the computer dead in its tracks, as I had the battery out.  But that is precisely why we bought the protector, and everything came back on and worked!!

Tonight the Southwestern winds are with us, making the awnings over the slide outs flap and flop.  Even though we are still at 6200 feet, it is much more desert like here and reminds us that Arizona is just over those hills beyond the Sleeping Ute Mountain.  Arizona seems like home, after spending the last two winters there!

Retired Rod


  1. You sure have courage to do that drive in the motorhome! I would have been petrified! I have a terrible fear of height.

  2. I don't like driving on narrow roads with steep drop-offs either. I may have to re-think how I want to drive through Colorado.

  3. Glad to see you made it through those mountain roads safely! Paulette and I stayed at the KOA in Cortez on our way back home. From what I remember, I think it had some pretty nice scenery out behind the campground!


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