We were back on the road again after leaving the Pagosa Springs area to head over to Mancos, Colorado for a few nights. Taking advantage of an RVillage discount of 33% we opted to stay three nights there. What a peaceful place to spend a few days as this park is relatively new. While there isn’t a lot of grass between sites yet, the owners seem to be trying to make this is a great spot and a very nice park!
One thing we did while in Mancos was take a long loop drive up into the mountains. We drove up to Delores CO and then headed into the mountains on Colorado CR 38 just south of Stoner CO. Yes, Stoner… how appropriate for this state!
The road was paved for a good ways and we passed a couple of nice (no hookup) forest service campgrounds along the way. The road eventually became a dirt road and although it was quite rough in places our low clearance four wheel drive Honda CRV had no trouble making it back to the pavement on highway 160.
The scenery was really spectacular with the golden yellows of the Aspens hinting at what a display this road will offer in several weeks. Too bad we are early as I would love to do this drive again in full autumn color.
One unexpected and quite surprising encounter happened to us when we were visiting the brewery in Mancos, Colorado. Sharon and I were sitting at the bar when Sharon saw someone and said to me “Isn’t that Nikki?” I looked and wasn’t sure but then I said “It must be because that is Jason!” Who would have guessed we would meet bloggers Nikki and Jason of Gone With the Wynns. They started out on the road about the same time we did but are now sailing the south pacific. Why were they in Mancos? Visiting family, what a small world…
We also took a day trip over to Mesa Verde National Park. It is only about 10 minutes to the entrance from Mancos but as those who have been here before know, it is still a 45 minute drive to any of the better sights in the park.
Mesa Verde National Park is a wonderful stop. The number of historic structures which can be seen is incredible. We have visited before but didn’t really have time to do any of the trails. This time around we made sure to so some of them.
One trail we did was the Soda Canyon Overlook Trail which is a 1.2 mile mostly flat out and back trail. It was not near as cool as the Petroglyph Point Trail but this one offered a few vistas into Soda Canyon and also great views of Balcony House on the other side of the canyon. There were some scopes set up at the overlooks where we could easily see the ladders used by the tours to get up into the ruins.
Another trail we took was Step House Trail. This is just a short 0.8 mile loop trail but it allowed us the opportunity to walk amongst the Step House ruins. Sharon is a bit afraid of heights so this was the best option to get up close and personal to one of the ruins. There was a ranger down at the Step House to answer questions about the ruins. While there it rained a little and we could see why this site was chosen as the large overhang shielded us completely from the rain.
The first hike we did was the Petroglyph Point Trail but I will talk about it in the next blog… We had a great time hiking in Mesa Verde NP but it is now time to move on…
NOTE: We are leaving Towaoc CO in the morning and moving on to Bluff Utah for a few days of exploring…