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Grand Canyon Adventure in the RV

Driving Route 66 is a big tourist attraction and Tucumcari, New Mexico celebrated their location with several murals displayed throughout the town.
Canyon Street in Santa Fe, New Mexico was a delight. Artists and art shops filled a mile long stretch.   Our RV park was called Santa Fe Skies, and with views like this from our site, we could see why.
We never got tired of the great Southwestern architecture with hidden courtyards, adobe walls and niches.   In Taos, New Mexico we saw Kit Carson's home.
At the Coronado Historic Site in Bernalillo, NM; cactus bloomed near the ruins of adobe buildings.   Our guide gave us the chance to climb down into a kiva to see the wall art and feel the cool temperatures underground.
The Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque, NM was a lot of fun. We especially enjoyed "flying" our own balloon with the flight simulator.   Outside of Albuquerque, the Petroglyph National Monument covered miles of desert and volcanic rock ridges.
We hiked a 1 1/2 mile trail into the canyon to see symbols carved into rock by the Pueblo Indians 400-700 years ago.   These hand carvings looked like modern art designs. The meaning is unknown.
The Painted Desert near Holbrook, Arizona was a beautiful expanse of bright colors. It is part of the Petrified Forest National Park. Although we saw some petrified wood, we were disappointed to hear that much of it has been taken away by "souvenir hunters" and professionals looking for gem stones contained in the wood.
Sweeping views of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

We enjoyed beautiful weather - high in the low 90s, lows in the 50s with no humidity.
Plus the park was full of elk that came to graze right in front of our RV.

We knew we were in Indian country when we went into the Bashas Market in Kayenta, Arizona and the grocery departments were labeled in the Navajo language.   We had no idea the Navajo burger served on fry bread at Amigos, was enough to feed two! The chimichanga and all the fixings was also delicious.
Monument Valley, Utah has been the set for tons of movies.   Paul and our Navajo guide entered a cave being used right now as the set for the movie "Valley of the Gods."
Unfortunately, our 4 wheel drive tour jeep got stuck up to its axles in the sandy soil.
After our guide dug for a while, Paul & others helped push him free.
At Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado we took a Ranger guided tour to see the Cliff Palace, a dwelling built c.1200. It was housing for up to 150 people. We were surprised to learn that men only lived to about 35 yrs. old and 50% of the women died in childbirth making 28 their average life span.
We started on top of the ridge and had to descend 10 stories (100 ft.) on uneven stone steps.   The problem really came when we had to climb back up using 4 log ladders and narrow steps carved into the rock wall.
Arches National Park in Moab, Utah had great hiking trails to lots of natural arches.
Nearby Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park overlooked the meandering Colorado River.
The Grand Wash Trail in Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, Utah was almost scary to be in. We were dwarfed under towering stone walls.   Wow! Bryce Canyon National Park with all of the hoodoos was an unexpected delight to see from the rim.
But when we took a Ranger Guided hike through the "Wall Street" section of the park, we realized how fragile and dangerous the rock formations really were.   At dusk, we happened to see a mother Pronghorn with her new triplets bedding down for the night.
We pulled over to contemplate whether or not to attempt going through the highway tunnel leaving Bryce Canyon; but finally saw another RV go through and went for it. Whew!
The Pa'rus was great hiking trail in Zion National Park that ran along the Virgin River.   Way up on the canyon rim, we saw a bighorn sheep.
Our RV site at Kaibab Camper RV Village in Jacob Lake, AZ was really nice with lots of shade.   A Kaibab squirrel played near us. We learned that they only live in this area of the USA. Their white feathery tail is used as camouflage during the snowy winter months, since they do not hibernate.
As we entered the Grand Canyon National Park on the North Rim, we were greeted by a herd of buffalo that walked back and forth across the road holding up traffic.   The red and green colors in the canyon were so vivid. And we enjoyed clear views in spite of the recent wild fire.
We hiked along the rim out to beautiful Bright Angel Point which went out over Angels Window (a natural rock opening).
The Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona holds back Lake Powell and releases water to feed the Colorado River all the way to the Sea of Cortez. Enough concrete was used in its construction to build a 4 lane highway from Phoenix to Chicago.   We spent a fun morning in the desert riding a 4 wheel drive vehicle out to see Antelope Slot Canyon.
The warm colors swirled everywhere as light crept into the narrow passageway.   We felt like Scotty might "beam us up" when we saw the heavy ray of sun pour in.