Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 16: Moab Utah to Mesa Verde National Park, Cortez, Colorado

Today was our Wedding Anniversary ! We had a big breakfast and then packed up and headed out. Since we only had a couple hours to drive we stopped at Arches for one last hike to the North and South Windows.  It was so crowded, I guess because it's Saturday. There are a a lot of French tourists here. Usually it's German or Japanese but in Moab the French are predominant.  I wouldn't have thought this was a popular French tourist destination but it is.

I will miss Arches ! I think it's one of the best, if not the best national park I've been to.

The drive to Cortez got interesting just across the Utah border. We had lightening for an hour then massive winds and driving drain. By the time we got the park, it was freezing.  We managed to get booked into 2 tours to the cliff dwellings -- Cliff Palace and Balcony House.

We quickly got setup and headed to the Metate Room for dinner. We had a great anniversary dinner - Tom had quail, elk tenderloin and boar sausage; I had chicken scallopini and we had a bottle of Two Rivers Merlot -- a winery we had toured earlier on this trip.  The girls behaved very well as this was a fairly fancy restaurant. The view was amazing - you could see for miles. Dessert was prickly pear creme brulee and a white chocolate mousse with blue berries. We were about 8000 ft up at this point -- about 1000 ft higher than our campsite.   We sat outside a bit when we got back but it was too cold - -I was wearing my wool hat !  WE saw 3 deer cross the road and later the Milky Way made its appearance.  

What a spectacular day.
After the girls went to bed, Tom and I watched half of Pretty Woman, one of my favourite movies. We drank the rest of our Two Rivers merlot, which the restaurant allowed us to cork and bring home.

Best anniversary ever !

Day 16 Stats:
Departure Time from Archview RV Park:  10:16am MT, 17,390km
Departure Time Arches NP:  12:40pm MT
Entering Colorado: 2:12pm MT, 17,826km
Arriving Mesa Verde - Morefield Campground - 4:22pm MT, 17,620km

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