The frigid bite of approaching winter didn’t stop our Mesa Verde adventure, though we sure ran through in a hurry before we continued our southbound migration with another quick stop at Natural Bridges.
Wrapped in layers, we played like stereotypical tourists. We parked the car as close as we could and chased by painfully cold wind, we hurried for a glimpse of each site along the park road.
Rangers were scarce in the slow season, and they closed off the deeper trails off, but it was still an honor to see as much as we did.
Only one or two other couples braved the cold. We all played leap-frog from parking lot to parking lot and along the short trails.
Hot toddy time!
Where We Stayed
At Ute Mtn Casino RV Park, the Verizon is terrible, there is no antenna TV, unsecured and extremely weak park wi-fi. Also, they honored Passport America (PA) for only one day. We should have just stayed at the PA park in Cortez for about a dollar more for the two days. The drive to Mesa Verde took about 20 minutes.
The Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah was a great, quiet Harvest Host location. Parking was on level pavement, and both antenna TV and Verizon worked just fine. The museum was closed for winter, but we received permission to stay via contact information shared via our Harvest Host membership. We arrived by noon, unhooked the towed and drove over to explore Natural Bridges and see Bears Ears. We enjoyed ourselves, but due to time wasted on a risky dirt-road adventure to see the ears, we didn’t have time before dusk to stop at the ruins on the way back. Just so you know, that dirt road has some rough patches that require high clearance.
Mancos Brewery was warmly inviting after that blustery blast through the past. Their porter and extra dizzy Blonde IPA were quenching, the hot pretzels were excellent, and the vegan enchilada and unique house-made slaw were fabulous. We thoroughly enjoyed every sip and morsel for about $22 plus tip. The woman who served us was fantastic and attentive. Helpful hint: for pretzel and spicy mustard lovers like us, ask for horseradish, sriracha or something to kick that plain yellow up a notch.
The brewery was also a Harvest Host at the time, but we didn’t want to drive our low slung diesel pusher into their lot. It looks to be under construction, so maybe they will have it all leveled out soon.
Roads we Traveled
As you can see from the points of interest on our Oregon Southward planning map, below, we left Utah for New Mexico and then left Highway 40 and Route 66 to cut a diagonal path south and east on Highway 60 toward San Antonio, Texas. Highway 60 was good at first, newly paved, but the two-lane highway soon degraded a bit and narrowed about 45 miles west of Vaughn, New Mexico. Still, we managed just fine and enjoyed some new adventures. Well, one adventure involved a flat tire…next post!
Here is the dash cam we use in both the RV and the towed. We bought it on Amazon. It’s the SpyTec Dash Cam. We are about to buy another one for side views, especially after a near miss on this trip south and east into the heart of Texas. Stay tuned! See more of our faves here!