May 28, 2011

We're Baaaaaack!!!

Well, hello, friends!  Did you miss us!  We just got home from a fabulous week of camping in Moab and Mesa Verde!  I can't imagine a better family trip!  Joe's mom flew in for the trip and we had a ball.  She's a super Grandma for hiking along cliff edges and up mountains with grand kids in hand and climbing the ladders up and down into the Anasazi cliff ruins!  I had no idea she was so darn tough!

I sat down to upload the photos and thought What's the best way to do this?  Who wants to see these?  And a couple of groups/people came to mind.  My family is going to want to see the pictures with the kids.  No question.  I want my dad to see the pictures of the landscape because it's the only way he'll realize that he and his wife have seriously got to see these parks!  And then there's the rest of you.  Dear friends and loved ones from afar.  What would you want to see?  Honestly, I couldn't decide.  So here's what I did.  Today I'm sharing a video with the landscape and wildlife photos.  Tomorrow I'll do people pictures.  I put them in a video because a) they are harder to steal that way and b) it won't use up as much of my blog storage to share a ton of them.  They go by kind of fast, but you can always pause the video if you see something you like.  Like Shirine, who will no doubt pause on all of the Haven pictures!  LOL!

The phrase that returned to my mind over and over as we hiked and climbed through this desert terrain was the persistence of life.  I'm sure I heard that phrase somewhere along the line in my studies, although who first said it or what they were referring to when they did now escapes me.  But as we hiked through what seemed to me to be a very inhospitable area I expected to see nothing but rock and sand.  Instead, the area was filled with plant life, animal life, and early humans who had no access to modern comforts but made a go of life there all the same.  It was amazing to see all the different colors of flowers, trees clinging to rocks, puddles teeming with bugs and fish, with frogs and tadpoles.  Somehow, in this hot, dry place, life can't be held back.  It was simply awe inspiring.

Hunter made me promise to take a picture of every animal, and with the exception of the coyote we saw (he was too fast for me to get a good focus on) I did.  Our campground was full of rabbits!  Every time I opened the tent, there would be a rabbit sitting there looking at me!  Hunter called them all HIS bunnies!

And oh, boy!  Lizards everywhere!  I was so nervous about a lizard getting into our tent.  Especially the nights we were in the tee-pee because the walls of the tee-pee didn't go clear to the ground.  There was a lizard sized gap all around the edge.  But none came in (at least that I know of) so we were all still enjoying the lizards at the end of the trip.  Had one gotten into my sleeping bag, I would no longer be smiling about lizards.

The horses in the pictures are wild horses!  Can you believe it?  I never thought I'd see a wild horse.  And I assumed that if I did, they'd be running in herds and it would be over in a split second, but these horses didn't much seem to mind us looking at them and milled around as if we weren't even there.  And there was a foal with it's mom.  So sweet!  Here's a little more of them...

Last but certainly not least we saw prairie dogs!  We were eating breakfast at a Mc Donald's before heading into the canyons and saw one under the big sign.  We watched it forever from the playground and thought it was the cutest thing ever.  Then what do you know?  There was one in our campsite.  That fat little guy in our campsite let me get the most adorable pictures of him!  Too cute for words!

The first half of the pictures with the red rocks were taken mostly in Arches National Park and the surrounding areas in Moab.  That was the best hiking I've ever done!  The hike to delicate arch was amazing!  Totally doable, but enough to make us feel like we had totally accomplished something by completing it.

The second half are from the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians and the surrounding areas in Mesa Verde and Cortez, CO.  They were simply amazing to walk through!  We spent the week researching the Ansazi before we left for our trip, and everything we learned about them was different from what the park people taught.  I was beginning to think we had learned about the wrong people until our guide through Cliff Palace mentioned that she subscribes to the theories of a rogue archeologist whose theories differ more than a little from the ones throughout the museums and exhibits in the park.  Pfew!  That made me feel a little better.  I'm not sure whose theories I like more (not that what I like has any bearing on what actually happened) but it was interesting to see how differently scientists pieced things together.

Hope you like the pics!  If you've never been to these national parks you really should plan a trip. I just can't imagine a more spectacular domestic road trip!  We've been blessed to live in so many beautiful places and everywhere we go, I just think we've hit the jack pot in the natural beauty department.  Then all of the sudden there's something just as gorgeous before me!

I'll be back tomorrow with the people pictures!

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