We drove to the Chaplin Mesa Museum and ate our lunch in a very nice and quiet day-use area. The museum and film was nice. We also walked over to the Step House overlook. After that we stopped at several other ruins or overlooks to see the ruins.
The two tours were the coolest parts of the day. It was an opportunity to walk through 8-900 year old structures that were build without any metal tools. It is amazing that they have lasted this long. It was the protection of the canyon walls and the overhanging alcove that protected these small cities from the weather. Most of the dwellings on top of the mesa have collapsed and been covered by dirt and sand.
We drove the 25 miles back to the campground and we both took showers at the campground village. We ate Teriyaki Chicken Rice bowls for dinner then relaxed around camp.
We slept in a little longer this morning because our tour of Long House on Weatherill Mesa was not until 2:00 pm. It was a mile walk to the trailhead and then about 1/2 miles down the canyon and back. This was another large site with 150 rooms and about 100 people lived there. There was a large area that they called the dance floor, and then a lot of rooms and storage behind, under the alcove. After the tour Eva and I hurried back on the trail. We wanted to take a shower and then leave the park and get to our next campsite before dark.
We got a quick shower and then headed down from the mesa to the valley. We stopped in Cortez to get some gas and we stopped at Burger King for dinner and some WIFI time to find a campsite on Google Maps. I found a site on the San Juan River, just off the highway. It was right on the border of Arizona and New Mexico. It was only a few miles from the Four Cornerís monument.
My first choice for camping along the river was gated off, so we went on the other side of the highway. There was a dirt road with a sign that said ďCampingĒ. It was 1/2 mile down a dirt/sand road. It was dark by the time we got there and I had to use the off-road lights to find a place to park. We camped on a rock bluff, right above the river, but it was too dark to see much. We have had a full moon every night, but it was overcast tonight. We raised the top of the campervan and since it was a really warm night, so we opened all the windows in the top. We talked and looked out the windows. That is one thing I really like about our camper-top, the huge windows. Throughout the night we heard coyotes howling in the desert.
This morning we ate yogurt and fruit for breakfast and got back on the road. We drove to the Four Cornerís Monument. We were there early and able to take pictures without others in the way. This monument was build by the BLM, but is ran by the Navajo nation. There is not much there. Just the monument, and it is surrounded by booths were the Native Americans sell art and other things. Since we were early, they were just setting up the booths, so we did not look around. We only spent 1/2 hour there and then we backtracked back to Colorado and the highway to Bluff Utah.
At Bluff we toured the old Bluff Fort. This the location where the Hole in the Rock pioneers settled around 1880, after their 5 month journey from Escalante. This is the group that create the hole in the rock route from the Escalante bench down to the Colorado River and back up. The fort was pretty interesting, although most of it has been rebuilt. There was one cabin and one wagon that was original. It was very interesting if you like that kind of stuff.
One more . . .