May 9-19 The photos will show better if you go to the blog using the blue link in the email.
This trip followed quite a few of the scenic byways along the Colorado border on the way north and then again in Utah on the trip back south. The first day we traveled from Phoenix to Cortez, CO. The day was very windy and I only stopped for one photo near Shiprock, NM.
The next day we traveled north on the western part of the San Juan Scenic Byway (Rt 145) which includes Telluride (although we did not go into the town). The only stop we made along this highway was at Trout Lake south of Telluride. I recognized it as a stop I had made years ago on a foliage trip. Since we were early in the spring many places still had snow and in some places and the aspens and other trees were not leafed out.
We continued north on the Unaweep-Tebeguache Scenic Byway (I never did pronounce that one – Rt 145 and 141). We ended up in Grand Junction, which has the Colorado National Monument nearby with a 25 miles scenic road on a high mountain ridge line.
The following day we took a leisurely drive up onto Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. Grand Mesa is the largest, flat-topped mountain in the world, spanning 500 square miles and rising between 5,000 feet and 11,237 feet of elevation. The top of the Grand Mesa is a layer of basalt poured by lava approximately 10 million years ago which has protected the mesa from the erosion suffered by surrounding sedimentary rocks.
As we drove higher and higher all of a sudden we began to see snow banks by the side of the road and in the trees. The ponds and lakes wet still mostly frozen – what a surprise!
On the south side of the Grand Mesa we stopped for lunch in Cedaredge and the Pioneer Town Museum was across the street, but was not open for visitors.
In the town of Delta, I came across a classic car dealer with many old cars displayed.
The next day we continued north on the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway (Rt 139) toward Dinosaur National Monument, one of the world’s riches known dinosaur fossil beds. The main visitor center has a large quarry where the bones are half exposed, but left in place. There are over a thousand bones still embedded. We visited this site in 1967 and they were still working on exposing the bones at that time and apparently this is the second building over the site. Many complete skeletons have ben excavated from this area and are exhibited in many museums. The remains are from the Jurassic Period 150 million years ago. The dead dinosaurs from a drought were buried when a flood covered the remains of over 500 dinosaurs representing 10 species.
Please go to the blog to see that las few photos.
From the visitor center we continued on Club Creek Road to the site of the Josie Morris Cabin, pioneer woman homesteader. I was surprised to see the flowering lilac bushes that have survived all these years which are not native to this area.
On the road to the cabin there were some interesting rock formations.