Sunday, March 30, 2008

Four Corners - Four Days - Spring Break Trip

Wahatoya Peaks - Named by the Ute indians - Meaning "Breasts of the Earth". Now called Spanish Peaks. Just west of Walsenberg.

When our granddaughter, Jordyn was twelve years old she announced that she'd like to see the Four Corners on her spring break. She wanted us to take her in our MoHo and it sounded like fun to us.

Now Dakotah (granddaughter number 2) said it was "her turn". We left home Wednesday morning for a 900 mile fun-filled excursion. If someone says "go", Sandie and I are both grabbing for our hats.

Dakotah on the left with her friend Bree.

First stop at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Hiking up to the tallest dune (750 foot climb). That's Sandie, Dakotah, and Bree.

Looking north on the way up to the high dune.

"On Top"! The wind was blasting but we loved being up there.

We took a couple of plastic sleds but the sand was very soft and the sleds barely moved.

When we went with Jordyn, we used cardboard and the speeds were very scary.

Dakotah rolls a dune!

Our campsite cost $7 (half price with the "Old Timers" Golden Age Passport).

Leaving our campsite we spotted these Mule deer and a bunch more on the other side of the road.

We loved the views all four days.

Next up was a stop at Pagosa Springs to soak in the hot springs.

The complex has a bunch of soaking pools, each a different temperature ranging from 93 to 108 degrees fahrenheit.

It was so nice that I was able to take a nice nap laying on the rocks after my first session.

That's snow on the ground but laying around the pools in the sun was warm and comfortable.

Mineral deposits from a lot of years accumulation.

Some of the pools, the river, and town.


Dakotah does her "traditional" backbend on the four corners.

I did one as well but it was so pathetic I can't show it.

Bree does a nice one as well.

If you're anywhere near the Four Corners you must get your ticket punched for eating a Navajo Taco.

Watahe! Hello in Navajo. I tried using "Mike" on the Taco cooker but didn't realize the new word I'd just learned thirty miles away was Ute for hello. Oh well! There weren't any fights or anything.

Oh boy! Mesa Verde! I never get tired of visiting here.

Four stories of fascination!

Cliff House Ruin - Biggest in the park.

One of my favorite camping sites (Walmart). This one is in Durango.

We stopped at the city park by the river on our way into town and grilled some chicken, then staked out our campsite.

Treasure Falls on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass.

Looking west from Treasure Falls.

We were back home by 6 PM on Saturday night.

P.S. My MoHo has the Ford 6.0 Powerstroke diesel engine. I bought it mostly for the turbo-charged diesel power but it probably gets around 20% better mileage than a gas motor would?

Now that diesel fuel is running close to $4 per gallon and the MoHo gets 10 MPG, a lot of people gasp when they hear about making a 900 mile trip in four days. But,,,,,,,,,, do the math.

$400 in diesel fuel includes sleeping, eating your own food, and lot's of fun.

Or, if we had taken my van.

$200 in gas in my van + motels ($225) + restaurants ($240) = $665.

Of course you don't figure the depreciation, up front $ layout, Etc. since I decided a long time ago that I love the MoHo lifestyle and had to have one. I use this same logic on Sandie when she mentions all my motorcycles, tractor, kayak, musical instruments, boat, Etc.



Monday, March 24, 2008

Copper Canyon Exploration - March 2008

Five canyons with a combined volume four times the Grand Canyon. And deeper; 8,000 feet elevation on the plateau and 1,700 feet at the bottom. One of the top ten train rides of the world runs through it.

Hanging out for a coffee break in Palomas while waiting four hours at the border to get our vehicle permits.

Dan, Tom, Keith and I are heading for the Copper Canyon to scout out some new routes.

Loading up our bikes at the Plaza in Creel. We were trying out some new saddlebag setups and wanted to do some riding near Creel to check them out.

Our mission:

Visit Creel, Uruachi, Urique, Batopilas, and back to Creel - Ride 600 miles of dirt - Cross some rivers - Have some fun.

This Tarahumara cave dwelling is only about a mile away from the center of Creel.

It's quite common to see the Tarahumaras using cave overhangs like this for living quarters.

Typical Tarahumara log cabins.

San Ignacio Mission in the Park with the cave dwellings, Valley of the Mushroom rocks, Valley of the Monks rocks, and Lake Arareko.

Camping is available and hiking/ mountain biking on the trails is fantastic.

We stopped to take Pics of the "Monks" rock formations and we asked this woman if we could take a few Pics of her "washing machine".

Lake Arareko

Cusarare Falls - Tom and Dan

We left our dirtbikes at a hotel by the highway and hiked 1-1/2 miles.

Recohauta Hot Springs - I've been wanting to visit here for a long time.

The road down to here was "spooky".

The "overlook" at Divisadero".

This would be an excellent choice for a place to stay if your budget can handle it.

The main entrance at Divisadero.

Crossing the Oteros on the way to Uruachi.

Tom shows how it's done.

Our hotel in Uruachi.

Keith and Dan have some fun crossing the Chinipas River.

Our hotel in Chinipas.

This building provided offices and housing during the big mining days a hundred years ago.


One of the two locomotives shipped in pieces and re-assembled for hauling the ore out of the mountains.

Gas from barrels in Chinipas.

Riding the old railbed.


Cerocahui Mission near the Copper Canyon Train tracks.

A wood fire to heat the hot water.

Novel and fun!

Parking in the courtyard of our hotel in Urique.

The cemetery at this old mission in Tubares looked very old.

Riverside Lodge in Batopilas. Owned by Skip McWilliams from Michigan.

It's a palace inside.

Only three or four groups per year stay here.

The Plaza in Batopilas.

A great place to chill.

Hotel Juanita in Batopilas.

We parked our bikes in the courtyard.

Store on the "little" plaza in Batopilas.

The owner has some great frozen bananas and frozen juice treats in the freezer.

You may be able to buy a few beers to take to your restaurant since Batopilas is a "Dry" town and only a few restaurants are allowed to sell beer.

I love this store.

Still the same as when it was built over 100 years ago.

Wild West town!

Ruins of the big silver processing operation "Hacienda", built by Alexander Shepherd a hundred years ago with financing from Washington D.C. backers.

Everything was brought in by burro train then. There was no road to Batopilas at that time.

Ice and water supply store from the mining days.

Climbing out of Batopilas Canyon.

We relaxed one day in Batopilas and hiked around while it drizzled rain all day (and all night).

We climbed out on the dirtbikes and when we hit around 6,000 feet altitude, we hit this snow and had a lot of good times riding in the mud/ snow.

We dropped Tom off in Deming, NM and he headed back to Tempe.

Keith, Dan, and I stopped in Santa Fe for some luxury hoteling. Nice!

It was a fantastic trip!