Mesa Verde to the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Travel Blog

 › entry 52 of 167 › view all entries
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in Mesa Verde

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day”  Henry David Thoreau

 

We hiked in Mesa Verde on the 2 mile Knife Edge Trail which was the abandoned first road in the park.  Given the rock and landslides over the road, you understood the decision to build elsewhere.  We had a gorgeous view.  On the way back we passed only one more set of hikers and it was the very same people we’d shared the sights with the day before on the Mesa Top Loop!  We suggested that they were following us. 

 

Then we headed out to Four Corners, which costs $3 per person for entry to the monument on Navajos Indian Reservation land.

Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in Mesa Verde
  There’s a loose process for people taking pictures for each other and everyone takes turns standing on the four states.  Then we toured the Navajos wares that encircle the monument, purchasing a sand tile and necklaces.  Lia tried out an authentic slingshot and was fortunate to have good aim before I figured out what had happened.

 

It was a long, good, fast road then to the Grand Canyon and we arrived around 5:30 pm.  As our reservations were for later in the week (by the time I’d changed our itinerary, it would cost no matter when I changed it), we knew that a Saturday night in June would find full campgrounds.  Although Mather and Trailer View were indeed booked, the dry camping at Desert View was right there at our East Entrance.  It is a beautiful campground and we enjoyed the friendly Rangers.  At one Ranger’s suggestion, we hiked over to the amphitheatre (just off the campground) and got pictures of a beautiful canyon sunset.  We biked around the campground, cooked our skillet in a bag and frozen broccoli, washed out our clothes, took showers, and went to bed.

Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in Mesa Verde
  That last part is pretty typical of our day and works well for getting up early.

 

On Sunday, we got up earlier than expected because we didn’t know there was an hour time change!  We arrived after about an hour drive at 8 am to be the first at the Mather Campground window when they opened.  Although 2 sites had checked out that morning, none were 27’ sites and although it is supposedly “first-come, first-served” they told us to go have breakfast and come back later, and no they wouldn’t put us on a list.  Sounds more like, “Time it right and you might get a site!”  So we went up to the marketplace, bought Lia’s birthday cake mix and some milk, played around, dumped our tanks, loaded up on water and by the time we returned, ta-da!  A site was available for 2 nights and we took it. 

 

The campground is gorgeous and we’ve enjoyed socializing with some folks, admiring the 3 huge elk wandering around here, and biking around.

Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in Mesa Verde
  Again, the whole setup is bigger than it appears on paper.  We were biking to the South Rim and some in our group just got too tired.  So we returned to the RV. 

 

We also got propane at Camper’s World RV Park, just outside the South Entrance to the park.  They were very nice and gave us a coupon for the Imax movie across the street, which we’d planned to see.  The Imax place was mobbed for the 10:30 am movie and we really enjoyed it although it was a bit violent in the beginning with a little kid being chased by violent men who were hiding with spears, then they ransack the peaceful Anasazi Indians – really not what I expected!  Jazy and Lia were a bit disturbed after that.  We did enjoy the rafting the rapids thrilling scenes and the helicopter and glider flights where it felt like we were flying.  The new 3-D movie has not yet been released and they are showing the 1982 film still, but it was fun.  Was it $45 worth of fun?  Well, hindsight is 20/20.

Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in Mesa Verde

 

Tonight there’s a Ranger Campfire program at 7:00 pm at the Campground.  We’re taking it easy right now and I’m letting the kids play on their computers and listen to the music, which is a real treat.  They haven’t had the TV on in the 2 weeks we’ve been on the trip.  All are working on the homeschooling at a moderate pace.  Internet and cell phone connections have been few and far between.

 

I got to admire a Roadtrek in person and peek inside.  The owner said he gets 22 miles to the gallon on highway.  While it won’t sleep 5 people, I have long admired them and it was fun to chat.  We’ve found many people to be friendly and some so unfriendly that we’ve wondered if they speak English.  However, even the people who don’t speak English have at least attempted to be friendly, so we think social skills are the culprit here.

Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in Mesa Verde
  Some of these folks sure make Texans look nice!  Goodness, I worry about the dehumanizing of one another when one family passes just feet away at empty overlook and don’t even glance or respond to a “Hello.”  Sad. 

 

Still, we try to show love for others.  We offered one lady a ride when she was walking from the Mesa Verde Campground Office with papers fluttering.  We knew the nearest stop was a couple miles down the road as we had been down it previously.  I thought it sad that she offered us firewood as “payment” for kindness, which of course we refused.  I hope instead she’ll pass it on, as we are doing.

 

The kids are a little surprised at some people’s behavior, so it is a good lesson in seeing how others live.

Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in Mesa Verde- note the car going off the road!
  I cannot imagine traveling and not meeting anyone because you cannot even respond when someone offers to take your picture for you.  Wow.  We won’t let it hurt our feelings and will continue to reach out and try to help others as we can in a Christ-centered manner.

 

Anyway, we’re having a terrific time.  It’s supposed to be a high of 87 today at this elevation (7000 feet or so)- very nice.  We’ll try to get to the South Rim in the morning for a hike in the canyon. 

 

We’re really enjoying the bikes now.  We can get them unloaded and ready to ride with helmets in under 3 minutes!

 

Daddy-on-a-Stick has enjoyed the beautiful Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon, and he really enjoyed the Imax movie today!

 

The kids have been really great, I have to say.

Mather Campground elks!
  Squabbling is minimal and they are all able this summer to help dump the tanks, wash dishes, wash clothes, etc.  I still do the cooking, but they are able to help in so many ways that it is much easier than last year.  Plus, we have slipped right back into the groove of fulltime travel and really enjoy it. 

 

Here are some things that we find help in our travels:

  • Go to bed early, get up early- Early bird gets the worm and we want the worm!
  • Take a shower every night
  • Wash out most clothes every night and hang to dry by morning
  • Use the RV during the day as a place of respite- slow down and level out, use the generator as needed- really make use of the comfort factor of an RV
  • Keep meals simple with one dish meals – eat healthy dinners and veggies (most are frozen) – we don’t eat out much – a friend figured up that restaurants are 7x the price of self-prepared- we’d rather spend on admissions and activities
  • Exercise -  hiking and biking
  • Intersperse restful days with activity days
  • Drive on the top half of the tank – there are HUGE distances between gas stations in the Wild West
  • Decide as a team what to see and what to skip – we cannot see it all.
    Mather Campground elks!
      Even the adventure cyclist that we met, who said that he could see it all, had skipped Old Town Albuquerque and the Turquoise Trail.  Nobody can see it all if they expect to hit the high points.  We’re aiming for the “Best of the West” and other things will have to be another day- and we’re okay with that- this is our trip
  • Reading is big- the kids spend most of the time reading while I’m driving and we always have books with us.  The historical fiction or memoires are best for the kids and I try to find some in the area where we are traveling.
  • Computers- the kids really enjoy having their own.  I should have gotten a much smaller one.  17” is too big for constant pulling out and putting up.
  • Clothes- Surprise!  We brought more clothes than we need.  Doing our own wash quickly allows us to use much fewer clothes.
    Beautiful rock formations through the Painted Desert to the Grand Canyon
  • GPS- what a godsend!  If Sallie, our Garmin Streetpilot died, I’d be at the store within 24 hours buying another.
  • Beds- Jazy and I are leaving our beds made in the back of the RV, rather than putting them into sofas each day.  We spend most of the time in the dinette (Lia’s bed) and the cab, and lounging on the beds is allowed, so it simplifies things.

 

 

 

 

 

N_loves_T says:
Love the detail - helps me feel like I'm there!

Miss you guys :)
Posted on: Jun 17, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in …
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in…
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in …
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in…
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in …
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in…
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in …
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in…
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in …
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in…
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in …
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in…
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in …
Early walk up Knife Edge Trail in…
Mather Campground elks!
Mather Campground elks!
Mather Campground elks!
Mather Campground elks!
Beautiful rock formations through …
Beautiful rock formations through…
Four Corners (UT, CO, AZ, & NM)
Four Corners (UT, CO, AZ, & NM)
Navajo wares at the Four Corners (…
Navajo wares at the Four Corners …
Ciao Baby and a Tiffin Allegro Bus…
Ciao Baby and a Tiffin Allegro Bu…
Our famous Four Corners pic
Our famous Four Corners pic
Our famous Four Corners pic
Our famous Four Corners pic
Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners
Navajo Artist with our Four Corner…
Navajo Artist with our Four Corne…
Necklace artist with J & Ls neckl…
Necklace artist with J & L's neck…
Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners monument where people…
Four Corners monument where peopl…
Sign leaving Four Corners
Sign leaving Four Corners
Four Corners
Four Corners
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Decision time
Decision time
Beautiful rock formations -Painted…
Beautiful rock formations -Painte…
Hooray!  The Grand Canyon!
Hooray! The Grand Canyon!
East Entrance to the Grand Canyon!
East Entrance to the Grand Canyon!
East Entrance to the Grand Canyon!
East Entrance to the Grand Canyon!
Nice Ranger at East Entrance to th…
Nice Ranger at East Entrance to t…
Grand Canyon
photo by: Sunflower300