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3 Flags - Day 10

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Start Location: Durango, CO
Ending Location: Socorro, NM
Miles Today: 292
Trip Miles: 2745
States Visited: 7
National Parks/Monuments: 8
Low Temp: 54 degrees
High Temp: 81 degrees
Min Elevation: 4570'
Max Elevation: 7344'

Route Map:

It looks like we dodged the bullet again today. We had cloud cover and overcast skies most of the day and there was obviously rain all over New Mexico, but we only got rain twice and neither time did we get enough to stop or casue us to put on rain gear. Although the scenery on the ride through New Mexico this morning was nice, we have been completely spoiled. After spending time in Utah, most other places pale in comparison.

We spotted our 'duh' sign of the day in New Mexico also - and there were lots of them. Just in case you didn't know that while you were coming up one side of a hill, you couldn't see the other side.

While looking for a place for lunch, we spotted and stopped at the Coronado State Monument. It's basically the ruins on a Pueblo Village that existed from about 1300 to 1550 when the explorer Coronado arrived. The reason that this was particularly interesting to us was that it tied into our visit to Mesa Verde yesterday. The Pueblo people who moved into the cliff dwellings from the Mesa tops in 1200, began to leave in around 1280 and migrated to Arizona and Mexico where they built villages like the one we visited today. No one is completely sure why they left the cliff dwellings but there is evidence of a drought that lasted 20 or 30 years which started in around 1280 and it is speculated that the people began migrating in search of a better water supply. The Hopi's and the Zuni's are direct descendants of these early Pueblo people.

Many of the ruins are actual restorations so it was not as impressive as the cliff dwellings which are, for the most part, completely unrestored. There were lots of informational signs and we even found lots more of our little friends. We also found evidence of some other wildlife that Linda wasn't quite as interested in. We actually saw a snake cross the sidewalk just a few feet in front us - Linda was sure it wasn't a rattlesnake.

After the museum we continued to head south and eventually stopped in Socorro, New Mexico where we have stopped for the night. Tomorrow we head for Las Cruces.