How am I doing?

No photo.

Tonight officially marks 8 weeks on the road.  20,708 miles and counting.

This means it has also been 8 weeks since starting this blog.  Those of you who have been part of it since the beginning know that I have starting making MANY more posts each night than I did when I started, as well as including many more photos per post (I’ve had to pay to upgrade the site twice, to allow for more storage space).

What do you think?  Too many posts?  Too many pictures per post?  Too much commentary?  Too many repetitive pictures (mountains, animals, etc)?  Too much showing off with the zoom lens?

I’m not just fishing for compliments, although many of you have said nice things (which I do appreciate).  Please spill your guts and tell me your thoughts.  I want the bad as well as the good.

You may comment publicly (which everyone will see) if you click “Comments” to the left of this, or any current post (I believe comments are open for 14 days).  If you’d prefer to keep your comments between you and me, click “Contact” at the upper right corner of the welcome screen when you first open the blog.

On many computers you can make the pictures I post full-screen by left-clicking on them, and you can save any of the pictures I post to your own computer by right-clicking on them.  You can copy that file to a flash drive and have actual photos printed (in the size of your choice) at any Target, Walmart or Walgreens near you.

If you are tired of getting multiple e-mails in the middle of the night as I post, you may remove your name from the followers list and just review the site online at your convenience.  Recent posts always appear first, so just scroll down until you see something you’ve already looked at.

Looking at my list of followers, I only know about half of them.  I’m trying to spread the word and share the blog with more and more people.  Please help me make and keep this an enjoyable venture.

THANK YOU!

Various: Monticello to Joseph

Shortly after leaving Monticello I came to the Recapture Reservoir.  (It just occurred to me that I entered today’s posts backwards.  Sorry about that.  Once you read the next few posts this will make sense.)

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The guy in the orange and yellow Safety Sam outfit works for the highway department.  Hey buddy, the highway’s up here…..

Maybe he had to take care of some “business”….

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Further south, I came to the little town of Blanding, Utah.  I stopped in the visitor center to pick up some maps and brochures (in addition to the ones Wanda had given me).  I had a nice conversation with the gentleman working there who asked me to be sure and mention that Blanding is right next to Bears Ears National Monument, the newest US Park Service facility established by President Obama.  I’ll be seeing many parts of this new area later this week.

While in the Visitor Center I saw these colorful quilts, hanging from the upstairs balcony.

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At Blanding I turned right and started heading west towards Joseph.  I came to a one-lane construction zone, which has been an almost daily occurrence during this trip.  While in line waiting my turn to proceed I asked the young lady controlling the Stop/Slow paddle if it was OK to take her picture for the blog.

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About a mile past the end of this construction zone was another one, this time controlled by an automated sentry.  I was going to get out of the car and try to obtain consent for a photo but got the green light and took that as a yes.

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Monticello, Utah

Today I drove from where I had been staying in Durango, Colorado over to Joseph, Utah, where I’ll be spending the next 5 nights.  Originally I had planned to get to Joseph via Arches National Park but I decided en route that I’d be smarter to head directly towards Joseph rather than venturing further north.  This will give me more time to actually be in the Park once I get there.  So when I reached the town of Monticello, Utah shortly after getting in to the state, I turned left rather than right.

As I was driving towards town I saw 24 wind turbines lazily spinning in the distance.  Once I got to town I positioned myself to get a video of some of them which had been spinning in sync (I’m still working on converting my .mp4 videos to a format which WordPress will allow me to post on the blog).  While driving around to find the right spot I saw this house with some very nice flower beds out front.

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Just up the street was this LDS Temple.  I’m in Utah now, and this is Mormon country.  You’ll probably be seeing more LDS (Latter Day Saints) temples when I head upstate towards Salt Lake City early next week.

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Once I got back to the main road I saw a building housing this huge tractor.

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This is the “Big 4” tractor and it is huge.

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The green motor is located between the rear wheels.

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And to illustrate just how tall this tractor is, I took this photo with the camera lens at the same height as my eye level (and I’m 5′ 11″ tall).

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After viewing the tractor I went next door to the Southeast Utah Welcome Center, which is where I met Kayla and Wanda.

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I spent quite a while talking with them about my trip.  They both gave me excellent suggestions of additional things to do while in the area, and they convinced me that this is yet another place where I’ll need to spend more time in the future. And I’ll need to bring my golf clubs as there is a really nice golf course not far away.

As I was leaving town I passed this Catholic Church.  In all my travels around the country, houses of worship are often the most beautiful buildings I see.

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What can brown do for you?

Borrowing the former tagline from UPS commercials for this post, I spotted this formation up the road from where I had taken photos of some young folks getting ready to kayak on the Dolores River the other day.  And as I positioned myself to get photos of it from various angles I saw some other interesting formations, as well as a glimpse of the river itself.

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Get ready to see a lot more brown in the coming days, folks.  I’m in Utah now, and much of what you’ll be seeing will be various shades of brown rock.  Believe me, I don’t think you’ll get tired of it.

Various: Durango to Cortez

I’ve started this post twice and FINALLY get to finish it!  I added to it today on my way west out of Colorado towards Utah.

Shortly after leaving Durango to drive west to Mesa Verde National Park I noticed this on the side of a mountain to my left.  To me it looks like a man’s profile looking out to the right.

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I just thought it looked cool.  When I lived in Pennsylvania there was a large rock formation on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River where Interstate 80 crossed the river from Pennsylvania.  It is called Indian Head Mountain.  It is considerably larger and more detailed, but is probably what made me spot this curious formation.

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Right before getting to Mesa Verde I saw this site just off my side of the road.  At first I thought it was some kind of weird tourist trap.

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It is actually an abandoned gas station, one of probably thousands across the United States.  Obviously the environmentally-conscious Coloradans aren’t too happy about it.

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This range of mountains was off to my left (south) as I approached Cortez.

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As I was getting in to Cortez I stopped this overlook.

NOW THEY TELL ME

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The local tourism bureau’s tagline is a lesson I have been learning over the past few days.  I need to spend more time here, so I’ll be coming back in a few weeks.

The overlook actually provides a view of the McElmo Creek Flume No. 6.  It is the last remaining flume of 104 which used to be found in this area (primarily in Montezuma County).  Flumes were built to carry water away from the Dolores River to irrigate fields of crops.  This area is in the High Desert and only gets around 11 inches of rain per year (and much of that is from snow) so the Native American Indians and other locals determined that they had to make use of the river water which flowed through here from upstate.

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