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.


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.


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.


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.







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




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



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.