Mesa Verde National Park

We did a little drive over to Mesa Verde National Park today after breakfast. It’s an easy drive, but havent been there since over a year ago, so it was fun to revisit some of the ruins. Especially before summer when it is very hot and slammed with touristas. Here are a few shots I took. Tha Ancient Pueblans occupied these Mesas and the valley to the north, now the location of the towns of Cortez and Mancos. They migrated to the Rio Grande Valley around a thousand years ago apparentlydue to a prolonged drought, not unlike what we are now experiencing.

La Plata Mountains by Durango are in the far background.
North Mountains by Telluride. The Wilsons (14,000 ft. plus) are center.
From a fire some years ago.
Square Tower House.

More of Square Tower. We were probably 100 ft. or more above the ruin.
Cliff Palace from across the valley.
A different view of Cliff Palace.

The Awakening of Russell Henderson

This week’s installment of Russell and Hannas’ adventures. Read the whole book by going to

I continued on into a canyon along the Salmon River towards the town of Challis, then Stanley, seeing rafters on the river along the way. The Sawtooth Mountains appeared to west, living up to their name, rough and craggy looking. They looked like I felt: rough, craggy, dark, foreboding, lonely, empty, and scary. 

I continued on to Stanley where Highway 75 turned south into a wide expansive valley of grass and sage that ran up the high rolling hills to the east and bordered by the Sawtooth Range on the right. I drove through Smiley Creek, by the headwaters of the Salmon River (aka. The River of No Return), up over Galena Pass, and then, downhill all the way, until I saw a National Forest Information Center and pulled in. 

I got information on campgrounds and trails in the area. I decided to stay in a Forest Service Campground north of Ketchum and found a spot for a week’s stay. The next day, desperately needing to do laundry and get groceries, I went into Ketchum seeing nothing but sports stores, bars, galleries, and restaurants. After asking a local, I found a grocery store and laundromat. I stocked what I could for a week and drove back north to the campground.

Haiku 108: Devastation

Winds have been blowing hard the last few days bringing 10% humidity and sucking away our snowpack. Here in SW Colorado we are having yet another year of below average snowpack and are in severe drought conditions. It does not bode well for a summer free of forest fires. So here's a haiku which, I think, says it all. (A footnote: I'm going back to 5-7-5 syllable haikus again rather than the free form I've been playing with for a while. I like the challenge of finding the right words.)

Winds of silent spring
bring no life but foreboding
of devastation.