Four Corners Monument

The Navaho Nation operates a number of parks including Four Corners Monument Navaho Tribal Park.

This park sits where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet. They call this a quadripoint and it’s the only place in the US where four states meet like this. It also marks the boundary between the Navaho Nation and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.

This is part tourist trap but it’s also a special place. There’s a granite medallion that marks the exact quadripoint and people line up to have their photos taken here.

On site, you’ll also find Ute and Navajo people selling food, T-shirts and handmade items including some gorgeous jewelry.

I liked it because, for once in my life, I was finally able to be in four places at one time!

This kid had a great approach.

There is an $8 per person admission fee and you are still required to wear a mask in public places on the Navaho Nation Reservation. Get current hours, admission and advisories at their website.

Trail Rooster

About an hour east of Durango, there’s a pull off for a waterfall called Treasure Falls. There’s a hiking trail that leads up the mountain and an infirmary sign that lets you know you’re in the San Juan Mountains. Otherwise, there’s not a lot here or anywhere nearby for that matter.

We weren’t on a strict schedule so we swung in to stretch our legs and have a look. We spent a lot of time in the car this trip so we valued these unscheduled stops where we could see something interesting and unexpected.

Turns out, unexpected is the key word here. I hopped out of the car and headed for the sign only to see this.

It’s a man snapping photos of a rooster.

There appeared to be no homes nearby so I don’t think the rooster had just strayed away from his yard. He was remarkably calm and friendly, following us around, probably in hopes of a snack.

Whether he was lost, dumped or a runaway, he didn’t belong here.

I will be honest with you – we met Mr Rooster on day five of this adventure and I was starting to question my sanity at this point. We had already endured a number of odd experiences and I was sure the altitude had finally gotten to my brain.

I waited for Johnna’s reaction and was somewhat relieved when she saw it too!

I still feel guilty for just leaving the poor guy alone there. I’m hoping he either makes his way home or that someone helps him find a better place to live than in the woods near a waterfall.

But the way, the rooster is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Perhaps crossing paths will bring good fortune my way!!

Flying Jewels

Hummingbirds have been active in my yard for the last few weeks and several are coming to the flower pots on my front porch.

They can beat their wings thousands of times per minute so it’s no wonder I failed to get a clear picture of this little guy before he zoomed off. While it’s not a good picture, I kind of like the sense of motion.

They were nicknamed “flying jewels” by Spanish explorers visiting the Americas for the first time. This is the best possible name I can imagine for these tiny but majestic creatures.

Hummingbirds actually prefer to get their nectar from flowers instead of feeders. If you do feed them, be sure to clean their feeders daily and never use dyes. It’s a myth that the red attracts them better. What they crave is the sweetness.

Better yet, plant some flowers and shrubs that will also feed butterflies and bees. I read once that hummingbirds can visit around a thousand flowers a day so I’m sure they will appreciate whatever contribution you can make!

They are a migratory bird so they’ll be departing soon but I’ll enjoy them while they’re still here.

Fiesta Twin Cinema

When it comes to this sign, I have but one regret.

I didn’t go back to see it lit up after dark.

The building itself isn’t anything to write home about but that sign is pretty spectacular. If you ever find yourself traveling along Main Street in downtown Cortez,Colorado be sure to at least slow down and admire the pretty colors.

Maybe the next time I’m in town I can stop for a movie instead of just a photo. For now, I’m happy for the photo.

Western Sunflowers

One of my favorite things about many western states is that you see these sunflowers growing along highways in abundance. Many regions of Colorado are dotted with these lovelies.

These two appear to be admiring each other.

They are such happy flowers. They brighten the landscape and never fail to make me smile so I couldn’t resist grabbing a picture from this parking lot at a waterfall called Treasure Falls.

Helen Keller once said “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”

Great advice.

The Snake Of Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park provided two opportunities to face fears. I told you about the first yesterday but didn’t mention that I met a snake.

In a visitors center

Loose on the floor.

Where it followed me into the ladies room.

We had freshly conquered the ladders and had stopped at the visitors center for a little souvenir shopping, restroom and cold drink. We had nearly reached the end of a window lined hallway approaching the restroom when movement caught my eye. Right next to me, there was a snake on the floor.

It had squeezed under a glass door that badly needed some weather stripping to keep out the heat and the snakes.

My choice was to keep going forward or turn and run. As I am apt to do in crisis situations, I chose wrong (I would have made a great sidekick to Lucy and Ethel). I kept going and proceeded into the restroom. To be fair, my travel pal was right behind me and I didn’t want to knock her down in my escape.

I say that like I really thought it through and I promise I did not. My only objective was to get away.

While I went into the ladies room, Johnna went in search of help. It came in the form of a young guy who was sweeping floors. But when he saw the snake, he announced that snake removal was above his pay grade.

You might wonder why we didn’t just open the door to let him slither out on his own. Well, that wasn’t an option because the door was locked. Of course it was. This story wouldn’t be nearly so interesting if it were unlocked.

Ultimately, someone found someone else who had a door key while a guy from the kitchen came to assist.

However, all this transpired after Mr. Snake followed me into the restroom. Yep. It squeezed under that door too. Fortunately, it more or less looked around for just a few seconds and slithered back out the door. Evidently, even he knew that he didn’t belong in the ladies room.

Once the door was unlocked, kitchen guy picked him up by the tail and helped him out the door.

No one there seemed to know what kind of snake it was but a friend asked his snake expert friends and they all agree it is a Gopher snake which is not poisonous .

So we had two adventures for the price of one! And as Johnna pointed out, at least I got a story out of it.

When it was all said and done, Johnna ended up with a tall glass of something bubbly and caffeinated. On the other hand, I sat down and ate a giant chocolate chip cookie and lost my ability to blink for about five minutes.

Clearly, life is short and it is meant to be lived with enthusiasm. Take the hike, shriek like a little girl, eat the cookie and hope there’s not a snake in your path.